Brett Myers is confident. His intensity on the mound, assured demeanor,
and sometimes indifference to reporters makes that fact quickly apparent. Those are not always bad qualities, however, especially
when you are a pitcher.
Myers had been a schoolboy phenom in Florida where he posted an 8-2 record and 0.80 ERA as
a senior at Englewood High School. The Phillies took noticed and used the 12th overall pick of the 1999 draft on the young
After quickly ascending through the Philadelphia organization, Myers made his major league debut on
July 24th. Some are touting him as the Phillies savior, and comparisons to Curt Schilling have begun to swirl.
pressure doesn't seem to phase the 22 year old though. "I can only go out there and pitch like Brett Myers can," he said casually.
"I can't be out there worrying about what someone else is saying."
One of the most interesting items in Myers background
is his tie with boxing. His father promoted fights for 15 years and Myers dabbled in the "sweet science" himself, posting
a 12-0 record before quitting at the age of 13.
Despite his success as an amateur, Myers never considered boxing as
a career and really doesn't like discussing it. "I never really wanted to do it (for a living) - I just did it for fun," he
He does believe, however, that the attitude he acquired in the ring helps him on the mound. "You
are one on one with the batter and you've got to take each guy seriously to get him out and give your team the best chance
to win," he explained.
Myers has been known to carry some of that boxing mentality to the mound. Earlier this season
while with AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre Myers threw a pitch that nearly hit Columbus Clipper (New York Yankees AAA affiliate)
Drew Henson in the left knee. The two had been verbally sparring earlier and Myers allegedly told Henson he was going to get
Henson responded to Myers' brush back pitch by charging the mound. A melee ensued. Like most baseball brawls
there was no clear winner, just a little wrestling match in which no serious blows were landed.
Myers later said he
wished he'd hurt Henson, but says that comment was made in the heat of the battle. "I didn't mean that, the adrenaline took
over after the fight and I said some things I didn't mean to say," he commented.
When asked if he regretted the incident
he quickly responded "of course."
Myers, however, isn't worried that his temper will get the best of him from the
often relentless Philadelphia fans. "I can only be as good as I am that day," the right-hander explained. "I can't go out
there and dominate every time - you are going to have good days and bad days."
Today Myers finds himself in the major
leagues, the culmination of a childhood dream. "It's fun, it's what you've worked for - to play here. It's fun just
to play and to be around major league ball parks," the rookie commented. "I expected a lot coming here - just to be here is
Entering this season the Phillies were expected to contend but faltered out of the gate and fell out of
the race. Myers, however, believes the future is bright in Philly. "We've got a good team now there - are a lot of guys in
the minor leagues that I played with that are good - we'll see (them) in years to come," he said.
He is particularly
impressed with his AAA roommate, OF Marlon Byrd. "He's an outstanding player - the top prospect in our organization - when
he gets here we'll what he can do," Myers commented.
Soon it became apparent the Myers had become quite bored (not
implying he was ever that interested) with our discussion. He explained his goal for the remainder of the season was "Staying
here (the big leagues)" and for his career was "To stay here and succeed." While those comments will not win any journalist
a Pulitzer Prize, pitchers don't win games by being nice to reporters.
We all know the cliché most connected "nice
-David Zingler, November 2002
Myers @ Baseball-Reference.com
Simply Baseball Notebook