Posted at 6:00 AM on May 9, 2007
by David Zingler
It’s near 6 pm on Tuesday and I am standing in the Twins clubhouse by Jason Tyner’s locker. Michael Cuddyer, Matt Guerrier, Joe Nathan and Jessie Crain are engaged in a game of cribbage nearby. Glen Perkins is watching.
Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond are chatting to my right. Mauer says something and leaves. I approach Redmond with a few questions on my mind:
ME: There have been a lot of injuries so far this year, that’s bad for the team, but it has opened up playing time for you. How’s that been?
REDMOND: It’s always nice to play. Obviously, if I am playing that means we got some guys hurt. But, what do you do? That’s the nature of the game – guys get hurt…The games go on and you’ve got to go out there and win ballgames.
ME: Are you going to grow sideburns – you’ve got a little bit – to replace Mauer?
REDMOND: No, no, there’s no way, man – nobody can replace Joe and what he brings day in and day out to this team. All I can do is go out there and grind it out and do the best I can. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do it and help out our pitchers.
ME: I’ve heard some in the media say that if the Twins play you too much, you will wear down. Do you disagree with that?
REDMOND: That’s their opinion. People in the media don’t know what I am capable of doing.
ME: Do you hear stuff like that?
REDMOND: Sure, I’ve heard stuff like that. I don’t worry about that stuff, I go out there and give it everything I’ve got, everyday, (but) I don’t think that that will prove it one-way or the other.
ME: It’s almost like you’re cursed, you do so well in limited duty (that people don’t want you to play everyday).
REDMOND: You know what man, I’ve been fighting stereotypes and labels my whole career and…that’s the way it goes – I don’t really think too much about that. I know what I can do and I am going to do the best I can.
ME: You had an interesting (major league) debut. You went three for three and were pinch hit for.
REDMOND: Three for three, with a homerun and I got pinch-hit for in the ninth. For Greg Zaun (laughs).
ME: (laugh) Welcome to the big leagues.
REDMOND: That was one of my welcome to the big league moments (laughs). No, really, it was a great day.
ME: I read that you grew up a fan of Pete Rose, is there any part of your game modeled after him?
REDMOND: Well…not really, but I think I play hard…play aggressively…I’m not fast, but I do like to get dirty.
ME: Do you think he should be in the Hall of Fame?
REDMOND: I think he should – yeah.
ME: Do you think he should be reinstated?
REDMOND: I think you would probably have to reinstate him to put him in the Hall of Fame. I think by his numbers alone, he should be in the Hall of Fame.
ME: Have you ever met him?
REDMOND: I haven’t met him.
ME: Were you surprised we he came out and admitted gambling (on baseball)?
REDMOND: Sure, it was surprising, but at least he came out and admitted it.