Chatting with Serious, and Not So Serious Brett Cecil

Louis PisanoAnalyst IJuly 27, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 10:  Brett Cecil #27 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game on May 10, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

By Louis “King of Roncesvalles” Pisano...

Amidst all the trade talks now, and the chaos surrounding the Toronto Blue Jays season, a pleasant surprise this year has been the solid performances of rookie pitcher, and young gun Brett Cecil (4-1 4.27). His hurried vault into the big leagues has been a bonus for the Blue Jays, though management was unanimous when it came to not wanting to rush his development, although it seems that this has been the case. This guy has all the skills it takes to be in this league for a long time, and with great control over his four pitch arsenal his strike out to walk ratio has been pretty good (49/24). He has been thrust onto the scene twice now due to injury and in his first stint up in the majors, aside from a bump in the road while playing in Boston, he was outstanding and has continued this roll while back up in the Bigs for seemingly for the rest of the season.

He progressed in sports under his father, Duane’s supervision, who, happens to have been a U.S. Marine at the time, and who got him involved initially in various sports as a youth, along with his older brother. He played Football, Soccer and Baseball, obviously choosing the right sport to stick with. He said of his father “...He’s a very very responsible human being, he’s a tough guy, really real tough guy, you wouldn’t see it on his face, but my sister brings a guy around, it’s like watch out!...You better salute him!” We both were laughing at this.

Brett is the first pitcher from the 2007 draft to have made the jump to AAA not to mention the majors. This guy has a great attitude and while sitting with him in the Jays locker room before a game I got to know another side of him, the one that stats don’t tell nor a post game interview.

Brett follows other sports and told me “Definitely hockey’s one of them, I like that kind of sport, its quick moving, not like baseball...” we were both laughing at that comment, he continued saying “ it’s a lot of action going on...” He said he’s a fan of the Washington Caps and that Ovechkin is his favorite player “He’s just a good all around player he’s a good skater, shoots the puck very well, obviously, he passes, he’s very physical, and that’s what makes him better than Sid the kid, Sidney’s got all that stuff but he doesn’t play a very physical game, and he’s kind of a baby.” He was on the money with that, as Ovie just took home the Hart Trophy (League MVP, hockey writers vote) and the Pearson Award (Top player, players vote), along with winning the Rocket Richard Trophy (top goal scorer). As for celebrations in sports he said “Watching others guys do it, I think it’s cool to see, but I’m not a really big celebrator, unless it was a no hit shutout, I’m just going to walk off the field like normal.”

Not a NFL fan but more so college football, sort of, “I went to Maryland but, you know I just did the tailgates, just for the tailgates, not really to go to the football games after.” He said as we both had a good laugh again!

As for his hero’s growing up “In high school it was actually Andy Pettitte and David Wells, I actually tried to pitch like Andy Pettitte, I tried to have his wind up, tried to have everything...yeah those two guys.” Later as a closer he said he tried to emulate Mariano Rivera, I noticed he mentioned a lot of Yankees and I dragged it out him that he grew up a Yankee fan and I asked him how it felt now being up in the majors and playing against some of his hero’s, “It was definitely a good time..., but yeah I was brain washed as a kid, I have a picture from when I was six months old, I have a picture of me in a Yankee uniform.”

Well he may have grown up a Yanks fan but this guy gives it all for his team, and I know the Blue Jays and fans are cheering for him, as am I.