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Phil Hughes answers your questions

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Feb 29, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

We put the call out earlier this week and more than 400 of you answered, sending questions in for 21-year-old right-hander Phil Hughes. It was tough to cut them down, so please don’t be offended if your question wasn’t asked.

It was no surprise so many people had questions. ‘Phil Franchise’ is one of baseball’s top young pitchers and is so valuable to the Yankees that they decided not to trade him as part of a package for Johan Santana.

Hughes also has his own blog that is entertaining and drawing thousands of page views every day. This Q&A will appear over on his blog as well.

It was very cool of Phil to do this and we wish him well on the coming season. Now on with your questions.

Here is the audio of the questions being answered. The interview was held Thursday afternoon at his locker at Legends Field in Tampa:

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And here is the transcript:

Ben from Maine: How is the changeup coming along and is it something you spent a lot of time in the offseason?

Phil Hughes: Well, I didn’t throw from October through December mostly, so I didn’t spend a lot of time working on it in the offseason but it’s coming along. It’s still not a pitch that’s up in my top two. But it’s a usable pitch and I plan on using a lot more this season than I did last

Joe from Connecticut: Do you support the idea of an innings limit for you this season or would you prefer to have the final say on what you can do?

Phil Hughes: I support whatever the organization feels is enough innings for me. Obviously there will be an innings limit. I’m not going to go out there and throw 200+ innings. Obviously they want to protect my arm for the future. Whether I feel like I can throw more innings is not my call and I’ll support whatever route they decide to go.

Rita from the Philippines: Who would win a cage fight between Joba (Chamberlain) and Ian (Kennedy)?

Phil Hughes: That’s a good one. Joba has the size advantage but Ian’s a little bit sneakier so I’ll give the edge to Ian.

Jim: With all the success Mariano Rivera has had with his cutter, why don’t you think more people have tried to throw it and have you ever tried it?

Phil Hughes: I’ve never tried to throw a cutter. People are under the notion that you can just pick up and any pitch and go ahead and use it and it will be as good as the best in the league. Mariano has the unique ability to throw a really good cutter and a lot of guys do throw cutters. But they aren’t Mariano Rivera cutters. I’ve never attempted to throw one. Maybe sometime down the line I’ll mess around with it. But not everybody has Mo’s cutter.

Dee from Manhattan: A lot of people know that The Office is your favorite show. If had to choose some players from the team who are the most like certain characters, what could you come up with?

Phil Hughes: Man, that’s a good question. I’m not going to put anyone on Pam because that would just be insulting I think, to be compared to a woman. I’d say Jeff Marquez would be the best Dwight. Moose would make a good Stanley, I think. I think anyway I go about this people are going to be upset. I’ve got to think of a good Michael. Who would make a good Michael? I’m going to go ahead and throw Joba under the bus and say he’s a good Michael.

Greg from Pennsylvania: What’s the strangest request you’ve received since you’ve been on the Yankees?

Phil Hughes: Strangest request? That’s a tough one. I’d probably say people wanting to come over to my house. That’s kind of a strange request. Yeah, I thought that was kind of weird.

Giselle from Boston: If you had a chance to face one batter, present or past, who would you like to face?

Phil Hughes: I don’t think about these things too often. Probably Ted Williams. Arguably the best hitter of all time. I’d go with Ted Williams.

Vivianna from Connecticut: You’re a big autograph collector. What are three autographs you would want to get?

Phil Hughes: This spring I want to try and get Bob Feller when we go to Cleveland. He’s one I want to get. Other than that, I try to kind of get guys on the tail end of their careers. Maybe guys I won’t have the opportunity in the future to get. Maybe a guy like Frank Thomas or somebody like that. I kind of go on a whim. I don’t have them planned out of anything.

Chris from Vermont: Now that you’re kind of that college age and guys like Ian and Joba went to college, do you ever wonder what it would have been like to go to school?

Phil Hughes: Yeah, sometimes I wonder what path I would have gone if I had gone to college. I don’t have any regrets. I made my big league debut when I would have been a junior in college. I’m happy with the decision I made to pass up college. But, yeah, sometimes I think about where I’d be and what I’d be doing.

Rob from Westchester: What are some of your favorite places to hang out in New York or favorite restaurants?

Phil Hughes: Last year I didn’t really hang out in New York too much. I lived in Edgewater, Jersey, you know, a little less stressful I think than the city. What are my favorite restaurants to go and eat? A lot of times everywhere is closed once the game is over so we’d just eat at the field. But if we ever had a day game and free evening we’d go to Flemings,. which they have here in Tampa as well. Flemings is one of my favorite restaurants. We’d try and go there as much as we could.

Rachel from Long Island: How are you going to be living in New York this year and how will you be getting around?

