Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Meet the Suns Ben Simon

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Meet the Suns Ben Simon

Article excerpt

Ben Simon is in his second stint with the Suns, having spent the first half of the 2001 season in Jacksonville and being named the starting pitcher in last year's Southern League All-Star Game. He was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas for the second half of last season, and began this season there. But on June 2, Simon was sent back to Jacksonville. The 27-year-old right hander talked with Times-Union sports writer Jeff Elliott earlier this week about how he's had to deal with accepting the move back to Double-A baseball, playing winter ball in the Venezuelan League and the comparison of Las Vegas' and Jacksonville's nightlife.

Q: In your opinion, why were you demoted from Las Vegas back to Jacksonville?

A: "I'm not totally sure. I guess they were having some arm problems here and I needed to iron some things out. I didn't feel I was throwing bad in Vegas. I had just one bad outing. I felt I was throwing the ball really good. But then Dennis Springer came down from the Dodgers to rehab and they had to open up a spot, so I was sent here."

Q: How tough is that to accept, going from Triple-A to Double-A, knowing you were only one phone call away from being in the major leagues at the time?

A: "It wasn't something I wanted to hear. It was very discouraging, actually. I had to regroup once I got here. It took me a good week to do that. Nothing against being here. It's just I wanted to be up there in Vegas, and not here. And I felt I was good enough to be there. But there's nothing you can do about it except to go out and show them that you don't belong at this level. That's what I'm trying to do."

Q: Such as your performance Thursday night, when you went the distance and allowed only one run and four hits?

A: "Yes, that was my best effort of the year. I felt I had good command of all my pitches. I was really on. …

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