Basak Looks For Consistency In Scranton
Basak is hitting just .225 in his last 23 games
Basak is hitting just .225 in his last 23 games

Posted Jul 27, 2007


Plenty of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees have had opportunities to play for the big club this year. Chris Basak just might be one of those Yankees who wouldn’t have been on the average fans list of expected players to see time in the Major Leagues. Regardless, Basak did have the opportunity to spend just a little under a month with the team.

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“It was great experience. I’d been looking forward for the opportunity for such long time. I was lucky to be called up in Chicago,” he said of being able to play in front of his friends and family. “My friends and family being there meant a lot to me.”

Despite spending more time with the team than the majority of the Yankees prospects in the organization this year, the utility infielder didn’t get to see much playing time. This meant adjustments for the versatile Basak.

“It was a huge challenge. There wasn’t ever a time I can remember where I didn’t play that much. It was a challenge, but that’s the role."

In order to handle that challenge, he had to adopt a new philosophy.

“You have to play like you’re out there everyday," said the 28-year old. "When I get up, I have to be prepared to go out and play everyday.”

In doing so, he made sure to get in every aspect of the team’s pregame warm-ups as possible, as well as additional work whenever he could.

“It meant getting in early work," he continued. "That meant more than just batting practice, but getting there early, and simply getting on the field. This helped to get everything going, and get in as much work as possible.”

Basak can take some positives from his trip to the Majors. The timing of his call-up allowed him to experience the Yankees first big winning streak of the year, as they took nine in a row to gain some ground on the Red Sox at the time.

“It was great to experience such a winning streak. To be around that environment was huge,” he said with a smile.

Basak did seem pleased with the opportunity to stand toe to toe with players like Jeter, and Alex Rodriquez, and learn from their everyday activities.

“A lot of it was just observing how they go out and approach everyday. To see the level of professionalism, and the want to win they bring to the field everyday.”

More importantly, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre third baseman had the chance to work on a daily basis with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long, as well as bench coach, Don Mattingly.

“Anytime you can pick their brains or see how they go about it is helpful," said Basak. "To be able to talk with other players at that level is a great situation. They do a great job up there, and it’s a real learning experience. It’s good to have them as a resource.”

The time off however has shown on the field back in Scranton. Basak’s July batting average continues to fall far below his own expectations, standing at .232. He credits this to his lack of consistency at the plate, dating as far back as the beginning of the season.

“I wasn’t able to get the consistency I needed,” he said while speaking of his first half. “It just wasn’t there."

In the end, Basak isn’t making excuses. He knows he needs to improve his consistent play and he hopes constant playing time will help.

“I just want to go out there and improve. That’s all I can do.”

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