Trent Durrington was signed by the Red Sox as a minor league free agent in December 2005. A 30-year-old native of Queensland, Australia, Durrington is a veteran of 140 big league games, having seen action with the Angels and Brewers over parts of five seasons. Currently with the Pawtucket Red Sox, Durrington has played all nine positions in his professional career.
RSN: How would you describe Trent Durrington?
TD: I'd say I'm energized…intense. I have a lot of drive and ambition. That goes for all aspects of life, really. I'm competitive, so I want to be the best at anything I do. On the flip side, I’m also laid back and like having a good time.
RSN: How are Australians different from Americans?
TD: We're similar countries, but maybe Australians enjoy more socializing. One thing is that when it's time to let down our hair, we do it. Just go into a pub at 5 o'clock, and you'll see. Aussies like to wind down after work.
RSN: You've played all nine positions in your professional career. How many gloves do you have?
TD: I have two infielder's gloves, one outfielder's glove, and a catcher's mitt. In the infield, I use one that's 11 ½ inches when I'm at short and third, but sometimes I'll use a smaller one at second base.
RSN: Why do you play so many positions?
TD: It's a role I've fallen into the last few years, and I've had success at it, so I look at it as, "Why not?" I have the ability to be a super bench guy -- I guess that's what you’d call it -- and it increases my value to the team.
RSN: Does it take a certain mentality to play everywhere on the field?
TD: For me, it's really the same mentality for every position. It's all about preparation. I have good speed and good arm-strength, which help, but come game time you're relying on what you did to get ready.
RSN: Getting enough reps at every position would be next to impossible. What do you do to be prepared?
TD: I won't take balls at every position each day. I'll rotate them. One of the things I'll do is try to visualize how the ball will come to me off the bat, because it's different at different positions. For instance, it will slice when you're playing the corners in the outfield. I'll remind myself of that when I'm in the field. Not just in practice. Even during the game, I'll be preparing.
RSN: Which is the most challenging position for you?
TD: Probably third base, really. Every third baseman gets third baseman errors. It's the hot corner, so the ball gets on you in a hurry and will run up your arm. Catching can be tough, too, especially when I haven't been back there for awhile. But none are, "Oh, geez," where I don’t feel comfortable. I'm fine with anywhere. Second base might be my best position, as I've spent the most time there.
RSN: Other than yourself, who on the team could best handle playing all nine positions?
TD: I'd say either (Jeff) Bailey or (Alejandro) Machado. Bailey would lack the range and speed to play short or center, but on the flip side, Macho would struggle catching. Because you probably can't catch Macho, I'll have to go with Bailey.
RSN: One of your teammates this season has been Jermaine Van Buren. Tell us about stealing home against him last year.
TD: It was a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, and I got a base hit, stole second, and somehow got to third. There were two out, and the third baseman was playing deep and way off the line. I was able to get about a third of the way down the line, so I looked at the third base coach and said, "I can probably do it." Jermaine was pitching off the wind-up, so when he went into his motion I took off. It was a bang-bang play, and they argued a bit, but I was definitely safe.
RSN: I assume you’ve reminded Jermaine about that play now that you’re together in the Red Sox organization?
TD: I actually haven’t, but maybe I will the next time I see him. All in fun, of course!
RSN: You've stolen over 300 bases in your career. How would you describe your offensive game?
TD: I'm an on-base guy, trying to put myself in a position to score runs, although it's been a little frustrating so far this year. I'll hit the ball where it's pitched, and am not too concerned with driving it. Once I get on, I take a pretty big lead and have a pretty good first step. I'll usually steal 35 or 40 a bags a year.
RSN: I understand that you pitched in a big league game once.
TD: That was with Milwaukee, in a game where we were getting blown out. They moved me from third base to the mound in the bottom of the 8th, and I ended up throwing one pitch. It was a fastball right down the middle, and Jose Vizcaino popped it up to right field.
RSN: You also pitched in an extra-inning game, here in Pawtucket, earlier this season. Tell us about that.
TD: We were out of pitchers, so I went in and threw three innings. I pretty much went all fastballs, probably 83 or 84 mph -- just rolling it over. I was being careful not to over-extend myself, but they kept popping it up. I only gave up one hit, but not because I was doing anything special. I was just throwing it down the middle -- not trying to win any awards.
RSN: You played in the World Baseball Classic this year. With Australia being a big underdog, what attitude did you take going in?
TD: Baseball is a sport where anything can happen in one game, or even in a short series, so we went in thinking we could upset somebody. I missed the Olympics when we got the Silver Medal, because I was playing in Milwaukee, but that showed we can compete. We definitely weren’t going out there expecting to lose.
RSN: The Australian soccer team won its World Cup game against Japan earlier today, 3-1. Were you watching?
TD: Oh, yes. Soccer isn’t real big back home, but probably 90 percent of the country was watching. Japan got the controversial goal in the first half, but actually played well, to be honest. When Australia got the late goals, I got pretty excited. I think I yelled, “Yes!” and then “Gooooaaal!”
RSN: You said earlier that you're both competitive and laid back. What do you like to do in your spare time?
TD: Being from Australia, I like the beach. I enjoy golfing. The last three or four years I've been into spear fishing. A few friends and I charter a boat and catch things off the Great Barrier Reef, like tuna and coral trout. Coral trout are the best eating fish around -- great to put on the barbie. We also catch sharks.
RSN: You have a tattoo on your arm that says, "DMD 2010." What does that mean?
TD: The DMD stands for "Durrington, Meredith, Doerr." Meredith and Doerr are mates I grew up with, and they have the same tattoo. Seven years ago, we decided that in 2010 the three of us are going to ride motorcycles across most of Australia. We're going to see Tasmania, Ayers Rock, pretty much everything we can. It’s going to be a pretty big trip.
RSN: I understand that you’re married. What does your wife think about you going off on that kind of adventure?
TD: The trip was planned before we met, but she’s fine with it anyway. My wife is great. She’s a professional water skier; a trick-skier at Sea World back home. She’s just a character, which makes it easy for me. We can do anything together. She’s like me. She likes to go out and get what she can out of life.
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Trent Durrington - PawSox IF/OF/C/P
interview by David Laurila aka Cambridge
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