Q. If you had a dollar for every time somebody came up to you this year and said, Hey, why are you so good this year, what do you think you could afford to buy?CHRIS TAYLOR: I don't know. I think I get it in every interview: What's the difference
Q. If you had a dollar for every time somebody came up to you this year and said, Hey, why are you so good this year, what do you think you could afford to buy?
CHRIS TAYLOR: I don't know. I think I get it in every interview: What's the difference in the success this year? And every time I've talked about my swing change. So stop asking that question, please (laughter).
Q. I'm trying to think of how to ask this without saying the word "swing change" but when you decided to make that, what was the risk involved? Could you have just gone on the way you were and tried to carve out a career as a bench guy? Was there a downside in trying something new?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, you know, it's definitely scary anytime you make a change like that. You get out of your comfort zone. It's scary. There's always the risk of -- this game has a very short leash. Those few years I struggled a little bit at the big league level, but I still played good enough to get chances and get opportunities.
All it takes is one bad year in Triple-A and those chances can go away really fast. So I'd say that's the biggest down fall is, you know, I always played well in the Minor Leagues, and all it takes is one year and those opportunities could go away.
Q. Looking at your career, it seems like when you got your wrist broken in Spring Training was kind of the other kind of turning point. Do people not factor that in when they talk about how did you -- how are you good now? Did you see that as the issue that you then had to get back the time you lost then?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Honestly, no, I don't. People have brought that up before, and a lot of people -- because I was going into Spring Training, competing for a starting job, and some people thought I had a good chance of making the team as an everyday shortstop. You know, honestly, it just -- I missed -- I barely missed any time in the regular season, and I started in Triple-A. But I got put in the same situation a month later. I think I was in Triple-A for a month.
Then I had the opportunity to be the everyday shortstop and I didn't take advantage of it, or whatever it was. I just didn't perform. So I don't think the wrist injury had any impact on that.
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Q. I think it's obvious what Justin Turner brings to your lineup, but for folks who aren't around the team a lot, I was wondering what he does for guys in the clubhouse as well and if he's been a resource for you, because he's a guy who similarly went through swing changes that kind of changed his career as well?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, absolutely. J.T.'s a great guy to talk to. Super positive. Keeps the mood light. He's the same guy, day in, day out. No matter if he's struggling or playing really well. He hasn't been struggling much this year at all. But he's just always a good guy to talk to. Very sociable guy. He just goes out there and has fun, and he's fun to play with.
Q. I know some of your starters have kind of crazy routines and may change on the mound. Rich Hill seems like he's a mild-mannered, like normal person. Then we've heard stories from teammates and a lot of people that know him that he just turns insane when he pitches. Do you have any examples or has that struck you playing behind him or being around him?
CHRIS TAYLOR: He's extremely competitive. That goes for our entire pitching staff. They're all very easy going on the days they're not starting. And on game days, it's like they flip a switch and they're different guys. I think that's why they're so successful. Rich, I'm sure everybody's seen him, he gets pretty fired up in the dugout. If he doesn't -- he's had a couple first innings where he's given up a run or two, and nothing's safe. Coolers aren't safe. The gum tray, whatever's in there, you just kind of stay out of his way.
But he does a great job of releasing that, and then he always seems to come back out there and give a quality outing.
So whatever it takes to get rid of that frustration and go out there and perform.
Q. Two-part question for you. You became the first player, I believe, in baseball history to homer as an outfielder and an infielder in the same series. I want to know, how seamlessly are you able to go from those two positions, especially in such a high-leverage situation like this series? And second part, I know you told me once getting called up with Seattle one day and then going back down the next day was kind of a low point. Do you ever have a chance to reflect on those moments and see how far you've come?
CHRIS TAYLOR: For the first question, yeah, I think the biggest thing is just getting your reps in in BP. I try to take ground balls every day, because that's something you can lose really quick. Any infielder will tell you. Like if you go a little bit without taking ground balls and then come back in the infield, it's like you haven't played there in a while. Then the outfield, I think I've learned that, just as I go, just from game reps. A lot of it is the mentality. You just have to have confidence when you're out there and act like you play there every day.
And then -- oh, yeah, I try not to reflect on the low points in my career. You know, I think it's nice to think about when you're having success and you can look back at those and think about what you've overcome, but I don't look back on it too much.
Q. When the Dodgers were in the NLCS last year, were you still in Arizona at the Stay Hot thing? Or how closely did you watch them?
CHRIS TAYLOR: I was in Arizona for Stay Hot during the Division Series, and then after the Division Series was over, they sent me home.
Q. So did you watch the games?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, I watched all the games. I was pulling for them.
Q. In Virginia?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yes, back home, Virginia Beach.
Q. One more question, the stir-ups. Why do you like wearing the stir-ups?
CHRIS TAYLOR: It's something we started, me and a few of my teammates in the Minor Leagues in the Mariners, and I just kind of carried it with me. I don't know. I like the look.