01/06/09 7:34 PM EST
Teahen enjoys chance to chat
Versatile Royals outfielder talks fashion, charity and role
By / MLB.com
kaisermark: Who's the toughest pitcher you've faced in the Majors and why was he so tough?
Teahen: The toughest pitcher I've faced is CC Sabathia because he is a huge lefty who throws inside and has a tough slider.
dennyfan: Hey, Mark -- Happy New Year! Heard you on the radio the other morning promoting your upcoming fashion show on Friday. Can you share any more details about the event?
Teahen: The fashion show is this Friday to benefit Challenger Sports, helping children with special needs. It will be the chance of the winter to see a few Royals players. There are still tickets available on www.challengeyourfashion.com. The event starts at 6 p.m. [CT] on Jan. 9 at the Kansas City Convention Center.
arbrown24: What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Teahen: Just to settle in at whatever position or positions the team needs me to, to continue to improve my consistency with my offensive production.
boomer84: How tough is it to play third base one day and outfield the next?
Teahen: It's tough at times because I have to work on different positions on different days and I'm always fine tuning one or the other. All in all, though, it is fun to play a couple of positions.
royals1414: Besides Kauffman, what is your favorite stadium to play in?
Teahen: Definitely Fenway Park because of the history and the atmosphere. It seems as if every fan is into every pitch.
Thanatos: What was your reaction to the trade rumors about you and the Cubs?
Teahen: I wasn't shocked, but at the same time I'm happy being a Royal. I guess it is good to know other teams have interest, but ultimately I'm here to help the Royals make the playoffs.
dnjhill: Do you like living in Kansas City? If so, what do you like the most about KC?
Teahen: I do like living in KC, and I like the fact that it is a big city that has a hometown feel. Also, people are passionate about their sports.
kaisermark: What is your favorite barbeque in KC?
Teahen: I try to enjoy them all ... Arthur Bryant's, Gates, LC's and Oklahoma Joe's, to name a few.
scout01: What are you doing this offseason to stay in shape and get ready for the 2009 season?
Teahen: I am doing standard weightlifting, agility work and cardio. I'm trying to get as healthy and strong as possible to start the new season. I'm mixing in some yoga to increase my flexibility as well.
kilsey: Do you play fantasy baseball? And if so, do you try to draft/acquire yourself for that team?
Teahen: I don't play fantasy baseball anymore. I used to in high school, but I think there may be a rule against Major League players participating -- but I'm sure my team would be loaded with Royals if I did play.
labsorhors: What is your typical schedule for an evening game?
Teahen: I usually get to the field around 2 p.m. and then get something to eat, a possible workout in. Unfortunately, a lot of days I go to the training room after that to make sure I'm ready for the game and then head out for batting practice. I try to relax a little before the game and then go play.
kaisermark: What did you like best about your time at St. Mary's College? Why did you choose to go there?
Teahen: I chose to go there because it was a small school, but it was Division I and the campus is beautiful. My favorite thing about the school was becoming a part of the school there and all of the people affiliated with it.
dougkc: Do you play any other sports recreationally?
Teahen: I'm not really allowed to play any other sports recreationally, but with my friends/brothers I try to dabble in as many as I can.
royalfyre: How many inside-the-park home runs do you plan on hitting this season?
Teahen: At least 3 or 4. I've been working on my speed.
Thanatos: Which historical player do you want to play like the most?
Teahen: I would say George Brett and Craig Biggio. Someone who is not afraid to get dirty when they play.
lbp2: Mark, I'm going to be in Phoenix for a few games in March. I need a couple of recommendations for can't-miss restaurants and golf courses.
Teahen: If you are out in the west side of Phoenix, I would recommend the steakhouse at the Wigwam Resort and its gold course for golf. If you are more towards Scottsdale, Don and Charlie's is a great restaurant with a lot of memorabilia and any Troon course.
arbrown24: What is your most memorable baseball game/moment?
Teahen: It would have to be my first game in the big leagues on Opening Day vs. Detroit in 2005. I went 0-for-3 with an error, but my family was all there to watch me at my first big league game and it was great.
bex311: Will we be seeing more of the Mark Teahen Show on the Royals Insider this season?
