Semien: ‘Just focus on today’

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Teen Observer staffers interview Marcus Semien of the Oakland A’s. Photo by Haley Schikner

OAKLAND, Calif. — What went through Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien’s mind in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles last Tuesday when he hit that home run?

“Before that at-bat they walked a guy to get to me… gave me a little bit of extra fire to do more,” Semien said in a recent pre-game interview with the staff of the Teen Observer at the Coliseum before an A’s- Astros game on Aug. 6.

“Every time I go up to the plate I want to do something to help the team win,” he said.

Billy Butler hitting a leadoff double and scoring off Jed Lawrie’s triple in addition to Eric Sogard being intentionally walked to first base motivated Semien to hit a home run to take the 5-0 lead against the Orioles.

Other thoughts from the 24-year-old, who reflected on growing up in the Bay Area:

On advice for young athletes, Semien said: “Make sure you work hard and whatever you’re working on and doing, make sure you give it everything you’ve got.Just work hard and grind through tough times because it’s always going to make you a better person, and in my case, a better player.”

When asked about his room for improvement, Semien mentioned getting better defensively; his error rate has been the subject of numerous stories. “The Oakland A’s have given me a great opportunity here. I’ve had some struggles and they’ve done what they can to work with me. … I’m starting to get comfortable here.”

On what it was like for him to play to for the Oakland Athletics after being a Giants fan during his childhood: Semien said: “Honestly, I’m happy wherever I’m at. I grew up going to a lot of Giants game. My grandmother took me to most of those games.”

Semien talked about facing the Houston Astros that night; the Astros had a 60-49 record leading up to Thursday’s game and were first in the AL Western Division. “We just want to make the adjustments we’ve got to make from the previous years against them. … And just focus on today. You can’t look back on yesterday…… set a focus on competing today,” he said.

The Oakland A’s lost 5-4 in the 10th inning to the Houston Astros that night.