Phil Hughes: I haven’t decided yet. I don’t know if I want to bring my car up. Last year I did that. I’m still debating whether I want to live in the city. That’s up in the air.

Nicole from New Jersey: Do you have any superstitions or rituals you go through before you pitch?

Phil Hughes: Not really any set in stone. I don’t like to really be so dependent on stuff like that. If things are going well, I’ll try to repeat my routine as much as possible just because if things are going right, why try and change something? But as far as if I tie my shoes a certain way or anything like that, nothing too specific.

Todd: Is there a nickname you like to see for you, Ian and Joba? Is there any you’ve heard that you liked?

Phil Hughes: As far as the three of us combined or individually? It seems when groups of people get nicknames it always doesn’t turn out well. Maybe if we could try to keep that out of the equation.

Yanks9783: When you’re on the mound, how much of it is your call in terms of what (pitch) you throw and how much do you trust the catcher to make those decisions?

Phil Hughes: When it comes down to it, it’s 100 percent my call. You know, I’m the one who has to deliver the baseball. But a lot of times you will go with what your catcher thinks. Obviously Jorge (Posada) has been in this league a long time and he knows these hitters pretty well. Especially in the East, year after year. You’ll go a little bit with what he has to say.

Teomcdolh: Are you a car guy and what kind of car do you drive?

Phil Hughes: I’d like to be a car guy. I don’t really have the income to be a car guy yet. I drive a Tahoe and that’s the only one I have.

Follow up question: Is there a favorite car you’d like to have some time or you have your eye on?

Phil Hughes: My dream car right now would be the new Aston Martin DB9. That’s probably quite a few years away.

Jeremy: If you did not have the kind of athletic ability that you have and were not a baseball player what do you think you’d be doing now?

Phil Hughes: I try not to think about that too much. Let’s see, right now I’d be getting through hopefully my last year of college, my fourth year. I’ve always had an interest in baseball, whether it be the off-the-field side of it or whatever. Maybe something in business or finance. I’m pretty good with numbers.

Matt: Now that this will be the last year in Yankee Stadium, is there anything you’d like to have as some sort of memorabilia of having played there?

Phil Hughes: Yeah, I actually looked into this last year just to try and get my name on a list early or whatever to see if I could get a couple of seats when they rip them out. That would be pretty cool to put in your office sometime down the line. That kind of stuff, it’s pretty cool to have and meaningful, especially when your career is over.

Greg: If you could see any musician or band, dead or alive, who would you see?

Phil Hughes: I’ve gotten to see Metallica before, definitely my favorite band. So any Metallica show I’d choose over anything else.

Bogsbogs: If you were stranded on a desert island and you only had three CDs that you could have with you and one person, what would they be?

Phil Hughes: Three CDs? Wow. I should think about these more. No. 1, Metallica S&M. … Two, I’d probably go … can they be mix CDs? I’d have to go mix CDs. I mean, desert island, you got CDs, there’s always a couple of duds on there and I don’t know if I could live with that for the rest of my life. I’d have to go with a mix CD. Some Metallica on there. It would have to be hard music, though. If you’re sitting there on a desert island the last thing you need is depressing, slow music.

Follow up question: What about the one person you’d take?

Phil Hughes: I’d probably take my best friend. Her name’s Allison. I’d take Allison. Somebody I can talk to, get along with. I mean desert island for the rest of your life.

Thanks again to Phil for doing this. Please see our previous Q&A session with these Yankees:

Mariano Rivera

Derek Jeter

and Jason Giambi

We’ll keep doing these fan interviews throughout the season.

Comments

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56 Responses to “Phil Hughes answers your questions”

  1. Mike from NC February 29th, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Though my question didn’t make it (no hard feelings), this a fanastic interview. You’re awesome Peter, and of course so is Phil.

  2. Chrissy February 29th, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Thanks Pete for doing this. It’s cool to get to know the players a little better. And Phil totally rocks for liking Metallica.

  3. Doreen February 29th, 2008 at 8:17 am

    Pete & Phil & Questioners -

    This was a great interview with very good questions and interesting answers. Thanks.

    I’m looking forward to the next one!

  4. Mike R. February 29th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Great interview. Phil seems like a very down to earth likeable kid. Thanks Pete.

  5. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 29th, 2008 at 8:52 am

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02.....ref=slogin

    Nice story on Joba. :wub:

  6. OldYanksFan February 29th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Jeez Pete, I think you accidentally asked about 2 questions about baseball. And you forgot to ask what his favorite color is and who would win this years American Idol. And what about if he was reincarnated, who would he like to be?

    So, speaking about Phil Hughes, one of the greatest Yankee prospects in 50 years, I now know who he wants to be standed on a desert island with. And he likes Metallica!

    I feel so enlightened!

