Posts Tagged ‘Joe Torre’

Alumni Sundays: Catching Up With Ian Kennedy…

April 6, 2008

Every Sunday, I’m going to try to have some quotes from a player from Thunder past.  Today, it’s Ian Kennedy…

I was fortunate enough to be in the Yankees clubhouse a few days ago, and I had a few goals in mind.  One was to stick around for Phil Hughes start — I’d never seen him pitch in the big leagues, and it takes me around three hours to get back home with the subway and trains and the drive home.

The second goal was to talk David Eckstein.  Eck may have the most impressive individual hardware of any Thunder alum — a World Series MVP trophy.

But the third was to speak to Ian Kennedy, and he was gracious enough to give me about five minutes of his time before Thursday’s game against Toronto.

TT – You may not have been in Trenton too long, but you’re probably one of the most well known and successful alums the team has ever had.  What has the ride been like for you since you left Trenton?

IK – “It’s been amazing.  It sounds cliche, but it’s like a dream come true.  You can’t write it up any better, within a full season, I’m here.  It’s everything you read about and you hear about.  The big leagues are awesome.”

TT – I remember when we talked last year you told me that you had just hoped to finish last season in Double-A.  The Yankees had a need for starting pitching, this is the last year of Yankee Stadium, it really seems like perfect timing for you…

IK – “Oh yeah, it couldn’t have gone any better.  Like I said earlier, I just hoped to be in Trenton.  Then I ended up in Scranton, then I ended up out here.  It’s been a really fun ride, and obviously it’s something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”

TT – Everybody talks about the so-called big three with you, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes.  What’s it like to have those guys in here with you after coming up through the minors with them…

IK – “It’s great to get to hang out with these guys.  We’re all friends, and we’re all about the same age, so it makes it really fun.  But also, this whole clubhouse is really fun to be in.  You can tell just by being in here, it’s very lively.  And it helps having Joe (Girardi) and Dave Eiland out here too.”

TT – You mentioned Joe Girardi…was there any sort of adjustment for you from pitching under Joe Torre to Girardi, or were you not even really there long enough last year for there to even be an adjustment?

IK – “I wasn’t really here long enough to make that adjustment.  But you can tell there’s a little jumpstart.  Mike Mussina and our veterans, like Andy, they’re a little more peppy all the time.  So it’s been good.”

TT -Having guys like Mike and Andy around must be great…would you say there’s a particular pitcher that you’ve learned the most from while you’ve been up here?

IK – “I’ve probably learned quite a bit from Andy, even though he’s left-handed.  I feel like I can ask him anything.  Just with how to prepare is what I like to ask him.  With pitching and stuff, I haven’t really got to.  I’ve asked Mike too, but nothing really in-depth.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com