Sunday, April 11, 2010
Sounds like a busy 'retirement'
By Gordon Edes
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- So, now that retirement apparently is on the agenda, just how does Mike Lowell envision spending his?
“Mike Redmond and I always had this plan,’’ Lowell said, referring to his best friend and former teammate on the Florida Marlins. “He was going to toil in the minor leagues and I’d be his bench coach because he wanted me to be able to talk to the Latin guys.’’
Lowell, who was born in Puerto Rico and whose father is Cuban, is bilingual.
“But I honestly think if you’re going to be a coach and be a good one, you’re actually away from your family more [than as a player],’’ he said. “You absolutely are.’’
OK, so coaching, at least in the short term, is out of the question. There will be more time with his wife, Bertica, and his kids, Alexis and Anthony.
“I honestly think I’ll take a year or two off,’’ he said. “I told Pagey [David Page, the weight coach], I’m going to be in better shape when I’m retired than when I was playing. When you’re playing, it’s a race to see how strong you can get in four months of the offseason. Retired, I can take all year.
“I actually enjoy it," Lowell said of working out. "The thing that really bothered me about the hip is I loved jogging 45 minutes every morning. I’d put my music on, gather my thoughts. I don’t enjoy it the first time. The first time it’s hard to go 20 minutes. But when 45 minutes comes easy, you feel like you did something. You’re starting the day off good.
“But I haven’t been able to do that for two years. That’s why I bought an elliptical machine, but that’s not a trade-off. I like jogging outside.’’
All right, so we can expect Lowell -- who, after all, is just 36 -- will not let himself go physically after he quits. And then ...
“I know I can’t just sit in the house,’’ he said. “I’d be too bored. I’d like to play golf more, I’d like to fish more. Yeah, all those great things. But how many times can you play golf or can you fish before you say, ‘I want to do something.’’’
So a life of uninterrupted leisure is out. Which leaves him where?
“I enjoy baseball,’’ he said. “I like to talk baseball. You know what I thought about is doing about five Marlins games, see if I enjoy it, see how good I am. Maybe I’ll suck, I don’t know. I feel like I can speak OK, but on camera it’s different.’’
Lowell, a Miami native, said he was encouraged to try broadcasting by Jon Sciambi when he was playing with the Marlins and Sciambi was one of the team’s broadcasters. Sciambi is now with ESPN.
“He said I’d be good,’’ Lowell said, “but I was pretty nervous in speech class.’’
Lowell earned a degree in finance from Florida International University, where he was drafted in the 20th round by the Yankees in 1995.
“I still remember my three speeches in speech class,’’ he said. “We had to make an informative speech, an argumentative, and a third one, I don’t know, whatever topic.
“I did my informative on how to treat a sprained ankle. It was easy because I had sprained my ankle so many times. My argumentative was why Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. And my last one was why the NBA is so great. I put a video of Michael Jordan in, and it was like, ‘Oh, wow, you got an A.’’’
So there may one day be a mike for Mike.
"I think I know baseball, so it would be easy to talk about something you’re knowledgeable about,’’ he said. “Put me in front of people to talk about foreign policy, and I’d be very nervous. Not so much nervous, but afraid I wouldn’t be informed. Somebody would say, ‘What about this, back in 1989?’ I’d say, ‘OK, you win.’’’