Hoka Hey is cool with Mac
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Michael McKenry made his rounds among the Pittsburgh media yesterday to promote Pirates Caravan which begins on December 11 and PirateFest. The Bucs catcher talks about the acquisition of Josh Hamilton, having a team that is married– “and doesn’t run around.” The Fort also touches on a slew of other topics including his support for those struggling to recover from Sandy.
The Buccos catcher is a postive guy. He talked about the “20 year loom,” and said the Bucs are going to “be special for a long time.”
When McKenry said ‘Hoo-rah,” X-host Tim Benz joked that he didn’t say Hoka Hey.
Of course, Hoka Hey references the Pirates “war cry of clutch performers,” but has been a reference among fans toward the military training that has been brought to light recently by Pittsburgh reporter Dejan Kovacevic. McKenry mentioned that he was talking to Jimmy T. about the topic of Hoka Hey. (Jimmy T is the Director of Media Relations for the Pirates, Jim Trdinich)
McKenry said first passion is his Christian walk, just check out his twitter timeline to verify that, and baseball, followed by his love of physical training.
He said he spent a lot of time with Bernie. (Bernie is Bernie Holliday who is the Director of Mental Conditioning.) McKenry said he didn’t get to do “the grueling tasks” that the prospects were going through so he couldn’t discuss the topic directly, he just gushed about the idea.
The Bucs catcher who really struggled to throw out runners in 2012 (18%) said that he was wearing a Hoka Hey bracelet during the interview. The phrase Hoka Hey means a lot to him and he mentioned that he thinks it means embracing today.
In another interview that we link below, The Fort mentioned that the team motto was ‘Finish’ but the team really needs to ‘start, and just focus on the moment, one game at a time, one pitch at a time…’ It’s an interesting perspective and especially true for McKenry who will need to improve big time in 2013.
When Benz asked about the players that didn’t like the training, McKenry played company man, as he responded, “I don’t know?” He started explaining that he didn’t know exactly what drills the prospects are doing. But McKenry mentioned that similar training is happening at Vanderbilt and his old high school coach made mud pits and sprayed water on the field for training.
He discusses the concept o military training becoming a fad. He elaborates that baseball is old school and that it’s difficult for the Bucs to gain traction with the idea as the team is the first to bring it into pro baseball.
It’s some nice PR work by the Bucco catcher, typically Neil Walker handles such duties. McKenry was also at the team store later in the day. I think it was pretty smart to get McKenry on the air even though it was evident he didn’t actually go through the drills, it’s not hard to understand that he digs the idea.
Here is the link to the interview with The X. Please ignore how WXDX spells the name of the Pittsburgh Pirates catcher, just think of it as Pittsburgh-ese phonics.
On 93.7 The Fan, McKenry was asked some direct questions from RumBunter favorite Ron Cook and he quickly mentioned that he led the minors in throwing out runners (?) I didn’t know that fact, but here are his minor league numbers. I am guessing that 47% rate back in 2008 could be it?