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Redmond on playing time, sideburns, Pete Rose & more...

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.

May 2007
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