MadFriars' Interview: Cody Decker

PEORIA, AZ: Cody Decker is, well Cody Decker. The former UCLA Bruin was a twenty-second round pick of the San Diego Padres in 2009 and then proceeded to smash about every offensive record in the Arizona League hitting .354/.421/.717.

Skipping the Midwest League in 2010, Decker then had 28 home runs and 90 RBIs for the Storm. Last year in the Texas League he got off to one of the best starts in his career hitting 10 home runs in his first twenty games before injuries cut short his season.

In the meantime he kept up an entertaining blog and twitter account, which really showcases a truly off-beat sense of humor:

"Cop pulling me over: Papers. Me: Scissors!....... - Turns out cops have no sense of humor...."

Back to baseball. With Matt Clark and Nate Freiman ensconced at first base at both Tucson and San Antonio the Padres have been trying to get him more at-bats anywhere they can and so far Cody has responded by being among the league leaders in home runs and slugging percentage.

We caught up with Cody at the end of spring training to find out about the new positions and why the music just doesn't quite match the story of Damn Yankees.

Where is the rest of you? You dropped some weight didn't you?

Cody Decker: Not one.

Not one?

Cody Decker: Nope.

Then you are wearing smaller shirts. Usually you are Mr. Baggy.

Cody Decker: [laughs]. I don't know. I think I'm pretty much the same size I've been in the past.

Everyone always thinks I'm overweight, never understood that.

Last year you probably had as good a start as anytime in your career. It looked like you were going to break the Texas League record for home runs. What caused you to get off to such a good start?

Cody Decker: I was just seeing it and hitting it.

I mean you were hitting them into the wind in right-center.

Cody Decker: They were going everywhere. I was just doing it.

What happened with the injury?

Cody Decker: I was trying to beat out a throw to first base and tripped on the first baseman's foot. The spike then got caught in the ground and the ankle went everywhere.

It was a grade three ankle sprain, so I was out for three and half months. I came back here for rehab and then got back up.

How difficult was the layoff on your timing?

Cody Decker: It was tough but also I really just wanted to get back on the field. I came back about a week and half before the playoffs and by that time my timing was back.

I was hitting again and performed pretty well.

How did the off-season go? Did you do the same things as you've done previously?

Cody Decker: A little. I was in Panama for a very short time for a few days of winter ball.

What happened?

Cody Decker: I got very sick. Just got some bad food and caught a bad case of salmonella. They had to ship me home after a few days in the hospital.

Once I got home and got better it was the same thing. My trainer and I worked out pretty hard and really just lifted like crazy to get in good shape.

How has spring been going?

Cody Decker: Good. They have been moving me around to see if I can play some other positions. As far as I can tell just to see if I can do it, and I can.

The bat has been feeling great.

You have been playing some first, third and left. Are they having you squat behind the plate like you did in college?

Cody Decker: [laughs] I've thrown it out there but no one has taken me up on that yet.

Its always like when have you caught?

And I say, ‘Hey, I did it in college.'

But, no dice yet. I don't think they will do it but they know I am willing and can do it if they need me.

How has the blog been going?

Cody Decker: I haven't been writing much lately, been tired from spring training. I should and it doesn't take me long only around twenty minutes.

Last question, how do yo balance the dichotomy of playing baseball and being a song and dance man which you were in high school?

Cody Decker: I love to sing in the shower.

And you don't get any looks?

Cody Decker: No, no, no. They are snapping their fingers, they know I have talent. I mess around in the dugout.

If there ever was a spring training show of "Damn Yankees" you are the guy.

Cody Decker: When I was in theatre I pushed for it to get it done but the director didn't like the music. So I did Music Man instead.

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