Will Venable Q&A With Haley Smilow.
The Padres OF recently had a chance to talk about some things with our Junior Reporter Haley Smilow.
The questions covered a lot of parameters that Venable is not asked on a regular basis.
Venable is a baseball lifer, coming from a long standing tradition of baseball that goes back to his dad.
HS: Who are some of the players that you looked up to as a kid?
WV: Definitely my Dad. I think everyone looks up to their dad. He was a player and someone that I looked up to, not only as a dad, but as a player too. His teammates Jim Abbott and Luis Polonia are also a few guys that come to mind that I admired.
HS: I read as a kid you traveled with your father do you have any stories about your travels?
WV: Traveling to Japan to live with him where he finished his career, that whole experience and everything that it entailed was pretty memorable.
HS: Do you have a favorite ballpark from when you traveled with your dad? And what are some of your favorite current ballparks? Do you feel you play better in any ballparks?
WV: The only one that I was really old enough to remember towards the end of his career in America was Angels Stadium. It was a beautiful ballpark, great clubhouse and I loved getting out on the field. Coors Field is one my favorite places to play. It’s a great place to hit, they have great fans and it’s a great city.That one always comes to mind.
HS: What was it like living in Japan when your father played for the Chiba Lotte Marines?
WV: It was a really good experience for a young person to be in the middle of a whole different culture. We had a translator, but other than that we really had to figure everything out on our own. You learn a lot about yourself and other people in the world. It was a good experience.
HS: You played high school basketball and then earned All – Ivy League honors in both baseball and basketball for Princeton, what made you stop playing basketball?
WV: I just realized that I wasn’t going to be an NBA player. I realized my ceiling in basketball and I didn’t know what I could do baseball-wise, but I knew I hadn’t realized my ceiling yet. So I decided to give it a shot.
HS: What brand of bat, glove and batting gloves do you use?
WV: I use Trinity bats, Rawlings glove and Franklin batting gloves. It took me a while to find what bat I wanted. As your swing changes, your bat changes; I’ve used a lot of different bats, and I’ve finally settled into Trinity as the model I like. The gloves and batting gloves have pretty much always been the same.
HS: Any reason for the number 25?
WV: It’s just the number they gave me. I’m happy to have it.
HS: What part of your game do you feel like you need to improve upon?
WV: Consistency at the plate is something that I’m continuing to work on. I think I’ve made the most strides in my career towards that this year. Defensively I’m just trying to make the right decisions. It’s not about throwing the furthest or running the fastest. Sometimes it’s just about making the right decisions, and that’s something I continue to work on every single day.
HS: Who is the biggest practical joker you have ever been on a team with? Have you ever been the victim of any practical jokes?
WV: Andy Parrino is an undercover prankster. He doesn’t do it a whole lot, but when he does it’s pretty good. I’ve been the victim of a lot of his pranks, especially since my locker is right next to his.
HS: Wikipedia say you joined your father as a member of the Portland Beavers in 2008 what was that experience like?
WV: It was awesome. I actually had the opportunity to play with him as my hitting coach in (Single A ball)andy and then twice in Portland. It was an unbelievable experience to not only have your dad there with you at work every day, but to be able to learn from him – someone you grew up idolizing and respecting – and share the experience of playing professional baseball, it is the best time I’ve had on a baseball field. Graduating from Princeton makes you one of 39 active players with college degrees,
HS: what other accomplishments are you proud of?
WV: Being able to have played two sports, win championships there and to have graduated are all things that I’m proud of.
HS: Do you have a favorite restaurant in San Diego? And what is your favorite food?
WV: Sure do; Tender Greens in Liberty Station. It’s nice and healthy. My favorite food is Mexican food, but I try and stay away from eating too much of it, especially during baseball season.
HS: What is your favorite ballpark food?
WV: I love ballpark nachos. They’re great.
HS: What is your favorite candy?
WV: Baby Ruth.
HS: Name 5 songs in your Ipod right now that you have on repeat?
WV: Sam Cook – Summertime
Jackson 5 –Who’s Loving You
King Floyd – Groove Me
Smokey Robinson – Cruisin’
Ray Lamontagne – You Are the Best Thing
HS: If you were not playing baseball, what else could you see yourself doing?
WV: I would like to be playing basketball, but if I wasn’t playing sports, I like the idea of teaching. I like being around kids and them being able to respond to important things that you’re passing on. Coaching and teaching are two things I’m definitely interested in after baseball.
HS: I understand your younger brother Winston plays for the Chicago Bears, are you guys competitive? Do you think you can beat him at arm wrestling?
WV: We were a little competitive. I’m four years older than him so there was a small window where we could play against each other. We were more supportive for each other. We’re big fans of each other and didn’t really have that brother rivalry. If anything we just pushed each other to be the best athletes we could be. He would destroy me in an arm wrestling match, no doubt about it.
HS: What are your favorite professional and college basketball teams?
WV: My favorite college basketball team is Georgetown because the coach I played for in college is over there now. It’s one of the few teams that I really follow every game that I play. I really root for him and his staff. I really don’t have a favorite pro team. I enjoy watching the playoffs. I grew up in San Francisco where we have the (Golden State) Warriors. They’re a little tougher to root for these days but I don’t really have a pro team.
HS: What is your favorite movie? And favorite baseball movie?
WV: I was asked this question the other day and I came up with Waiting for Guffman. It’s a comedy that is pretty similar to Best In Show. Major League is my favorite baseball movie.
HS: What advice would you give the youth of today?
WV: Passing along what my Dad told me, whether you’re doing the dishes, taking the trash out, your homework or practicing for a sport, do everything to the best of your ability and then it’s easy to live with the results.
A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Junior Reporter’ Haley Smilow for asking great questions into this interview and representing the MLB Reports.
* The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
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