Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Since this week is cut short for the holiday, my offseason series is being published today instead of Friday. Not much in the way of baseball news usually happens over Thanksgiving weekend usually, it seems like everyone takes a well-deserved break. I do remember being up in Boston two years ago for Thanksgiving though, and that's when I read the news of Torii Hunter signing with the Angels. On Thanksgiving. Let's hope that if we get any news this weekend that it's positive news regarding signings...
This week I'm happy to present Erin of Plunking Gomez! Erin is able to perfectly balance that fine blogging line between humor and analysis, and she does both with the utmost expertise. Not only is she able to use SABR friendly terminology to project the sustainability of someone like Matt Guerrier, but she's also able to do it in a way that keeps you smiling while you read it. I always look forward to seeing a new post on her site, and I hope you get a chance to check it out because it's one of the first places I stop by every morning.
Without further ado:
WEBSITE: Plunking Gomez. At least for now.
HOMETOWN: Bumf**k, Minnesota. I grew up in Hugo, when it was pretty much a rural community. Back then it was pretty much just a gas station, the gun shop, and the liquor store. I think we had a bank/post office and a church or two, as well.
WHAT KEEPS YOU EMPLOYED OTHER THAN BLOGGING: I work for the gubmint (sort of). Oh, and it's not technically a job, but I am also a student at the University of St. Thomas (go Tommies!). I think I'm going to be an accountant when I grow up.
FAVORITE COLOR: I don't really have one.
FAVORITE FOOD: Oooh, that's a tough one. I have yet to meet food that I don't like. I just had beef lo mein for lunch, so as of this moment, beef lo mein is my favorite food.
FAVORITE MOVIE: The Eye. The original version, directed by the Pang brothers. I've never seen the one with Jessica Alba. I tend to like horror movies a lot, and this one is about the best I've seen. A Tale of Two Sisters is definitely at the top of my list as well.
FAVORITE BOOK: I don't have time to do much reading outside of college, but I just got done reading Joe Posnanski's The Machine: The Story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, which I liked a lot. The TwinsCentric Offseason GM Handbook is the best non-beer related $10 I've ever spent. Non-sports related: Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut
FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: Well, as you can probably tell from reading my blog, I like all kinds of music. Probably "whatever I'm listening to at the moment" is my favorite type of music, which has to be about the lamest answer ever.
FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH OTHER THAN BASEBALL: Hockey
FAVORITE SPORT TO PLAY: I dunno, I'm not terribly athletic. Lawn darts isn't really a sport, is it?
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE VIKINGS/TIMBERWOLVES/WILD: Vikings: I'm not a huge football fan, but I do cheer for the Vikes. Maybe they'll finally win the Super Bowl this year! Well, provided Favre's arm holds up and he doesn't throw any costly picks in the playoffs. And provided Antoine Winfield makes a speedy recovery, the secondary looks pretty week without him. Geez, I don't know if I should be excited about this team or not.
Timberwolves: Yeah, they've won one entire game so far this season, but for the first time in what seems like forever, I feel pretty optimistic about the direction of the franchise. I like what David Khan is doing with the team. He completely ripped apart everything Kevin McHale did in a matter of weeks, essentially erasing the stench of failure that has dogged this team for the past fourteen years. They now have salary and cap room! And I'm also really excited about the arrival of Ricky Rubio in 2025 or so.
Wild: Ummm...well, at least they'll end up with a high draft pick, so there's that. Unless they screw up and start winning, anyway. There isn't much talent in the system, so the Wild could really benefit from a down year. I'd like to see them get the number one pick, but it's really hard to be worse at hockey than the Leafs.
WHAT MAKES BASEBALL SO GREAT TO YOU: It is the closest thing to a thinking man's game in professional sports in this country. That's probably why football is America's game.
IF YOU HAD TO FOLLOW ANOTHER TEAM, WHICH AND WHY: I guess I might kind of pay attention to the Brewers from now on.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT A BALLPARK OTHER THAN THE DOME: I have never actually been to a ballpark other than the Dome, though I do have a rather lengthy list of ballparks I would like to visit. I just don't get out of town very often. I am definitely going to make the trip to Miller Park during interleague next year, though.
