Mike Cervenak

March 11, 2007|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,Sun Reporter

Mike Cervenak, a corner infielder mostly used at third base, signed with the Orioles as a minor league free agent Jan. 5 and received an invitation to spring training. The University of Michigan graduate played 40 games with the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization last season before re-signing with the San Francisco Giants. He's never played in the majors.

Did you enjoy playing in Korea? -- It was a good experience living over there. I really enjoyed being immersed in a different culture. It was fun. In that respect, it was something really worth my while.

How does a guy adapt to playing in Korea, Fresno and Venezuela in one year? -- I'd been to Venezuela before and I really enjoy playing in that atmosphere, so it wasn't really that big of an adaptation for me. The biggest change was coming back from Korea to the United States, just because of all the conveniences that I had grown accustomed to before, I had back. In Korea, I'd go out for food, anything I did was kind of like a big adventure for me. Just settling back to an Americanized style of life was a big adjustment for me.

How does a guy drive in 103 runs in 2005 and not get called up? -- I get that question posed to me a little bit. It's my job to go out on the field and make people consider calling me up to the big leagues. Before, I'd start getting worried and wrapped up in how I'm not getting called up. That stuff will drive you crazy. What I can control is on the field. Off the field, what people decide to do in the front office, I have no control over. It's just my job to make them consider me.

How much do you hate Ohio State? -- When you experience it, what my family experienced going down there, it's really bred in you, especially when you actually experience the rivalry firsthand, and things that are said about your mom and your parents. That kind of perpetuates it. I wouldn't use "hate," but you want to beat them every time out.

What will you do with your degree in movement science? -- That was actually because I wanted to go to physical therapy school for a master's and that was the undergraduate degree to do that. So that's what I was on track to do. And then the pro baseball thing came up, and PT went on hold a little bit. A couple offseasons I actually worked as a physical therapist aide when I first started playing.

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