  7. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 29th, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Is Phil single? ;)

  8. hmmm February 29th, 2008 at 9:09 am

    “Moose would make a good Stanley”

    this might be the funniest thing i have ever read.

  9. hmmm February 29th, 2008 at 9:11 am

    “No. 1, Metallica S&M.”

    yikes.

  10. Fran February 29th, 2008 at 9:12 am

    Jennifer – I believe he is.

    I enjoyed reading the Q and A. It’s nice to get to know the players a little bit better. Thanks Pete.

  11. Ted February 29th, 2008 at 9:15 am

    I love the Journal News

  12. rbj February 29th, 2008 at 9:17 am

    It sounds like Phil’s got a gf though, Allison.

    Thanks Pete and Phil.

  13. Boston Dave February 29th, 2008 at 9:22 am

    so cool for Phil to do this. Thanks.

    Though IMO the question selection was horrible. 50% were good, 50% I couldnt care less about. Which guys are like guys on The Office???? Cmon

  14. DMan February 29th, 2008 at 9:37 am

    I want to know if this Allison is single..

    I mean, shes Phil Hughes’ best friend, I’m sure she could hook me up with some VIP Yankee tickets if we were dating..

    Hmm.. Is it wrong to date someone for the benifit of getting an insiders look at the Yankees?

  15. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 29th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Curious why he referred to her as a best friend. I know Ali was his gf back when he started his message board.

  16. Brian (Red Sox Fan) February 29th, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Hughes is a 21 year old kid with a blog. Cashman has already questioned the wisdom of competing with Hank for face time (actually, he didn’t quite put it that way).

    Of course the questions are bland, and the answers blander. Even though Roger Clemens isn’t in camp, he’s already helped in the development of the young players (i.e. don’t say anything you’ll regret later).

  17. YankeeDiva February 29th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    The Q & A was interesting but I have a little bit of a problem with this one quote…

    I’m not going to put anyone on Pam because that would just be insulting I think, to be compared to a woman.

  18. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 29th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Why? He means a guy being called a woman. I have no problem with what he said.

  19. OldYanksFan February 29th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    BUT WHAT’S HIS FAVORITE COLOR???

  20. Kris February 29th, 2008 at 10:00 am

    You picked my question pete. Cool! Awesome interview. Maybe a joba Q & A could be next… :D

  21. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 29th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Yankee navy.

    My favorite color is Tiffany blue.

  22. YankeeDiva February 29th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Jennifer- men are so darn senitive…….

  23. OldYanksFan February 29th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Pete, I few thoughts for questions for Rivera, Jeter and Giambi.

    1) Coke or Pepsi?
    2) If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
    3) If you had one wish, what would it be (but they can’t answer World peace)?
    4) Who’s smarter: A dog or a sheep?
    5) In your home, do you have a shoe closet?
    6) Who would win a spitting contest: ARod or Giambi?
    7) If you could have dinner with 3 people, alive or dead, who would they be?
    8) Hamburgers or Hot Dogs?
    9) Who would be the best date: Rebecca, Mel or Jennifer
    10) Is Dave Ortiz on steroids?

  24. Rich February 29th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Peter – Great interview! You are a good man. Thanks! And thanks to Phil as well!

  25. BX 12 Fordham Rd. February 29th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    anyone else trying to buy tickets and having a problem with that altered text that you have to type in to prevent bots?

  26. Doreen February 29th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Yankee Diva -

    I had a problem with that quote as well, but decided to chalk it up to youth and general male ultra-sensitivity in that regard.

  27. Gus G. February 29th, 2008 at 10:15 am

    havent had a problem with the texts… just the obscene wait times.

  28. Stephen February 29th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Forget about Pam’s personality or positive traits…no professional athlete would want to be compared with a female receptionist. I don’t think Phil was saying anything wrong, just stating a fact.

  29. jennifer- Hip Hip Jorge February 29th, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Thank you for reminding me!! The pain in the butt is the screen that keeps popping up that you have to click yes on.

  30. Old Goat February 29th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Last I checked there actually was a difference between men and women.

    Funny, YankeeDiva states that men are so sensitive, yet its the women that have a problem with an innocuous statement.

  31. Drew February 29th, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Good job by you guys coming up with the questions. Those were great. Steel cage match, LOL!

  32. Therston February 29th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    people are really so self absorbed they find hurtful words from a 21 year talking about how to compare his teamates to a female character on a television show…you people need to get over yourselves.

  33. saucY February 29th, 2008 at 10:44 am

    good times!

  34. YankeeDiva February 29th, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Hey my thoughts and actions were question as a 21 year old… He’s able to drink, vote, etc.. why can’t we question his word choices? If he were 10 I wouldn’t think twice (well actually I would wondering who is putting thoughts into a 10 year old that they find it insulting to be compared to a tv character simply because the character is a female).

