The Bat Shatters is a blog I just recently discovered, and I'm glad I did. The blog (by several contributors) describes itself as two Twins fans and a Yankees fan -- and I was impressed right away that they can even get along! Besides well-thought out posts on our hometown team, they do one of the best jobs I've seen of any Twins blog in keeping up with all the other clubs around baseball -- not just Twins and Yankees fans, but well-rounded fans in general. So it's my pleasure to introduce Adam, 1/3 of one of the best Twins blogs out there:
NAME: Adam (AK47)
HOMETOWN: Brooklyn Park, MN
WHAT KEEPS YOU EMPLOYED OTHER THAN BLOGGING: I'm a recruiter working in the engineering industry
FAVORITE COLOR: Blue
FAVORITE FOOD: A steak or anything Italian
FAVORITE MOVIE: Crash
FAVORITE BOOK: The Lone Survivor - Marcus Luttrell
FAVORITE TYPE OF MUSIC: Metal, Rock, Classic Rock
FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH OTHER THAN BASEBALL: Football
FAVORITE SPORT TO PLAY: Racquetball
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE VIKINGS/TIMBERWOLVES/WILD: I am a diehard Vikings fan, I was crushed when they lost to the Saints and I hate to say it, but I'm hopeful that Favre comes back for one more year, I think they can do it. As far as the Timberwolves go, they lost my interest when they traded KG. I know they had to do it, but he was the team. They have been so terrible since then, I haven't missed following them, nor am I much of a basketball fan in general. The Wild? I like them, I liked Lemaire, I liked Gaborik, but they just didn't seem to be able to put it together completely, now I feel they're doomed to a few years of no identity. I'm not a huge hockey fan either.
WHAT MAKES BASEBALL SO GREAT TO YOU: To me, baseball is different than the other major sports in that it is endlessly interesting from a statistical perspective. When I watch football, I love the action, I love the big plays, I love the big hits, but that's pretty much it, the entertainment ends when the game does. With baseball, there are a million stats (almost literally) to play around with, and there is also a very deep history to look back on. Another reason I like baseball, and this may sound odd, is because it's one of the few sports in which you get a good look at the player's faces, mid-game. In football, the players wear helmets, in hockey the same, you can see the faces in basketball, but the players themselves are moving around alot. In baseball, especially if you go to the game, you can sit there with a pair of binoculars and watch the players faces and body language. I mean who doesn't remember the look on Puckett's face as he rounded the bases in Game 6 of the '91 series? It's something that makes baseball unique to me.
IF YOU HAD TO FOLLOW ANOTHER TEAM, WHICH AND WHY: Wow. That's a tough one. I would say the Cubs, just because I live here in Chicago now.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT A BALLPARK OTHER THAN THE DOME: I've been to Wrigley several times, it truly is a great ballpark. For me, I sit there and think about all the great players who have played on that exact field. If you go I recommend sitting in the bleachers in the outfield, it's a good time for sure.
OPINION ON INTERLEAGUE PLAY: I like it, especially since the Twins dominate.
OPINION ON THE UNBALANCED SCHEDULE: I guess I don't care one way or another, I think lots of division games adds intrigue, as evidenced by the last two AL Central races coming down to an extra game.
FAVORITE NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: I think Ken Griffey Jr. is my favorite non-Twins player. I saw him hit a HR at the Dome once as a kid when he was still with the Mariners (the first time). The swing is beautiful and really, if it's true he didn't take steroids, he's one of the greats of all-time.
MOST HATED NON-TWINS PLAYER IN BASEBALL HISTORY: I hate A.J. Pierzynski, I know he used to be a Twin, but I've hated him ever since. I also strongly dislike Nick Swisher.
DID YOU EVER PLAY BASEBALL/SOFTBALL, WHAT POSITION: I played when I was a kid, Center Field and 3rd base. Hit one HR in my career, a grand-slam, other than that, I don't think I was very good.
WHEN DID YOU BECOME A TWINS FAN AND WHY: We're actually gonna be doing a couple of pieces on this in the near future on our blog. To answer simply, I was 11 years old when I started listening to/watching every game.
