Ray DeWorth: Q: How long have you been involved in Nky softball?
Shawn Sproles: A: Overall I have been playing softball for the last ten years. But in the terms of competitive
and serious softball, I would have to say the last six years.
RD: Q: Who are some of the other
teams you have been involved with in the past?
SS: A: It has been the same core of five or
six guys in the last six years. We have played under the DHL name mostly. Our first year of serious softball we went under
the name of the Ravens.
RD: Q: Shawn, with you being the coach of Two and out, give a brief
description of your team. What would you say Two and Out's strengths and weaknesses are?
We have a very young team, average age being 24. I find this to be our biggest strength and also our biggest weakness. Some
of the guys are still learning to play softball seriously. I love playing with these kids because they hustle every play,
hate to lose, and are always open to learn. The one area we need to improve in would be to understand that no lead in softball
is safe. We have been down early in some games and just given up. The opposite has also happened, where we have been up early,
got a little cocky and lost the game.
RD: Q: Coaching is a fulltime job. The work never
stops, for a coach is always thinking on how he can make his team better. There is an old saying that I totally agree with.
They say " a team always resembles the personality of its coach". Shawn what personality best fits you as a coach and
rubs off toward your team?
SS: A: I feel that I am a hardnosed coach and player. I play all out
once the first pitch is thrown and that is what I expect from the team. I hate leaving a softball field say what if.
RD: Q: There is no secret that there is a quote " internet rivalry" that has been started on various
softball sites over the offseason, beetween KY Blue and Two and Out. I have to say I would like to be there when you guys
finally lace them up. Are you looking forward to playing them?
SS: A: The rivalry with Ky. Blue started
when me and a couple of guys on their team were joking around.It kind of ballooned when other players who did not know we
knew each other got involved. After all I have played with a couple of guys on their team before(George, Hags, Covey). But
yeah I cannot wait to play them and all the good teams around NKY.
RD: Q: Name some of the
new additions you have added to Two and Out. Touch on how you think they will help Two and Out win in 2003.
A: We really only made three new additions to the team this year. We picked up Matt Magee from the NKY Rage. He will
help give us one of the best outfields around this year (Sellet, Donaghy, Magee, Gebelt). We picked up Tom Nader who will
handle most of the pitching this year. That actually puts me back at third and moves Chad Johnson back to shortstop. The other
addition is Matt Buford. His older brother Doug has been playing with us for six years now. Matt wants to help the team to
contribute in anyway. He has good speed and hustles on every play. He is still young and has potential to be a great outfielder
in the next couple of years.
RD: Q: Who would you say is Two and Out's biggest rival?
A: We really do not have one yet this year. The Ky. Blue talks satisfies me, but I do not know how often we will see them.
I will have to get back with you on that one later, because I am sure it will not take us long to find one.
Q: This is a fill in the blank question.
The biggest misconception about Shawn Sproles
SS: A: Fat and Slow. I may be fat but I can still run.
RD: Q: Time
to put on your thinking cap. Without using any player on your team give me a list of players that would be Shawn Sproles
All Stars by listing them by position. In other words who you would think is the best at these positions.
A: I do not know about positions, but here are some players in D I like to watch. Brian Maley, Matt Wells, Chris Haggard,
Mike Hughes, Lee Palmer, Greg Laws, Chad Lubbe, & Tony Fey.
RD: Q: This is a question I
have asked everyone that I have interviewed. I like to get everybody's two cents on this one. For I feel this is a topic that
is drastically changing the game of softball. The game is changing quicker than we could ever think with the addition of all
these loaded bats that keep getting into the hands of every team. If you play at a competitive level this affects you
for if the other teams use them, which they all do, then you have to use them as well just to compete. What is your opinion
of Miken Ultra 2's and other bats with these capabilities.? Do you think it is good for the game?
A: I pitched all last year, and there were a couple of times when the balls came off those bats like bullets. The scariest
thing to me about those bats is when they are used in league nights or against teams in tournaments who may not play a lot.
There have been occasions when you see someone playing third or pitching who has no idea what those bat are capable of. There
can be some serious damage done, if the players are not aware of what the batter is swinging. But these bats have brought
more money to the game in the means of sponsorship and fan support. So that is a tough call.
Q: If you could change one thing about softball, what would it be?
SS: A: The cost of the game itself. You have
to spend good money to stay competitive.
RD: Q: Name some good things and some not so good things
that are involved in the game of softball.
SS: A: The good thing is the competition and
the friendships you build. The not so good thing again would be the price of bats, tournaments and leagues. It cost a lot
of money to play serious softball nowadays.
RD: Q: Name the best and worst
park that you have ever played at and explain why they are the best or worst.
A: The worst park I have played at is Green Mountain Park. The league nights always ran behind and it seemed like someone
forfeited every other week. The best park for me is Rumpke. I am probably letting the packed stands on a Friday night during
the Metro affect my judgement, but I also love the wooden fences.
RD: Q: If you had to use
one word describing Two and Out what would it be?
SS: A: TEAM!
Q: Other than Two and Out who do you think is the team to beat in "D" this year?
A: It is still very early, but looking at the rosters I would have to say Come Gets Em is the team to beat right now.
Q: Shawn, as we all know Two and Out is a "D" team. But when you play in "C" tournaments you get double the points you
would receive by playing in "D" tournaments. Will Two and Out be showing their face in any "C" competition this year?
SS: A: Yes, we have already discussed that and once we win a qualifier we will play some C tournaments.
Q: Since you are a coach, I always like to ask coaches a little different type of questions, so bear with me.
Shawn, say you have an outfeilder who goes after a flyball and instead of just simply catching it, he showboats by
trying to what they call " snap them off". But in the process he drops the ball in this act of arrogance. Out of these
options what would Coach Sproles do?
A. Stop the game and replace
him, with a bench player
B. say nothing at all
C. Wait until the inning was over then bench him
D. or cut him
after the game
SS: A: C
RD: Q: Shawn wasnt Mark Covey, who now plays with KY Blue, originally
suppossed to play with Two and Out? What happened?
SS: A: Yeah,
originally Covey was supposed to play with us. But he accepted an offer to play with Ky. Blue. Covey had played with us off
and on for four years and we would of liked to have him this year, but him leaving opened the door for Matt Magee. I wish
Covey all the luck but I am happy with how things ended up.
RD: Q: What is the biggest accomplishment
that Two and Out has had as a team since you guys have been together?
SS: A: For us, winning a couple of
qualifiers last year and then beating the Illinois State Champion in the Divisionals.
RD: Q: Finally,
what is your expectations for Two and Out this year? What kind of goals have you set for your team this year.
SS: A: Our first team goal is to win a NIT and qualify for the world. I guess or other team goal would be to let
everyone know who we are. We have a lot of young talent and by the end of the year I see these names being mentioned when
it comes to the best players in D. After all I think right now, we do have the best player in D in our shortstop, Chad Johnson.