Corey Patterson finally made it to Camden Yards, though he still hadn’t changed into his uniform as he spoke to reporters outside the clubhouse.
I asked Patterson whether it felt strange to be back here after leaving the Orioles following the 2007 season.
“Yes and no,” he said.
Glad we cleared that up.
OK, seriously, here’s the rest of his quote:
“You always think when you leave an organization whether you’ll get back, and you see it happen occasionally. I’m happy to be back here. I’m looking forward to helping this team and contributing to some wins. I’ve got some work to do, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Patterson wasn’t surprised to find his name in the lineup.
“I’ve seen other players in situations where they’ve traveled a little bit throughout the day and ended up in the lineup,” he said. “I look at it as a positive. They want me here, they want me to contribute. I didn’t come here thinking, ‘Boy, I traveled all day. I hope I’m not in there.’ I want to be in there. I look at it as a positive.”
Patterson said it doesn’t matter where he hits.
“People tend to make a big deal of it a little bit too much about certain spots in the lineup,” he said. “For me, I don’t care whether you’re batting first, fourth, seventh, ninth. You still have to have the same objective, and that’s to get your pitch right where you want it and try to put your swing on it, and if it’s not there, lay off. Where you bat in the lineup can be a little overrated at times.”
Is he a different player from the one who left Baltimore?
“I think so, more so mentally than anything,” he replied. “When things don’t go your way, you tend to look past that and you always think and focus on what you’re trying to achieve, what you want to do. You don’t dwell on what happened in the negative aspect. You think about it, then after a while you got to turn the page. I think from playing, in general, it comes with experience. I think the players that do that can always turn the page and keep that positive focus, those are the ones that are going to be successful.”
It’s been an interesting year for Patterson. He signs with the Mariners, doesn’t make their Opening Day roster, returns to his Georgia home, signs with the Orioles as a minor league free agent in late April and winds up in Baltimore less than a month after rejoining the organization.
“It’s kind of been a roller coaster a little bit,” he said.
He’s come to the right place. This season is making a lot of us queasy.