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Orioles Q&A: Patton part of Birds' bullpen boon

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Troy Patton spoke with Times staff writer Pat Stoetzer recently about killing time in the bullpen, his favorite player growing up, and his future in social media.

QUESTION:

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When it's time for the bullpen to contribute during a game, is the overall feeling that you guys are going to get the win?

TROY PATTON:

Yeah, I feel like we have a lot of good unity going. It's a testament to the team that we're in all these ballgames to have a chance to win them late. The starters, for whatever the naysayers might say, are in a lot of ballgames late in the game and have a chance to win, so the offense is doing their job in producing some late runs. And we've been lucky enough to hold them in a lot of good situations so far.

Q:

What's the best way to kill some time in the early stages of a ballgame when you're out in the bullpen?

TP:

Actually we end up talking a lot about baseball. People would be surprised how much we talk about what's going on in the game, the strike zone that the umpire has at that point, hitters that we've faced before that could help out later in the game. And there's also some shenanigans. We've been known to put a cup out in front of us and throw [seeds] and things.

Q:

Who's the best at that game?

TP:

[Luis] Ayala. We call him El Brujo, the witch doctor, because he's good at the other little things not baseball related.

Q:

Who was your favorite player as a child?

TP:

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Being from Houston, Nolan Ryan, and then Roger Clemens after that. But Nolan Ryan, as a kid, was who I idolized. I wish I could throw even as close to as hard as he threw. He made it look easy. He could throw what I do right now, I bet.

Q:

Ever get a chance to meet the Ryan Express?

TP:

When I was with the Astros, he was a special assistant at the time before he took over the president's job. It was awesome. We had a preseason minicamp with the young guys, and him and Clemens were both there. We had a formal meeting with each of them around a roundtable, and we just got to bounce things off of them. Really, really awesome to get to do that.

Q:

Who's one current player you'd buy a ticket to go see?

TP:

Even though we just played against them, I have a lot of respect for Cliff Lee. We were lucky enough to beat him. I just love the way he repeats the mechanics. He throws similar stuff that I do, but he just dominates with it. He's having a tough year this year in terms of wins and losses, but he's giving his team a chance to win and I think he's an admirable pitcher to watch.

Q:

Any chance we'll see you succumb to the world of Twitter any time soon?

TP:

I'm holding out right now. I just do Facebook and if I want to get something out there I have a lot of friends on [Twitter] so I can just get it out to them. I would do it if I had enough fans to cater to, but I don't think I have enough fans to cater to yet.

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