Posted at 7:59 PM on August 21, 2007
by David Zingler
Tommy Watkins was hardly the late season addition Twins fans were hoping for, but the unlikely call-up of the popular infielder is the sort of feel-good story this season has been lacking. When many in the organization talked about how happy they were for Watkins after his promotion however, some jaded fans scoffed at the corniness of it all, but the Twins are what they are and they aren’t changing anytime soon. Sometimes you just have to go with it.
In that spirit, meet Tommy Watkins – a 10-year minor league veteran – who might be the happiest man in Minnesota these days:
ME: You’ve been in the major leagues for almost two weeks, what are your impressions?
WATKINS: It’s been a lot of fun. Just getting a chance to play in the big leagues is exciting.
ME: As long as you waited for it, is it everything you hoped it would be?
WATKINS: Yeah it is. I didn’t know what to expect when I first came up, it is everything I was hoping for.
ME: Looking at your minor league stats, it seemed liked things really clicked for you when you got to Triple A. Your average went up – how did you explain that?
WATKINS: I got older and smarter and started to figure the little things out. (I started) thinking a little bit more at the plate – what to do with a certain pitch or how to approach a type of pitcher.
ME: Where were you when you found out about your call-up?
WATKINS: I was in Syracuse. Right before BP, they called us all in – they told everybody as a team. So, it was pretty neat.
ME: How long after the call-up did it take you to get a good night’s sleep?
WATKINS: It took a while; I am still working on the sleeping part of it. I didn’t sleep for a while, just stayed up thinking.
ME: How about your number – 61 – how did you end up with that?
WATKINS: I got that number in spring training. They just gave me the same number.
ME: Do you want a different number?
WATKINS: No, it doesn’t bother me.
ME: This year at spring training, you opened up some eyes and became a big league possibility – talk about that.
WATKINS: I played a lot of positions. I did pretty good in spring training – I didn’t hit much. I think that’s what might have held me up a little bit – my hitting. I just try to approach everyday the same and do the best I can.
ME: What has been your favorite thing so far about being in the major leagues.
WATKINS: Just being here and being part of the games.