Talking Minor League Baseball with Bill Buckner

By Matt Noonan

BROCKTON, MA – The Brockton Rox made headlines this past offseason, as they hired former Boston Red Sox first basemen, Bill Buckner. Here is our interview with the former Sox slugger.

How does it feel to be back in the Boston area?

“Well, I’d like to see the sun come out a little bit. It’s been real difficult to workout and evaluate players. We have such a short time to get ready for the season and we haven’t been able to get on the field for a few days, so [we’re] making do, working out inside, working out on AstroTurf, just whatever we can to get ready.”

Who are some of the key veterans, players and new faces that fans will want to know before Opening Day?

“The centerfielder [Chris Valencia], first basemen [Melvin Falu], right fielder [Keith Brachold], shortstop [Dominic Ramos], guys that really contributed last year, catcher [Chris Grossman], Freddy [Flores] and Mike Smith, pitchers that had good years last years, so [I’m] counting on what they did last year and then some other guys are going to have to step up.”

The Brockton Rox lost to the Pittsfield Colonials during the first round of the 2010 CanAm League playoffs last season, will that be on the minds of all your players once the season begins?

“Well, first thing is we’ve got to get [to the] playoffs, [but], I’m just focused on what’s happening now and what’s going [to] happen Saturday, [we’ll] play an exhibition game and try to get the team together and the try to win some ballgames and get to the playoffs and go from there.”

What’s so intriguing about Minor League Baseball?

“It’s just the fans atmosphere at the ballpark, the players [are] here, they’re having fun and they’re not making a lot of money, they’re just trying to get to the next level, so it’s a lot of good things about it. They’re not spoiled, they’re just here because they love baseball.”

What was it like when you were named the Brockton Rox manager?

“It was a little strange, but it’s all good. The people here have been great. [Brockton] is a great community and the people in the front office here have been great and they’re into it [and] so am I.”

What does it mean to be a member of the Brockton Rox organization?

“I’m going to do everything I can to make them a successful organization. Minor League baseball, Independent baseball is very competitive. It’s a daily grind and getting people out to the ballpark, that’s the bottom line, we’ve got to have people at the park. [Brockton fans] like to see a good product [and] we’re going to try and put a good product out there [every night].”

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