BEST EXPERIENCE AT THE DOME: It was a number of years ago now, but I saw Johan Santana pitch against the Rangers, strike out 11 and the Twins won 14-6. We were sitting in that section down the 3rd base line out in right field that actually points in the right direction...
EVER BEEN TO TWINS FEST, HOW WAS IT: Never been, would love to go.
EVER BEEN TO SPRING TRAINING, HOW WAS IT: Again, I'd love to go, but never been.
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN CIRCLED BY BERT: No.
HAVE YOU EVER CAUGHT A FOUL BALL OR HOME RUN BULL AT THE DOME: I wish, but no.
Twins Player Specific-
FAVORITE TWINS PLAYER IN HISTORY: It will always be Kirby Puckett.
FAVORITE CURRENT TWINS PLAYER: Joe Mauer
FAVORITE OBSCURE TWINS PLAYER: I throw my vote in for Chip Hale, pinch-hitter extrordinaire.
ARE THERE (WERE THERE) ANY TWINS PLAYERS YOU DISLIKE: I dislike that Gardy continues to throw Punto in there, but as far as personalities go, no.
FAVORITE EXPERIENCE MEETING A PLAYER, PLEASE DESCRIBE: Pat Neshek went to my high-school, and a few months ago he did an e-interview for us which was pretty sweet, I don't think I've ever met any Twins players in person though.
CURRENT PLAYER YOU'D MOST LIKE TO WATCH A GAME WITH: Everyone probably says this but, Joe Mauer. I'd love to know what pitches he would call, what he sees from a batter's perspective and just learn some of the nuances of the game that I never would have thought of.
CURRENT PLAYER YOU'D MOST LIKE TO GO TO A BAR WITH: Thome, he used to go to the same gym as my boss, according to my boss he's a super nice guy in person (which you'd expect), just seems like he'd be a cool guy to hang out with.
YOU'D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Pat Neshek, we'd have a lot to talk about, and he likes baseball cards too.
YOU'D WANT TO BE THE FRONT MAN OF YOUR NEW BAND: I wish Gomez was still a Twin because I'd use him for his energy, but in lieu of him I'll say Joe Mauer because he can sing and I cannot.
YOU THINK SHOULD BE A MOVIE STAR: Hardy's definitely got the looks...
YOU'D ASK FOR HELP ON A SCIENCE LAB: Don't all the pitchers, save for Liriano, in the rotation seem nerdy? I think I'd choose any of them.
EXPECTATIONS OF TARGET FIELD: I've actually seen Target Field and let me say, it's beautiful. My expectations are high, I'm a little bummed that Hormel decided to back out, meaning there will be no more Dome Dogs, but the food lineup looks great, outdoor baseball is as good as it gets and I'm excited to see what kinds of traditions develop over the first few seasons. I really can't get over how beautiful the stadium is and I absolutely can't wait to see a game there. I will say however, why didn't they put a retractable roof on it??
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE TEAM NEXT YEAR:
1.) At the very least, I expect the Twins to compete for the division title.
2.) I expect there will be a certain adjustment period to the new stadium for some of the players who have been with the club for the last few years getting used to the lighting, etc which is likely to reduce "home-field advantage" for the first few months
3.) One thing I have perhaps foolishly come to expect is that Liriano is going to look a little more like the Liriano of 2006. I'm not going all the way and saying we have the next Johan on our hands, but I at least expect that every 5 days he puts forth a solid effort.
4.) I expect that the Twins will struggle with the closer spot unless the go out and make a move to bring someone in, none of the three in-house options are very good (Rauch, Mijares, Guerrier) and a committee situation would be a bad choice.
5.) The last thing I expect is that the Twins start building towards a real chance to contend for a World Series title. Of course I'd be more than happy if they did it this year, but I'm saying at least winning a playoff series, etc. They are really moving into a unique period this year and next where a bunch of their players, particularly the pitchers, are moving into their prime (Baker, Blackburn, Liriano) and this, I feel, is the reopening of the window where they have a legit shot to win it all.
A huge thanks to Adam over at The Bat Shatters for taking the time to fill this out! Be sure to head over to his site and check it out, it's certainly worth bookmarking!