Q & A: Michael Collins

Another addition to the Rainiers roster means another inquiry session with the new guy. InsidethePark.com's Sean Duade had the honor of getting to know Michael Collins.

InsidethePark.com: So you are a new addition to the Mariners organization, what should fans know about Michael Collins as a player?

Michael Collins: That everyday I come in and play hard. I'm not a big guy so I'm not going to wow you with any home runs or anything, but I'm a team guy and I play really good defense, and I do my job as best I can at the plate. And that I love the game of baseball, I play like I love the game.
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ITP: What is your greatest strength on the field?

MC: I don't know, it's tough to say, I'd say my greatest strength is my fielding.


ITP:When you step into the batter's box what do you concentrate on?

MC: Basically I just try and hit line drives. I'm not big enough to hit the ball out of the park consistently, if it happens it happens, you know I hit a few home runs but I'm more of a line drive hitter—a singles, gap-to-gap guy—but, it depends on the situations in the game. If I need to go up and hit a ground ball to second to try and get the guy over I'll do that. I'm not real selfish up there. I just try to do what I can to help the team.


ITP: During Batting Practice you looked more than comfortable taking groundballs at shortstop, but you're listed as a second baseman, have you ever played shortstop?

MC: Actually I got drafted as a shortstop and I played shortstop about three or four years with the Dodgers and then they decided to move me to second. They thought playing second might get me to the big leagues faster there. Second base is actually a little bit of a newer position for me but it's a little bit easier for me, I'm closer to first so my arm strength is even better than it is at short. I think it is actually fun, I can do a little bit more with the position.


ITP: What do you feel you can add to the Rainiers this year?

MC: Shoot, we have a great team. I just hope that I can contribute in any way I can. I think what I can add is my enthusiasm, I play hard. I think we have a lot of those kinds of (hard working) guys on the team, and when you have guys like that it makes everyone want to come out and play hard and do better.


ITP: You started this year playing with the Mets Triple-A affiliate the Norfolk Tides, what was it like working with David Wright in the infield?

MC: Well I got traded in spring training (from the Dodgers to the Mets), so I didn't get to play with David too long… He's a really good third baseman. We had a really good defensive team (in Norfolk), we were the top team defensively in the (the International League). David is still a young kid and he needs to learn a few things, but that will come with experience. But he is the kind of kid that can wow you just by knowing how old he is, he has the opportunity to be a great third baseman. We had a lot of fun playing defense. Here I feel like it's the same, we play really good defense here, our infielders here don't have too many errors, Mickey (Lopez) is a great infielder.


ITP: Do you hope to work with some of the young kids on the team?

MC: Me and Santiago have good chemistry. I played against him a long time ago in Single-A and I don't know him too well, but we clicked pretty good and I'd say we're pretty good friends, and I'm going to try and help him as much as I can, obviously he's younger than me, and he's a big prospect here, so of course (I'm going to help him out), I'm not a selfish player I like to make everyone else better.


Sean Duade is a junior at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and welcomes your feedback, questions, and disputes sduade@msn.com

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