Monday, December 26, 2011

Brendan Monaghan Interview

Brendan Monaghan signed with the Baltimore Orioles organization as a UDFA (undrafted free agent) in 2007 after a senior season at St. Johns University (NY) where he hit .354 with 34 RBI's in 54 Games and was named to the Big East Conference All-Star team.

Monaghan a native of Wayne Hills, NJ played three season in the Orioles organization hitting .235 with 6 home runs, and 68 RBI's.

On April 22, 2010 Monaghan signed with the Long Island Ducks. In 2010, he hit .291 with 2 home runs and 24 RBI's in 72 games. Monaghan was named to the Liberty Division All-Star team that season.

Monaghan retired from baseball in 2011, and became an Assistant Coach at his Alma-mater St. John's University.

CM: How did you get signed by Baltimore in 2007?

BM: I finished my senior year at St. John's with hopes of getting drafted but it didn't happen. About a week after the draft a scout with the Orioles called me and said they needed a catcher for their rookie team in WV. Offered me the spot if I wanted it, told me to talk to my family and let him know....I called him back in about 30 seconds with my decision.

CM: What was your time like in Bluefield and Delmarva?

BM: Bluefield was a bit of a reality check. It was as small town as it gets and growing up in the NJ/NY area it was a major adjustment. But that's one of the best parts about minor league baseball is experiencing places you wouldn't normally go to and being with people from all across the world dealing with the same situation. We didn't have huge crowds but the fans were all regulars at the games and they were very loyal. It took some getting adjusted to the minor league way of life, but after a few weeks I settled in.

Delmarva was an awesome place to play, it felt more like home to me. The atmosphere was great and the fans packed it in on a regular basis. Those fans made the players feel like we were part of a family. I got to play with and against some big time players, many of whom are now in the big leagues.

CM: How did you become a Duck?

BM: I needed a change from the Orioles so I made the decision to move on an explore other options. I was home in NJ for about 2 weeks after spring training and called former duck Joe Esposito who I played against in college and with the Orioles because we both left the Orioles at the same time. He said he just signed on with the Ducks and that they were looking for a catcher. He recommended me to manager Dave LaPoint and when Pointer called me I took the offer.

CM: Who was your favorite duck teammate?

BM: The Ducks team I was one, for myself, was the closest team I was part of in professional ball and rivaled any team i had in college. To pick one is tough but if I had to I would say Matt Esquivel. He's the kind of player every team needs. He has an incredible ability to lead a team with a loose presence in the clubhouse, but when it came time to play, nobody I've played with plays the game harder or with more passion. I learned a lot watching him play and would be in awe with some of the things he could do on the field.

CM: What did you think of Ducks fans?

BM: Ducks fans are second to none, I don't care what sport, what level, or what team. The fans create an atmosphere where you cannot wait for game time so that you can surround yourself with them. They show up early, stay late, and personally made me feel like I was a big league star. I can definitely say playing in front of those fans allowed me to play the way i did in 2010. I never really had a chance to thank the fans for my experience so I'll do it now, thank you Duck fans!!

CM: If you could play catch w one person dead or alive who would it be? Favorite athlete?

BM: Derek Jeter would be my answer for both. I grew up watching him play. The guy has always gotten it done and would love to pick his brain.

CM: Why did you retire from baseball?

Retiring from baseball was a decision I battled with for a few months. Nobody who played baseball as long as I had can just walk away from the game easily but I had to make a personal decision and decide where my career was heading and what my future would bring. I got offered a chance to be a college coach, which has been a goal of mine, and really couldn't pass on the opportunity. I'm very appreciative of the opportunity the Ducks organization gave me.

CM: What does it mean to be a coach especially at Alma-mater St. John's?

BM: Getting a chance to coach at St. John's is incredible, I'm back home. It was weird at first being back and on the other side as a coach not a player but I feel like there is no better program in the Northeast. To be able to say I coach there and to help continue to elevate our program to a nationally recognized program is a great challenge this early in my coaching career.

CM: What is like coaching against former teammate and good buddy Jamie Quinn (Long Island University)?

I bet Jamie managed to get this question in here. Jamie and I are the closest of friends. He was my closest teammate when I played with the Ducks and we are still close. We talk nearly everyday, about baseball or day to day things. It's awesome being able to coach against him. He is a tremendous young coach who already has incredible experience and his future as a catching coach and head coach is as bright as anyone. I have to give him and his team credit, they got the best of us in last years meeting. Personally, I have this years game circled because I still hear it from him on a regular basis, so I need to get some bragging rights back on him.

(Photo credit: Photo on card by hippiechickphotography)

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