Talking with Scott Radinsky: Exclusive Interview

Scott Radinsky talks about his career, coaching and steroids Photo: Scott Radinsky (middle) with his band Pulley

LOS ANGELES, March 23, 2013 — This is Part II of a two part interview. Scott Radinsky, former professional baseball player for the White Sox, Dodgers, Indians, and Cardinals, talks about his playing career, coaching, cancer, hijinks, and steroids.

Kevin Wells: What is the best prank you ever witnessed, pulled or had pulled on you?


SEE RELATED: Interview: Scott Radinsky, Player, Coach, Punker


Scott Radinsky: I remember these guys used to pretend they were fish. We’d get off the bus and be pretty drunk and they’d go swimming in their suits in these hotel water fountains. There’s some good stuff. I can’t think of off the top of my head, but there’s been some funny s**t.

KW: What is the best city to play as a road team?

SR: As a road team, definitely Chicago was my favorite city. When I was playing in Chicago, my favorite city was to go to LA. And then when I was playing anywhere else, my favorite city was to go to Chicago. And Wrigley field, well, Boston was good too, but Wrigley Field was my favorite.

KW: What did you think when you got diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease?


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SR: It sucked. I was gonna have to go home and miss the season and go through these treatments. I don’t really know how to describe it. It sucks. It sucked. Plain and simple. 

KW: Did you reach out to Cleveland to be a coach or did they come knocking on your door?

SR: I kinda finished my playing there and I kinda had a relationship with Mark Shapiro and we had talked about it. He had said if I was ever interested, get in contact. When I finally got interested, we talked about some things and he kinda set me up as an instructor first. I just kinda roved around the minor leagues, got a feel for the organization and then they offered me a coaching job. So, I think it was kind of mutual.

Scott Radinsky as a coach with Cleveland/wikimedia


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KW: What were your feelings when the Cleveland Indians fired you as pitching coach last year?

SR: Well, it was the first time I had ever been fired or released or anything. So, obviously, I was kinda bummed. It was more frustrating because we were losing and our team wasn’t playing very good. I guess I felt like I got short changed a little bit. I’m never gonna say I got f****ed or screwed, but I do think that I put in bit of service there.

I coached for five years in the minor leagues and I did something right to work my way up to the bullpen and up to the big leagues. They thought something of me to promote me as the pitching coach and then all of a sudden four months into the season and all of a sudden now I’m unqualified. I don’t think it had anything to do with wins and losses. I don’t think it had anything to do with performance. I think it had to do with maybe not being accommodating to a new school-type environment of GMs and front offices.

I guess I felt like just because a guy is doing bad right now, I’m not gonna go overload him and maybe I wasn’t as hands on as they wanted. I guess I used more of my feel than I over-coached. I don’t know, it was a joke. I thought it sucked. I thought I got short changed, you know, whatever. I guess that’s all I can say about it.

I don’t hold any hard feelings or anything because I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me, but why give me an opportunity just to pull the rug out from under my feet in just a few months? I didn’t get it, you know? I didn’t really feel I should be fully personally held accountable for a team’s failure and that’s kind of the way it was handled, you know?

KW: What are you doing now, coaching-wise?

SR: Right now I’m in spring training [with the Los Angeles Dodgers] and I’m in charge of the Triple A team. I think during the season, I’m just gonna rove around and maybe do a short season team, like a two-month team when they get the new draft guys.

KW: If you were to go into the Hall of Fame, which hat would you want to wear?

SR: White Sox hat.

KW: What is your opinion of the steroid era players in regards to the Hall of Fame?

SR: Whatever, man. I had to pitch through it. I don’t know. I mean, it didn’t really affect me. I don’t know how much different my numbers would have been. I mean, those guys didn’t bother me. Like I said, most of those guys have a lot of swing and miss to their swing. So you just have to thread the needle in the right place and get ‘em out. If Pete Rose can’t be in the Hall of Fame, then why can someone who injected something illegal be in the Hall of Fame?

To read my interview with Scott Radinsky about his punk rock career, visit Wells On Music.

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

 


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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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