Teahen chats mechanics, confidence
Royals third baseman discusses season with fans online
Hot-hitting Royals third baseman Mark Teahen participated in an online chat with fans on Thursday. Teahen answered questions about his recent turnaround at the plate, players that have been mentors to him in the big leagues and losing teammates to trades. The 24-year-old hit .246 with 60 runs and 55 RBIs in his rookie season last year.
Mark Teahen: Hey guys, Mark here. Thanks for joining me today. Looking forward to my first online chat!
2009alcs: What did the coaching staff do to help you change your approach and pull the ball more?
Teahen: The coaching staff emphasized me using my legs more to build a strong base. That has resulted in harder contact and ultimately pulling the ball more often.
Base_Ball: What did you want to change when the team optioned you to Omaha?
Teahen: I just wanted to get comfortable with my mechanics and the bat. Most of all I wanted to work on my confidence and remember how to enjoy the game.
Base_Ball_4: I played with your dad up in Barrhead in the late 70's and early 80's. How are Mike, Marty and Matty doing? Also, any thoughts about following in your dad's footsteps and playing for Canada's National Team?
Teahen: The family is all good, healthy and well. I did get my dual citizenship so that I can try to follow in my dad's footsteps and play for the Canadian National Team. Unfortunately, it didn't happen in time for the last Olympics. I did have it in time for the World Baseball Classic, but I wanted to focus on making the Royals team out of Spring Training.
Base_Ball_3: How do all the trades at this time of year affect the mood of the clubhouse?
Teahen: It's tough losing guys that you become good friends with. But at the same time, it's exciting to see some good young players joining the organization. Hopefully they will be able to help us in the not too distant future.
Brad_Martin: Hey Mark, I was at the game on Tuesday, that was an awesome performance by you.
Teahen: Thanks! That has to be one of my highlights so far.
Base_Ball_3: How do you feel about the talk that you are borrowing time at third base until Alex Gordon hits the bigs? Has that been discussed with you?
Teahen: Actually, I'm kind of sick of answering the question. I think it's important that people realize that in order for the Royals to be good, we are both going to have to be key contributors. I also think it's important that people don't put too much pressure on Alex to make an immediate impact. He needs time to develop just like anyone, rather than putting the weight of the organization on his shoulders.
Katie_SMC: Hi Mark. To what do you attribute all of your recent success? Are there outside resources that you have at your disposal to release your frustrations?
Teahen: Is that Katie_SMC as in St. Mary's College? Anyway, I just settled in and started gaining confidence at this level. As for frustration, I try to leave it at the ballpark.
Turk_Biggin: Who was the most inspirational coach in your development as a player and what did they do for you in your pursuit to the Major Leagues?
Teahen: That would have to be my father. He's been my coach my whole life and he motivates me to be a better man. (Thanks Dad!)
Brad_Martin: You know the fans were cheering for a curtain call. Maybe next time you hit two home runs, huh?
Teahen: I refrained from doing a curtain call since it was still early in the game and the game was only tied. We still had a lot of work to do. Hopefully I'll have a lot chances for curtain calls in the future.
John_Bap: Hi Mark. Who is the craftiest lefty you've faced in the Major Leagues, comparable to Mike Byer?
Teahen: The craftiest lefty I've faced is Jamie Moyer, topping out around 82 mph, which is quite a bit more than Mike Byer offered, but comparable none the less.
Nick_Wasinger: What do you think of the renovation plan for next year?
Teahen: I'm excited to see the changes and it should make the Kauffman Stadium experience that much more exciting.
Brad_Martin: Will you be making any public appearances in the Kansas City area anytime soon?
Teahen: Nothing scheduled today, but I love getting out to meet the Royals faithful. You just missed me at Worlds of Fun the other day. Keep an eye on royals.com as they post upcoming appearances.
dougalgrl: Any talk of the Royals signing you long term?
Teahen: I hope I'm a Royal for a long time, but I'm not a free agent for another four years. Hopefully I can sign a multi-year deal like David DeJesus did this last offseason.
georgiaroyal: Mark, who would you say is the joker in the clubhouse and any particular practical jokes that you would like to share?
Teahen: Paul Bako gives everybody a hard time. But it's kind of a prerequisite to being a ball player.
kcyoungn: Any offers to be on the cover of MLB 2K7?
Teahen: Yes, the offers continue to roll in for a number of cover shoots, but I pick them carefully.
dougalgrl: Who was your favorite player and team growing up?
Teahen: I grew up watching the Anaheim Angels (now the LA Angels of Anaheim), just because they were the local team. I jumped on the Mets and Blue Jays bandwagons when they were hot. My favorite player was Mark McGwire (same name, you know and similar body type).
cstilwell: What type of music do you like to listen to the most, and who are some of your favorite musicians?
Teahen: I grew up listening to punk music, but as I mellow with age, I've started to embrace James Taylor, Jack Johnson, Matt Costa (no relation to Shane Costa).
dc43: Are there any particular Kansas City players who have been mentors for you? What players are the strongest leaders in the clubhouse?
Teahen: Joe McEwing was one of my favorite players and mentors last year. He really helped me get through my rookie year, as well as Tony Graffanino. This year I've learned a lot from Grud (Mark Grudzielanek), Reggie Sanders and of course Mike Sweeney.
ba2929: What goes through your head when you're facing a closer that throws high 90's?
Teahen: See it and hit it!
Base_Ball: How much credit do you take for the Royals' improved play over the last couple months? Seems to me, you're return from Triple-A and David DeJesus from injury have been the two biggest reasons for the turnaround. Your thoughts?
Teahen: I think getting Dave and I back did solidify the lineup and seemed to jump start us offensively. But I also give a lot of credit to the pitchers and the new additions, to keeping us in games.
jimc2871: Now that other teams appear to be respecting you more in the batter's box, what do you think when a pitcher intentially walks you?
Teahen: I think that pitch looked outside.
rcfan: Is Shane Costa as tough as he looks?
Teahen: Absolutely. I hang out with him, I don't have to worry about him.
batterupkc: Have you ever charged the mound?
Teahen: Not yet, but don't count me out!
georgiaroyal: Any particular item that you have learned from having a former third baseman as your manager?
Teahen: Buddy (Bell) offers me a plethora of information on playing third base, from positioning to game strategy. He's been a big help.
cubbiesrock4life: Do you want to be a coach/manager someday?
Teahen: Maybe in like 20 years. I have plenty of playing left to do.
Teahen: Well guys, thanks for stopping by today. It was a lot of fun. I've got to get to the clubhouse and get ready for tonight's game against the Orioles. See you next time!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.