xml:space="preserve">
Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy fields a ball duringa baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Baltimore, Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy fields a ball duringa baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Baltimore, Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) (Patrick Semansky, Carroll County Times)

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy recently spoke to Times Staff Writer Brian Haines about his power, the return of Brian Roberts and playing in the AL East, among other topics.

Question:

Advertisement

Has it been easier to find your offensive rhythm this year because you weren't dealing with an early-season injury?

J.J. Hardy:

No, not really. The injury definitely sucked but last year when I came back from the injury I got off to a hot start and I felt like I kept it going the last five months of the season. This year I've been up and down. Got off to a really slow start then had a decent May and been struggling lately.

Q:

Was it surprising that the power was coming early in the season even though you were having problems making good contact?

JH:

Surprising, maybe a little bit considering I didn't feel like my swing was very good but I was still running into a few balls. I'd say it was a little surprising.

Q:

How is it with Brian Roberts back as your double play partner after playing with Robert Andino all year? Any adjustments?

JH:

Not really. I always say that he is so good out there at second base that it's not really that big a deal. I think there will be a little bit of adjustment. Me and 'Dino were getting pretty close out there, but like I said Brian is so good that it won't be too hard.

Q:

After playing the early part of your career in northern cities - Milwaukee and Minnesota - what was the biggest difference when you got to Baltimore last season?

JH:

Advertisement

Just being in the AL East. Facing the Yankees, Red Sox, Tampa, Blue Jays all of these guys a lot more. The weather was different. In Milwaukee we had the roof, here it's really hot in the summer time. Those were probably the two biggest things.

Q:

What has been the difference in the team this season opposed to last year?

JH:

It's our pitching. Our pitching us been able to keep us in ballgames even when we aren't struggling. We've been able to come back late in quite a few ballgames this year.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement