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    Getting to Know James Paxton

    Name: James Alston Paxton

    Born: November 6, 1988 (age 30) in Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

    Nickname: The Big Maple

    MLB debut: September 7, 2013, for the Seattle Mariners

    Position: Pitcher 2019 Salary: $8,575,000

    You just won 10 games in a row. Have you ever had a stretch like this in your career? I don’t know if I’ve ever had a stretch quite this long. Had some good stretches in the past, but this is probably the longest stretch that I’ve had in my career so far.

    You are currently 15-6, with a 3.73 ERA and are extremely hot. What is making you enjoy playing for New York so much lately? Because I really enjoy the energy. I feel like it raises me up. It doesn’t shut me down. It makes me better having that pressure, and having that intensity. I feed off on that intensity.

    Have you been thinking a lot about the post season? You definitely think about it because it is coming, it’s around the corner, but I’m focusing on one game at a time and I’ll be the same in the postseason.

    What drives you? I think the love of competition, and the drive to be the best. I want to be the best.

    What was your favorite baseball team growing up? The Seattle Mariners was the team I grew up rooting for. I was only three hours north of Seattle, had some family in Seattle, so it was the closest place for us to go watch baseball games. They were always on TV. It was really cool to have them that close.

    Did you play any other sports growing up? No, I didn’t. Baseball was always my sport. I played soccer when I was really young and I swam a little bit, but competitively past the age of 13, it was all baseball.

    What do you like to do on an off-day? We don’t get a whole lot of them right now, but just taking it easy, just relaxing, trying to rest up for the next day and that kind of thing. Getting the sleep in, that kind of thing. For the most part, just relaxing. During the off season, I like fishing.

    Who is one pitcher whose brain you would love to have picked? I think Randy Johnson. I would talk to him about how he attacked hitters and just his mentality on the mound, and how he got himself in that head space. Because he always looked so intense and so fired up and so engaged on the mound, I’d love to know where he went to mentally to get to that point.

    What are your career goals as a Yankee? To win lots of championships. That’s why we’re here. And we have a really good team, and we have a good chance to do it. And I’m really excited because of the team that we have here pitching, lineup, bullpen. It’s a great group, and I’m really excited to be part of it.

    What message do you have for Yankees fans? Going into the playoffs, get excited about this team. It’s a very talented team, very capable team of winning the whole thing. We’re driven, we’re excited, and can’t wait to win it all!