DL: A player once told me that when guys in the minors say it’s all about “team,” they’re full of crap because everyone is playing for themselves and trying to get to the big leagues. Is that accurate?
MT: Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. I mean, especially with the first group you get drafted with, it’s easy to pull for the guys around you—you all want to be on the same path to the big leagues. You’re trying to win games in the minor leagues, but everyone is trying to get to the next level and get to the big leagues. As much as you pull for the guys around you, because your success is tied to theirs, everybody is trying to get to that next level and ultimately you have to be a little selfish in the minors.
DL: Is there much jealousy in the minor leagues?
MT: Yeah, I mean everybody—no matter where you are—always wants to be at the next level, so there is a lot of that. And obviously the guys that get drafted higher get a little better push or more opportunity, but it’s the nature of the beast. You always want to be moving up, no matter what profession you’re in. If somebody’s getting a better shot than you are, you’re always a little jealous and want to be the guy getting the shot. …