Next week we are lucky to have pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training! I've decided that that will mark the official end of my offseason blog series. That being said, expect a loaded week next week with several Get to Know 'Ems. After you read Jesse's profile below, be sure to check out our lineup for next week!
Jesse is arguably the most prolific blogger over at Twinkie Town. If you've never checked out Twinkie Town then I don't know what more to say. It is the source for Twins info on the internet. Besides linking to almost every article that other websites publish, it offers some of the most educated and informational analysis on a variety of Twins topics. Even ignoring it's user-generated content from the many frequenters of the website and only focusing on Jesse's contributions, you can find everything from in-depth player analysis, to fun speculation. Without further ado:
NAME: Jesse Lund
BIRTHDAY: June 15 (Chant with me! GE-MI-NI, GE-MI-NI, GE-MI-NI...)
HOMETOWN: Breckenridge, MN
WHAT KEEPS YOU EMPLOYED OTHER THAN BLOGGING: I'm the marketing and promotions guru for an independent publishing company
FAVORITE COLOR: Blue
FAVORITE FOOD: Meat & mashed potatoes
FAVORITE MOVIE: Just one? The Usual Suspects is great. Casablanca. Happy Gilmore. Bull Durham.
FAVORITE BOOK: Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy is great, too.
FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: Not country. But again, I can't pick just one! My five favorite songs of this week:
Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More
BRMC: Weapon of Choice
Tiesto: Feel It In My Bones
Living Things: Bom Bom Bom
Muse: [Insert any song here]
FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH OTHER THAN BASEBALL: American football
FAVORITE SPORT TO PLAY: Basketball
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE VIKINGS/TIMBERWOLVES/WILD: Love the Vikings and I will until I die, I'm in so much pain over the quality of play with the Wolves that I haven't watched a game in over a year (although in the big picture I'm in favor of the direction the team has been heading under new leadership), and as much as I try I just can't get into hockey. I'd like to. Going to a game might help, but that might be difficult considering where I live now.
WHAT MAKES BASEBALL SO GREAT TO YOU: The nuances. The fact that the more you know about it, the more beautiful it becomes (a trademarked TwinsGeek phrase). To me, baseball can be a metaphor for life in a lot of ways.
IF YOU HAD TO FOLLOW ANOTHER TEAM, WHICH AND WHY: The Cubs. I'm not sure why. They epitomize baseball to me--in my mind, the Cubs always play under blue skies in Wrigley Field, and the sun reflects off those distinctive blue helmets.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT A BALLPARK OTHER THAN THE DOME: Watching the F-M Redhawks beats out Yankee Stadium. But only because I hate the Yankees. Also, $1 hotdogs.
OPINION ON INTERLEAGUE PLAY: I like it, it doesn't bother me. But I wouldn't miss it if it went away. It's a fun concept.
OPINION ON THE UNBALANCED SCHEDULE: This doesn't bother me either. Playing teams in your division is good, it builds rivalries.
FAVORITE NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: Ken Griffey, Jr.
MOST HATED NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: Derek Jeter
DID YOU EVER PLAY BASEBALL/SOFTBALL, WHAT POSITION: I did, I played third base and outfield. I struggled to make contact after Pony's, but I could take a walk. I'd probably be better now than I was then. Puberty isn't a good thing for coordination.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A TWINS FAN AND WHY: Probably the mid 90's when I was old enough to really start understanding the game. These were dark times indeed, which is how I know I'll be a Twins fan forever.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT THE DOME: Watching Brad Radke's last regular season start. Seeing Johan Santana reach 1000 strikeouts, and watching him strike out 17 Rangers. Shannon Stewart's extra-inning homer on Opening Day, 2004. Jason Kubel's grand slam to beat the Red Sox. Joe Mauer's first game. My very first game in the summer of 1992.
EVER BEEN TO TWINS FEST? HOW WAS IT?: I have, a couple of times. It's really fun, there's a lot to see and a lot of players to meet. If anyone ever tells you that you're too old to stand in line for an autograph, punch them in the face.
EVER BEEN TO SPRING TRAINING? HOW WAS IT?: I haven't but I'd love to. Maybe when I'm back living Stateside again.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CIRCLED BY BERT?: No, but I have been on television. It was a couple of summers ago in the Dome, and the Rangers were in the middle of demolishing the Twins. I was wearing my Torii Hunter jersey, and was shown on television a couple of times, apparently looking totally dejected. Sounds about right.
HAVE YOU EVER CAUGHT A FOUL BALL OR HOME RUN AT THE DOME?: I haven't, but my friend sitting next to me did. The amazing thing was that we actually slid over a couple of seats over to our left the previous inning. Had we not moved, I would have caught it. This was the now-infamous game with the Blue Jays fan who had "GO JAYS" shaved into his back hair. Blegh.
Twins Player Specific-
FAVORITE TWINS PLAYER IN HISTORY: Kirby Puckett. Brad Radke.
FAVORITE CURRENT TWINS PLAYER: Joe Mauer.
FAVORITE OBSCURE TWINS PLAYER: Alex Cole. Or, if we're talking current Twins, then Rene Tosoni and Alex Burnett. I really want these two prospects to succeed, and I can't explain why it's those two and not, say, David Bromberg and Rob Delaney. I still want those guys to do well, but I'm always watching Tosoni and Burnett.
ARE THERE (WERE THERE) ANY TWINS PLAYERS YOU DISLIKE: As in an actual dislike? No. Chuck Knoblauch came off as a jerk, but I didn't actually know the guy.
FAVORITE EXPERIENCE MEETING A PLAYER: I once ran into Torii Hunter in downtown Minneapolis. He was really nice, and never seemed like he was trying to escape. I didn't say too much anyway, just said I was a fan, asked him how his ankle felt, and wished him good luck.
CURRENT PLAYER YOU'D MOST LIKE TO WATCH A GAME WITH: Justin Morneau. He'd be good to talk to.
YOU'D MOST LIKE TO GO TO A BAR WITH: Jon Rauch. He'd be good if I decided to start a fight.
YOU'D MOST LIKE TO BE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND WITH: Jim Thome. He's probably strong enough to throw me to safety.
YOU'D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Any of them, because they can pay. I'll pick Denard Span, he's pretty cool.
YOU'D WANT TO BE THE FRONT MAN OF YOUR NEW BAND: Scott Baker. We're starting a boy band.
YOU THINK SHOULD BE A MOVIE STAR: Kevin Slowey. I'll re-release Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and cast him as Cameron.
YOU'D ASK FOR HELP ON A SCIENCE LAB: Pat Neshek. Dude's a brain.
YOU'D LIKE TO START A BUSINESS WITH: Joe Mauer, we'd start a lingerie store. That's a self-sustaining business.
EXPECTATIONS OF TARGET FIELD: It'll be a beautiful sight, and I imagine our left-handed hitters should benefit.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE TEAM NEXT YEAR: Division title, 91-71 record. Win 3 games to 1 over Boston in round one, win 4 games to 3 over Seattle in ALCS. Matchup against Phillies in the World Series. That's right my friends, I'm drinking the Kool-Aid!
A huge thanks to Jesse over at Twinkie Town for taking the time to help out with this series. As next week marks the official end of the off-season in my mind, I'm going to release a slew of Get to Know 'Ems! On Monday check back for the infamous Darren "Doogie" Wolfson of KSTP and Star Tribune's Your Voices Blog. On Wednesday the unmatchable John Bonnes of Twins Geek will be featured. And to cap off our series with a bang, on Friday be sure to check out Pat Neshek's Get to Know 'Em for his On the Road with Pat Neshek blog! I can't even wait and I've already read all these interviews!