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Q&A with Jemile Weeks

Camden Chat correspondent Ted Warren caught up with Norfolk Tides infielder Jemile Weeks, who answered questions ranging from his favorite player growing up to his experience winning the Gold in the World University Baseball Championships in 2006.

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Jemile Weeks has spent most of the 2014 season with the Norfolk Tides after coming to the Orioles organization in an off-season trade for Jim Johnson. He appeared in three games for the Orioles earlier this year, but a glut of middle infielders has limited his chances. For the Tides this year, Weeks is hitting .284/.409/.410, but has been limited to just 37 games due to an unspecified illness that kept him sidelined from May 27th to June 17th.

How did you get into the game?

I had a lot of inspiration from my dad, my brother, and my grandfather. They all enjoyed the game and they all played the game. I came up along the line of people that played the game.

What players did you look up to growing up?

Everybody looked up to Ken Griffey Jr. growing up along with Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, and Barry Larkin.

How much influence did your brother, Rickie, have on your baseball career growing up?

Quite a bit because we did a lot of stuff together when it came to baseball. Our dad would always have us together and we would always go out to the field and challenge each other and work on certain things and battle each other.

How did Miami University's baseball program help you in your development?

I think it helped a lot just being around an environment that you get used to managing your own time. You get used to baseball along with schoolwork along with outside life. It prepares you completely on the outside world to deal with the every day grind of a baseball season.

How was it representing your country in the World Baseball Championships?

That was one of the highlights of my college career. I was very fortunate to have a team to where almost everyone is in the big leagues. To win the Gold in Cuba was an experience I'll never forget.

Reflecting back on Draft Day back in 2008, how was it getting drafted in the first round by Oakland?

That was huge. Growing up, I never envisioned myself going that high up in the draft. As we got closer during my sophomore and junior years, I knew what the expectations may have been for myself. I never was sure until they called my name the day of the draft. That feeling is uncomparable. It's taking you from that youth level to the grown man league.

Can you share with readers the emotions you felt during your first major league game with the A's?

It was full of emotions. This was it. This is what you played for. Now lets get here and make it happen and try and make a career out of this.

And the team you faced?

The Orioles.

You're a speedy player, have you always used that to your advantage?

That's something I've always had in my back pocket, that's something in my tools that will never fade away.

You're coming back from injury, how are you adjusting to being back in the lineup?

It takes a little time, the first game my legs were a little tired. The next game just recovering as the days go on you start to just build on that. Right now I'm still in that building stage, but the normality is pretty much coming back.

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