Teahen: Yes, I believe we will, and hopefully all the new players have some personality.
Thanatos: What charity do you generally work with and why?
Teahen: Challenger Sports is the one I most closely work with through the YMCA. I've been a part of the program for about three years now. It's my charity of choice because I've been involved in seeing how much pleasure these kids get from simply being allowed the opportunity to play all the games while we were growing up. Please visit www.challengeyourfashion.com for more information on both the program and the event.
labsorhors: Have you seen John Buck this offseason? I am wondering if his hair has grown completely back in.
Teahen: Yes, and his hair has grown back even more than before. He is sure to defend his title as best hair in the big leagues.
BigChrs2009: Do you watch Chiefs football or any other sport during the offseason?
Teahen: I do watch Chiefs football and watch them when I can. My true passion, though, is Arizona Cardinals football. I go to every game I can, and I was there last Saturday when they won their first playoff game, waving my towel with all the other fans.
labsorhors: Other than Billy Butler, who is the worst dresser on the team? Other than you, who is the best dresser?
Teahen: Everybody puts quite a bit of effort in, but Ryan Shealy could use quite a bit of work so he is coming to the fashion show on Friday. I'm not sure I could be in the best dressed category, so I'd have to give David DeJesus that title.
dgambill: Who are you pulling for in Thursday's NCAA BCS title game?
Teahen: I'm pulling for the Florida Gators because Shealy went there. None of my good friends are former Sooners.
boomer84: What young Royals player do you think has the brightest future?
Teahen: Even though Zack Greinke has been around for awhile, I think his future is limitless. Joakim Soria can, of course, also be in that category.
kilsey: Do you think you've got a lot of untapped potential you've yet to realize? How do you project yourself?
Teahen: I don't feel as if I've reached my potential in most aspects of the game. Through hard work I plan to continually improve. At this point in my career, I've shown sparks of what I can do but I haven't shown it on a full, consistent basis.
cmartin88: What type of role do you feel that you will play with the Royals during the 2009 season?
Teahen: At this point with the way the roster is, it looks as if I'll be a guy that plays numerous positions. Whether it be somewhere in the outfield or in the infield. I expect to play every day and be a productive part of the offense, but defensively, at least at this point, it looks as if I'll be shifting around.
dennyfan: Do you credit anyone specifically with your making it to the big leagues? A coach, scout or teammate?
Teahen: I credit my dad for teaching me the skills as well as the approach to be successful in the game of baseball. He continues to be one of my best coaches as he knows my swing better and playing ability better than everyone else.
BigChrs2009: Are you ready for Spring Training to begin?
Teahen: I'm enjoying my offseason and preparing for Spring Training. I will be more than ready for it to be here when it comes. Because I'm playing in the World Baseball Classic for Canada, my Spring Training will start a little earlier this year. I believe our first game is March 7.
cjhksu: So who wins the foot race: you, DeJesus, Coco Crisp or Mitch Maier?
Teahen: I would think Coco would win, and I think I could eek out a second place. We'll have to run the race and let you know.
MarkTeahenFanForEver: Mr. Teahen, will you be at the 2009 Royals FanFest?
Teahen: Last year was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to participating again this year. I think it is great for fans and for the team. This year FanFest is Saturday, Jan. 17, and Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Overland Park Convention Center.
BigChrs2009: What do you think about what they have done to the stadium?
Teahen: I've been by the stadium a few times this winter, and it's amazing how many changes have occurred. I think they've done a great job of keeping the traditional look with the fountains but still updating the entire facility to increase the fans' enjoyment.
powdrblues: What is your No. 1 personal goal for next season?
Teahen: Personally, my biggest goal is to help the team make the playoffs.
eegarrett: What are some good practical jokes that have gone on in the dugout/lockerroom?
Teahen: The bubble-gum-bubble-on-the-hat is always a good prank. Last year Butler had one of the biggest bubbles I've ever seen on his hat for a couple of innings. There are always practical jokes going on, but that might have been the top one from last year.
chawk23: Do you play any video games and if so which ones?
Teahen: I enjoy playing Madden and NCAA Football on my outdated PS2. I've also added Wii Fit to my offseason regime.
kevinsmith: Are any of your teammates going to make it to the fashion show? Are there still tickets left?
