Kyle Blanks: It was a great experience to be up there with all of those guys and kind of relieving to see them make mistakes too. It makes the game a lot more realistic like that. Obviously, there consistency level is a lot higher but it is relieving to see they are human as well.
They are good; it is a matter of putting it together as consistently as they do.
Did you go in there with specific questions in mind that you can ask an Adrian Gonzalez?
Kyle Blanks: Eyes open, ears open, mouth shut. Listen to what they have to say. They are there already and know what they are doing. Take it all in and put it together and take what makes sense to you. There is a lot of knowledge up there and I tried to take all I could.
You also got a once in a lifetime trip to China out of this. What was that experience like?
Kyle Blanks: The baseball was great. It was fun to play with all of those guys.
It is a lot different from here. It was a fun trip. It was good to see a place that some people will never see in their life.
Do you think it takes away from your preparation for the season? Your sleep pattern gets messed up and yet you are expected to come back and play and get ready for the year.
Kyle Blanks: You have to work through it. I didn't feel too good but you have to get back at it. I still have to play. You can't take time off to get back in your pattern because that could be a week and you have to fight through it.
During the season, you could be riding on busses and can't sleep – tough luck. Another obstacle you have to work through.
It looks like you have another new stance this year – the third year in a row?
Kyle Blanks: Possibly – I am working off last year. My hands are close to where they were at the end of last year and maybe a little bit of a wider base, if not the same. I am just trying to shorten everything up and keep everything compact.
When you look back at last year, did you feel like you were missing out on some opportunities to drive the ball?
Kyle Blanks: Everyone, regardless of whether they are in rookie ball or a 10-year veteran will miss some. I definitely felt like I put a lot more balls out or hit a lot more balls hard where the previous year I hadn't.
I do think I missed some that I should have gotten but I also think I hit more harder than I ever have. That was something to build off.
You came out to Instructs to work on your agility around the bag and there have been whispers that maybe you will get a look in the outfield one day.
Kyle Blanks: I would definitely like to try it. It has been a while since I tried it. It is always good to know more than one position.
I did work a little in Instructs. My knee was bothering me from the season so I didn't get a whole lot of work in.
In spring, my feet were working a whole lot better than when I first got there. My hands are working better. Taking those steps forward. I feel a lot better around the base. Fielding – a little more range and hands a little bit. Around the base I feel great. If I get a shot in the outfield it will be great – if anything, just to see.
When you look back at the end of the 2008 season, what will make for a successful season for Kyle Blanks?
Kyle Blanks: Always trying to do better than last year. I definitely want to put up good numbers, regardless of what that is. I just want to have a good year – something I can look back on and say I did well. Always looking to do better.
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