TigsTown Q&A: Whitecaps catcher Dusty Ryan

After a breakout '04 campaign for Dusty Ryan, many inside the organization were very excited about his future. Unfortunately, his '05 season got off to a rough start and never really got off the ground. But the extra time appears to have paid off, as Ryan is back to his hitting ways for the 'Caps.

TigsTown: Dusty, last year was a tough year for you, but you've been tearing the cover off the ball this year - how does it feel?

Dusty Ryan: It feels incredible. Last year I got in a slump and never got out of it. It is so nice to get a strong start, but I need to keep it up for the whole year.

TT: Are you doing anything differently this year?

DR: Not really. Things are just clicking. I'm seeing the ball well and getting good counts to hit in.

TT: Walk us through how you prepare for a game.

DR: I usually come to the park pretty early and get a little running and stretching in before team warm-ups. Then I just try to stay laid back until the team starts working out.

TT: What do you feel are some of your strengths?

DR: I've been told I have a really good arm, and I think my size helps a lot. I also keep learning more and more. That's important.

TT: Now the question everyone hates - What are a few of your weaknesses?

DR: I'm very hard on myself. I'm never really satisfyed with what I do; I always think I can do better no matter what. But I'm trying to work on that. I also have to remind myself not to do too much, to stay relaxed.

TT: Matt Walbeck was a catcher in the pros, what's it like to have a manager like that?

DR: It's nice because he knows what you're going through and can relate to everything.

TT: It's a long season, is it harder being a catcher?

DR: Yeah, you can feel it in your whole body after the game, but especially your legs. It's been a big change because of the length of the season and how that wears on you.

TT: The pitchers are off to a hot start here – how's it feel to be a part of that?

DR: It feels good and it makes my job easier. I don't have to concentrate as much on what they're throwing, just give them locations..

TT: You had a pretty good hitting streak going for a while, what was that like?

DR: It felt really good.

TT: During a streak like that, are you very superstitious?

DR: I try not to be, but you get a little bit of it. It was tough because I would talk to my mom and she would ask me about it every night. So I had to get over the weird feelings pretty quick.

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