Posted at 7:54 PM on September 11, 2006
by David Zingler
He’s played for 7 teams, hit over 200 big league homeruns, compiled over 1,100 hits and appeared in an All Star game, but Phil Nevin has yet to taste the sweet success of the postseason. On August 31, he found himself back home in San Diego while his team, the last place Cubs, enjoyed an off day. With the waiver-wire trade deadline looming, he was expecting a phone call.
“I knew I was probably going to go somewhere that day,” Nevin admitted. “This was one of the spots I was hoping to go.”
It was widely reported that the slugger lobbied for a trade to the Twins by placing a last minute phone call to friend Ron Gardenhire. Nevin however, downplayed that talk.
“I’ve known Gardy for awhile and we talk once and awhile and that happened to be one of the times we talked,” the 35-year-old explained. “I don’t think that had anything to do with it.”
Whatever the case, Nevin is now a very happy member of the Twins. “It is everything I expected when I came over here,” the former #1 overall draft pick commented. “I was looking forward to being part of this group. It seemed like they always played hard and worked hard and I was right on. I am having a good time so far.”
Helping him have a good time are his new, young teammates, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. “It’s fun watching them work everyday,” Nevin said. “They are not just good players, they are good people. They come to the park, they work hard. This is something they like doing, you can tell that by being around them everyday. They are making me feel real young.”
It’s been a hectic year for the former All Star. After beginning the season in Texas, he was dealt to the Cubs on May 31. In the two stops, the California native hit 21 homeruns with 64 RBI.
“I am packing a lot of bags,” Nevin said of his well-traveled campaign. “It’s been a great experience. I’ve played with a lot of guys and made a lot of good friends and I am looking forward to helping this team win.”
Following the August 31 trade, many expected Nevin to step into the Twins DH slot full time. So far that hasn’t happened, but the 12-year veteran says he is comfortable with the situation.
“I’ve got it,” Nevin said when asked if he knew his role. “I am going to be in there against lefties. Whatever I am asked to do…if I come to the park and my name is the line-up, I’ll go out and give it everything I’ve got.”
You get the feeling that Nevin isn’t concerned about numbers or playing time at this point in his career. He’s with a team that has the postseason in its sights and that’s enough to keep the former stalwart happy.
“Obviously, everyone wants to play (in the postseason),” he pointed out. “This could be my first opportunity and that would be great. We have a lot of work in front of us, but I am looking forward to the next three weeks and hopefully several weeks into October.”