- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Washington Nationals catcher Brian Schneider will be a first-time father in a couple of weeks. Schneider recently attended this year’s Super Bowl in Miami, and he plans to make pro football’s biggest game an annual tradition.

Schneider also has a big job in front of him: catching the host of pitchers in camp trying to win a spot in the Nats’ wide-open rotation.

Ken Wright caught up with Schneider outside the batting cages on Tuesday for a quick Q&A.;

Q: What did you do this offseason?

A: I went to Japan with the MLB All-Stars. Came home from that and my cousin got married, my sister got married, and pretty much just hung out with my wife as much as possible.

She’s been pregnant so it’s good to be around her. We did go down to the Super Bowl for three days of partying down there. I had a blast down there. It’s an event I plan on going to every year for the rest of my life.

Q: What are you going to name your soon-to-be first child?

A: We have not told anybody. It’s a secret. It’s really ticking our parents off, too.

Q: When will the world know your child’s name?

A: When it’s born. March 7 is our due date. We’ll have to see if it comes early or not, but it’s a little girl, that’s for sure.

Q: Were you happy with the Penn State football season? [Schneider was raised primarily in Northhampton, Pa.].

A: They hung in there close against Ohio State. The score really didn’t dictate how good of a game it was. Overall, I thought it was a good season. I would have liked to see [Anthony] Morelli stay healthy for that Michigan game and see what they could have done. It ended up being a pretty good game. They have a lot of guys coming back next year so I’m looking forward to it.

Q: And how about Penn State’s recruiting class?

A: I think ESPN had it about 20, but [Joe Paterno] has done good the last couple of years, so that should help out for at least the next couple of seasons.

Q: What’s your favorite sport other than baseball?

A: Golf to play. I grew up playing basketball my whole life, but now it’s a blast to go out there with the guys and have fun and play golf.

Q: Who’s your favorite athlete other than yourself?

A: Growing up was Michael Jordan, but these days I love watching Tiger Woods. The reason I like watching Tiger Woods is because he is dominant out there. There’s pressure on him every week, week in and week out, and he just seems to know how to do it and he’s so clutch.

Q: Do think the Washington Wizards will win the NBA’s Eastern Conference?

A: I hope they win the East, that’s for sure. They had a rough one the other night against the Spurs at home.

Q: How hard is your job now with so many pitchers in this camp?

A: It’s going to be tough. My main concern obviously is the starting pitching. So, I’m going to give them the most attention and catch as many of those guys and as often as I can, because they’re all going to get a shot in spring.

When I’m catching them, I want to be the best back there for them so it gives them a fair shot to make the team. I don’t want to be back there not knowing what they throw and have them getting hurt out there as far as giving up some runs.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about spring training?

A: Being back with the guys. You go all offseason, texting them or talking to them here and there, and you spend so much time during the season with them, it’s always good to get back with the guys.

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