OPINION ON INTERLEAGUE PLAY: It's all fun and games until a starting pitcher twists his ankle running the bases. Seriously, National League, get with the times already!
OPINION ON THE UNBALANCED SCHEDULE: I have kind of mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I love the unbalanced schedule. Bitter sports rivalries are fun, and I enjoy playing the White Sox eighty-something times per year. Especially when we beat them and Ozzie completely loses his sh*t. Man, those post-game press conferences are the best. On the other hand, it gives fans of mediocre teams in tough divisons too much to bitch about. I get tired of hearing how teams like the Twins and Tigers don't belong in the postseason because they play in such a weak division. And it probably isn't fair that teams like the Rays and Blue Jays have to play the Yankees and Red Sox eleventy-billion times a season, while the Twins get the Royals and Indians. So down with the unbalanced schedule, bring on the Yankees and Red Sox! I guess.
FAVORITE NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: I always enjoyed watching Pedro Martinez pitch during his prime. I had never seen anything like him before, and I doubt I ever will again (although Zack Greinke's 2009 season was pretty special). I feel the same way about Albert Pujols as a hitter right now.
MOST HATED NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: I don't really hate other players. I mean, there are players I don't really like, but I don't like to waste time actively hating on them. It just takes too much energy that could be used in more productive ways, like obsessing over Joe Mauer's contract extension.
DID YOU EVER PLAY BASEBALL/SOFTBALL, WHAT POSITION: I have only played softball during gym class. I think I played left field. I wasn't very good.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A TWINS FAN AND WHY: I did write a lengthy post on this subject awhile back, but it's mostly because of the 1987 World Series. When this is one of your earliest memories of your baseball team:
you are pretty much hooked for life.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT THE DOME: Gosh, there have been so many. Well, there have been plenty of crappy ones, too. Most of the Twins teams I am old enough to remember were pretty bad. I have to say that watching Johan Santana strike out 17 Rangers was pretty cool, though.
EVER BEEN TO TWINS FEST? HOW WAS IT: No, and I don't really want to go, either. I haven't had any desire to meet the players or get autographs or anything since I was about 12.
EVER BEEN TO SPRING TRAINING? HOW WAS IT: Nope. I have always wanted to go, though. I mean, it's baseball. In Florida. In March. Unfortunately, either work obligations or lack of money have always gotten in the way. Maybe I'll finally make it down there this year.
Twins Player Specific-
FAVORITE TWINS PLAYER IN HISTORY: Harmon Killebrew. Arguably the greatest Twin of all time, and from what I've heard, probably the nicest guy on the planet.
FAVORITE CURRENT TWINS PLAYER: Denard Span, although I am really, really, really going to miss Go Go. This Interview with Yahoo! Sports pretty much sealed it, though.
FAVORITE OBSCURE TWINS PLAYER: When I was a kid, I really liked Bernardo Brito. I thought he had such a cool-sounding name. What can I say? I was ten.
ARE THERE (WERE THERE) ANY TWINS PLAYERS YOU DISLIKE: Not really. Certainly, there are some players I like more than others, but I cheer for them all anyway. Delmon Young, for example, is hardly my favorite player, but nothing would make me happier than to see him live up to his enormous potential.
EXPECTATIONS OF TARGET FIELD: I was born the same year as the BaggieDome, so I have never known outdoor baseball. Lots of people think it's going to be cold in April and during the Twins' annual World Series run in October, but I doubt I'll ever notice after a beer or twelve. The new place looks beautiful, though, and the best part is that opponents won't have the Dome to blame when they lose anymore. People will just have to admit that the Twins are a good team.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE TEAM NEXT YEAR: To win the World Series. I don't think that's asking too much, is it?
A huge thanks to Erin! Add her site to your daily queue, you'll be glad you did! I'm off to New Jersey for Thanksgiving, and it's going to be rather rural, so I might not have much in the way of phone reception, but I'm still going to try to join Jack Steal for our weekly podcast, so check it out regardless of if I'm able to call in or not! And be sure to stop by next Friday, when I profile Andrew Bryz-Gornia of We Are Off the Mark! Have a great Thanksgiving!