Interview with Baltimore Orioles Catcher Matt Wieters
Aug 28, 2012 11:18AM ● Published by Anonymous
When you came to Baltimore, the media welcomed you as franchise player. The game in which you made your debut in May of 2009 was a near sellout, with 30,000 more fans than the night before. Do you still feel the weight of these kind of expectations?
It’s nice when people have expectations for you, when that’s what people feel your talent level is, but at the same time you can’t really pay attention to other people’s expectations. I have very high expectations and goals for myself. I try everyday to meet those. You really work hard to be the best player you can be and that’s all I do.
You were very effective last year in throwing out base stealers. What’s the key to that? What goes through your mind when you see a runner break for second?
I have been able to be consistent behind the plate. You are trying to make the same throw every time and all you can do is be less than two seconds and be right on the bag so your shortstop or second baseman can stay put. You are not worried about how fast or slow the runner is. You are just trying to make the same throw every time.
The Orioles have one of the youngest pitching staffs in the major leagues. What is your role in mentoring them?
You always want your catcher to be a leader on the field, especially with those young pitchers. I really like working with the young staff and being able to talk to them and lead them the right way. It’s more about getting to know the different pitcher’s tendencies so you can help them out when you see something.
What do you like to do to wind down after a game?
I don’t do that much. I am more of a home body. I really like relaxing at home. I just go home and hang out with my wife and my animals. I have a dog and two cats. I sit around and watch a little TV to wind down.
What do you like to do for fun in the offseason?
I play a lot of golf. It’s something where you can compete, but you can relax at the same time. It really helps me relax. I am not that good a golfer anymore. I used to be better when I was younger, but I have started to hit it to more parts of the field in golf, which isn’t good. It’s good in baseball but not good in golf. Hitting the ball on the fairway is not the easiest thing to do.
Winning the Gold Glove is a terrific thing, but does the fact that you are the first Orioles’ catcher to do it make it that much more special?
It shocked me a little when I first found out. It’s such a storied franchise. It’s nice to be an Orioles position player to win a Gold Glove. It’s a special honor whether you are the first or the 30th. It’s still a nice award. It’s hard work and a lot of things have to go right for you.
What is you favorite memory from the All-Star game last year in Phoenix?
The Home Run Derby. The All-Star game was awesome and it seemed like it went by so fast. The Home Run Derby was just something where you could sit down and soak it all in. That was the coolest part: Just sitting down and watching the guys out on a show. It’s great to be part of the game because of all the great players that have played in it in the past.
What causes do you believe in and devote your time to?
I have really gotten involved with the Miracle League. It’s the Miracle League for kids. It helps underprivileged kids get the opportunity to play sports. It’s a cause that I feel is very worthy.
Anytime I can help out I will. I actually have a cousin who has benefited from the Miracle League. I have been blessed in that I was able to play sports growing up. Too see my cousin get out there and be able to play sports even though he is a little underprivileged is really special.
Photo by Todd Olszewski/Baltimore Orioles