Posted at 7:50 PM on April 7, 2009
by David Zingler
In one of his pre-show stand-up bits, Jerry Seinfeld wondered if sports fans were, in essence, just "rooting for laundry"? After witnessing the warm welcome Joe Crede has gotten from Twins fans after 9 seasons wearing the hated White Sox uniform, it is hard to dispute the comedian's observation.
DZ: Was it strange coming in here last night and getting cheered?
CREDE: It was definitely a different feeling. It was great - they've always had great fans here in Minnesota, they've always been behind their team, been very knowledgeable about the game and it was great to be on this side this time.
DZ: You had been with the White Sox organization since you were drafted in 1996, what is it like coming into a whole new atmosphere?
CREDE: You get all new teammates, all new coaches and a different philosophy. The biggest thing as a player is to be able to go out there and find that comfort level where you get to know the other players and get to know the way we do things on the field. It takes a while to get to that point and get to that comfort level to get out there and just play baseball and be yourself.
DZ: Is it a little easier having played against these guys so much?
CREDE: Yeah. You know the players a little better and you know what everybody is like. It definitely does make it a little easier coming in here as many times as I had played against them.
DZ: When you signed here, did you get any of your former White Sox teammates calling you, teasing you about signing with the Twins?
CREDE: Not really, I've spoken to a few of them and they just say that when I come to Chicago, I am going to get a little ribbing. Other than that...it will be good to see everybody. I haven't seen them since last September, so it will be good to go there.
DZ: You've had back problems the past couple of years, for people who haven't had that (problem), what is it like?
CREDE: Whenever you get to a point where you are not able to do what you want to do on the field and your body is not responding the way you want it to respond, that's when you know you need to take a step back and figure something out. It got to the point where I wasn't sleeping at night. It was tough to get loose, I never felt like I got loose even before a game. As a baseball player that's not a good feeling when you don't feel loose and don't feel comfortable on the field. The game is already hard enough, let alone having to go out there and not feeling comfortable and you've got pain in your back. It makes the game that much harder - the game is hard enough when you are healthy.
DZ: Is the hardest thing having to take the injuries home - when you have a bad game, you can go home and forget about it, when you have an injury, the pain is always there?
CREDE: Yeah. You are just sitting there and there is a lot of throbbing and swelling. Especially when you are not able to fall asleep at night and you wake up and you are tired and even more in pain. Everything just kind of started piling on itself last year; the medication wasn't working and it just got to the point where I had to take a step back and fix what was wrong.
(Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)