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My Interview with Wade Miley Part I

First of all, I want to thank Wade Miley for talking to me during his hitting clinic this past Monday afternoon . He was gracious, candid and honest, all things I respect from a big league athlete. I decided to split this interview up into 3 separate articles, to show Wade’s passion for the game, his willingness to be personable to me and vicariously through me to you, the reader, and to be able to share his answers and my opinions on a variety of subjects.

Me: You are doing this camp to raise money and awareness for cancer with an emphasis on your best friend Johnnie Santangelo. How is he doing today?

WM: “He is doing great. He is recovering very well and is actually back at his job. He would have been here today, but he had a doctor’s appointment.”

Me: You mention your faith in your Twitter description . What does your faith mean to you?

WM: “It is very important to me. It was how my parents raised me, and how my wife and I will raise our children.”

Me: What three things do you want participants in this camp to take away from their experience today?

WM: “The first is fun. I want these kids to know that baseball is difficult, but can also be fun. Secondly, I would have to say fundamentals. Today, myself and the other instructors and volunteers are going to show these young people the fundamentals of the great game of baseball. Fundamentals to baseball players and athletes in general are like the foundation to a home. You must master fundamentals so you can build upon them, and as you do that the game also becomes fun, so those two go hand-in-hand. Then for number three I would have to say success. Success leads to winning and winning is something you have to earn through the fundamentals of success. I believe athletes need to be passionate about winning and passionate about the fundamentals of baseball. These are all things that kids have to learn and learn at a young age. I personally do not agree with giving everyone a participation trophy and telling them they are all good. I think we need to give them the fundamentals and in turn the foundation to be successful so they can earn their individual success. I also think it is important to learn how to lose so that you understand the success of winning.

My opinion: Somebody finally said it! He does not like the idea of giving our children participation trophies just because they go through the motions. I agree so much with his sentiments. As a father and a person who loves and respects the game of baseball I think we baby our children too much. They make a bad play and the coach is supposed to simply tell the kid that it is alright and they will get them next time. No! We should tell them they did something wrong, show them what it was and teach them how to correct it. That allows them to take constructive criticism and allow them to earn and build those foundations. Lastly, I love when he said that they need to learn how to lose in order to understand the success of winning. It is alright to lose at this level as long as you learn from it so that as you progress through your different levels the winning that you earn is sweeter.

On part two of my interview with Arizona Diamondback starting pitcher Wade Miley, we will talk about his struggles with the long ball, his increase in strikeouts, the recent roster changes to the Diamondbacks pitching staff and he adamantly talks up for fellow starter and teammate, Brandon McCarthy.