Right-hander Alex Cobb has the right to feel confident, both in his place in the Rays rotation and his ability to fling a Frisbee. But Cobb's bravado ends when it comes to boat owning, as a rookie mistake led to the end of his 17-foot Sea Raider in January. In a conversation with Times writer Joe Smith, Cobb discusses his boating adventure, stealing from a Red Sox player and a special sibling inspiration.
JS: What was it like owning a boat?
AC: It was fun while it lasted. Just bought it to go island hopping, take my dog (Axel) out. It started beeping at me, didn't know why it was for three weeks. And then it just seized up one day when we were out in the middle of the water — me, (Rays LHP Matt Moore, left), Axel, and one of my roommates. I thought it was the gas. So I had my other roommate kayak out a gallon of gasoline. It wasn't the gas. And then I found out I forgot to put oil in it. Just seized up. A rookie boater mistake.
JS: So the legend of your dog, Axel (an 85-pound American bulldog) saving you guys, bringing you in, wasn't true?
AC: No, he did, he tugged us in. I pushed us up from the middle of nowhere to an island. Axel was getting antsy (and) jumped off the boat. He had his life vest on and swam in a little bit. And I tied the boat to his collar and he pulled in the boat about 30 yards. It's not like we were stranded, but it was cool.
JS: Is that the last boat you'll own?
AC: Well, Matt bought a boat, so I'll have him keep it at my place. And maybe get a jet ski or something.
JS: Every dog has a personality. What is Axel like?
AC: (Ticked) off and bored, to keep it short and simple. He always looks mad, stubborn. But very loving. A good buddy. He's always very attached at the hip.
JS: Favorite TV show?
AC: I like Ridiculousness and Modern Family. I watch a lot of HGTV (Home & Garden Television).
JS: HGTV? What do you watch on that?
AC: I like Property Brothers and House Hunters. I like when they do Million Dollar Rooms. They're cool.
JS: Favorite movie?
AC: Dumb and Dumber.
JS: Band you'd like to be on stage with?
AC: Red Hot Chili Peppers. Just good old classic '90s kind of chill music.
JS: Last book you read?
AC: I couldn't even lie to you and make one up, it's been so long since I read a book. More blogs, internet, Twitter, I read those.
JS: What App do you use a lot on your IPhone?
AC: Sleep Pillow. I listen to thunderstorms every night when I go to sleep.
JS: Knew you grew up in the Boston area for the first few years of your life, went to Fenway. Who were your favorite Red Sox?
AC: Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, I actually got a picture of me and David Ortiz, I was bat boy for him. I was picking up a bat and he was walking right next to me. That was pretty cool. … Roger Clemens. Curt Schilling. Nomar (Garciaparra) was one of my big-time favorites.
JS: So that photo with you and Ortiz was when you were a bat boy with the Dodgers, in spring training in Vero Beach, where you moved, right?
AC: Yes. I got to see (Ortiz). I actually stole a pair of his batting gloves. I don't think he knows about it yet.
JS: Saw your older brother, R.J. (commander in the Army who won a Purple Heart) visited recently before he deployed to Afghanistan. What influence did he have on you growing up?
AC: From a little kid, he always kind of kept me straight and narrow. If he caught me doing anything wrong, he'd whoop my butt pretty much. It wasn't until he got out of college and he got into that military role that I started … gaining a huge amount of respect for him and what he goes through day in and day out. … It kind of puts in perspective what a nice life I have.
JS: You guys on the pitching staff have a lot of fun, and I know Frisbee has been a favorite in pregame workouts — specifically you, LHP Matt Moore and RHP Jeremy Hellickson. Who's the best?
AC: We all have our days, but I think I'm the most consistent for sure, between the three of us at least. We'll see this year. Whether it's Frisbee or not, I expect to be the better of the three.
Joe Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org