The following is an edited version of a brief pre-game interview the Teen Observer staff had with Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien on Aug 6.
OAKLAND, Calif. — We had a chance to talk with Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien about this season, his strengths and weaknesses and his feelings on playing for a his local team.
Q: You’re from the Bay Area. Has there been any added pressure playing in your hometown?
A: “Playing in the big leagues is a lot different. …;’v there’s a lot more eyes on you … whenever you’re going through a lot of ups and downs, it’s hard times, it’s good to have that support there around you. But it’s also tough sometimes because everybody knows what’s going on.”
Q: You’ve played a lot of third and second base with the White Sox. Now, you’re settling in as a shortstop. How has that transition been?
A: “The Oakland A’s have given me a great opportunity here. I’ve had some struggles and made some mistakes but they done what they can to work with me. … The A’s brought in Ron Washington to help me a lot. He’s been great for me. And I’m starting to get comfortable.”
Q: Your dad played wide receiver for the Golden Bears. In high school, you played basketball. Why did you choose to go into baseball as opposed to football?
A: “Baseball has always been my favorite sport. You know, I started playing basketball or baseball when I was 5. I was always better at baseball and i liked it better. I never got into football. My dad actually recommended that I don’t play football because of all the injuries that come along with it. He really enjoyed that I played two sports.”
Q: Which part of your game do you believe has the biggest room for improvement?
A: “I really look at every part of my game. Right now, where I’m at, defensively, continuing to get better, making a routine play at shortstop or wherever position I’m at. At the plate, just being a more consistent hitter. … getting those RBIs, scoring runs and doing those things that help us win.”
Q: Can you describe the feeling of hitting your first major league home run?
A: “That was amazing. It’s what you dream about as a kid.”
Q: How has the team’s poor performance affected the mindset of this team?
A: It’s tough because during spring we played so well. We expected big things. We knew we had some things to prove and the fans weren’t happy with some of the changes that had been made. … It’s a new series now. We’ve just go to make some adjustments.”