Live Chat With Former MLB Reliever Alex Hinshaw
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Anthony Franco
12:47
We're happy to host former MLB reliever Alex Hinshaw in a live chat today!
Bearded Texas Hulk
12:48
Favorite teammate of all time?
Alex Hinshaw
12:50
That's a tough one! I made so many lifelong friends who were teammates both in the minors and big leagues that I wouldn't be able to name just one... how about top 5? (In no particular order!)
12:51
  1. Tim Lincecum 2. Barry Zito 3. Brian Wilson 4. Dave Roberts 5. Mark Minicozzi
Bearded Texas Hulk
12:51
Favorite stadium? Fave city?
Alex Hinshaw
12:52
I am a little biased on this one. I grew up a Padres fan, going to games at "The Murph" but when I went to Petco for the first time I fell in love!
Bruce
12:52
How important is it for relief pitchers to have an established role.  Do you feel only certain relief pitchers   are able to effectively handle the closer role?
Alex Hinshaw
12:55
Great question Bruce! I think the importance all depends on the reliever's mindset/mentality. For me, I was so religious about my routine that as long as I knew the types of situations I was used in, I was ok. I had a closer's mentality no matter what inning it was. Even when I was a starter! (Guess that's why I didn't last as one haha.)
RG
12:56
Alex, how can a work stoppage be avoided? What is ONE item the owners should be able to easily concede and ONE item the players can step back from? I believe the manipulation clock could be settled if it didn't matter when a player was called up-in other words, if its April 17 or August 19, it still counts as a year whenever the player is on the active roster. Curious to see your thoughts and many thanks for doing this!
Alex Hinshaw
12:59
RG- I would love to dive into this, but I don't think an essay-length response is the best use of our time haha. You might be onto something with the service time issue but there are so many other factors that go into it that it isn't that simple. If they could shorten the length before free-agency, that would be a good place to start though!
Cubs fan
12:59
How Tough was it to make it to the pros?
Alex Hinshaw
1:02
Making it to the pro's was hard enough, but making it to the big leagues was tougher! Randy Johnson once told me, "It's hard enough to get here to the big leagues but... it's even TOUGHER to stay here!" Like most of us athletes we thrive and/or look for finding the best to compete against so having that mindset makes it a little less "tough" but the "grind" is a real thing for sure!
Ray
1:02
Whats ur FAVORITE baseball player
Alex Hinshaw
1:09
Growing up a "lefty" I was always drawn to the guys who I wanted to be like both on and off the field. Early on it was always Tony Gwynn (Who was/is my idol. And I got to play for him at SDSU which is still one of the few times I ever got star struck by someone!) and Ken Griffey Jr. Then when I started learning about pitching, I loved watching and trying to be like Randy Johnson & Barry Zito! (There's another funny story on that too!) On Opening Day 2009, during the opening ceremony in San Francisco, I started chuckling to myself and Zito nudged me and told me, "Hinny grow up dude" (He was kidding because I think he knew why I was laughing.) and I told him "Z... I'm standing in between you and RJ (Randy Johnson.) and I literally had posters of both of you on my wall growing up!!! And now I am on the same team as you 2?!" That is a memory I will never forget!
KD
1:09
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us all! I see that the Giants drafted you 3 different times. Was it nice to feel that wanted?
Alex Hinshaw
1:11
KD- Being drafted a total of 4 times is definitely a very cool and humbling feeling! Back then they were still doing what was called "draft-and-follow" and since I was still so new to pitching, it was a way for the Giants, (And the Marlins too.) to watch my development over that year to see if it made sense to keep me out of the next year's draft.
Chetur asti
1:12
Bacheem?
Alex Hinshaw
1:13
Haha! Someone knows their Farsi huh? Khoob astim, tashakur. Shumah khoob asti?
Bucky Duckin Fent
1:13
Do you have any thoughts on Ty Buttrey and his walking away from baseball and now wanting to come back again?
Alex Hinshaw
1:17
I can't speak for Ty specifically, but I do know that when you have dedicated so much of your life trying to be the best at something, it is easy to lose a lot of what made you fall in love with it in the first place and cause it to be a lot less fun and more stressful. But like they always say... you never know how good you had it, until it's gone! I've been out of the game since 2014 and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss it! Hell sometimes it's even twice a day!
Bryce
1:17
What was your favorite minor league city?
Alex Hinshaw
1:21
That's a tough one too! There are so many cool aspects of a lot of minor league cities that make them so memorable. But I think for me, either Rancho Cucamonga (Mostly because I grew up 10 minutes from there so playing there was always a "circus" with family and friends!) or Portland, OR because I got to see my wife and her family (And sleep in my bed for a few days haha.) I also really liked some East Coast stadiums too, Durham was cool because of the nostalgia from the movie.
