In an interview with The Beanball, Mets reliever Vic Black revealed he was slightly heartbroken when the Pittsburgh Pirates traded him last season.
What was your reaction when you were traded by the organization that drafted you to the New York Mets?
Ben, honestly I was slightly heart broken. In a sense, I felt as though I had been put up for adoption. But like I’ve explained to many people, the “family” that receives you always loves you just a bit more than the last. But once I got to Washington, and even before, the guys were great! Hawk [LaTroy Hawkins] and David [Wright] both contacted me and let me know that if I needed anything, they would help–which brought immediate comfort.
LaTroy Hawkins characterized (as according to The Star-Ledger’s Jorge Castillo) your arm as “magical.” What do you think LaTroy meant by that?
[Laughs]. I want to start by saying the humility I feel being able to work with Hawk and have his influence, knowledge and him as a friend is far greater than any player I’ve ever been around. The man is a true professional and I was blessed to be his throwing partner and teammate. But he is always telling me my arm, is magical. God has given me a good arm–that I do know. But to have a man of his experience and time–spent around some of the best–is something to not take for granted.
Do you ever look at advanced statistics (for self-improvement or leisure) or are you more of a traditionalist? If the former, are there certain advanced statistics or particular “stat-heavy” websites/blogs you analyze/read?
I actually never looked at a report until I got to the Mets. Hawk [LaTroy Hawkins] actually planted that seed and now I just pick a few things here and there about certain opposing hitters if I believe it can take an at-bat to 1 or 2 pitches as opposed to 5 or 6. Simple things though, nothing too crazy.
For the rest of this interview, please visit The Beanball.
Like most Met fans, I was very pleased with what I say from Black last season and very excited about the potential that I hope he taps into next season. Black says he’s ready to step in and close and you have to love that kind of confidence.