Thanks for stopping by for another edition of "Twins Bloggers: Get to Know 'Em"! This series has been quite a blessing to me -- not only do I get to be in contact with the vast array of people who make up Twins Territory online, but I also have a post written for me by another blogger that I can put up every week without thinking about too much! This is great!
My scribe for this week is relatively new on the scene of Twins blogs, but already he's becoming a must-read. And really, he's got arguably the best blog name ever: Undomed. Let's let Eric tell us a little about himself:
NAME: Eric Johnson
BIRTHDAY: April 25, 1987 (Seeing as how I am 22, I like to think I'm a ways away from caring if people know my age. Maybe I'll care more once I get past the stage where I am surprised/excited when I don't get carded at a bar or liquor store.)
HOMETOWN: St. Cloud, MN. Center of Minnesota, center of the Universe. Just kidding, St. Cloud kind of blows.
WHAT KEEPS YOU EMPLOYED OTHER THAN BLOGGING: I am currently "playing the field," if you will. Anyone looking to hire a recent college grad with a degree in English? I can spark note the crap out of classic literature and write a ten page paper for you.
FAVORITE COLOR: Blue
FAVORITE FOOD: A big old slab of BBQ ribs. I could literally drink BBQ sauce.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Mystic River
FAVORITE BOOK: Catcher in the Rye
FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: I dabble in a lot things. I'm not really hardcore about any certain band or type of music.
FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH OTHER THAN BASEBALL: Football
FAVORITE SPORT TO PLAY: Baseball and golf.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE VIKINGS/TIMBERWOLVES/WILD: I am a Vikings fan, and I couldn't care less about the Timberwolves or Wild. I dabble in Gophers basketball, though.
WHAT MAKES BASEBALL SO GREAT TO YOU: I don't think I can properly answer that in a number of words reasonable for this questionnaire. I love everything about baseball. The fact that the game is so simple, yet so complex. The game within the game. The little things. The intricacies. I dunno, you've got me flustered. Baseball is the greatest thing in the world.
IF YOU HAD TO FOLLOW ANOTHER TEAM, WHICH AND WHY: Do I look like a whore to you?
BEST EXPERIENCE AT A BALLPARK OTHER THAN THE DOME: I went on a road trip to Kansas City with four of my friends for a Twins vs. Royals series a few summers ago. During the second game, amidst a four game sweep, the Twins took the lead in the top of the 9th on back-t0-back home runs from Joe "MVP" Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. We also happened to be sitting in a section full of Twins fans chanting and cheering the entire game (the five of us were also shirtless with M-A-U-E-R written across our chests). After the game when Matt Guerrier was walking to clubhouse from the bullpen, he pointed to the five of us in the stands and gave us the tip the glass to the lips sign with his hands, showing props for our drunken shenanigans during the game. (Note: We were completely sober. Although, had you seen us, guessing we were drunk would have seemed like the safer bet. If I had a dollar for every time people around us had a phone conversation with their friends about "the crazy guys in front of us" every time out section was shown on TV, I would have like $3. Good times.) Seriously, though, everything about that game, and entire series for that matter, was a perfect storm of outdoor baseball, a Twins sweep, being 19 and on a road trip, and all the random Twins fans we met during the weekend.
OPINION ON INTERLEAGUE PLAY: I have mixed feelings. I enjoy shaking things up and seeing National League teams, but I also think Interleague Play makes the All Star Game and World Series a little less special.
OPINION ON THE UNBALANCED SCHEDULE: Again, I have mixed feelings. It is nice that teams have to go through their divisional opponents to make the playoffs, but it would also be nice to see non division opponents more often.
FAVORITE NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: Ken Griffey Jr.
MOST HATED NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: Since Barry Bonds is too easy, I'm going with Nick Swisher. I LOATHE Nick Swisher.
DID YOU EVER PLAY BASEBALL/SOFTBALL, WHAT POSITION: I played baseball through high school. I pitched when I was younger, and played mostly outfield in high school.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A TWINS FAN AND WHY: Have been my whole life for obvious, home town team related reasons.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT THE DOME: I have been in the odd position of being a Twins fan at arguably the best time in franchise history, but at the worst time in my life. For example, I missed the last game of 2006 because I was in Duluth for college. Ditto for the White Sox series in 2008. Last year, I went to games 161 and 162, but stupidly didn't buy tickets to game 163. I was going to buy a ticket online to game 163 and go by myself, but decided against it at the last second, which frustrates me so much that I still can't properly appreciate how amazing that game was. But to actually answer your question, I would go with game 161 last year when the Twins beat Greinke and Delmon Young of all people clutched up. The dome was bumpin that day. (That is the last time I will ever use the phrase something was "bumpin" by the way. I promise.)
EVER BEEN TO TWINS FEST, HOW WAS IT: When I was younger. It is what it is. Back when I collected baseball cards it was a lot of fun, but I've never cared about autographs, and it is basically just a big card/autograph show.
EVER BEEN TO SPRING TRAINING, HOW WAS IT: Yes. It was magical.
