His answer was so simple it seemed painfully obvious, and yet to anyone who has spent more than two decades rooting for the Colorado Rockies, Jason Motte's answer was highly counterintuitive.
Why, when it was literally only a matter of his own wishes, would a pitcher choose to come to Coors Field?
"I think Denver is awesome," Motte said. "I've always liked the city. It's always been a fun place for me ... super chill, super laid back." Noticing that the relief pitcher and I share a certain defining characteristic, I interjected with a motion toward my facial hair -- "and, yes," Motte added, "beard friendly."
When it comes to the horrors witnessed by so many hurlers at his new home ballpark, Motte takes a distinctly different viewpoint than Bryan Kilpatrick. Though, to be fair to the bossman, I think his position is more that the organization needs to be acutely aware of and prepared for the unusual nature of its home ballpark, and not that pitchers should be thinking about it whilst standing on the mound.
Motte's opinions on this matter are uniquely noteworthy, though, because they come from someone who was not developed -- nor even yet coached -- by the Rockies organization, and who clearly takes a cerebral approach to baseball.
"I've had really good games here, I've had bad games here, but I've had the same in other places," Motte recollected. "If you go out there and your mindset is thinking about all the statistics, you should just go ahead and hop off the mound anyway; you shouldn't be out there."
Motte wasn't just espousing wisdom on what not to think about. While describing where a pitcher's mental focus should be, he simultaneously gives a humorous example of his view on the right kind of general mindset, especially when pitching in offensive environments.
"You gotta go out there with the right attitude and really just stay focused on what you need to be focused on, and that's [the] pitch at that time," Motte explained. "Take the ball back and do it again. Get the ball back if you can or ask the umpire for another one and try to do it again. You play long enough, you're gonna give up runs."
He didn't come right out and say it, but what Motte was describing is a short memory and a lack of fear.
Earlier in the session, the most successful pitcher in Coors Field history -- Jorge De La Rosa -- summed up his secret in one two-word mantra: "Don't think." Motte's echo of that sentiment and numerous observations throughout his interview have quadrupled my interest in his 2016 performance.
We'll have more on Motte's thoughts regarding the evolution of bullpen roles and statistics soon. One thing is for sure: this offseason the Rockies acquired a remarkably smart, interesting and engaging pitcher who will be within earshot of the most promising group of young arms the club has ever seen.