Friday, August 26, 2011

Big League Moment (1) Scott Downs

Well readers I thought it was about time for me to start adding a new feature to my blog. Many of you actually check in on the blog fairly frequently and I truly do appreciate your readership. After all my hours spent hunting around Angel Stadium I've had a few run-ins with current and past players that don't always make it into the blog post or have an autograph to showcase in the normal RBI format. Rather than let those moments go to waste I've decided to add the "Big League Moment" where I'll post up my interactions with the guys from the big leagues.

This inaugural post includes someone I've actually had trouble getting an autograph from, mainly because I don't have any cards for him. It seems every time I run into Scott Downs when he's signing I've already wrinkled or had my ticket signed, don't have a clean baseball, or haven't been able to get ahold of a card yet. This natural frustration led me to finally take advantage of hanging out before the game and asking him a few questions on his way into the stadium.

(Me standing along the fence and calling out) "Hey Scott, can I ask you a few quick questions?"

(Mr. Downs turning to face me and take a few steps closer) "Sure."

"What's your favorite city to play in as a visitor?"

Without missing a beat Scott responded "Boston." This is actually a fairly surprising response to get from Mr. Downs, and I'm actually fairly certain it has more to do with how nice the city of Boston is, than actual baseball performance. Lifetime Downs has only appeared in 14 games in Fenway where batters hit .317 off him with a 4.70 ERA to go with that high average. Considering he spent 6 seasons with the Blue Jays those are actually surprising for him to have that few appearances and those kind of numbers.

"Who's the toughest guy for you to get out?"

This response was also immediate and the numbers do support Downs answer, "Hideki Matsui. I have no idea why but for some reason I can't get that guy out." In 24 at-bats, Matsui has had 12 hits including 2 Doubles and a Homer.  Matsui has only struck out 4 times while driving in 7 runs. He's tied for most plate appearances against Downs with Robinson Cano at 27 and just ahead of Bobby Abreu's 26. Both are top caliber professional hitters in the same if not higher tier as Matsui, but against Downs only hit .231 and .261 respectively. Seeing as Matsui is a lefty I'm as stumped as Downs as to why he is so successful against the southpaw reliever.

Having responded to my pair of questions Downs turned to go into the clubhouse when I tossed out my final question, "Can I get a ball inside?"

(Still walking away Downs looked back) "Maybe during batting practice."

It was quick, and it was awesome. I really appreciated Scott taking a few minutes out of his day to talk to me, maybe even as much as I appreciate how lockdown he's been in the back end of the Angel bullpen.

If you readers enjoyed this Big League Moment post, please leave a comment or shoot me an email and when I have more to share I'll be sure to post them.


  1. Thats a nice interaction, rather than just asking for an autograph outright. Shows youre interested in the player more than the autograph. I'm sure he appreciated it.

  2. I enjoyed it. Looking forward to more!