TigsTown: As a Tulane Alum, do you miss New Orleans?
Tony Giarratano: Oh my God, I miss New Orleans. I went back there last off season and took classes. I always go there – I love it. It’s a 1st home for me. Everything you want to do is there. The food is good, I like to go out to eat so there’s a billion places there. It’s like my own home.
TT: How are you feeling about your progress this season?
TG: Still not that good. I feel I haven’t shown much of what I can do yet this year, season and still hopefully I’ll turn around and play like I like to play.
TT: How would you like to play?
TG: A lot better than this. I can do a lot better things than I’m doing right now. Basically it’s just a matter of getting more confident and being comfortable at the plate and switch it around and work hard.
TT: How important is your confidence?
TG: It’s one of the top things. You could be doing so well and you don’t even think about anything, then you’re struggling and try to think about certain things to help you out.
TT: What do you do when you’re struggling?
TG: Once I leave the field, I try to think back on my successes. What you’ve done well in the past and try to correct small things to help you get out of it like work in the cage or talk to people. It’s better to talk to people then keep all your stuff in.
TT: What advice do you get?
TG: My dad basically taught me everything I knew growing up and would practice with me and work with me. I talk to him a lot. He helps me. He knows how I can play. He knows my swing or knows advice to give me so it’s been huge to have him. He’s been to a lot of home games here with my mom and he sees some things that can help me get through it. We talk about it and it helps.
TT: What was your reaction to when you first got drafted?
TG: I was shocked because you talk to a lot of the teams before you get drafted and Detroit – I talked to like twice. I talked to a handful of other teams that were really interested and it was kind of like a shock that Detroit picked me because I really wasn’t expecting it.
TT: Could you tell us about when Detroit called you up to play this year?
TG: It was crazy. I was eating lunch with my parents and I got the call and it was like an hour and a half before the flight I had to catch. I was packing frantically and then I got on the plane and got to Detroit at like 5, 5:30 for a 7pm game and I was starting so I didn’t really have time to think about anything, nervous or anything.
TT: What was a highlight of your time up there?
TG: I was running on pure adrenaline out there and hit a homerun in Dodgers Stadium. The fans threw the ball back because they were pissed so right when the ball rolled back in, the dugout went up to make sure I got the ball. It was awesome!
TT: Was it everything you expected?
TG: Everything you can think of in this game that sounds ridiculous is reality there. The travel, the hotels – everything – it’s a different lifestyle. The stadiums, you’re playing against guys you watched on TV so it’s just like living a dream basically. Now you’re competing against them and for someone my age, it’s like a dream basically. I knew I was coming back down, I was just trying to stay up there as long as I could.
TT: So what did you think of the ride?
TG: [Being in the majors] gives you a vision in your head of what everything is like up there. It’s unbelievable. That’s where all these guys want to play ever since you were a little kid and it gives you a taste like – I can play there. I’ve got to take care of my business down here and hopefully get back up there.