The site autigers.com has a nice interview with Andy Phillips. Here are my favorite parts:
APS: When you came to bat the first time as a major league player and hit a home run on the first pitch at Fenway Park in Boston, did you reflect on some of the people who influenced you?
AP: It happened so quickly from being told I was getting the at-bat to when I actually came to bat. There wasn’t a whole lot of time to reflect on everything. I think when I reflected on it was after the year was over. I thought about getting called up for the first time and getting my first major league experience. You think about it from day one playing Little League baseball all the way up. You start to think about the coaches and players you played with thru the years. Then you reflect on all the people that have had an influence. So I don’t think it was until that off-season that I was able to sit down and appreciate the fact that I had gotten called up to the big leagues for the first time and been able to hit a home run my first at-bat.
APS: What is the scouting report on Andy Phillips?
AP: The scouting report is probably “Easy out, can’t play defense and can’t run.” Other than that I feel pretty good about what I’ve got going. I think the biggest thing hopefully that I bring to the table is competitiveness, energy and a passion to play the game. I feel like there are some tools there. You can overcome a lot by going out and competing. Ultimately that is all I can control.
APS: As a member of the Yankees, sometimes you are afforded an opportunity to meet some unique people and have some interesting experiences. Have you had either?
AP: Yes. First of all when you look around this clubhouse, you are playing with guys like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams and others. That says enough. But also in this organization you get a chance to meet guys like Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson. You get to play under guys like Don Mattingly and Mr. Torre. The list goes on and on inside this game. So it’s been quite a unique experience for me and one that I appreciate.
APS: After having your first chance to experience the Old Timers Game at Yankee Stadium this past Saturday, June 24th, what does it mean to wear the pinstripes?
AP: To me, it confirms my respect that I have had for those guys all along and the respect for this uniform. You realize that the name on the front of the uniform is a lot bigger than the person wearing it. You see that with all the greats that were in here. There is a certain sense of pride they all had wearing it. Certainly, I hope I can hold up my end of the deal wearing this uniform.
This is unrelated to the interview, but, I just noticed this today. Phillips’ first name is actually “George” (and “Andrew” is his middle name). I’ve never heard that mentioned on a Yankees broadcast. It’s an interesting fun-fact.
I saw Andy Phillips play a game during his first professional season. This was also the first year of the Staten Island Yankees – in 1999 – when they played on the field of the College of Staten Island (and before they had the ballpark down by the Ferry). Phillips was doing very well that season – coming off a college year where he was a Baseball America Third-Team All-American.
It’s nice that, after eight years in the organization, Phillips is getting a chance to play at the big league level. Knowing that, and reading this interview, it’s almost impossible not to like the guy.