We are back for the 5th installment of my offseason series: Twins Bloggers "Get to Know 'Em". If you haven't checked out the previous installments, definitely go through and get to know some of your Twins bloggers a little better (KC's Baseball Blog, Seth Stohs, Jack Steal, and For the Love of the Game).
This week, I'm pleased to introduce Josh Johnson of Josh's Thoughts. His blog was one of the first I came across when I started getting interested in the Twins blogosphere, and it still remains one of the best today. Josh has very balanced insight into the Twins organization, and is also very knowledgeable about prospects -- both within our minor league system and without -- as he does very detailed profiles on them that will provide you with plenty of information to read. He also wrote one of the single best pieces looking at the White Sox that I've ever read.
Without further ado:
NAME: Josh Johnson
BIRTHDAY: February 8, 1988
HOMETOWN: Burnsville, MN
WHAT KEEPS YOU EMPLOYED OTHER THAN BLOGGING: I'm a student at SCSU. Work in the summer though.
FAVORITE COLOR: Blue, Green, and Orange. It's a pretty close race between the 3.
FAVORITE FOOD: Pizza? Other than that I like pancakes.
FAVORITE MOVIE: I don't know if I have a real 'favorite'. Shawshank Redemption, Into the Wild, Crash, and Forrest Gump are all up there. And of course, Superbad.
FAVORITE BOOK: Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy
FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: Country
FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH OTHER THAN BASEBALL: Football
FAVORITE SPORT TO PLAY: Football
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE VIKINGS/TIMBERWOLVES/WILD: I love all Minnesota sports.
WHAT MAKES BASEBALL SO GREAT TO YOU: Anything can happen at any time. One bad pitch or one good swing can change the ball game instantly.
IF YOU HAD TO FOLLOW ANOTHER TEAM, WHICH AND WHY: Probably the Pirates or Rangers. I used to love the Tampa Bay Rays (still do), I like teams that build from within. I doubt the Twins had anything to do with that :)
BEST EXPERIENCE AT A BALLPARK OTHER THAN THE DOME: I unfortunately haven't been to another stadium. That'll hopefully be changing soon, though.
OPINION ON INTERLEAGUE PLAY: I personally love it, although I can see why some wouldn't like it. I actually wish there was more of it and I actually wish they'd either get rid of the DH rule or make it used in both leagues. I just like playing against a wider variety of teams. I wish we played the Cardinals, Cubs, etc. more.
OPINION ON THE UNBALANCED SCHEDULE: I'm fine with it. But I do wish we played against more NL teams, even if that meant taking away games against teams in our division.
FAVORITE NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: Even though I never got to see him play, I've seen film of Willie Mays and to me he's probably the best ever. Other than that, I'd have to say Ken Griffey Jr. (Come on, I grew up in the 90's. If you didn't have a man crush on Griffey, there might have been something wrong with you.)
MOST HATED NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: I couldn't stand Carl Everett. For much of the same reasons I can't stand Milton Bradley.
DID YOU EVER PLAY BASEBALL/SOFTBALL, WHAT POSITION: Yes. Nowadays, I'm the Nick Punto of my softball team. But don't worry, my bat is much like Delmon Young's :/
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A TWINS FAN AND WHY: Around 7th/8th grade (2000/2001). I liked baseball, but I saw a day game against the Kansas City Royals when Jacque Jones lead off the game with a home run and later in the same inning Torii Hunter also hit a home run. I think both finished with two on the day. For some reason, that got me hooked.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT THE DOME: June 13, 2006. Santana vs. Schilling. Kubel hit a walk-off Grand Slam in extra innings.
EVER BEEN TO TWINS FEST?: I go pretty regularly. It's a great experience and I recommend it to anyone who hasn't gone before.
EVER BEEN TO SPRING TRAINING: I haven't yet, but I hope to soon.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CIRCLED BY BERT: No. I don't bring signs to games.
HAVE YOU EVER CAUGHT A FOUL BALL OR HOME RUN AT THE DOME: No. But it's a dream to catch a home run ball.
Twins Player Specific-
FAVORITE TWINS PLAYER IN HISTORY: Kirby Puckett. Again, it's a 90's thing.
FAVORITE CURRENT TWINS PLAYER: Denard Span
FAVORITE OBSCURE TWINS PLAYER: Delmon Young
ARE THERE (WERE THERE) ANY TWINS PLAYERS YOU DISLIKE: A few. I couldn't stand Denny Hocking. I know he was a 'good guy' but man he was annoying to watch. And I know I am in the minority on this one, but I for some reason held a grudge against Lew Ford. I regularly refer to him as "Loser" Ford. Clever, I know.
FAVORITE EXPERIENCE MEETING A PLAYER: I met both Denard Span and Jeff Manship at Twins Fest two years ago and had conversations with both. (Both had recently done interviews for my site). Both are great guys. I also got a hugging handshake from Torii Hunter once. I think he thought I was someone else.
CURRENT PLAYER YOU'D MOST LIKE TO WATCH A GAME WITH: Denard Span
GO TO A BAR WITH: Jon Rauch
BE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH: ?? Maybe Nick Punto for his tree-climbing abilities.
HAVE DINNER WITH: Mike Redmond
BE THE FRONT MAN OF YOUR NEW BAND: If it's a rap group, definitely Joe Mauer.
THINK SHOULD BE A MOVIE STAR: I'm going to go with Torii Hunter. Now I know he's not a current Twin, but he looks like The Haitian from Heroes.
EXPECTATIONS OF TARGET FIELD: It's going to be the best place to watch a baseball game in America. But in that, I'm excluding 'classic' ballparks of Fenway and Wrigley.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE TEAM NEXT YEAR: Make the needed improvements in the areas we are weak. That obviously will start this offseason. I also expect us to make the playoffs next season.
Much thanks to Josh Johnson for taking the time to answer my questions! He's been very busy with all his classes recently, so getting his assistance was a huge help and greatly appreciated. Be sure to check out his site if you don't already! Also, stop by next Friday when we profile Thrylos of The Tenth Inning Stretch!