May 2, 2007

A weekly Q&A with Baylor's student-athletes

May 2, 2007


Jeff Mandel
Senior, Pitcher

When did you start playing your sport?
Around five or six years old.

Who has had the greatest impact on your career?
Definitely my parents.

What is the best part of being a college athlete?
Competing for the school.

Favorite sport other than your own?
To play: golf. To watch: college basketball.

What is your nickname on the team and why?
Mandeezy. It used to be "Answer" until I turned "just pitcher."

After meeting Coach Smith, what was you first thought?
Seemed like a great guy. Definitely set on improving this program at the time.

Do you have a pre-game ritual, if so what is it?
I try to relax. Listen to music and read. Then I get stretched to go.

Who are your favorite sports heroes?
Nolan Ryan. Derek Lowe. Nomar Garciaparra.

What is the most unique item in your locker?
Gotta be the sunscreen. When you're pasty white like me you need protection.

What is the highlight of your sports career?
Watching us come back against Tulane at the World Series, and getting the first World Series win by a Baylor pitcher in school history, and hitting the regional winning homerun while getting the victory as the pitcher against Stanford in 2005.

What is the funniest moment from Baylor practice.
A couple years back we had a bee swarm fly right over us during team defense. Talk about some grown men acting like girls.

What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome?
Trying to find the happy medium between schoolwork and baseball.

What is your most embarrassing sports moment?
Plenty of times when I used to "hit" where I didn't have a prayer at the plate. Ha!

What opposing schools do you most look forward to competing against ?
Texas Tech, Rice, Texas.

What is your favorite team road trip?
Missouri is always fun. California is too. Vanderbilt was amazing, as well.

Who is your biggest fan?
My fiancée Sarah or my mom.

Why did you choose to attend Baylor?
Great feel. The people, the campus and the team in 2004.

What's the most important thing you've learned as a Baylor athlete?
The Lord will provide opportunity. Treat everyone with respect in my classes and on the field. I have found out that you can learn something from just about everyone.

What single thing will you most miss about Baylor when you leave?
The campus and the people. Good, Texas people.

Who is your all-time favorite Baylor athlete?
I have huge respect for guys like Jason Jennings and Kip Wells for the work they did (and still do) to build this program. We're some of the luckiest athletes in the country because of the work they have put in here.

What is one thing you would change about Baylor?
I would hope for more focus on the teacher-student relationships that define Baylor rather than 2012 and awards. Some of the greatest leaders in the community are lost here because they do not have flashy academic criteria.

As a role model to young athletes, what advice can you give?
Treat everyone with respect because you don't know what kind of battles they're facing in their lives. And nothing can be said about a person's character better than how they handle adversity.

What are three words that describe you?
Forgiven. Sarcastic. Steady.

What song is stuck in your head right now?
The Almost - Amazing Because It Is

What is your favorite T.V. show?
Miami Ink, Man vs. Wild

Name one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you.
I write music and sing.

Name one thing you can't go a week without.
My ipod / my Message Bible

What is your dream job?
Pitching in the big leagues.

What's your most valued possession?

What song is playing in your MP3 player right now?
Bands: The Wedding, Underoath, Lovedrug, Deas Vail, Kaddisfly, Anberlin, The Almost, Sleeping at Last

Best non-athletic talent?
Liking School.

Favorite musical artist?

Biggest superstition?
I don't think there's room for superstition in Christianity so not much. I'm sure I've stepped on plenty of cracks and foul lines in my life.

Biggest fear?
Not having a family.

Biggest pet-peeve?
People who say "like" and "ya know" between every word they say

Least favorite food?

Worst movie you've seen?
"The Day After Tomorrow" OR any baseball movie besides "Bull Durham."

Favorite T-Shirt?

Best opposing Big 12 fans?
Texas A&M

Movies or TV?

Discovery Channel

Inflatable Judge or Bruiser?
Inflatable Judge

Daytime or Nighttime?

Penland or Memorial?

Cars or Trucks?
The Troop

compiled by David Kaye, Athletic Media Relations student assistant



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