Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Stat Pack Exclusive Interview with Dodgers 1B James Loney

In the lastest edition of Stat Pack exclusive interviews, we have a real special treat. Dodgers First Basemen James Loney was nice enough to answer some questions for us and go over his offseson, his approach to heading into his first MLB season, and shooting hoops with Sam "I Am" Cassell.

James had a stellar prep career (varsity 2000-2002) at Elkins High School in Missouri City, Texas (suburban Houston). He hit .509 his senior season and also accumulated a record of 9-1 with a 1.80 era as a pitcher, striking out 106 batters in 54 innings. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1st Round (#19 overall). He had signed with Baylor University to play college baseball, but opted to sign a pro contract. He made his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers on April 4, 2006 against the Atlanta Braves. In 2007 Loney hit .331 with 15 HR's and 67 RBI's in 96 Games.

TSP:What have you been up to this off-season?

JL:Hanging out with family and friends

TSP:What is your off-season training regime like?

JL:Lifting weights, running and baseball activities

TSP:This is the first season where you're going in as part of the Major league roster; do you approach spring training any differently than the previous years?

JL:No, you can't take anything for granted

TSP:The Dodgers made a few significant moves this off-season with the signings of Andruw Jones and Hiroki Kuroda. With the return of a healthy Jason Schmidt, do you feel like this team has the talent to win the division and do damage in the playoffs?

JL:World Series Champs!!!

TSP:What are your personal goals for this season?

JL:To be consistent and help the team win

TSP:The Dodgers have a great young nucleus of players in the Majors right now with Russell Martin, Matt Kemp, Andre Either, Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton and yourself. How's it been playing with those young players?

JL:Fun, It's good to be with those guys at this level

TSP:Do you think it's important for you to go through the same system together? Does it help you grow as a team?

JL:I think it helps chemistry

TSP:There are a lot of former Dodger prospects on the Rays or in the Rays farm system. Do you still keep in touch with guys like Edwin Jackson, Justin Ruggiano, Chuck Tiffany, Sergio Pedroza and Dioner Navarro?

JL:Jackson and Ruggiano and Joel Guzman

TSP:Despite your stellar minor league numbers the past couple of years, the Dodgers seemed reluctant to call you up and keep you in the majors, opting to instead sign aging veterans. Did you feel at all slighted? Did it drive you to work even harder to get back?

JL:It definitely is a reminder to always work as hard as you can

TSP:We've noticed that you're very active in the community. You obviously enjoy it; do you think it's important to be involved with charities, fundraisers, visiting children's hospitals, etc? Also, do you feel players have a responsibility to do so?

JL:I don't believe it is a responsibility, but I like doing it and I like seeing people smile.

TSP:Recently Sam Cassell beat you in a game of H-O-R-S-E, do you plan on getting him back in some way? Do you think he could hit a curve ball or a 95 MPH fastball?

JL:I beat him in a game of P-I-G. He is athletic so he could probably make contact.

Again, The Stat Pack would like to thank James for his time and chating with us.


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