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The Interrogation Room: Damien Magnifico

November 11, 2015

The Interrogation Room is back. The first former Timber Rattler to step into The Interrogation Room this offseason is Damien Magnifico, a pitcher for the Rattlers in 2013. 

Magnifico was a member of the Biloxi Shuckers in 2015, is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League, and is coming off a nice performance in the Fall Stars game for that league.

The Interrogation Room: You got to play in the Arizona Fall League 'Fall Stars' game.  Jim Callis of wrote you up as one of the players who stood out in the game. What was special about the performance for you?

Damien Magnifico: Just being invited to such a prestigious game is an honor. I really just treated it like any other game and went out there and had fun. It was different for me though since I threw in the 3rdrd inning because I haven't been in a game before the 6ththinning all year.

TIR: What do you think of your AFL season so far?

DM: I was sent here to work on certain aspects of my game and I feel that I've gotten good results so far. Being here is fun - you get to meet new guys from different organizations and we have a great group of guys here.

TIR: You have had former Rattlers Yadiel Rivera, Jacob Barnes, and Michael Reed as teammates with the Saguaros. Plus, Nathan Orf, Brett Phillips, Josh Hader, and Adrian Houser spent time in Biloxi and are with you in Arizona. Additionally, Carlos Subero is your manager again after being the manager of the Shuckers. I guess the question is: Does it even feel like the season ended?

DM: Yes and no. Yes, because with Biloxi we reached the championship together after an amazing year. No, because I am still playing baseball.  Having those guys with me here in the Fall League is great having familiar faces playing alongside me. 

TIR: We got to follow the Biloxi season-opening road trip before the MGM Park opened through the internet. How did you guys get through almost two months on the road before getting to play at home?

DM: Just by keeping our focus on baseball and not letting the whole "oh we are the road again" aspect get to us. Thankfully we had such a great group of guys and we all got along, which made it easier.

TIR: What was the first thing you did when you got to the new park in Biloxi?

DM: Set-up my locker and open packages that had been sitting there for weeks waiting for me. Then, I walked around to see where everything was at. After being on the road for so long, it still didn't really hit me that this was the home we'd been waiting for until a week later though.

TIR: What was your favorite part of the 2015 Southern League season?

DM: My favorite part had to be the guys I went to battle with every day on the field. We went through a lot together and became a very close-knit team. Because of our experiences ranging all the way from the 60-day road trip to the very last game of the championship, we knew we could count on each other.

TIR: Timber Rattlers fans will remember you as mainly a starting pitcher in your time in Wisconsin. You had 20 saves in 22 opportunities with the Shuckers this year. How did the transition to the bullpen go for you?

DM: I knew that ultimately I would end up in the bullpen and it's really what suits me the best in the long run, so it went pretty smoothly. I think that was the case because I embraced it and I had previous experience doing it in college.

TIR: What do you remember most about your time with the Timber Rattlers back in 2013?

DM: Well that's a simple answer, how cold it was! My time there was awesome because I had amazing host parents in Jill and Lonnie Garrison, the fans were great in supporting us, and of course fried cheese curds at the concession stand.

TIR: Is there anything in particular that you are working on in the AFL to prepare you for the 2016 season?

DM: Really just the basic type of stuff with pitching: commanding my fastball and more consistency with the slider. The biggest thing is having more feel with the slider.

TIR: What are your plans for when Arizona Fall League ends?

DM: Go home and rest for a week or two doing nothing but school work because I'm working toward getting my degree right now. After that little break I'll crank up my workouts at OU with my strength coach and do shoulder exercises with the trainer.