|photo courtesy of TribeVibe blog|
|photo cropped from a video on Indians.com|
"it's a great honor, it really is. when i sit back and kind of reflect on the season, from the coaching staff, teammates, to the trainers, to my family's support, just everybody that helped me get through the season, and the fun season we had together... to be recognized for these awards, it's a blessing and an honor."
on how his offense improved this year: "one of the biggest things was that i changed my mental approach. i came into the season ready to drive the ball. i wasn't up there just trying to walk or work counts. i was really trying to get a fastball early and put a good swing on it. in the past, i never tried to do that before really. i used to try to work counts, get on base, make sure i was getting the perfect pitch. i hit more like a leadoff hitter. this year, i wanted to be more aggressive. i wanted, i figured, maybe there's a good first pitch fastball to hit early. i was ready to swing and try to put a good swing on the ball.
with the adjustments of growing up in the major leagues and having more time under my belt, it made it easier to relax and trust my skills and make sure that, i could swing at a bad pitch every now and then, but if i got a good pitch early on, just put a good swing on it."
because that worked out so well, he has no plans to change his offseason routine. "i really pride myself on just kind of working hard in the offseason. i've been kind of doing the same routine for the last couple years. i'm just making sure i stay consistent. i think it's consistency and your workout routines and eating right and making sure that you come in healthy to spring training and ready to play. i'm not a position player that feels like i take spring training to get ready. i want to come into spring training ready to play, so that, you know, once the first game, i'm acclimated and i'm ready to go."
on fellow Silver Slugger winner, Yan Gomes: "it's very exciting, because you see all the hard work that he puts in each and every day. he's a great teammate. he's one of the leaders on our team. he's in the cage with me side by side. he works hard each and every day. as a catcher, it's not easy to catch as many games as he does. to be his teammate and to watch how hard he worked this year, like i said before, i couldn't be more happy for one of my teammates. he deserves it."
what does his father, Mickey, think of all his nominations and his 2014 season? "we were just talking the other day. after kind of a couple awards came out and i was nominated for a couple things, i looked at him and i said, 'hey, pops. i had a pretty good season, huh?' he just laughed at me. he said, 'son, you had a great season.'"
"i've never been that player that is really stat driven. i care about wins and losses and i care about my teammates. that's what comes first and foremost for me. my goal, just like every other year, as soon as i step into spring training, is to get to the postseason and win the World Series. that's a group effort, and we all know that in the locker room. that's #1 on my list."
Michael's full interviews can be found here and here.