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Timber Rattlers outfielder Erik
Miller got off to a good start in 2009. Then, on May 31 at West
Michigan, he took a fastball off his hand and would miss significant time.
He rehabbed his injury and got back into the lineup by the end of the season.
Miller talks about last year, his busy
off-season, Arizona real estate, and what's ahead for him in 2010 in this week's
edition of The Interrogation Room.
Q. Last season was another tough one for you
with an injury and more missed time. But, you managed to finish the season
with hits in 11 of your last 14 games. Did you use that finish as a
building block for the start of the 2010 season?
A. Yeah, last season was kind of a love/hate kind of season for me with the
broken hand and all. I had started off the season great and was just coming into
my groove when I got hurt so obviously that was a bummer. The time off with
injury was not great for my game but helped my body recover from playing every
day which was kind of nice (would have rather been sore and tired and healthy
though!!). Towards the end of the season I was just starting to get my rhythm
and timing back and also getting regular playing time again so it made the
hitting aspect of the game come a little easier. I definitely feel the end of
the '09 season was kind of a building block into 2010 that I have continued to
build upon this off season and will carry into the season.
Q. What did you take away from your 2009 season in Wisconsin?
A. My 09' season, being my first full season, taught me a lot about what it
truly means to be a professional ball player. I learned how to cope with the
every day ups and downs the game can bring upon a player. With a 140 game
season, I learned how to stay on a more emotionally consistent level every day
and not let the little things bother me as much. The fans are also something I
had never experienced. Every day before the game they are peering into the
dugout as we strapped on our cleats just waiting for us to step out and sign a
ball, or hat or whatever it was they had. To me, seeing the joy the fans got out
of watching us play was something that inspired me.
Q. One of the things you had planned for the off-season was to get married to
your fiancee. How did everything go?
A. Oh man, let me tell you, we had one AWESOME wedding!! We had the ceremony on
the beach in Rocky Point, Mexico with all of our close friends and family there
at a huge house that was just steps off the sand. The ceremony went off perfect,
our pastor Brian was awesome and the weather was great. After, we had an great
time partying and just hanging out and dancing the night away with all of our
friends and family! Just an amazing day.
Q. Did you spend any time away from baseball after the wedding or was it
pretty much get married and start get ready for 2010?
A. Yeah, I actually did spend some time away from baseball after the wedding. We
went to Barbados for our honeymoon and relaxed and just enjoyed the island.
After we got home, I started going to school for my real estate license and got
that. After Thanksgiving is when I started to get back into baseball mode
again and set my sights on 2010.
Q. And how is the real estate market in
A. I knew you were gonna ask that, everyone does. The market here is coming back
and we should have a much better year than we have been the past couple years,
demand is going up and inventory is going down so were on the right track. Plus,
if your a die hard baseball fan, all the spring training facilities are just a
short drive from each other so who wouldn't want to live here?!
Q. One of the advantages that you have over
some of the other Timber Rattlers players who have been in The Interrogation
Room is that you live in Arizona in the off-season. How has this
helped your training?
A. Living in Arizona is one of the biggest blessings ever when it comes to
baseball. Not only is our weather perfect for off season training but our S[pring]
T[raining] complex is just a short drive from my house so I start training in
Maryvale at the end of January each year to get a jump start for Spring
Training. We also have so many other training facilities around the valley that
house some of baseball's biggest names in the off season. I'll even run into a
few big league guys when I'm out hitting at some of the local high schools so
that's pretty cool too!
Q. Have you heard anything from the Brewers about where you may start the
A. No. I haven't heard anything from them about where I'll be yet, they
usually stay pretty quiet about that stuff till the end of Spring Training. Big
secrets. I'm just shooting for a good spring and the rest will work itself out.
Q. Were you given anything in particular to work on to get ready for '10?
A. Yeah, getting my hands out of the way of fastballs. No. I wasn't given
anything particular to work on but I just need to continue to work on
consistency throughout my game, especially at the plate. I have been working
hard on my plate discipline and pitch recognition and am confident that this
2010 season will be my best so far.
Q. What are you most looking forward to when you report to Spring Training?
A. I'm just looking forward to competing again and getting back on the field
ready for battle!
editions of The Interrogation Room
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.