First off, here’s a copy of Curtis Granderson’s interview with Sporting News Radio interview. It was sent to me by Grandy’s agent, but I uploaded a copy on my own server for anyone else who missed the actual interview. It’ll stay up unless anyone official would like me to take it down. (Just, please link don’t link directly to the file, if you link to it. Thanks.)
Also, Grandy had an interview with Baseball Prospectus posted today. (Sub). Of interest, since much talk of Granderson is about his play at the plate, Granderson would like to hang his cap on his defense.
David Laurila: If you could win any title, or award, this season, what would it be?
CG: Maybe the batting title? No, Iâ€™d rather win a Gold Glove. That would be more meaningful to me.
DL: How would you rate where you are as a defensive player right now?
CG: On a scale of one-to-10, as a major league outfielder, Iâ€™d say Iâ€™m a six. The reason being; arm-wise I need to get more consistent. I have decent arm-strength and accuracy, but not consistency in putting the two together. Iâ€™ll make several good throws in a row, but then wonâ€™t be in sync with the next one. Itâ€™s a mechanical thing. You go through streaks as a fielder, just like you do as a hitter, and I want to improve my consistency because I take pride in my defense. Iâ€™ve had the knock of not being a true center fielder, and that motivates me to get better.
Based on how strongly he’s played the position, compared to, oh, most Tigers center fielders in the past 15 years, I’d say there’s no way you can knock his defense. I think having Granderson starting in CF was an important factor in the Tigers improved play defensively last year.
And the final CG note, Granderson answered a few more questions on his blog at MLBlogs. One note of interest is Sheffield is already having a similar influence on the batters — or Granderson, anyway — as Kenny Rogers had last year with the young pitchers.
R. Evarts (Rossford, OH): Which player on the team serves as the biggest role model to you and why?
I would have to say Gary Sheffield, because of the length of his career and what he has accomplished. Sheffield has a lot of hits, homeruns, and a World Series title. If at the end of my career I can have a piece of what he has done, that will be a successful career for myself.
And finally, you could see Mack Avenue Tigers and a of your other favorite Tigers blogs in this week’s Sports Illustrated magazine print edition. (Lee and I aren’t actually on the SI Tigers web site). That was a complete surprise to me, but pretty cool. Congrats to everyone. Of course, several fine Tigers blogs were left off, too, but I fully expect someone to bounce me from the list by next year!