    Last I checked there actually was a difference between men and women.

    Funny, YankeeDiva states that men are so sensitive, yet its the women that have a problem with an innocuous statement.

    I never said there wasn’t a difference between men and women, but why does a man have to feel insulted if they are compared to a woman? That’s all I’m asking.

  35. pat February 29th, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I work with all guys so I’ve become immune to being offended so Phil’s comment didn’t bother me but….IPK dressed in a blue checkered dress as Dorothy last year. Wouldn’t that be worse than having your personality characteristics compared to a female character on TV?

    Any guy who would be offended by a comparison to a females persona needs to “man up” a little.

  36. cc February 29th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I’m impressed that he only used “obviously” three times, and that once–that Jorge has been in the league a long time–was actually correct. The other two–that he will have an innings limit, and that the Yankees want to protect his arm for the future–are not obvious at all. We have no way of knowing the first case, unless we are told by him or by the team, and the second is only somewhat true, let alone obvious. They want to protect his arm, but for him still to be effective this year.

  37. nyystadiiuminsider NICK February 29th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I bet Phil’s best friend Allison is hot. Hell if you’re on a desert island, you neeed SOMETHING!

  38. cc February 29th, 2008 at 11:11 am

    He said “a little” or “a little bit” only 3 times also. Athletes these days have been saying that phrase almost as much as “obviously,” for some reason that is not obvious.

  39. cc February 29th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    It’s a little strange that he doesn’t think about things like which great hitters from the past would he like to pitch against, but he does make a project of collecting autographs from great players of the past (Feller) and almost-past (Frank Thomas).

  40. StandingO'Neil February 29th, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Tip to Phil,

    Don’t bother trying to get Feller’s autograph, he’ll probably charge you $20 bucks just to approach him. He’s a mean and grumpy old guy.

  41. bigjf February 29th, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Thanks Pete and Phil, and thanks for posting the past interviews, since I just stumbled on this blog recently. Can’t wait for the next one!

  42. Drew February 29th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    @StandingO’Neil – but Phil’s a player so he’ll probably gladly sign

  43. Ross February 29th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    I don’t think that Moose will find Phil’s comparison of him to Stanley to be “very funny.” Ah I can only imagine what pretzel day looks like at the stadium.

  44. hmmm February 29th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    “I don’t think that Moose will find Phil’s comparison of him to Stanley to be “very funny.” ”

    why not? Stanley is the guy who is always doing crossword puzzles.

    i bet he’d think it’s hilarious.

  45. Felipe from Brazil - Steinfield!!! February 29th, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    oh boy, this Allison must be hot!:D

  46. Jeremy February 29th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    I hope Moose deserves the Fine Work Award this season.

  47. YankeeTech February 29th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    If you compare pam with one of the guys on the team, then some of the players might take it as a shot to their masculinity.They would assume that you are making the comparison because of traits in their personality that u might find feminist like.So I think people here are just making something out of nothing. Leave Hughes alone.#&*(@&*(@#&

  48. WangFan88 March 1st, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Man, Phil might be good at pitching, but he’s incredibly lame. It’s kind of scary to hear professional athletes really air out their personality, because it usually becomes incredibly apparent that they have none. But what can one expect, really? I mean, I’m pretty sure that if I had dedicated most of my adolescence to baseball and then didn’t go to college, I wouldn’t have ever formed any intelligent opinions on anything.

    … Go Yanks!

  49. tina March 1st, 2008 at 5:23 am

    Phil has more heart than anyone in this game and for anyone to judge him on something he did for FANS is totally unfair! His passion for his fans is unreal. yes, he is young but he has a good head on his shoulders and he handles everything handed to him very well!! so wang fan before you start talking trash on how lame he is, you should realize that phil is our feature and he really doesnt have to share with us as much as he already has, and OBVIOUSLY you are on this blog for a reason is to support the yanks, so do what is necessary and support the team and its players!

  50. Nicole March 1st, 2008 at 7:19 am

    Thanks for using my question, Pete!

  51. Arnie Prince March 1st, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Joba, Franchise Phil & Ian!!!! It’s Reynolds, Raschi and Lopat “all over again”. The similarities are striking other than IK not being a southpaw. For those of you who are too young to know (and I assume that includes most of you) Reynolds, a native American, was known as the Big Chief, who both started and relieved, Raschi, the “Springfield Rifle” could fire and had a great curve (the second pitch of that era) and Lopat, “Steady Eddie” the southpaw, threw from every angle at a variety of speeds. They were very close both on and off the field. If anyone is interested, I suggest you check out Sol Gittleman’s recent book “Reynolds, Raschi & Lopat…New York’s Big Three And The Great Yankee Dynasty of 1949-1953″.

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