An Interview With Darren O'Day

SEATTLE - AUGUST 03: Relief pitcher Darren O'Day #56 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on August 3 2010 in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Darren O'Day was kind enough to take a moment out of his busy schedule of being one of the better relief pitchers in baseball this season to reach out to Lone Star Ball. He answered some questions for us and he also wanted to let us baseball fans know that he has a Facebook page open where he encourages fans to contact him with questions as well.

You can check out his Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/darrenoday56

Let him know LSB sent ya!

The full Interview is after the jump but here is a taste:

Q:  Are you aware of the soccer style O’Day chant and can you hear it when you are pitching? Do you like it when a stadium is chanting your name?

Darren O'DayOf course. The fans have gotten it going so loud a couple times it's impossible to ignore. When I played for the Mets, it made me uncomfortable because it was too close to the Jose Reyes ole, ole, ole chant. It really is a cool feeling to hear that many people into a game. Also, if they're chanting my name it means they're not doing the wave! My greatest chant memory is early last year, I got a save opportunity on a Sunday against the Angels. The fans chanted sweep! sweep! sweep! for the whole 9th inning. I will never forget that moment.

There you have it. Darren O'Day likes The Chant and has other, different, opinions on The Wave. Get on this, Rangers fans.

Q:  Lone Star Ball houses a lot of the more fanatical Rangers fans but there’s actually a rather large and enthusiastic Rangers fan community online. Is the team aware of this faction of its fans?

Darren O'Day:  We are, the news world is changing, newspapers are dying, and everything is moving online. Fans from all over the World can get the same news that people in the metroplex get. So the internet is a great way to engage all those fans. Just today a fan from Taiwan commented on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/darrenoday56) about how much he likes my sidearming motion, and that I should come play there after my MLB career.

Q:  After beginning your Rangers career in a Kason Gabbard jersey, you have become one of the more tenured guys in the pen this season. How do you feel about your role and the current state of the team?

Darren O'Day:  I love where we are as a team right now. It will be nice to have the ownership situation a little settled here soon, but otherwise I think the front office has done a great job assembling the pieces, and we have for the most part executed. I love pitching in close games, and am grateful for the opportunity to do so. As long as they keep putting me out there, I'll do my best to keep getting outs.

Q:  How is the atmosphere in the bullpen this season?

Darren O'Day:  The bullpen is a lot of fun. We have been performing pretty well as a group, which makes it easier. We usually keep it light until the starter scuffles a little or it gets to about the 5th inning. That's when I personally start getting mentally prepared (or as Oliver calls it "nervous"). I love it when a starter or position player visits the pen for a while, and complains about having to go back to the dugout.

Q:  Speaking of Darren Oliver, how has having him in the pen helped out this season? Speaking strictly from a fan perspective he seems to be a stabilizing force.

Darren O'Day:  What makes Oliver a great pitcher is that he takes all emotion out of late inning pitching. He goes out there and throws just like he's throwing a bullpen during spring training. He never gets too high or too low. There are so many guys that have all the talent in the world, but can't handle the pressure and excitement of the situation. When your mind starts interfering with what your body is doing, you run into problems. I have learned quite a bit from DO, and I'm sure I'll learn more.

Q:  Last year you had Eddie Guardado, C.J. Wilson, and Jason Grilli out there leading the Wolf Pack. Do you guys have any traditions this season that you can share?

Darren O'Day:  Nothing like that really. I think the wolfpack ended when CJ made the jump to the starting rotation. The pre game red bull toast is still alive and well.

Q:  Do you ever look at advanced pitching metrics such as FIP (Fielder IndependentPitching), K/BB (Strikeout to Walk Ratio), or BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play)?

Darren O'Day:  I do dabble in sabermetrics every once in a while. Usually, it starts with a question I think up during the game and go back later to check. I hear that some of those stats say that I am over performing. However, I don't 100 percent believe in the BABIP stat.

Q:  How important are stats to you in evaluating your performance or preparing to face an opponent?

Darren O'Day:  We use stats to determine what parts of the zone a hitter succeeds in. Also, we try to discern if he looks for a certain pitch in a certain count. The same kind of stuff the hitters try to do to us pitchers. Maddux, Hawk (bullpen coach), and our scouting department do a great job breaking it all down for us. They feed us like we're baby birds!

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As anyone who reads this site regularly knows, I consider myself a Darren O'Day fan. (So much so that I routinely question Ron Washington's usage of the him.) I'm glad he wanted to take some time with us. Knowing that my efforts to start the O'Day Chant in Oakland wasn't all for naught makes this 2010 season even more fantastic. And again, if any of you have any further questions for Darren, make sure to check out his Facebook.

Thanks for your time Darren. Continue to be awesome.

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