Talk about your coaching staff throughout your career and how they impacted your success.
Brett Myers: You have to build a relationship with your coaches and be willing to trust them. You have to be willing to try what they tell you to try. You also have to be willing to speak up if it doesn’t work and let them know that you need to try something new. It’s more about a relationship than just learning how to perform.
Tell us about the importance of mental preparation before each practice and game.
Brett Myers: I tried to figure out who I would face and what the lineup would be like before a game. I overthought a lot and couldn’t sleep some nights. I put a lot of stress on myself. The first inning was always my biggest problem because I always worried about how good my stuff would be that day. When I stopped worrying about my bullpen session before the game is when I became a better pitcher. The bullpen is just for you to get loose, it is not about honing your pitches before the game. You don’t always have your best stuff so you have to be on your game and fight.
Was it difficult to transition between a bullpen role and a starting role at certain points during your career?
Brett Myers: It wasn’t hard in terms of my pitch arsenal since I had four pitches. Tom Gordon really helped me transition into the bullpen role and taught me the ins-and-outs of being a closer. You have to know the hitter your facing and how that will affect the situation. It’s especially important to just bear down one pitch at a time and go after each hitter in a one-run game.
You certainly didn’t seem nervous in your MLB debut against the Chicago Cubs. What was going through your head and what was it like to put on those red pinstripes for the first time?
Brett Myers: It’s actually a funny story. There was a guy named Pete Zamora who was with me in triple-a, and he kept telling me how much better Chicago Cubs pitcher Mark Prior was than me. In my debut, I faced off against Prior and wanted to prove Zamora wrong. It felt good to get the win.
(Myers pitched eight innings allowing just one run off two hits with five strikeouts and a walk)