The interview posted below took place on January 12. For reference sake, the questions, marked in bold, are said by myself. The responses, not marked in bold, are those of Bill Bray.
I, along with the rest of the staff here at BlogRedMachine, thank Bill for taking the time out of his busy rehab schedule to sit down and chat with us for a little bit. We look forward to hopefully his imminent return to the Big Leagues and wish him the best in his future success, no matter where it lies.
You were a member of the Reds for a handful of years, do you still keep up with the club and the guys on the team?
Oh yeah, absolutely. Even when you’re not with the team anymore, you still have relationships with your teammates and the friends you have in the organization. I still talk to people in the organization, I still see people when I go back in town, and it’s always great to see my teammates. I still root for and cheer for them.
Have Major League clubs contacted you about potential offers?
No. I tore my labrum and my rotator cuff last May, I had surgery in June, and then, I really just didn’t want to go to a Minor League rehab facility and train for five months. So, what I’m doing, is I’m going to school. I’m enrolled at William & Mary, I’m going to take a semester of classes, work out here, throw here, and then once, by the time I’m ready to be competitive in games, I will have just finished exams. Once I’m fully ready to go, I’ll call a few teams and attempt to come back at that point. I’m expecting it to go very well, but, if for some reason my shoulder doesn’t bounce back the way I want it to, or I’m just not the pitcher I was before, then I’ll just stay in school and continue on to something else.
How do you feel about the entire PED scandal swooping across the game?
Well, to be honest, I feel that our system works. It’s a shame that guys feel the need to cheat. At the same, I’m very pleased that our system is catching guys. No matter how strenuous the testing, the cheaters are always going to be one-step ahead. The best we can do is to deter them to not cheat, and then, when we catch them, punish them under the system we have. I’m thrilled that the systems working, but I’m very disappointed to see the guys that have cheated.
Do you enjoy being a left-handed specialist, or would you rather get a full inning or two?
As of right now, I would take any job in the Major Leagues. I wanted to be that one inning guy. To be that late-inning guy in the back of the bullpen, but at the same time, I took a lot of pride in being that guy that came in to face some of the best hitters in baseball with men on base. There’s positive and negatives to both, but I saw no reason why I couldn’t pitch to right-handed batters; my numbers against righties were pretty solid.
To you, which is cooler: Seeing yourself on a baseball card, or being able to play as yourself in a video game?
For me, a baseball card. I’m not a video game player. I’ve been collecting for years, so having my own baseball card, one of the coolest things ever.
Another option question: Would you rather have Aroldis Chapman’s fastball, or Greg Maddux’s pinpoint control?
Greg Maddux’s pinpoint control. I’ve seen guys turn around 103.
Finally, what do yourself doing in life after baseball?
You know, hopefully, that’s working for the Players’ Association. Maybe potentially working for MLB, internationally even, growing the game. Possibly even an agent. I definitely see myself involved in the game in some way on the business side.