Q & A with Hiram Bocachica

A fan favorite since the first day he stepped on the field in a Mariners uniform during spring training, Hiram Bocachica has bounced up and down between Seattle and Tacoma this season. InsidethePark.com's Sean Duade talked to the likeable outfielder recently, and brings you this exclusive one-on-one interview.

InsidethePark.com: You hit two home runs Sunday, did you feel good, did you do anything differently?

Hiram Bocachica: Well, Saturday was the first game I played in two weeks. I was a bit anxious and I was swinging too hard, I wasn't me. I just felt a little bit more calm, I tried to just see the ball, my approach was just different from Saturday. I was just happy that I had a good day.

ITP: You made some spectacular plays in the field in your time with Seattle. Do you take more pride in your fielding than you do in your hitting or are they equally important to you?

HB: Actually no, I do care about them equally, but I take more pride in my hitting. Defensively it is just reactions, you don't have to think, you just try to react and catch the ball. I'm able to separate things, you know, when I am in the outfield I don't think about my hitting, and, when I'm hitting I don't think about my defense. I am just able to do that and it helps me a lot in the outfield, when I'm playing defense my mind can only play defense. Sometimes some guys go to bat and they are thinking about the outfield, or vice versa, and it causes guys to lose a step. I've been able to separate these things right now.

ITP: A lot of guys have been shuttling back and forth between Tacoma and Seattle. Is it difficult to adjust to playing in Cheney Stadium after playing at Safeco Field?

HB: It's not tough. I was here at the beginning of the year, and it's fun. It's always fun to come back. I am not thrilled with the way it happened, but hey I'm here doing what I love to do and that's play baseball. It was a pleasure for me to be (in Seattle) for almost a month, I learned a lot up there and I just want to keep continuing to play hard and we'll see what happens in September.

ITP: You have made a number of stops with different major league clubs over the years do you think you have finally found a home here in Seattle and Tacoma?

HB: I hope. I have a pretty good career here in the minors. It's a great organization, everybody is fun to be around and hopefully they sign me back in the off-season. We'll see what happens.

ITP: Between now and September when the ML rosters expand is there anything in particular that you want to work on or improve?

HB: I definitely got to be able to hit like I know I can hit. In the big leagues I didn't have the chance to prove that I could hit at that level. I had pretty good games and I had pretty bad games. But every time you play every five days, I don't think it's fair to play every five days and for (the management) to expect you to have two or three hits a day. So I just want to come back here and play every day and get some at-bats.

ITP: Do you think you will have the opportunity to play again in Seattle this year?

HB: I don't know, it's up to them. I would be more than happy to stay here, but if they want me to I would love to go up (to Seattle) and hang with the guys. Right now I'm not thinking about that, I'm just thinking about being here in Tacoma. I'm going to just go out on the field and go about my business and do what I can do best.

ITP: What are some of the differences between Seattle and Tacoma?

HB: Pressure. Up in Seattle there is a lot of pressure. You can feel it as soon as you get into the clubhouse. (In Tacoma) it is more relaxed you have fun. (In Seattle) it was pretty fun too but this year it has been a tough year for everybody though so everyone worries. It's the pressure.

ITP: Did it take you by surprise to play well in Seattle and then be designated for assignment?

HB: Especially the way they explained it to me it was even more surprising. They didn't have anybody else so I guess I was the scapegoat. I thought I did a decent job. I guess I didn't hit the way they wanted me too. I just tried to help the team in any way I can. If I wasn't hitting I was doing everything I can to help the team defensively, so I was really concentrating on that. But sometimes it's not good enough, and I guess that's what happens.

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