By: Melissa Verge
Canadian Baseball Network
I scarfed down an entire chocolate bar the night before I went to go interview Marcus Stroman, Dalton Pompey and Aaron Sanchez.
The perfect squares of dark chocolate filled with marzipan were gone before they got to see much of the world.
If I fulfilled my goal of becoming a journalist for the Blue Jays and this kept up, I would be waddling to most of the games. A part human part penguin. I would be a scientific phenomenon.
I was stress eating. The chocolate provided a delicious, but temporary feeling of comfort.
This would be my first experience interviewing Major Leaguers. I was nervous.
I wondered if Jamie Campbell ever stress ate chocolate before going on air with Sportsnet. It would be nice knowing I wasn’t alone.
When I got to the Rogers Centre in the morning, my face was frozen from the cold. I bent over the heater against the window once I got inside, putting my face as close to the warm air as it could get. I tried to look professional at the same time, my face stuck to the heater, holding onto it like it in itself was life. I was the definition of professional.
The guys in the suits from Sportsnet didn’t have anything on me.
I prayed one of the players didn’t say something really sad. Because my face was frozen, I wouldn’t be able to match the correct facial expression with what they were saying. Who knows, I might even end up looking joyful if they broke the news they were injured and out for the season.
What a horrifying thought.
Thankfully, it was all good news.
“I’ve been with Aaron everyday just working out, training, just getting ready for 2016,” Marcus Stroman said.
Despite the talk that this year’s team may not measure up to the team they had last season, Stroman says there’s a lot to look forward to come April.
“We’re extremely excited and happy with the team that we have and the additions that we’ve made. We’re excited to get together in the spring and get things going.”
The 162 games that lie ahead don’t seem to faze him. Stroman always seems confident, his smile is so big, I think it takes up the majority of his face.
He admits though that he’s scared of insects. “I hate bugs,” he says. “I’m a very non outdoorsy person. If you threw me in the woods I would be miserable and scared.”
At least his fear of bugs doesn’t appear to affect his performance on the mound.
Or his ability to leave the house during the offseason. Stroman has been involved in the 2016 Blue Jays Winter Tour, with visits to schools, as well as autograph sessions. He says he enjoys giving back.
“That’s what it’s all about. I was a kid one day who was looking up to these guys, so I want to be in a position where I can give back. I can be a role model to this youth group who are important for our future.”
Stroman himself has a promising future, and he’s prepared if the Toronto Blue Jays ask him to be their opening day starter. “I’ve done everything in my preparation to make sure I’m at my best ability every time I go out there,” he says.
And as long as Rogers Centre stays relatively bug-free, we should be seeing a lot of Stroman in 2016.