Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Ben Revere is a spark offensively, and can make dynamic plays in centerfield. Credit: Getty Images Ben Revere is a spark offensively, and can make dynamic plays in centerfield. Credit: Getty Images

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

The Phillies were closing the gap on the Atlanta Braves last July thanks to an impressive six-week run by Revere. However, the Phillies fell apart after B-Rev broke his ankle just before the All-Star break. Revere has been the spark for some Phillies wins this season.

The diminutive speedster took some time for a one on one with Metro to talk about setting the table for the big boppers, his development in centerfield and his greatest passion.

At the end of May you were hitting .200 and your baseball twin Juan Pierre was asked if he thought you could turn it around. Pierre said that he hit .200 for two months after he switched leagues. He said that you would take off in June and you did.

It is so difficult switching leagues. You have to learn new pitchers. Even Albert Pujols struggled. It was tough but eventually it clicked.

And then you broke your ankle.

It was a freak injury. But I’m 100 percent healthy now.

When you went on the DL, the team went on a massive slide.

It just wasn’t me. Ryan Howard was out of the lineup and then Dom Dog (Brown) got hurt. It was just one of those seasons.

You love Dom Dog. How good do you think he can be?

Dom can be as good as anybody. He has a lot of power. He’s taking what the pitchers are giving him right now. But I bet you he puts up some big power numbers soon. I also think he’s going to win a gold glove. He has so much speed out in left and an unbelievable arm.

Speaking of arms, your arm seems more powerful and accurate this year. What happened?

I was working on some things during spring training. I actually throw the ball differently and I’ve changed some other things and it’s better.

To score time on Sports Center, it’s all about hitting the ball out of the park. But you don’t seem to care about ever hitting a homer.

I don’t. It was obvious what my job was when I was brought up by the Minnesota Twins. It was to get on base. The Phillies traded for me so I could get on base. It doesn’t matter if I get on with a hit, a walk or an error. I have to get on base and let the big guys drive me in. Howard drives in so many runs and then you have (Marlon) Byrd-man and Dom Dog. We’re going to be scoring a lot of runs this season.

You didn’t play that much center with the Twins the season before you came to the Phillies. So you’re still learning the position.

Yes, I am still learning. I’m trying to make the best reads on balls as possible. A good read can save a run. I try to run the best routes and let my speed take care of the rest. Playing center is like being a dog in a big yard.

What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not at the ballpark?

I love history. It’s my passion. That’s one of the reasons I was thrilled to come to Philadelphia. There’s so much history here.

Did you experience much of that yet?

I experienced some last year when I was chillin’ with my injury. It’s amazing what you have in Philadelphia. I watch a lot of the history channel. I’m up to 1 a.m. sometimes. I’m up when I should be resting. But I love the show ‘Vikings.’ I love learning about the 1800s and about dinosaurs. It’s fascinating.

Will the Phillies make a little history this season?

I think we can. And I think it will be good, not bad history. If these guys stay healthy, we have a solid lineup. Cole (Hamels) is coming back. I like our chances to do something special.

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