Here are some excerpts from an interview that Sun baseball writer Dan Connolly conducted with new O's infielder Ty Wigginton earlier today. Wigginton was speaking by telephone from his home in North Carolina:
"A lot of reasons. For one, when I was in Tampa, I enjoyed playing in the AL East. I believe it is the toughest division in baseball, you have to compete on a daily basis in that division. And that's a lot of fun."
What position do you like playing the most?
"I would say second base. I played second base all throughout the minor leagues. My first start (in the big leagues) came as a second baseman. I really enjoy second base. But it really doesn't matter where I play on the field. Basically, it is just getting in the lineup and getting to compete."
Are you concerned about getting consistent at-bats without a regular position?
"That's not really something I have worried about. A player goes out there and does what they are capable of and everything works out for the best. I believe if I play the way I feel I should play, I'll be out there somewhere. I'll go out and play the game and let everything take care of itself."
Were you worried about the slow-moving free agent market?
"I was a free agent one other time, in 05, when Pittsburgh non-tendered me. That was when the date was late in December and in two weeks I had a job (with Tampa). This was a little different. At the same time, any show you watched they would talk about all the free agents that were available, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Orlando Hudson, (Ben) Sheets. And you know all those guys will get jobs. There were a lot of us that can help their future clubs."
What do you know about Dave Trembley and his style?
"I don't know a lot. I know he has that old-school baseball mentality … I spoke with him on the phone last week and he seems like a real high-energy guy and wants his guys to play right."
Are you aware of the Orioles' recent moves and their desire for hard-nosed, gritty players?
"I've gotten to play with (Ryan) Freel in the Arizona Fall League and against (Gregg) Zaunie and pretty much every one on that team (the Orioles). And you've got to respect guys who play the game right. A lot of guys over there have respect for the game, just the way they play the game of baseball."
What can fans expect from you?
"I'm not the kind of guy that sets goals on the season, to hit .300 or have 20 home runs. My goal is to step on the field and respect the game of baseball and all those numbers will take care of themselves. I'll try my best, play through any bumps and bruises I may have and I'll give it my all."
Associated Press photo