Q&a // Val Majewski

February 24, 2007|By Jeff Zrebiec

Outfielder Val Majewski, the Orioles' third-round selection out of Rutgers University in the 2002 draft, got a standing ovation from the crowd at Camden Yards when he made his major league debut Aug. 20, 2004, against the Toronto Blue Jays. But he missed the entire 2005 season after having shoulder surgery and he struggled last year with injuries and inconsistency. The 25-year-old left-handed hitter, who also can play first base, batted .260 at Triple-A Ottawa with four home runs and 39 RBIs. He's in his third major league spring training.

How tough have the last couple of seasons been? -- Last year was a really big struggle. You try figuring a lot of things out and you want to fix everything today. You want to put the work in, but you want the results to come quicker than they did. It took me until this offseason to kind of feel a little more comfortable. Yeah, I still got a lot of work to do, but I feel a lot better in terms of my arm and my hitting.

How long ago does that standing ovation seem? -- I can remember it, but it does seem like it was a long time ago. Up to that point, I've never had to struggle in my life. Things had always gone well, but I hit a speed bump with the injury and the year I had last year. It was a reality check for me that it's not always going to be glory days. I'm not glad I went through it, but it was a learning experience.

How much did you follow Rutgers football this season? -- I went to the majority of home games and I made the one trip to West Virginia. I was lucky enough to go to the Louisville game. I didn't storm the field, but I took pictures. It was the best football game I've ever watched since I was there. ... It was a long time coming. When I was there, everybody was like `Rutgers had a football team?' Now, it's a pride thing for everybody in New Jersey.

All New Jerseyites have seen a Bruce Springsteen concert. How many have you seen? -- I've actually never been. I've wanted to for years. I've also never been to a Bon Jovi concert. I am a bigger Bon Jovi fan than a Bruce fan. I've just never had a chance to go.

Do you get ribbing from your teammates about being from New Jersey? -- I don't care. I am all for it. I love New Jersey. I am going to live there as long as I know. I wouldn't leave. It's a thing if you live there, you love it. But it's always a different opinion if you are from someplace else.

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