Chat live with Linfield College coach Scott Brosius

The Baseball Chat Series gets underway at 4pm ET on Thursday, April 30 with our special guest, Linfield College coach Scott Brosius.

Coach Brosius will be the first of four current college coaches joining us this season, and all four have one thing in common - they were all major league players before entering the college coaching ranks.

Scott Brosius enters his second year as Linfield head baseball coach. In his first season, he guided the Wildcats to a school-record 35 wins, the Northwest Conference and West Region championships, and a berth in the NCAA Division III Finals.

Brosius, a former Wildcat who went on to gain fame in professional baseball, was a natural choice to succeed retiring coach Scott Carnahan in 2008, having served under Carnahan on the baseball coaching staff for five seasons. During that time, he gradually accepted more responsibility, managing the baseball team's entire recruiting efforts.

Brosius left Linfield following his junior year after being selected by Oakland in the 20th round of the 1987 amateur draft. He returned to Linfield and completed a bachelor's degree in business in 2002.

In three seasons at Linfield, he hit .332 with 14 home runs and 77 runs batted in. During his junior season in 1987, he hit .348 and set Linfield single-season records for most at-bats, hits and RBI. He received recognition on the NAIA all-Area, all-District and all-Northwest Conference teams, and was a honorable mention NAIA All-American.

Brosius began his professional career in the minor leagues in 1988 and spent a total of 11 seasons in the major leagues with Oakland and New York. He won three World Series titles with the Yankees in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Brosius was a Golden Glove award recipient, was named the Most Valuable Player of the 1998 World Series, and played in the 1998 All-Star Game.

Brosius, a native of Milwaukie, Ore., and graduate of Rex Putnam High School, is a member of the Linfield Athletics, NAIA, and Oregon Sports halls of fame.

Send in your questions NOW, and come back at 4pm ET on Thursday, April 30, as we ask Coach Brosius your questions. Moderator: Hello, everyone. Welcome to our first Baseball Chat. Linfield head coach Scott Brosius is with us and ready to answer your questions.
Scott Brosius: Thanks for having me on and I look forward to answering everyone's questions.

Charlie (Oakland): Scott- What was the transition like from the Majors back to a small college?
Scott Brosius: I think the style of baseball is definitely different than it is professionaly. One of the aspects that is different is that you don't see a lot of small ball in the Majors that you do in college. You don't see the offensive strategies to create runs. Coming back to college baseball, I said,"Oh yeah, I remember this stuff." Overall you just don't see the same power that you see in the Majors. I also had to get used to carrying my own luggage again.

Bob Broughton (Vancouver, BC): Has the success of the Oregon State program had any sort of spill-over effect on Linfield and other small-college programs in your neighbourhood? And has the new U. of Oregon had any effect?
Scott Brosius: To be honest, I don't think it has. It has certainly brought a lot of noterity to Oregon State and Oregon programs. We're recruiting different players, so I really haven't seen any measurable change based on their success.

Ken Smith - seattle: Can you describe the experience of facing an oncoming line drive when you are playing in at 3rd base?
Scott Brosius: There were some guys that were flat out scary when you had to play infield in-I'd like to think I had good reflexes. Kirby Puckett comes to mind, especially playing on the turf at Minnesota. Ball just gets on top of you. There is no question that at times it felt like being in hockey goalie protection mode.

Adam (NY): Hey Scott You were always such a great "clutch" hitter on the Yankees and will be remembered for your clutch hits. Is being clutch something you can teach or is it just something that is born into people?
Scott Brosius: Maybe a little bit of both. I think confidence plays a part of that. It starts with wanting to be up in that situation. For me, I never saw situations like that as pressure, I saw them more as opportunity. I always wanted to have that oppurtunity. Whether it happened or not in that at bat, I always looked forward to the next time. In an unselfish way, I think everyone needs to have that sense of wanting being a hero.

Matt (Michelbook, OR): Coach, What do you attribute your teams success to "small ball" and does the fact that you weren't a power hitter have anything to do with how you now coach? Thanks.
Scott Brosius: I think as a coach, you always have to coach to the strengths of your team. For example, last year's team didn't have a lot of power, so it was necessary for us to play small ball to create runs. My philosphy in general is to not sit back and wait for a three-run home run. It's to put constant pressure on our opponent every inning.

