Catching up with Jamie Moyer

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Jamie Moyer was announced as the ninth member of the Mariners Hall of Fame earlier today. Jamie caught up with the media in a conference call this afternoon from his home near San Diego. Here are some of the comments Jamie made chatting with the media:

The Mariners Hall of Fame…

It’s a huge honor for me because it’s acknowledging my personal accomplishments, but without my teammates that I’ve been able to play with and the coaches that have been around me, the fan support that’s been around me and the Mariners organization that traded for me, this would have never happened. I personally look at this as an accomplishment by everybody that I’ve been able to be around in a Mariners uniform.

Memorable moments…

Getting into the playoffs for the first time with the Mariners. Winning 116 games was very special, as a Mariner. I really think the way we did it on the successful teams that we were on, we really did it as one unit.

Calling Seattle home for so many years…

As far as thinking about making Seattle our home, it was kind of off the field. The kids were getting a little bit older and the transition to school was becoming a little more difficult. That was part of the reason why we moved to Seattle. But the other part was the community, the way the community embraced myself as a teammate, but Karen and I as a couple and, when we created our foundation.

It just felt like home. We looked at each other and thought this is the right move for us at this point in time in our lives. It was a great home base for us. We had a lot of friends in the Mariners family, we had a lot of friends in the community, whether it was socially or through the schools where our children were going to school, so it just felt like, probably for the first time in our professional lives, it felt like a place we could call home.

Playing for the Mariners …

Getting entrenched into the Mariners organization and having success the first several years, not only individually but as a team, it was exciting for us. We had never really witnessed that in our baseball life. When we started to live it every day, it left a very good taste in our mouths on the baseball side of it and the personal side of it kind of gelled together and allowed us to move forward as a family.

The Moyer Foundation…

The baseball side is great, while it lasts. An athlete know it’s not going to go on forever. You don’t know when baseball side is going to stop. Being able to create our own foundation and move forward away from the game, even while I was playing, and do some good things in the community, became very important to Karen and I. Karen really opened my eyes to that. She’s really been the leader and I’ve kind of followed, and now that I’m out of the game as an active player, I think it’s opened my eyes and I realize that there’s more to life than just baseball. What we have created as a foundation, not only in Seattle, but across the country, has opened many doors to us to continue to help children in distress and that’s important to us

Enjoying being around his family…

We still have four children in elementary school. We’ve got a college junior who’s eligible for the draft. We’ve got a 23-year old who’s in the Dodgers organization, we’ve got a high school senior who’s going to college to play soccer next year, and we’ve got another daughter who plays college basketball. So, I’ve got a lot on my plate, but it’s good things and it’s actually exciting for me because these are things I haven’t been able to be around on a consistent basis as an active player. Being away from the game has allowed me to take a step back and opened my eyes and allowed me to reevaluate things.

On future plans to get back into baseball or broadcasting…

I really don’t have any plans at the moment. I’m recovering from an ankle surgery that I had three months ago… It’s probably going to take a year to a year-and-a-half to completely heal, but the good news is I’m able to swing a golf club… The door is wide open. I stepped back from my job as a broadcaster in Philadelphia because I felt like I needed to be home more with my family. If something were to come along in baseball, I would strongly consider it, but it would have to be the right situation and the right time and doing what I’d like to do is giving back to the game as well as giving back in community service.

On 116 wins… Could it happen again?

Anything’s possible. …I look at the 2015 Mariners, I think they potentially could do something like that. I look back to when we were able to win 116 games, we did it because we gelled together as a team. We had a great manager as a leader, and a great coaching staff. He allowed us to play, as players. He kind of kept a thumb on things when he needed to. But we gelled together as a team… Everybody contributed on that team. You can say it’s a cliché, but looking back at that team, if you go back game-by-game and you look at the summaries of the games and the box scores, and you look at that whole year, during the regular season, everybody really did contribute. It didn’t matter who you were on the roster, everybody contributed. And that’s what it took.

If the Mariners pitch the way pitched last year in 2015, I think with the offense that Jack has put together on this current roster, I really think they have a chance to do some special things, not only in 2015, but down the road. They’re fairly young, they seem pretty healthy. I’m not trying to make it sound like, ‘oh, yeah, they’re going to win 116 games,’ but I really believe from what I saw last year… looking at numbers and watching their on-field play, they have that ability to win a lot of baseball games and rejuvenate baseball in Seattle, which they started to do last year.

On the Mariners experience coming so close to the playoffs…

In 2007, in Philly, we had a pretty good year. We went to playoffs and then ran into the Colorado Rockies. The experience we gained in 2007, obviously you go back in history and look, and in 2008 we won the World Series. I think that motivated us, it left a sour taste in our mouths at the end of 2007 so that when we went into 2008, there was a lot of motivation to do better, and we were able to. And I think that’s what Mariners can build off from last year.

Whether he ever wants to pitch again…

If I wasn’t dealing with this ankle, yeah, definitely. (Moyer had ankle surgery three months ago.). I do get the itch a little bit. But I do realize, too, that I’m 52 years old and it wouldn’t be quite that easy to do that. I’ve played some catch here at home. I’ve thrown some batting practice to my boys. I realize my better days are behind me. It’s time to sit back and relive those days, the camaraderie that I had and the experiences I was able to have. If I get into any type of situation where I can help younger players, high school, college or professional players, that’s where I think I can make a contribution to the game. Building off the experiences I had, I had to do things a little differently as a player to be successful, and I wouldn’t want it any differently. But I feel like I’ve gained a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge.

Who had the biggest impact on you as a player?

Off the top of my head, when I was a young player, Rick Sutcliffe was a guy that took me under his wing. Scott Sanderson took me under his wing. Jim Sundberg, when I played with the Texas Rangers, and I spent a little time with Nolan Ryan when I played for the Rangers. Those are the four guys as far as teammates. Dick Pole was a big help to me when I was in the minor leagues and my early years in the Big Leagues, he was my pitching coach.

On Lou’s influence on his career success…

There were many times I had the opportunity to go into his office and talk to him about my performances. It was usually when I was struggling when I’d go in and talk to him. I think the first time I did it I was a little hesitant to do it. But after the first time, and sitting and really listening to what Lou had to say, I wasn’t convince when I walked out the door. But after I thought about it for a while, and then attempted to do what he had mentioned to me, he was spot on. Right there was instant credibility to me, with Lou. I really felt like Lou and I had a great relationship, manager to player. I could talk to him about anything I wanted and he could talk to me. We could be mad at each other, we could be laughing together. He had an eye for things. When we talked, he gave me his perspective from a hitting standpoint and I wasn’t looking at things that way because I wasn’t educated that way in the game. Once I was able to take in what he had to say, and then spend some time working on it in my bullpen and actually trying to do it in the game, he was spot on. I can remember the first time I did it, it was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. I went into his office because I was struggling as a pitcher in general and he looked at me and he said ‘Look, you’re not throwing your change-up enough.’ And I thought, ‘Why did I come in here? That doesn’t make sense. I throw my change-up a lot.’ Then I went back and looked at some pitching charts and I started more time playing catch and throwing my change-up in the bullpen and, I want to say within two starts, things started to turn around for me. From then on, it was like, wow, the guy does know what he’s talking about.

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