Teahen: Yes, in attendance will be Shealy, Alex Gordon, DeJesus, Mike Aviles, Kyle Davies, Maier, Greinke and myself, along with a few alumni including Joe Randa. Yes, there are still tickets available. Visit www.challengeyourfashion.com for tickets.
powdrblues: When you were little, did you always dream of being a baseball player or was there something else that interested you?
Teahen: Being a baseball player has always been my dream. I was raised in a family that centered around baseball. Other than that, both of my parents were teachers, so that might be where I would be if I wasn't playing ball.
mykcroyals: What position will you be playing for Canada?
Teahen: I may be mixing positions a little bit, but they told me they they'll mainly be using me for third base. My dad played for the Canadian team when he was younger, so I'm really looking forward to continuing that legacy in playing for them as well.
royalsksu: Have you had the opportunity to meet any legendary big leaguers?
Teahen: George Brett is around during Spring Training and a few games during the year. I went to college with Ryne Sandberg's stepson ,so I got to meet him. Just playing you get to meet a lot of the guys you read about or grew up watching, so that is a really fun part of the job.
eegarrett: Mustard, ketchup or relish?
Teahen: My money is on relish.
BigChrs2009: How many bases do you plan on stealing this season?
Teahen: I hope to get my stolen-base total up next year. Maybe with a tip or two from Coco, I can get mine near 20.
doxadad: Are you going to a part of the Royals Caravan this year?
Teahen: I'm not sure I'll make it this year, but I've done it for the past three years and it is always fun to get out to meet the fans. The Caravan starts in mid-January surrounding FanFest and will visit several communities, so be sure to look out for more details soon.
jessica24: I know you like to make up some interesting nicknames for teammates, but have they come up with any for you?
Teahen: They are still working on one for me. Anything that starts with "T"...T-bone, T-money, T-cup ... T-grip, too. We'll see if any of them stick this season.
royalfyre: Other than Brian Bannister, which teammate do you consider the biggest student of the game?
Teahen: I would have to say John Buck. He runs all the pitchers' meetings and spends hours watching tape. He plans all the pitches our pitchers will throw to each batter they face. I've seen John really improve, as is evident with our improvement on the mound last year.
Teahen: Thanks for all the great questions so far. I have time for just a few more.
royalsksu: Do you ever sneak a peek of a play you made on CrownVision?
Teahen: Yeah, it is hard not to see some of those replays. More often than not, the play looks better and clearer on the video board than on the field.
labsorhors_2: What determines your preference on how you slide, meaning I have seen you slide both headfirst and feetfirst these past few years?
Teahen: The play really dictates which way I slide. When I slide headfirst, it is more to avoid a tag. Safety-wise, I'd rather slide feetfirst.
doxadad: Has Sluggerrr ever let you operate the "Hot Dog" gun?
Teahen: No, Sluggerrr is very protective of his toys.
labsorhors_2: Regarding fan mail, how much do you get? Does every player have their own box that it gets put in; do you ever get a chance to respond to any of it?
Teahen: Yes, every player has their own box. Probably in one year, you get one completely full large box. Outside of signing cards and returning them, it is difficult to respond to all of them. Personally I do open up each piece of mail. I appreciate all the support, so thank you.
MarkTeahenFanForEver: Mark, good luck on the 2009 season! Do the fans play an important role in how you play, or do you just block out the crowd and play baseball?
Teahen: During a game it is important to focus on the game, but all players really do feed off the crowd and their energy, so it is great to play at home in front of a large crowd. Atmosphere definitely plays a part in the way the game is played.
royalfyre: What do you consider your role to be in the clubhouse? Vocal leader or lead by example?
Teahen: I'm definitely a guy who leads more by example. As I continue to gain time in the game, I find myself being more vocal as well.
Teahen: Thanks for all the questions, I really enjoyed them. My apologies for not getting to all of them. I look forward to seeing everyone this Friday at the fashion show at the Kansas City Convention Center. Otherwise, I hope to see everyone out at FanFest on Jan. 17-18. It should be a great time. Thanks again!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.