EVER BEEN CIRCLED BY BERT: I don't think so. My friends and I were on TV several times in Kansas City because we were the random shirtless guys with players names written across our chests, but I don't think Bert circled us. I'm not much of a sign maker.
EVER CAUGHT A FOUL BALL OF HOME RUN BALL AT THE DOME: No. I came close last year, but wussed out at the last second because I only had one free hand and catching it with one of my dainty, girlish hands seemed like it would be painful. The ball landed in the seat in front of me and some kid ended up with it, so I think it worked out better for everyone that way. I also almost got killed by a Carl Everett line drive home run during batting practice once, so I've got that going for me.
Twins Player Specific-
FAVORITE TWINS PLAYER IN HISTORY: Is there an answer other than Kirby Puckett to this question?
FAVORITE CURRENT TWINS PLAYER: Joe "MVP" Mauer
FAVORITE OBSCURE TWINS PLAYER: I can only choose one? I grew up during the mid-to-late nineties when all I had to root for was Paul Molitor, Brad Radke, and a bunch of obscure guys. I actually find obscure players more fascinating than the stars. So, with all due respect to J.T. Bruett, Terry Jorgenson, Alex Cole, Jerald Clark, Orlando Merced, Darrin Jackson, Greg Colbrunn, Greg Swindell, Gregg Olson, Scott Klingenbeck, Otis Nixon, Bob Tewksburg, Dave Hollins, Roberto Kelly, Jose Parra, Midre Cummings, Jose Offerman, and everyone else I am forgetting, I have to go with Bernardo Brito. Or Rusty Kuntz. (By the way, I'm a little disappointed that Erin from Plunking Gomez beat me to the Brito reference on this question a few weeks ago, but touche Ms. Gomez Plunker. Touche.) Editors Note: Erin at Plunking Gomez, is now Erin from Picked Off at First.
ARE THERE (WERE THERE) ANY TWINS PLAYERS YOU DISLIKE: I suppose. Chuck Knoblauch, for example, seems like a douche. Anyone else notice during the final ceremony for the Metrodome, the crowd didn't know how to react when Knoblauch was announced for the All Metrodome Team? The whole do-we-cheer-the-guy-for-what-he-did-on-the-field-even-though-he-just-choked-his-wife thing was kind of awkward. Speaking of which, how do people cheer him in the wife choking situation and throw hot dogs at him because he demanded a trade out of a terrible situation? Which, by the way, resulted in the Twins getting two key pieces (Milton and Guzman) in returning the Twins to the playoffs in 2002. Sometimes I don't understand people.
FAVORITE EXPERIENCE MEETING A PLAYER: Define meet. I got Kirby Puckett's autograph at spring training when I was in third grade, and after I got pushed out of the crowd of people he asked me if I wanted my pen back. That was pretty bitchin.
CURRENT PLAYER YOU'D MOST LIKE TO WATCH A GAME WITH: I have had a special place in my heart for Matt Guerrier ever since he accused me of being drunk in Kansas City, so I'll go with him. Plus, I met the birth mother of his adoptive daughter once. Small world eh?
YOU'D MOST LIKE TO GO TO A BAR WITH: J.J. Hardy seems like he would be a good wingman for some reason. However, I am going to cheat here and go with former player/current broadcaster Ron "Coom Dawg" Coomer. One of my goals in life is to go to a bar with Coomer and have him turn to me and say, and I quote, "This round's on Coom." I am 100% serious about this. It is one of my lifelong goals. If anyone can help me make this happen, I would be forever in your debt.
YOU'D MOST LIKE TO BE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND WITH: I would say this depends wholly on the circumstances. How long am I on the island? What kind of island is it? Where is the island located? Will I be forced to resort to cannibalism? There are just far too many factors to accurately answer this question.
YOU'D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: I'm curious to know if Jon Rauch is really as dense as his constant blank stare suggests. However, if the is that dense, dinner with him would be insanely boring so I'll go with Kevin Slowey. Slowey seems entertaining.
YOU'D WANT TO BE THE FRONT MAN OF YOUR NEW BAND: Screw that, if I'm starting a band I'm going to be the front man.
YOU THINK SHOULD BE A MOVIE STAR: You know what is sad? I spent like twenty minutes going through the Twins entire roster debating who would make a good movie star and still couldn't come up with anyone. Maybe Denard Span?
YOU'D ASK FOR HELP ON A SCIENCE LAB: Michael Cuddyer. Magic is a science right?
EXPECTATIONS OF TARGET FIELD: I find it hard to believe it won't be amazing. I've been to around 25ish professional games outside (including Spring Training) and there is just nothing that can compare to a baseball game outside. It's hard to explain, but watching a game in the Metrodome always seemed different, like it was baseball, but not really. You all know what I'm talking about.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE TEAM NEXT YEAR: I fully expect the 2010 season, as a whole, to be much more enjoyable than 2009.
A huge thanks to Eric of Undomed for taking the time to answer these questions for us! Help support his blog and bump up that readership -- he's a great addition to our blogosphere and a pleasure to read! Make sure to come by next week (we'll be returning to Fridays...) when Andrew Kneeland of Twins Target takes the hotseat!