Monday, November 21, 2011

Jamie Quinn Interview

One of the most important part of any baseball team is a solid bullpen, and for was the case for the Ducks last season. Much of that success can be contributed to pitching coach Steve Foucault, but one of the biggest factors in the bullpen wasn't a pitcher, it was bullpen coach Jamie Quinn, who is the the pitching coach/Manager's eyes and ears in the bullpen.

Jamie is responsible for getting pitchers warmed up, but also going over scouting reports on how to pitch to hitters before they go in the game. 

Not only is Jamie the bullpen coach, but he's also a catcher so occasionally he gets into the lineup when the Ducks need an extra player do to an injury or a player transaction.

: How did you become a Duck?

JQ: Well, I was playing for
the Windy City ThunderBolts early in the season in '09 under the Chicago White Sox long time catching coordinator, Tommy Thompson. It ended up being a numbers game and I got let go. I looked at my options and saw that the Ducks were interested in carrying another catcher so I came on back home to Long Island and jumped at the opportunity to be on the team of such a great organization.
CM: When you came to the Ducks, what were you first thoughts?

JQ: It was great. This organization is well known throughout the Country and to be a part of the team was amazing. Getting a chance to do what I want to do at the pro level and do it 20 minutes away from where I grew up was cool. Also, knowing that Hall of Famer and '86 Mets World Champion, Gary Carter, was the manager was thrilling. Learning more about the game and the catcher position specifically from a guy with those credentials, and who I was told at a young age, watch film of him catching to learn, you can't ask for more. Being on a playoff team in front of a packed house every night on Long Island was a great experience!
CM: You've been a Duck for a few seasons, what are you view of the Duck fans?

JQ: Duck fans are great. They are very passionate about the game and their players. They are
NY baseball fans. They will get on you when you don't perform, but they will make the stadium shake when you do well. No matter what they come out in droves and give us players and coaches an electric atmosphere to work in every night.
CM: You get a chance to play catch with one person dead or alive who is it?

JQ: Billy Joel. I know he is a big NY baseball fan. I was at his last concert at Shea and am a big fan of his. I would love to see a Long Island Livin' Legend come on out to the Duck Pond. To play catch and rock out to all of his hits would be cool. Haha!
CM: Favorite Baseball player?

JQ: Cal Ripken, Jr. I loved the way he went about his business everyday going to the ballpark knowing he was playing. No matter sick or hurt, that guy played. He was a 'gamer'. You don't see that anymore a whole lot. He played the game the way it was supposed to be played with a great work ethic and brought longevity to playing baseball. I also liked that he was with one team his entire career and had loyalty to that team. That is a rare sight in today's game.
CM: Who was your favorite teammate?

JQ: That's a tough one because especially on this '11 team that went to the Championship Series, we had such a great camaraderie in that clubhouse. Guys loved coming to the ballpark everyday, and coming early. I can't choose just one, it wouldn't be fair, but I'd say over the past three seasons I am closest with Brendan Monaghan, Ray, Bubbie, and Dave Williams. Guys like J.R. House and Jeremy Hill have impacted my career amongst a long list of other teammates as well.

CM: Do you think social networking has helped with the popularity of the Ducks and the
Atlantic League?

JQ: Definitely. I think social networking is giving a lot of exposure with the Ducks and the League. I think it will help get out there how good the
ATL really is talent wise. Every team has roughly 10 Big Leaguers on their rosters and many AAA guys. And with the expansion teams coming around down south, it looks as if the League is about to blow up and be more recognized nationally. Social networking will only help.
CM: Favorite Baseball moment?

JQ: There's a lot, but I'd say signing my first professional contract after playing in college and then this season, clinching the first and second half Championships and winning the first round of the playoffs, knowing we were going to the ATL Championship Series. This season was season to remember for LI.
CM: The Atlantic League is expanding into Texas, what are your thoughts of expanding into Texas and having to travel there next season?

JQ: I think it is great. It looks as if the ATL wants to be the third Triple-A. The travel should be fun considering we'll have to fly.

CM: What does a bullpen coach do? Any how often do you get the chance to play in games? (I know occasionally you will when people get hurt)

JQ- Well, basically what a Bullpen Coach does, and what I do is, I work very closely with the Pitching Coach. I was very close with Fookie this year and would always talk about how the pitchers were. Both starters and relievers. Being I would catch the starters side sessions in between starts and work with the Bullpen on a daily basis, I had a good idea of how guys felt and how their "stuff" was on any given day. During games I would be on the radio with the Pitching Coach and give him insight on the status of the Bullpen if someone was getting ready to go in. Most relievers I had this year would want me to tell them how their "stuff" was while warming up so they could get a good gauge on themselves before going out to the field. Also, we are always talking about the other team's hitters while we are in the 'Pen early on in the game so when I got to get guys warmed up to go in they have a good idea of how to pitch certain hitters in certain situations and are ready for their role. The 'Pen executed well throughout the season with an overall ATL leading 44 Saves.

Over the last three seasons I have been activated a lot to back-up catcher when needed and have played. I just go about my business everyday and prepare the pitchers and myself so if I am needed I am ready to go and help the team win.

CM: I know you coach college baseball right now. Tell us about that?

JQ: Yes, currently I am in my second season at the Division 1 level where I am an Assistant Coach at Long Island University-
Brooklyn and in my fourth year overall coaching college. I am the Catching and Bullpen Coach at LIU. Last year we went to the Conference Tournament and had the best year in the programs history with a school record 28 wins. We upset big time teams like Kansas State twice on the road and local rival St. John's (first win over SJU since 2000) at home. My catcher was a Semi-Finalist for the Johnny Bench Award for the Best Catcher in the Nation while being ranked 5th in hitting in the Country and my Bullpen led the conference and was Nationally Ranked in Saves. The goal now is to get to and win the Conference Tournament and go to the NCAA Regionals, but overall, it was a great winning experience in my first year in Brooklyn
CM: Eventually, do you want to be a manager?

JQ: Yes, In college my goal is to become a Division 1 Head Coach someday which I keep working up towards. You got to put your time in and that is what I am doing now. Also, I want to stay in pro ball and with the Ducks for as long as I can. I love what I do with the organization and want to help the team win an Atlantic League Championship right here in my home of Long Island. That would be special.

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