06/12/10 — Connor Narron - Q&A

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Connor Narron - Q&A

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 12, 2010 11:32 PM

RC: Tell me about THE phone call.

CN: I was at my girlfriend's house and I wasn't even watching the draft. I had been sitting there all day and then the Orioles scout called me. He was really excited about it and I'm happy with it.

RC: A word to describe the phone call?

CN: Just everything.

RC: What is it like growing up in a baseball family?

CN: It definitely gives me an edge. My dad (Jerry) and seeing baseball players do it the right way and some do it the wrong way shows me how to go about my business the right way.

RC: What else have you learned?

CN: It's a family business ... three generations and my dad played in the Major Leagues while Sam (Narron) got that one game. I've got to work hard to get there, but I know I can do it.

RC: What about spending your summers at Major League parks and seeing these guys in person that you've idolized for so many years?

CN: It's amazing seeing how good they are. You think you can do it, too, but it takes so much hard work to see how good they are. It does give me an edge because I see how they prepare every day. It's a grind ... 162 games a year. I feel like I'm blessed to have that chance to see how everybody does it.

RC: Scooping up a ground ball from A-Rod or Varitek as a youngster?

CN: I never really thought about it while I was there, guess I took it for granted. But it's amazing seeing them and how hard they hit it. They look like giants compared to what you see on TV. All of them are top-of-the-line athletes.

RC: Now you have the opportunity to either go pro or to Carolina. What must you do to succeed at the next level?

CN: There are going to be other people trying to take my spot, so I have to keep my game up and work hard, try to stay on top or someone else will take my place.

RC: Carolina or Pittsburgh?

CN: I want to sign and play pro ball because that's what I've always wanted to do ... get my foot in the door. But I'd like to win a national championship before I win a World Series, so we'll see what happens.

RC: Who has been your biggest influence?

CN: My parents, God ... those three have helped keep me on top of things and not get my head too big. It might be a little big (now), but they help me tremendously along with my sisters and girlfriend. You have to keep faith in the Lord, practice and play hard and go about your business the right way instead of messing around all the time.

RC: How much was that faith tested when you had the knee trouble (torn MCL in 2008) and back trouble (spasms in 2009)?

CN:: When I hurt my back, I couldn't even bend down to tie my shoes. That's how bad it was. I feel like it happened for a reason, I don't know why. I guess it made me tougher, made me realize I had to work harder and not take things for granted. Now I feel like I'm back to 100 percent.

RC: Do you prefer wood or aluminum bats?

CN: Wood. It just shows who is actually a good player. If you have a metal bat in your hand, anyone can get a hit. You actually have to hit the ball to get a hit with the wood bat. I've been doing it all my life and feel like it's natural to me.

RC: A favorite wood bat?

CN: Rick Kramer owns B45 Bat Company and he gave me some bats to try out. I tried some, but didn't like them. He mixed one model with another model, and made it the "CN" (Connor Narron) model. That's what I use now.

RC: Hard to find the sweet spot?

CN: No. It's definitely smaller than a metal bat, but you've got to hit it right there for it to actually go somewhere.

RC: Who would you like to hit against in the Major Leagues?

CN: Zach Greinke, CC Sabathia, Ubaldo Jimenez or Roy Halladay ... any of those guys would be surreal.

RC: Favorite Major League park?

CN: Fenway and Camden Yards. They're just historic ... anything about them. Ted Williams played at Fenway and Cal Ripken played at Camden. You can't go wrong with Yankee Stadium, either, the old or new one.

RC: Best asset as a player?

CN: Think my mental part of it because I know you are going to fail more than you succeed. My dad said you can't grind on what you do, if you go 0-for-4 or 4-for-4. You just go on to the next day.

RC: What do you do with your free time?

CN: If I have free time, I'm hunting and fishing. I like fishing in the ocean, but don't get to do that too much, so I usually go to a lake or pond around here.

RC: Any clubhouse stories?

CN: I'll give you a G-rated one. When my dad was in Cincinnati the first year, I was in the dugout at spring training. Adam Dunn came up to me and said 'go get the keys to the batter's box.' And I said, 'You know how many years I've got in the Big Leagues? I've got 12 and you've got two. Go tell somebody else that.'

Also in Cincinnati, four guys grabbed me and taped me up. They left me there for about 30 minutes. They got the arms, legs ... everything.

RC: Any superstition or ritual?

CN: I try not to be superstitious, but it's hard. A little one is I put my (right) elbow guard on first, put my batting gloves on and then I put my helmet on. I don't know why. When I put my shoes on, I always tie my left shoe before I tie my right shoe. It's nothing serious. And I always take deep breaths before I step into the batter's box.

RC: Favorite baseball movie?

CN: Bull Durham. It's the real deal with what happens in the minor leagues.

RC: Xbox or PS3?

CN: PS3 ... never been an Xbox guy.

RC: What are you playing right now?

CN: MLB10. (Am) a guy named Reese Narron. He's about 6-foot-5, 230 (pounds) and is a catcher who can run fast.

RC: The Orioles drafted (high school standout) Machado No. 3 overall out of Miami.

CN: He's going to be a big investment. If I make it to the Majors with the Orioles, we'll be pretty good on the left side of the infield for years to come.

RC: What's on your iPod?

CN: Everything ... country, rap, rock and I've got to have some "girlie" stuff for my girlfriend. She has my iPod right now.

RC: You have a confident, competitive edge.

CN: You have to be cocky and confident to play baseball. If you don't, you're not going to succeed.

RC: Realization of playing Major League Baseball?

CN: I always thought I had a chance when I was on the field with those guys that I was going to be big enough and strong enough to do that. I knew my dad would lead me the right way and my parents have done a good job of that.