The Phillies Nation Interview: Marcus Giles

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Fri, January 16, 2009 09:00 AM | Comments: 11
PN Interview, Posts

The Phillies last week signed infielder Marcus Giles to a minor league contract. The 30-year-old Giles was the Braves starting second baseman from 2003-06, finishing 16th in MVP voting in ’03 while securing an All-Star berth. He signed with the Padres in 2007, but struggled with a .229 average in 116 games. The Padres released him, and the Rockies signed him in 2008, but cut him in Spring Training. The Dodgers gave him a minor league deal, but he dropped out of the deal before showing up. The Phillies are giving Giles a shot to make the big club in 2009, despite him not playing baseball in a year. His deal became official yesterday.

Phillies Nation interviewed Giles about the newest chapter in his career. Here are some of the questions and answers from that interview:

PN: You didn’t play baseball in 2008, turning down a minor league deal with the Dodgers after being cut by the Rockies. Why did you turn down the Dodgers deal?

Giles: I decided not to play in 2008 because I felt I had lost “the fire” required to play the game right. My mind simply wasn’t where it needed to be, and I think I made the right decision at the time. While I realize it hurt my career in the short term, it gave me time to do what I needed to do to come back and be the player I know I’m capable of being. I’m confident I’ve done that, both mentally and physically, and am really anxious to get to Florida for spring training.

PN: How did you keep yourself conditioned over the year?

Giles: I started working out really hard in July with my trainer, Mike Douglass. Mike’s a former NFL linebacker, and there’s no slacking with him around. I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I’ve been hitting and taking ground balls, and feel really good with all the baseball stuff, too.

PN: What were the main reasons for choosing to sign with the Phillies? How much did Chase Utley’s injury (opening a potential starting second base spot) play in your decision?

Giles: I know there are a bunch of good guys on the Phillies. I’m sure the guys are going to help me feel at home right away, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to get back at it.

I’m certainly not looking at this as coming there to challenge Chase. He’s one of the best players in the game. The Phillies were looking to strengthen their bench, and I guess to protect themselves a little given Chase’s situation, and my agent talked with Ruben [Amaro Jr.] about my desire to play at the Winter Meetings. I worked out right after the holidays for Charlie Kerfeld, and we got it done. I really appreciate the opportunity the Phillies have given me.

PN: Considering Charlie Manuel’s penchant for veteran hitters, are you confident in your chances to reach for and retain a 25-man roster spot throughout 2009?

Giles: I’m confident the opportunity is there, and it’s up to me to go to spring training and prove I can be an asset.

PN: Jason Donald is a highly touted infield prospect in the system; surely you’ll be working with him in Spring Training. Have you heard anything about him?

Giles: I know Jason’s got a chance to be an outstanding player, and I look forward to getting to know him. Maybe I can help him some, and maybe he can help me!

PN: You had considerable experience with Philadelphia fans in the past. Are they really as annoying as other athletes say?

Giles: I love the passion of Phillies fans, and I hope they’ll love mine. If I play well, I’m sure they’ll be behind me. They haven’t been annoying to me, and I’d like to keep it that way!

PN: Your former teammate, Chipper Jones, spoke out against the small amount of “trash talk” between Mets and Phillies players regarding their rivalry. As a Brave when treating the Mets as rivals, did you ever feel the need to speak volatile against New York?

Giles: I really haven’t been involved in much of that kind of stuff. I’ve always tried to play the game the right way against everybody, and plan to keep doing it that way.

PN: As a Phillie, do you like entering a situation such as this?

Giles: I feel very fortunate to be coming back with the defending World Champions. I always loved the atmosphere when we were winning regularly in Atlanta, knowing that every game means something. I want to win a spot on the Phillies roster, and be a part of that again.

Avatar of Tim Malcolm

About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 1650 Tim Malcolm

    Avatar of Tim Malcolm

    A big thanks for Marcus to take the time out to answer these questions.

  • Posts: 0 Brian

    I like his honesty about dropping out of the game last year, hopefully he can be an asset of some kind.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    He’s got the natural ability.. and now it seems as though he’s regained his desire to work hard. He knows that in order to stay on this team’s 25-man roster, he needs to out-work a bunch of guys.. but even if he ends up with the Iron Pigs, he’s some insurance if anyone needs a DL stint

  • Posts: 0 Russ

    He’s a hard worker and a good insurance policy if anything happens to Utley. If he can regain his good form from a few years back he could possibly help us out post-return of Chase. Nice interview, Tim.

  • Posts: 0 Monktavian

    I remember when Marcus Giles was really good for the Braves. He reminded me of Pete Rose. I just wonder if he can play more than one position, and if his arm is strong enough to play the outfield or third base. Hopefully it is. If he regains some of his old fire and talent then we will have ourselves a real find.

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    Great! All the best to Marcus! Good questions Tim

  • [...] Manny on The Phillies Nation Interview: Marcus Giles :"Great! All the best to Marcus! Good questions Tim" [...]

  • Posts: 0 GM-Carson

    Nice interview. I think it’s really cool athletes are starting to interact with blogs. I have one coming up on WSBGM’s with Doug Glanville next week.

  • Posts: 0 christopher

    well done tim, that was a good read.

  • Posts: 0 IRONPIGPEN

    What does Ozuna signing do for Giles?

  • Posts: 0 Tommy Dawson

    Marcus is a heck of a ballplayer, and with his mind back in the game, will be an asset to any team! Welcome back to the bigs Welby!!

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