Chris O'Riordan's Chat Wrap

June 11, 2001

Q: Joe from LA, CAL asks:
What other schools offered you a scholarship out of high school? How did Stanford learn about you?
A: Chris: Tulane and the University of Pennsylvania were the only schools that really recruited me. I basically had to recruit myself to stanford.
Q: Steve Ruddock (Stanford '75) from Half Moon Bay, Calif. asks:
Chris, do you guys feel you are seeing the best pitching in the CWS that you have all year? With the inside track for Wednesday's game, how will the Card guard against over-confidence? Thanks! -- Steve
A: Chris: We have seen some great pitching. Between Tulane's starter and Saarloos, it has been really tough to hit so far. It will be easy to guard against overconfidence, especially since we've faced so many elimination games so far. We know that a team can be ousted from the tournament like that.
Q: Tim Mulshine from Oakland, CA asks:
Did you guys expect this kind of play out of Jonny Ash earlier in the season? He's really just been hitting like crazy for the past month or so. and what position do you see him playing next year? congrats on the great season, we're all rooting for you guys.
A: Chris: Jonny has performed great for us this year and that is really what we've expected. He really showed what he could do in the fall, and he's performing up to that level right now. Jonny is such a good, pure hitter and it's great to see him performing like he has.
Q: Ethan Rector from Los Angeles, Ca. asks:
Are you rooting for Southern California to come out of the other side of the bracket in anticipation of a all Pac-10 finale?
A: Chris: I wouldn't say we're rooting for USC, but we would love to get a chance for some redemption after that Pac-10 series. We're just concentrating on winning one of these next two games.
Q: Big Dog from Houston TX asks:

How does Saarloos compare to Prior in terms of nastiness and who did you have more success against so far this year?

A: Chris: Saarloos and Prior are very different pitchers, but equally hard to hit. They both spot their piches well and have some good offspeed. The main difference is Prior throws harder and Saarloos has an absolutely dominating slider
Q: Chris from Phoenix asks:
How much did it help you growing up in the talent hotbed of San Diego as a player? Who were some of the best talents you played with before college?
A: Chris: Growing up in San Diego was really important to my baseball career. There are so many good players, and during summer ball you get to face some good pitchers. Some of the best players were Ben Cordova, Brooks Conrad, Derek Ayres, Mario Delgado, Jason O'Riordan, Mark Kiger, Adam Johnson, and Nick Carter
Q: Dan from Butte, Montana asks:
Stanford's had so many two-sport guys over the years. What's you second favorite sport?
A: Chris: I really like soccer a lot. Some of my best sports memories were of playing high school soccer.
Q: Manish from Irvine, CA asks:
Where does Stanford get all of this pitching from, and how would you compare last year's aces--Wayne and Young--to this year's staff? What about the progress you've seen Goose make with his command from last year to this season?
A: Chris: Our coaches do a great job of recruiting pitching. Wayne and Young were great pitchers--obviously they won a lot for us and got drafted high, but Jeremy Guthrie, Jeff Bruksch, Mike Gosling, J.D. Willcox, we've got a lot of good pitchers left here this year. Gosling has been great this year, like the Fullerton coach said last night, he's throwing a lot more strikes and his stuff is so good, he can afford to be around the plate.
Q: Adam from San Francisco asks:
What kind of approach do you take into each at bat? How do you prepare for each pitcher? Where did you develop that approach?
A: Chris: I try to take a similar approach to each at-bat, no matter what pitcher is throwing. Obviously with a guy like Prior you try to be shorter to the ball, but basically I have a routine before every at-bat that I try to keep. Same stretching, spot in the box, and obviously stance.
Q: Bubbachuck fan from Hampton, Va. asks:
How can it be that Stanford's never had a .400 hitter? Does the Cardinal play in a pitcher's park, or is it just that the team's always built on pitching?
A: Chris: Well, Stanford has had a couple of .400 hitters, our current head coach Mark Marquess being one of them. But I think the few number of .400 hitters in Stanford history is a testament to the consistently high quality of pitching in the Pac-10.
Q: Joel from Seattle asks:
Who were you idols in baseball growing up? Who was your favorite team?
A: Moderator: My favorite player growing up was definitely Ken Griffey, Jr. I loved the fact that he was so young when he broke into the bigs and is such a talented player. My favorite team is definitely the Padres.
Q: Sean from Omaha asks:
Traveling around the country, how would you compare the level of play in the Pac-10 and on the West Coast in general to the rest of the country?
A: Chris: I think the level of play in the Pac-10 is as good as anywhere in the country. We really don't play that many games against teams from other conferences back East, but the ones we do are very good. We played Texas and Florida State this year, two very good ball clubs that would obviously be battling atop the Pac-10 standings.
Q: Tom from Cali asks:
How much does weight-lifting play a part in your game? How about for the rest of the team? Who is the strongest on the squad?
A: Chris: Weight lifting is a very important part of my game. When I started lifting in high school I became a different player. I don't lift as much as I like to during the season, but during the offseason I try to lift 4-5 times a week.
Q: Jerry from Iladelph asks:
Do you think the Sixers can hold off Shaq and Kobe?
A: Chris: I hope so. I really am not a big fan of the Lakers.
Q: Corey from Douglassville,PA asks:
Chris, How does it feel to be compared to a Chuck Knoblauch? How do you handle the presure of the fans and antimosity of the College World Series?
A: Moderator: The College World Series is a great place to play, and loud fans go along with that. I guess the only pressure you face is the pressure you put on yourself. The key is to go out and play your normal game. Chuck Knoblauch was one of my favorite players growing up so I guess any sort of comparison is an honor.
Q: Bigger Dog from Atlanta asks:
What are you thinking when you are in the hole with men in scoring position? Are you trying to guess what the picture may throw?
A: Chris: When I am in the hole or on deck, I am really focusing in on being mentally prepared. The most important thing is to not try to do too much with a pitch and take what the pitcher gives you.
Q: john keipper from columbus asks:
what have you guys been doing in your down time in omaha?
A: Chris: We have been studying and taking finals for the most part in our down time. Stanford is on the quarter system so we are still in school. Other than that it is fun to go down to downtown Omaha and hang out and eat some great steaks.
Q: Tyler from Anchorage asks:
Did your experiences in Anchorage last summer help in your development as a player?
A: Chris: Hey Tyler,I think the main thing Anchorage did for me was tune in my mental approach to hitting. As you remember, I didn't really hit very well, and it was hard to take. So now, I try to keep my mental approach even keel. Good luck buddy

Moderator: Thanks to Chris for a great job moderating his own chat and taking so much time with us. We appreciate everyone who waited out the delay to chat with Chris. Check us out later in the week for more CWS chats from Omaha at

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