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Monday, August 17, 2009

PawSox Interviews: Russ Morman

Russ Morman, a first round pick by the Chicago White Sox in 1983, played in the Minor Leagues for 17 years, making it to the big leagues in 9 different seasons. He earned a World Series ring in 1997 as a member of the Florida Marlins. After retiring, he became a coach and manager with several different organizations, garnering a Manager of the Year Award in 2001. He has been in the Red Sox organization since 2004, first as hitting coach for the Portland Seas Dogs (AA), and now hitting coach with the Pawtucket Red Sox since 2008.

I found him congenial and easily accessible; as I did with all the other PawSox manager and players I spoke with. Morman is as genuinely interested in the progress of the players that pass through Pawtucket as manager Ron Johnson.

Q~ Who has been your biggest surprise this season so far?
A~ We just like to continue to see the guys continue their progress in terms of trying to make it to the big leagues. I would say that maybe a guy like Aaron Bates might fit that. He was a major league invite, he started off the season at Double A, got to Triple A, got a chance to get to the big leagues.

Q~ Like Michael Bowden last year.
A~ Exactly. There are those types of stories. Chris [Carter] has been up and down, Jeff Bailey’s been back and forth a couple of times

Q~ Is there anyone at Portland or the single A teams that looking forward to get up here at Pawtucket?
A~ I have no idea about that. Until they show [up] here, I don’t really know. We also have another young player that’s just come up this year, Bubba Bell came up this year, and Mark Wagner, too, who caught behind the plate today, so we’ve got some good young talent that’s moving through the system and getting their feet wet here at the Triple A level. It’s exciting to see some of the guy’s progress in their careers.

Q~ How about Chris Duncan from St. Louis?
A~ He’s been an absolute professional He came in here and just really worked hard. He’s a special kid anyways, he’s always been around baseball. It’s great to see him out there. He’s going to be a big influence and very influential because he’s been there. He’s already shown guys how to go about their business with his work ethic. It’s been really, really good.

(Chris Duncan was not very talkative and didn’t want to answer questions, understandably so, but was very polite nonetheless. He was recently traded to the Red Sox for Julio Lugo and sent to the AAA PawSox after being in the Major Leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals.)

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