Guest
1:21
What baseball movie is the most accurate portrayal of the game?
Alex Hinshaw
1:24
Hmmm... I think all baseball movies have accurate depictions of certain aspects of the game. But if I had choose, maybe either Mr. Baseball or For The Love Of The Game.
Stan
1:24
Hi Alex, you’re one of the rare cases of a player being drafted four different times. Can you speak a little about what you were looking for in the draft process, and how your expectations changed each time? What were the factors that led to you not signing each time?
Alex Hinshaw
1:26
Stan- I touched on this a little bit earlier but I think the main factor the first couple times was that I wanted to experience/go to college. Neither of my parents went, and I was the only child so I couldn't pass up a free education. Plus, they were later round picks as the "DNF" process was the route they were going.
Thad
1:27
Why is relief pitching seemingly more volatile that other positions, with players experiencing more up and down seasons.
Alex Hinshaw
1:31
The way the game has evolved with data and technology, both sides of the game (Hitting and pitching.) have tremendous tools at their disposal that make it easier to notice patterns, tells, and make in game (sometimes in at-bat.) adjustments. And I think especially as a reliever, the amount of talent (Or "stuff") isn't that far off from one another so couple that with the more service time salary, it makes more business sense to go with less experience and similar stuff. Hope that makes sense.
Jeremy
1:31
Were there any pitchers (starter or reliever) who you tried to learn from or model your game after? Or who you looked up to growing up?
Alex Hinshaw
1:36
I actually learned a lot more about pitching when I used to sit in on Tony Gwynn's hitter's meetings when I was in college. The things that hitters were trying to do and what they were looking for, I would try to execute the OPPOSITE! But again, playing alongside Barry Zito, Randy Johnson, Houston Street, I soaked up as much as I could! But there was one guy I wanted to be like who didn't get as much credit as he deserved and that was Jack Taschner! He took me under his wing in 2008 and showed me how to prepare myself before, during, and after games. I owe him a ton!
Guest
1:36
did you ever have a solid offer from a team that you rejected simply based on how that team was run?
Alex Hinshaw
1:39
I wouldn't say I turned down offers based solely on that, but I remember the first time being a free agent, I told my agent that whatever offers came in, we would put them all side by side and weigh our options, UNLESS the Padres made me an offer, then I didn't care if they offered me a bucket of used bubble gum, they would be at the top of the list! Luckily they were one of the more competitive offers but my wife and I knew I couldn't/wouldn't pass up the chance to play for my hometown team.
Luke
1:40
Least favorite hitter to face?
Alex Hinshaw
1:43
Least favorite is tough, I can tell you which hitter I hated facing because I NEVER got him out... Ryan Braun! I think he was something like 5 for 5 off me and they were ALL extra base hits! But other than that, Adrian Gonzales was always tough (But he's a great guy so I can't say he's my least favorite.) Ichiro was never fun to face, I think he was averaging like 12-13 pitches per at bat against me haha.
Alex
1:43
Hi Alex! Thanks for doing this and providing your insights! Are you currently involved in the game at all and if not, would working for an organization be something of interest to you?
Alex Hinshaw
1:47
Getting back into the game is something I have always wanted to do  because I have a passion for helping people succeed and I think I could provide a lot of insight both mentally and mechanically for pitchers. But for now, I am just volunteering with things like USA Baseball, different youth all-star teams, performance gyms, and coaching my 7 year old's team. But if you have any connections in the pro ranks, I am all ears haha!
Guest
1:47
Alex, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received? (Baseball related)
Alex Hinshaw
1:52
That's an awesome question!!! I have 2 that have always stuck with me... "Today will be yesterday, tomorrow." (From my grandmother who taught me how to play baseball actually.) & "There's no such thing as winning and losing... only winning and LEARNING." (Randy Johnson told me that when he gave me a patented RJ brainteaser. He asked me during a game if I knew how many losses he had during his career... the story gets better but we are running out of time.)
Tinker to Evers to Chance
1:53
Favorite memory as a Cub?
Alex Hinshaw
1:56
Getting the chance to play in the big leagues with one of my childhood best friends, Justin Germano. We grew up together from when we were 9 and took different paths to pro ball but we did it and it is something movies are written about! No better feeling than seeing the smiles on our faces when we both had the same big league uniform on and got a good chuckle. 2 Claremont High Wolfpack on the same big league team hasn't happened very often, if ever!
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