Kevin Mench

 

May 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Michael Young (10) scores against the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning at AT

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with former Texas Ranger and former fan favorite Kevin Mench, who as many of you know still lives in the Dallas area. He still does a lot of charity work with the Texas Rangers Legacy Foundation and is still around this team. He was nice enough, between softball games no less, to give me a few minutes of his time. This is just a part of the conversation that Mench and I had, you can hear the full conversation here on the Hague Sports Podcast, a weekly sports podcast of which I am the co-host. We talked about steroids in baseball, booing players, Michael Young and Charity work. Hope you enjoy the interview.

Me – “You don’t watch a lot of baseball, I know you’ve been on record saying that, but are you surprised that people are still trying to get away with using steroids in 2013?”

Mench – “Yeah, I mean, as long as people have the money, they’re always going to find a way to hide it. So, it’s just always going to be there. It’s just a matter of, I mean can you get IOC involved in the doping process and how they go through all that, but then you’re going to start banning almost everything. It’s rampant; it’s just a matter of finding all the guys that can catch it, it’s going to cost money and the players, I mean the Union’s not going to agree to it.”

Me – “I know you played with Alex Rodriguez, and he’s been accused several times (of using steroids) and admitted to it once, why do you think people around the country and especially in the DFW area hate him so much?”

Mench – “Personal opinion? I mean it’s every fan’s right to hate someone, you know, if people don’t do what you expect of them, I mean I do it as a fan of other sports, but at the same time I see both sides of it so I don’t get involved with it as much. Like I said, I owe basically everything I have to Alex and the other guys that were here when I was here, Palermo, Pudge, those guys looked out for me, showed me the way, how to play baseball, how to handle myself, carry myself, I have nothing but respect for those guys, it’s unfortunate what’s happened to them, but they’re still going to be the same guys no matter what they get accused of or anything else.”

Me – “I don’t know if you heard it or saw it, but I was surprised at the amount of booing that came down on Josh Hamilton when he came back to Texas for the first time.”

Mench – “Well it’s just, just how fans can be. They don’t understand the business side of it. Josh had to do what was best for his family and himself, but again I can see both sides of it, I understand why they are mad, I mean he bolted for the money and for the change of scenery, but it’s one of those things that they (the fans) pay the money so they get to say whatever they want, you know it’s kind of like their freedom of speech.”

Me – “Have you been around this team, the Ranger team much this year?”

Mench – “No, I have not been down there, I have not been around, I was there opening day but I didn’t get to see any of the guys, I saw some of the coaches and stuff but I haven’t gotten to see any of the guys. I will go down there though”

Me – “Okay, I was wondering if you had an impression of the team yet but if you haven’t spent a lot of time with them you probably don’t.”

Mench – “Well most of the guys, it’s mostly the same group of guys, I mean the younger guys have been here. I was talking; I was doing some radio earlier today, I mean this team just needs to find themselves. They lost what, over seventy home-runs I think between Napoli, Josh and Mikey, they just need to find themselves. I know last year the team that was in April the fans expected in September and October and that’s just not how it is. It’s a marathon, and you know the old adage, it’s no how you start its how you finish. So as long as they can just keep finding themselves and keep improving and stay in the hunt, they’ve got a lot of potential. They’re not going to score 15 or 20 runs a night, but they are going to play that National League style of baseball which is fine by me, I grew up around it, watching it, so it’s a matter of the fans getting adjusted to it.”

Me – “How do you feel, I know a lot of fans are okay with it, a lot are sad, I’m one I’ve been around for a long time and I was sad to see him go, but what’s it like for you seeing Michael Young in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform?”

Mench – “I’ve always been a Phillies fan, you know, I’m happy for Mikey, Mikey did everything he could when he was here. I’ve known Mikey since he got traded here in what, 2000? So it’s one of those things where they told him, Mikey will never play second base in the big leagues, and he proved it. Mikey you have to play short, can he do it? Yeah, he won a gold glove I think, didn’t he? At shortstop or second? And then (they told him to) go play third. So, you know it’s one of those things. Everyone takes their digs at Mikey but he’s done everything that’s asked of him and he kept his mouth shut, so he probably just needed a change of scenery after everything that went on here between him and the front office. Maybe it was just better for them to part ways and for him to move on.”

Me – “I think he will probably go down as one of the greatest Rangers of all time. I have never met him personally but he seems like a class act both as a human being and as a baseball player.”

Mench – “He’s just a quiet guy, he leads by example, he’s not going to get in your face. That was a good thing when we were all coming up, myself, Teixeria, Hank, Mikey, Lance was there we had Dellucci there, we all came through the organization together and understand each other, so it wasn’t one of those situations where, if we needed to get in one another’s faces we could, but at the same time we knew how to push each other and how to have fun with it. It is one of those things that when your time runs out, it is just time to part ways.”

Me – “Are you still working with Hits 400?”

Mench – “Yes I am. We’ve been open a year now, so we’ve been busy with that. I have also been busy with the Rangers, with their Legacy program, which, once the season starts we start getting a lot more involved with the community with camps, personal appearances, hanging out with different people, and with different corporations at the ballpark and everything else, I’m just trying to stay as busy as I can and help everybody out as best as I can.”

 

Topics: Hits 400, Josh Hamilton, Kevin Mench, Michael Young, Papa Johns, Player Interview, Rangers Foundation, Texas Rangers

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