1. We often focus on the analysis of on field performance, but how important is a player's makeup and mental approach when evaluating talent?
There are a lot of talented players in the big leagues but mental approach and makeup can be the difference between a player that we say has "potential" and a player that actually shows it on the field. Unfortunately for a lot of talent evaluators, its part of the analysis that you can't foresee until you have the player is in your system for some time. At the big league level, it is all about having a plan, whether its on the mound or at the plate. The tough part is executing that plan. As a hitter, if you go to the plate looking for a pitch in a certain zone, you have to have the discipline to lay off everything else. That's where your approach comes into play. An above average big league player is extremely consistent. They have short term memories and even when they aren't on top of there games, they are still able to help there team win in other areas. There are a lot of players who don't understand that concept. They don't have the focus it takes to go out night in and night out and play the game at a high level. You may see flashes of what they can be, but those moments are too far too in between.
2. When did you realize you actually had what it took to wear a big league uniform?
It was 1998. I was coming off of my best year in the minor leagues the year before where I split time between AA and AAA. Something just clicked that season where my approach every night was extremely consistent both offensively and defensively. I felt like my game was complete on both sides of the ball. As a minor leaguer we all look at offensive numbers, but it isn't until you have that all around game that you're ready to play in the big leagues. Defensively, I was playing at a higher level than I ever had previously. Offensively, I was doing the little things that I knew I would be called upon once I got called up. As a player, you just know when you are ready. I knew after the first month of the season
3. If you could take a blue pill that made you the most successful sports talk host in the world, would you take it (their might be a few side affects)?
I think that I would have to know the side affects first. I always want to be the best I can no matter what it is in life, but I would rather take a pill that makes me the best husband and father in the world. Talk radio is a ton of fun, but not as much as hanging with my son.
Lou Merloni is the co-host of Mut & Merloni on Sports Radio WEEI in Boston. You can keep up with Lou on Twitter (@LouMerloni).