Over the next few weeks Talking Chop will be interviewing former Braves Fantasy Camp, January 25-30, 2011 at the Braves Spring Training facility at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex at Disney. Today we bring you our interview with former Braves first baseman Sid Bream:players who will be participating in the first ever
Talking Chop: Since you retired from playing baseball, what have you been doing? Have you stayed connected to Major League baseball in any way?
Sid Bream: Speaking, coaching summer baseball and still being a dad and husband. I coached one summer with a Pirates minor league team, but found out the time away from my best friend my wife was difficult.
Talking Chop: What do you miss most about playing the game?
Sid Bream: The challenges each and every day. I loved the game of baseball, and trying to make myself better everyday was what it was all about.
Talking Chop: When you rounded third, did you think you were going to score?
Sid Bream: I had no idea. I had the best possible scenario, with two outs and knowing Stan Belinda was not going to try and pick me off at second, certainly was in my favor.
Talking Chop: While you had a long and successful career, what is it like being known for one play?
Sid Bream: I believe a lot a baseball people are forgotten even though they had good or great careers. Being able to be remembered, like a Kirk Gibson walk-off, or Bucky Dent home run, or Mazeroski game winner is what every player would love to be apart of.
Talking Chop: Do people still come up and talk to you about that?
Sid Bream: Absolutely, almost every day that I am out and about even in Pittsburgh, someone will come up and bring that play up.Talking Chop: This baseball off-season has seen teams hand out several $100 million-plus contracts to players. Are these kinds of contracts good for the game? As someone who played for the Pirates, not a current big spender in the free agent market, do you see the money that's being handed out as an obstacle to competitive balance among all teams?
Sid Bream: It is great for the players, but it does slight teams that do not have big markets. They have to do everything about perfect in order to have a playoff year. I do believe it to be a hindrance, but I also want to point out that the Pittsburgh Pirates are making a tremendous amount of money on the team, and could be putting more back into the team.
Talking Chop: Do you think the Braves can continue to be competitive in this kind of market? Do you think the Pirates can ever be competitive with their salary structure?
Sid Bream: You truly have to do a survey to figure out whether investing dollars in your team will come back to you as you put winners on the field. It is a tough business structure to look at players and wonder whether they will be able to compete in their division.
Talking Chop: As a left-handed first baseman, have you had a chance to see the Braves new first baseman Freddie Freeman? If so, what are your thoughts about him?
Sid Bream: I have not. The thing that bothers me about many of the first baseman's that they put at that position, are only designed for the offense. They look over the defense aspect of the position. Many a games are won and lost, and gold glover's are made and lost at first base. If Freddie has both of these qualities, he will be a good one for years to come.
Talking Chop: Have you participated in a baseball fantasy camp before? What do you hope to get out of the Braves fantasy camp?
Sid Bream: I have done one with the Pittsburgh Pirates and had a wonderful time. I want to make sure that each participant has a chance to feel what a day in the life of a ball player would be like. I was amazed at how serious each one of the participants at the Pittsburgh Pirates camp took each and every day they were there.
Talking Chop: How did Bobby Cox impact you as a player?
Sid Bream: Bobby was a player's coach. He allowed you to play without the pressure the micro managers can place on you as you try to complete a season. Feeling heat from media, fans and your coach sometimes really puts the pressure on you to perform and usually has a negative effect. When you take the pressure away from the manager, you know that when you go into your little sanctuary at the ballpark, you are able to relax and let your talents work.
Many thanks to Sid Bream for taking the time to answer my questions. Next week we'll hopefully present more interviews with Braves Alumni.