Q & A: Michael Nesbit

InsidethePark.com's Kevin Damask spoke with Rattlers outfielder Michael Nesbit in question and answer form. Find out more about the T-Rats right fielder.

Insidethepark.com: You played seven games with the Tacoma Rainiers this season. What was that experience like?

Mike Nesbit: It was great. Actually, my first professional start and hits came in Triple A. A lot of those guys played in the big leagues. I became close to all lot of those guys and I just soaked up all the knowledge that they had to offer.

ITP: What do you like most about playing for Wisconsin?

Nesbit: I like the players here and I respect Roadie. (Manager Steve Roadcap) I liked playing for him in spring training. The fans are great, it's great playing for fans that really care for the team, and it helps.

ITP:You missed all of last season because you had "Tommy John" surgery. How long does it take to fully recover from that procedure?

Nesbit: They say it takes about a little over a year. So, it will be about another month or so, but I came back pretty quick in rehabbing it. My goal was to get back to spring training and I reached that goal. For having surgery less than a year ago, it feels great.

ITP: As an outfielder, what do you think is the most important aspect of the game you must learn in order to be successful?

Nesbit: As far as fielding balls, I think a lot of it is through instinct. During batting practice, taking fly balls off the bat. You can take fly balls from a coach, but I think the best thing is taking it off a hitter's bat. I definitely think that it's an instinctive position, as far as knwoing where the ball is going to be and watching the pitch. If you're in batting practice and you're not messing around you want to watch the ball come off the bat.

ITP: Do you have experience playing at any other positions?

Nesbit: A little bit at left field. Most of the time I've played in right. When I was 11 and 12 years old I played shortstop. Basically, all through high school I was a center fielder and in college I was a center fielder. But, in right field is where I would say I'm most comfortable.

ITP: Being from California, what baseball team do you follow the most?

Nesbit: I grew up an Angel fan. I've been an Angel fan my whole life. I grew up in Long Beach, which is pretty close to Anaheim. There was a lot of years when they had a pretty bad team, so it was so great when they won the World Series. My whole hometown was behind them. I still watch them and I still like them.

ITP: With California having five pro baseball teams, is it hard for fans to truly stay loyal to one team?

Nesbit: Yeah, I mean you just got so many different professional sports teams. It's just a different atmosphere as opposed to Chicago or New York, where people are really into their teams. You would have to go up to San Fransisco; they have some pretty good fans. The Dodgers, too if they're winning. It's just a different atmosphere, people our just into other things. That's what makes it nice to play in the Midwest, where people our really behind you.

ITP: How do you think you could help the Timber Rattlers?

Nesbit: By playing hard, being aggressive. I try to just play one game at a time and not try to get too up and too down. I guess I just try to set an example. I really like to win and I think there's a lot of guys on the team who feel the same way. I think if you have a lot of guys who are on the same page, the likelier you are to win. I think I go about the game the right way, I play hard, and I play to win. If you do that most of the individual stuff just falls into place.

ITP: What part of your game would you like to improve the most?

Nesbit: You can always become a smart hitter. Just learning situations and reading pitchers, that part of the game. Just knowing what the pitcher did to you the last time. I keep a book on pitchers, to know what they do and their tendencies. I do think that you have to know more than just the mechanics and you have to keep studying the game.

ITP: How can a player stay mentally focused during a long baseball season?

Nesbit: Just take it one game at a time and realize that it's going to be a long season. I haven't played a long season yet; this is my first time playing a long season. I know before the season I really geared myself up mentally, to be ready for that long haul, knowing that there's going to be a lot of games. I just try to take care of my body and try to eat right, just really take it day by day. As far as baseball, you might be playing 140 or 162 games, the hardest thing is keeping yourself motivated. Those last two weeks, that's when it comes down to who is going to make the playoffs. That's definitely when you want to be on top of your game.

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