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January 27, 2012

Talkin' Baseball with Michael Schlact

If you’re not hip to Michael Schlact…you’re missing out.

Whether it’s going back and forth with his followers (nearly 11,000 of them!) or live tweeting an ill-fated bus trip…the former Texas Rangers farmhand is no stranger to social media. Recently, the righty was even named Baseball Digest’s top Minor League player to follow onTwitter.

But it was this past Tuesday that Schlact took Twitter to a whole new level and tweeted to his nearly 11,000 followers where he’ll be playing this upcoming season.

If you missed it, I've signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic League. So excited and grateful for the opportunity!

HOVG: Michael, first off…congratulations on re-signing with the Blue Crabs. Was returning to Southern Maryland an easy decision for you?

SCHLACT: Absolutely. It's a great place to live, a beautiful stadium, an awesome coaching staff and team, plus the league has such high caliber competition!

HOVG: You’re heading into your ninth season in baseball. What’s the plan going into this year and where do you see yourself a year from now?

SCHLACT: My mission in 2012 is to show everyone that I'm healthy. Yes, a shoulder surgery for a pitcher is a definite negative, but with hard work and taking care of your arm, it is possible to return to full health or stronger! I set statistical goals for myself each year. I hit those marks last year and I plan to up the ante this year for myself.

HOVG: What’s the atmosphere like there in Waldorf? I’ve gotta think playing for an owner like Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson has some advantages.

SCHLACT: The Blue Crabs really take care of us. Regency Furniture Stadium is beautiful, and the fan base there is phenomenal. We can always count on the fans to have our back at home or on the road! The city is close to Washington DCso there's plenty to do!

HOVG: I mentioned the infamous road trip live tweet from this past June earlier. Now, I know I wrote about it here at The Hall, but were you surprised to see it pop up over at The Washington Post’s website?

SCHLACT: Haha! Yes, that story got around. I was surprised to see how popular a broken down charter bus could be. Playing Minor League Baseball definitely has interesting stories that go along with it, but that one takes the cake for me.

HOVG: Do you have any lasting memories from that night? Was there any fallout?

SCHLACT: To be honest, it was amazing to see a group of guys stay upbeat and positive in a situation that was less than appealing. We made the best of the situation. If you're referring to fallout from the story being published, no. It showed that even in a bad situation, we could be positive and make the best of it. I think it was a more noticeable story because at the time, three or four other teammates were tweeting about it too. There's a right way to go about tweeting things like that, and I feel like we all did a good job of keeping it entertaining and honest.

HOVG: Lastly, Southern Maryland is also the baseball home to Josh Caray. I had the opportunity
to catch up with Josh this past season and we talked about his legendary family. Has anyone on the team taken advantage of situation and attempted a Harry Caray impersonation around Josh or is it something that just isn’t approached?

SCHLACT: Oh trust me, it's approached. Just ask him. I probably did it more than anyone. He has a sense of humor, and everything was in good fun. But, in all seriousness, Harry was one of the most legendary announcers in history. Josh takes that very seriously but also knows that he'll get his fair share of impersonators...especially thanks to Will Ferrell on SNL.

This past season, Schlact was 6-4 with a 4.61 ERA with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. The best way to reach to him is
via Twitter. He is also on Facebook and maintains his own blog.

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