Saturday, June 13, 2009

Steve Lyons, on The End

Eric Collins and Steve Lyons on last night's telecast, after detailing Travis Schlichting's long road to the majors:

Collins: When your career came to an end, did you know it was over or did you try to bang around for a little bit and play independent baseball and do anything you could to try and get back up?

Lyons: I didn't play independent baseball but I certainly continued to try to play. I was kind of begging for anyone just to give me a Triple-A contract and an invite to spring training, and everybody said no.

It's not a fun day in your career, when it's all over. It's a tough thing to give up. It's kind of fun playing this game.

Collins: David Murphy swings and misses that pitch. One and one.

Lyons: After you play for a while — I played thirteen years of pro ball and nine years in the big leagues and certainly you love to play, but the even bigger emotion is the fear of "What do I do now?" when you're done. Kids, house payments, 34 years old, no education. Now what?

Collins: Did you know when you were done, or did you have to be told that you didn't have the skills you used to have?

Lyons: I had to be told. I knew the day that my skills started to erode.

I think I've told this story a few times: I was playing in Triple-A. I was 33 years old and we were in batting practice and there was a ball hit, and I was standing out in the outfield and I ran to catch it and I knew I was going to catch it, and when I got there I was a step short.

And that was the day that I knew my skills were starting to fade. Because in my mind I still knew I was going to catch the ball, but my body didn't get me there anymore.

I figured I could fool them for a few more, and I was out of the game by the next year.

And you stop and think and you're like, "Man I was supposed to catch that ball. I always catch that ball." Didn't get there.

And that was just in batting practice!

Collins: Two balls and two strikes. Cruz on at first.

Lyons: You're trying to make me cry, aren't you?

And Steve Lyons, on the beginning: Remembering the draft of 1981... (Psychollingy)