Sunday, July 31, 2011
Q&A: Davis excited, Hunter surprised
By Richard Durrett
The two Rangers involved in the deal to bring Koji Uehara to Texas talked to us about the trade and their feelings about leaving the Rangers organization on Saturday. Here's part of that interview. We'll start with Chris Davis.
Q: Chris, how do you feel about the trade?
CD: I think it’s a good opportunity for me. I think it’s mixed emotions right now. Obviously, it's tough to leave this clubhouse and this team because it’s all I’ve ever known. I’ve built a lot of good relationships with these guys and I'm going to miss playing with them. But at the same time, I'm looking forward to getting to know the guys in the Baltimore clubhouse and playing every day.
Q: Do you think it will be good for you to get a fresh start?
CD: I do. I think once you’ve been with an organzation for a while, I think they form opinions of you and they know what they think about you from what you’ve done. I had success early in my career, but a lot of failure and struggles after that. It was tough to come to the field sometimes knowing I might not be in the lineup or I might have a bad night. It was one of those things where I learned a lot and have made a lot of strides in the right direction as a Ranger, but also struggled and went through some things I didn't think I'd go through. It’s nice to go somewhere else and feel like you're wanted. Sometimes when you get shuffled, you get a feeling that you’re not a guy they can look to that will be a contributor every day in the lineup. I don't think I was that guy. I was a guy that came off the bench and played some defense and that was my role, and it was tough.
The biggest thing is not playing every day. It's really hard for a guy who's always been an everyday player and a power hitter. When you're a power hitter, you rely on timing and rhythm to get you locked in. It was tough playing three or four games and sitting. Today [Saturday] was a great example. I got four at-bats and it took me some time to get comfortable. That’s a big thing for me. Especially being such a young player, it's critical for me to be in there every day and hit every day.
Q: Anything you want to say to the fans?
CD: The fans have been awesome. I know it wasn’t easy to be a Chris Davis fan all the time because there were ups and downs. Something I'll always remember is when I got called back up last year and the warm receptionthe fans gave me after everything I had been through. [Justin] Smoak had been traded and I was back up. That reception really put things in perspective. The Ranger fans were behind me and they wanted to see me succeed, and I really appreciate that.
As for Tommy Hunter, he was surprised and shocked at the trade. Davis' name was floated out all over the place, but Hunter wasn't a player many expected the Rangers to deal.
Q: What are your thoughts on the trade?
TH: I’m very surprised. I found out from about 500 text messages that I got traded. They told me officially later. I don't know. It is what it is. We had a good run last year. I wish them the best. I hope they win it all and good luck.
Q: You looking forward to trying to become a regular rotation guy with the Orioles?
TH: I would hope that’s the case. I’m a starting pitcher. I’m not a bullpen guy. So I sure hope so.
Q: You've worked with pitching coach Rick Adair before. How important will it be for you that you have a relationship with him?
TH: I have a great relationship with him. He’s a guy that I have the utmost respect for. It will be good for me to be working with him.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
TH: Write this down: I’ll be an All-Star next year. I’ll be back in a position to where I’m pretty comfortable. And I don't have any doubt in my mind that Chris Davis is going to be an absolute superstar. That kid is unbelievable. He's going to play well.