Q&A with Scott Kazmir

The B-Mets got another brilliant performance from Scott Kazmir on Sunday. The lefty allowed just one run in seven innings as Binghamton beat New Britain 5-2. Kazmir allowed only two runners past second base, scattered five hits, and struck out seven in a seven inning stint that produced his second win since being called up to AA. Kazmir is now 2-1 for the first place B-Mets. Before the game I had the chance to sit down with Kazmir for a Q&A session.

NYF: Let's talk about Scott Kazmir in High School. How old were you when you realized that you had the talent to be a professional baseball player?

Kazmir: Maybe my senior year of high school.

NYF: Really, that late?

Kazmir: You don't really think about it. It just seems so far fetched until it's actually happening.

NYF: Let me get this straight. You were throwing in the 90's as a sophomore and junior blowing everybody away and you never thought that you would make it to the pros?

Kazmir: I knew I was a good high school pitcher but I just didn't think that it could happen to me. I mean it's everybody's dream but I never thought it could really happen.

NYF: That must have made it all the more glorious when you were drafted. What was your first spring training like?

Kazmir: Everything was just so new to me. I didn't know what to expect. All in all though it was a very good experience and I learned a lot from it.

NYF: This year, you were invited to big league camp and you got to play with Piazza, Glavine, Floyd, and Franco. What was that experience like?

Kazmir: That was amazing. I can't even describe how I felt. I just tried to be like a sponge and absorb as much as I could from all the big leaguers. When I was in a group with them or when we were doing drills I'd try and talk to them and try to get as much as I can out of them. They were a lot of help.

NYF: Was there anyone in particular you learned a lot from?

Kazmir: I wouldn't say it was just one person. Franco and Stanton were both real big helps. It was the little things that helped so much. We talked about holding runners on and stuff like that. It's the small fundamental things that separate an average pitcher from a great one.

NYF: Do the veterans ever try and help you with your pitch selection. For example, will they ever suggest throwing a changeup after a fastball or something along those lines?

Kazmir: Nothing like that. That's your own personal game. As a pitcher you have to know what you can do with your pitches at any given time during an at bat.

NYF: When did the reality of being a professional ball player sink in?

Kazmir: The first time I stepped in to the locker room and Mike Piazza's locker was across from mine. He was chilling there with a dozen cameras and reporters. That's when it hit me. I couldn't believe I was standing right next to him.

NYF: Have you been able to notice a considerable difference between the hitters in A ball and AA ball?

Kazmir: Not too much yet. I've only had a couple starts. I can tell that the hitters are a lot more disciplined.

NYF: How have you been able to fit in to the new clubhouse?

Kazmir: The guys up here have been treating me real well. Last year this whole core of people was in St. Lucie and we won together there so we all know each other and we're all familiar of what we are capable of.

NYF: Do you keep in touch with any of your former teammates in St. Lucie?

Kazmir: Definitely. I call them all the time. I check the stats. I know how everybody is doing.

NYF: Part of being highly touted is that you are put under the microscope a lot more than other players. A lot of people look for faults or imperfections. How are you handling that?

Kazmir: I don't really deal with that. I hear it from my parents all the time. They read everything and try and tell me all that kind of stuff and I just stop them before they say anything because I don't want that stuff to get in my head. I've heard how New York media is and I don't want that stuff to mess with my head but I know I cannot control it.

NYF: On an ESPN scouting report, it mentioned that everything had to be perfect for you to pitch well and they called you an enigma. Is that true?

Kazmir: That's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. I don't like listening to that stuff but I understand it's a part of the game. I try not to let it bother me. You got to take it with a grain of salt.

NYF: Over the last couple years you have been mentioned in several trade rumors. Does the thought of being traded ever worry you?

Kazmir: I can't control that so it doesn't bother me. It felt good when Wilpon said I wouldn't be traded. That was reassuring.

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