What do you think of the team this year? You’ve played with a lot of these guys in the Texas League as well as with some of the returning Beavers.
Dirk Hayhurst: I’m really, really excited about this team. That might be the cliché thing to say at this point of the year, but I genuinely am because I won some jewelry with some of these guys and that kind of connection is irreplaceable. We know what it’s like to win together, we know what’s like to win a championship together. We’ve experienced what’s it’s like to play on that level with something at stake, and I think when you go through that you really are kind of baptized into a new world of team-hood. It’s kind of cool.
How do you like Portland?
Dirk Hayhurst: I really like Portland as a town. There are some strange sights to behold here but I like that about this place; it’s interesting, there’s stuff to see. The people are passionate about things which I respect. I might not always agree with everything that I see around here, but the people are passionate, they’re outspoken and I like being around people who feel like their voice matters, and I really respect that. As a writer myself, I feel strong about that.
What about the rain?
Dirk Hayhurst: I love being here this part of the year, it reminds me of the midwest - Ohio. Kent State especially is very overcast, it’s cold. I can remember a lot of college games where we cleaned snow off the field before we played. That is fine by me, I like cold, I like dreary and I’m okay with that because that’s what I grew up with. It kind of makes me feel closer to home.
What kind of stuff do you write?
Dirk Hayhurst: I write for Baseball America. I write their non-prospect diary. Everybody else writes this thing called a prospect diary, which is what it’s like to be cool and awesome and hitting real well and drinking protein shakes. But, that’s not real, that’s not the minor leagues. The minor leagues are getting off a bus at 3 am to eat at a gas station or fighting over seating arrangements on a bus in A ball. What’s it like to bicker about who’s going to do the ball bucket, that kind of stuff, real stuff.
When I started writing, I was not a prospect, and I really kind of think the whole business of projecting who’s going to be the next big thing is so dumb. You look at the guys who make it, some of the guys who make it – nobody ever thought they would. There are a lot of guys who make it who are touted all the way up. And there are some guys who will never make it that were good people who deserve to be read about that did amazing things, that no one cares about because they’re not prospects. I thought if I could just capture some of that in print that would be awesome.
Talk about this story on our subscriber-only message boards