Jonathon, Salem: As a coach, is winning the most important thing? What is the most important thing you look for in a player? What do you hope each player will take with them after they have left your program?
Scott Brosius: Winning isn't the most important thing. Any program strives to be as successful as possible, but I'll never have a win at all cost mentality. We're gonna strive to play the game the right way, and play with a lot of character, and represent Linfield College in the best matter possible. So regardless of how good a player is, if he's not willing to do that then he won't be apart of our program. So I think overall, big picture goals, program goals do come ahead of winning ballgames.
Scott Brosius: Also, while talent is important for me when I look at a player, his character is equally as important.

Bob: Did you ever get frustrated that you wanted to quit the big league? Did you have a mentor who encouraged you? What is the best advice you ever got?
Scott Brosius: I never got to the point where I wanted to quit. I had very frustrating moments in my career. Early on, my first couple of years on the shuttle between Oakland and Triple-A was a very trying time. Going through injuries was very frustrating. But never to the point where I wanted to give it up. Baseball never felt like work to me, and I never wanted it to. And that's part of the reason why I stopped playing when I did. I knew the time was right, and I didn't want to play without the same enjoyment that I always had.
Scott Brosius: I had some veteran players when I first came up, and I got two pieces of advice. You never play the game for the money, you play the game because you love doing it and playing the right way. The money will take care of itself. I also had a minor league manager named Jeff Newman who was a former major leaguer himself, and he talked all the time about the importance about being a good teammate, and if you're part of a winning team you'll be more valuable as a player.

Rick Noonan Peachtree City Ga: Scott...I am a 81 Lake Oswego High grad played collegiate ball in NW and asst coached at LO and Lakeridge before relocating. The SE is a baseball hotbed for sure with UGA, GT and #1 pick in 08 draft last year from Griffin HS Ga ... question is where do you see MLB 10 years from now in terms of "make up" of league .. are US kids at disadvantage? are NW kids even more so? enjoyed watching you play thanks
Scott Brosius: I don't believe that U.S. kids are at a disadvantage. If anything we have so many more opportunites to play, the quesiton becomes do we choose to play. For example, as a kid we played outside all day long. I just don't see that happening as much anymore, where that does happen in some of the other countries. Kids are playing it all the time there. We have by far the greatest opportunities to play in general for our. Whether it's unorgranized or organized from youth through high school and into college. Maybe we don't share the same passion as a country that we used to for the game. As for the Northwest, while we don't have the same weather situation that they do down in the South, to play year round, there is still very good baseball being played and I believe the scouts, as far as opportunities to play, scout the Northwest as much as the rest of the country.

Marty (Newberg, OR): Coach, Are you able to hit your pop-ups to the catcher very well? If so, what is your secret...thanks
Scott Brosius: It's the only thing coaches are judged by now, is our infield pop-ups. I lost an infield pop-up contest this past weekend with George Fox head coach Marty Hunter and I had to throw my Fungo bat away.

Don Fenton/Seattle: Coach - How would you rate the 2009 Wildcats versus the team you took to the '08 D3 World Series? What are the prospects for the 2010 season as you see it right now with the young players you have already that are contributing and the recruits you anticipate coming in?
Scott Brosius: I think that going into the season, we felt like we had a good team, we were just a little inexperienced. We graduated a lot of players in '08, and so we were all kind of disappointed with the finish to our season this year. We were 17-3 at the halfway point, but finished 11-9 in the second half. So it was a disappointing finish, but a very vaulable learning experience. As we started four sophomores and a couple of freshmen, I think they gained some valuable experience. Looking ahead to next year, I think the experience they gained will benefit them next season.

Bob Broughton (Vancouver, BC): I was wondering if there's been a general increase in interest in baseball in the Portland area, with the good JUCO league (NWAACC) and the West Coast League (formerly the WCCBL)?
Scott Brosius: I don't really see a tie between them. I think baseball has certainly gained popularity. I think more kids are interested in playing during the summer and I think the opportunities have decreased over the years. And I think with more leagues coming around, it will give them more of a chance to play.
Scott Brosius: I appreciate the opportunity to be apart of this, and I appreciate all of the questions and the interest in the Linfield program. Moderator: Thanks everyone. We will have San Diego State head coach Tony Gwynn next Thursday afternoon, as our baseball chat series continues. See you then!