Russell Wilson, the Seattle All-Pro quarterback whom was selected Thursday morning by the Rangers in the Triple A portion of the Rule 5 draft spoke to the Seattle media after practice Thursday afternoon, and the fine people in the Seahawks' PR department passed along a transcript.
Among the highlights is that he is planning to come to spring training to hang out with the players and maybe be a motivational speaker of sorts. He has no intentions of making like Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders, though. His focus is playing quarterback in the NFL.
On if he’s the new starting second baseman for the Texas Rangers: "Funny story. So I get up this morning and I’m on my way to work, and I get a call like around 6:15, 6:30, and it’s from Arlington, Texas, and I’m all like, ‘Who’s calling right now?’ Anyways, so I pick up, and it’s Jon Daniels, the GM for the Texas Rangers, and, obviously, they drafted me today. A pretty cool thing, and it’s my third time being drafted in baseball. So it’s a blessing for sure, but at the same time, obviously, my focus is on football. Mr. Daniels and I talked about that. Obviously, he knew that, but they just wanted to let me know that they basically got my rights from the Colorado Rockies and everything. So, anyways, it’s a blessing for sure, but, obviously, my focus is on football and what I’m doing here and trying to win this game, this week going 1 and 0."
On if he’d be interested in being a motivational speaker for the Texas Rangers: "Yeah, definitely talking to their players and going down there. I’m sure I’ll go down there for spring training and just talk to some of their players and hangout with some of them. It’d be kind of a cool experience, but that’s down the road. I’m trying to win a game this week, and we’ll see what happens from there.”
On if it would be easier if the Mariners drafted him: "Would it have been easier if the Mariners drafted me? It probably would’ve been easier, in terms of me going to go visit. But, obviously, I love baseball, but football is where my first love is. So it’s a blessing to be able to have an experience playing professional baseball before and then also, obviously, play in the National Football League. Doesn’t get any better.”
On if he knew that he was eligible to play professional baseball: "No. I had no idea. I had no idea. So to be eligible and all that and get drafted again, it’s a cool experience.”
On if he'll be like Bo Jackson and play football and baseball: "He asked me if I’m trying to go Bo Jackson? I thought about it before, I’m not going to lie. But no. I mean I’m just focused on football.”
On the last time he picked up a baseball bat: "The last time I probably picked up a baseball bat is when I won the Home Run Derby here. That’s a good sign.”
On if he misses playing baseball: Not right now. No not at all. When its spring time, I watch those guys and I go to the Mariners games and watch them play, hang out with Félix [Hernández] and those guys. Obviously, I love baseball and just love the game. It’s a relaxing sport. It’s a good sport. I played it my whole life, but there’s nothing better than playing the quarterback position and playing in front of 90,000 people and it being third-and-6 and the game on the line or being in the red zone and having to make a play in a big situation. So that’s why I decided to play football because I love those moments and I love those big games.”
On Robinson Cano signing to the Mariners: "Obviously, the Mariners drafting Robinson Cano, he’s a guy that I’ve always looked up to in terms playing the game of baseball. Obviously, I played second base. He’s a great infielder, he’s a great hitter. That’s going to be huge for the Mariners. They have great young players already, so that’s a big thing for the Seattle Mariners.”
-- Jeff Wilson