JUPITER, Fla. — As a rookie last year, Marlins right-hander Steve Cishek set a team record with 14 2/3 scoreless innings to start his career.
By the end of his first full season, the 25-year-old went 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 54 2/3 innings as one of the team’s top relievers.
Away from the mound, many might not know Cishek fell victim to a hilarious team prank.
In June during a three-game series in St. Petersburg, the Marlins stayed at a notoriously haunted hotel.
A few teammates (who may or may not have confessed) knocked on his door and pretended to be ghosts in the middle of the night.
But what else don’t we know about the Massachusetts native?
In the first edition of “Random Questions” — in which I ask and/or comment on the most random yet timely of things to a fortunate few — I caught up with Cishek in the clubhouse at Roger Dean Stadium on the final day of Grapefruit League action in Jupiter.
Christina: If I were to take your iPod, what would be the first song that showed up?
Christina: What’s something people don’t know about you?
Steve: My worst fear — I could see a snake or a spider all day — but if a crab or a lobster is in front of me I’ll freak out.
Christina: So you’ll never eat…
Steve: I just don’t like the taste. I’d love to eat them just to spite them.
Christina: One word or sentence to describe Spring Training bus rides.
Steve: I’d say ‘quiet.’ Everyone’s sleeping or watching more baseball on the TV. I’d say ‘mellow.’
Christina: “Titanic 3D” comes out next week, what’re the chances you actually see it?
Steve: Not very good.
Christina: Did you ever see it when it was first in theaters?
Steve: I saw it in theaters, sadly, when I was in sixth grade with three of my buddies. We all thought it would be about the discovery of the Titanic. It took place in Woods Hole, which is part of Falmouth where I’m from, so we used to watch National Geographic. We thought it was going to be a movie on that, and it ended up being a love story. We were super disappointed when we walked out.
Steve: (adds) But I almost cried.
Christina: What was the last movie that made you cry?
Steve: “The Blind Side.” I just felt so bad when I saw him walking down the street in the pouring rain and the lady had the heart… [It being a true story], that’s what got me. I was seriously biting my lip like, ‘Oh man, I’m about to lose it.’
Christina: You mentioned to me before about being a substitute teacher once. What was that like?
Steve: It was fun, actually. I had a good time with the kids. I did anything. Anytime they had a teacher out, I’d step in, and they usually had a movie to show. Whenever I had PE — that’s what my major was at [Carson-Newman College] — I really enjoyed it and had a good time.
Christina: How common (or uncommon) is it to be a UM fan in Massachusetts?
Steve: Probably uncommon. The only reason why I’m a UM fan is because my dad was when I was growing up, so I started watching them.
Christina: What was your first memory and favorite player?
Steve: Ken Dorsey. That was one of the greatest college football teams. And it was so much fun to watch. They just stomped everyone.
Christina: And then I went to UM, and they did the opposite…
Steve: (laughs) ‘The downfall.’ But they’ll be on the rise again, I’m sure.