Friday, March 28, 2008

Interview with Minda of Baseball and other things

Below is an interview done with Minda of the blog Baseball and other things.
5th in the series of interviews
Enjoy RoyalsonRadioetc.

Why are you a Royals fan ? Parents, region ? Why?

I absolutely love this question, and think every Royals fan should answer it, even if the answer isn't very exciting. My reason sure isn't. Both of my parents were Royals fans from the beginning -- before they met each other, they happened to be KC fans, even though both were from eastern Nebraska and really didn't have huge ties to the KC area at all. I also have three older brothers whom I've always adored, and they were Royals fans so I wanted to be one too. I always loved listening to Denny and Fred, and wanted to do their job someday too. At some point in high school, my casual but steady fandom grew into the horribly unhealthy obsession it is today.

When was your 1st Royals or MLB game ?

I'm actually not sure when my first Royals game was, but I know my first MLB game was a Cubbies home game when I was 3. My family rarely got to take trips anywhere, so that vacation was a memorable one. That game is among my first memories, but sadly I don't remember much about the actual baseball. I do, however, remember such important details as the color of the bathroom walls. Some friends of ours arranged it so that Harry Caray would welcome our family over the PA, as if we were of some importance. So there were welcomes to all these big groups, Boy Scout troops, corporate outings, that kind of thing, and then a big welcome to the Haas family from Nebraska.

If you got a hot dog at the K what would you put on it?

Either ketchup, or nothing at all. If I get drinks in addition to the dog, I leave it plain so I don't have to juggle the drink(s), the dog, and its wrapper during the ketchup-application process. Oddly enough, I don't root for ketchup in the HDD, but that might be another bad story for another time.

Who do you root for then ?

Mustard. I usually go to games with one or two of my older brothers, to whom I'm very close. One of them roots for ketchup, and the other for relish. I didn't want to choose sides, so I went for mustard.
Oh, and we get very very animated about our choices during the race. There have been games where my brother Brad will sit pretty quietly the whole game, then scream his lungs out for the Hot Dog Derby. "No ketchup, pace yourself! Pace yourself, come on now buddy, that's it! Everybody knows Relish is a juicer..." That kind of stuff. It's ridiculous, and a bit over-the-top, but it's a proud tradition of ours, all the same.

Most You've Ever Paid for a Royals hat ?

Not a whole lot; I'm really big on the free ones. When I was younger, my Little League team was the Royals 2 years in a row, so I got KC hats that way, and I have a lot of the promotional giveaway hats all over the place. I think I did buy one once for around $20, though.

Your choice New-Downtown stadium or the K?

I am all about The K. It's such a point of pride for so many Royals fans. I love how ahead of its time it was. It might have been tempting to build a hideous, multi-purpose stadium like all the cool kids were doing, but instead we have a beautiful, timeless design that allows room for improvement but is also fabulous the way it is. It's one of my favorite places in the world to be, whether the game is good or not (often, the games I've been to don't turn out well), I still enjoy myself simply because I am within the confines of The K.

Most annoying AL Central fans?

In general, I try not to hate on fans of other teams. I mean, what fun would being a Royals fan be if there weren't people who were equally passionate about other teams? Without people being fans of teams I hate, there would be no great rivalries, and rivalries make the world go 'round.
...That said, I can't stand White Sox fans

Most annoying MLB broadcasters?

White Sox guys on WGN, hands down. They take awful to inspiring new heights.

When will the Royals contend?

I would love to be all cheery/optimistic and say "This year!" but I don't think that's realistic. It might not be totally crazy to think we could contend in 2009, bu I'm going to shoot for 2010 for sure.

Was it a huge mistake to let Riske go or will Mahay/Yabuta make us not even notice?

A little bit of both. I think Mahay and Yabuta can sort of hold things together, but you can bet that every time either of them pitches imperfectly, people will loudly bemoan Riske's absence. On some level, I'd like to say that I would have done a lot more to retain Riske, but then again I have no way of knowing how much was actually done to keep him. Maybe Moore really did try, but things just worked out better for David with Milwaukee (which I still can't spell).

Who hit's more HR's for the A's Sweeney or Emil?

I have to defend the Best Friend here (that would be Sweeney, for those of you keeping score at home). I think this is Mike's year to be healthy for a full season, so unless the A's have a logjam at DH, he'll hit a lot more than Emil does. Heck, even if Sweeney can only get in 85-95 games, he could hit more than Brown does.

Who is better looking? Teahen or Gload

Oh man, I could make these comparisons all day. (Well, not really, but whatever). I don't think Teahen is terribly handsome in an I-want-to-be-Mrs.-Teahen-for-one-hot-night kind of way, he's more of an "Awwww, shucks!" cute type. Gload's definitely not bad. Neither of them hold a candle to DeJesus; he's the best looking man I've ever seen in my life. I could go on, but...well, that might be awkward.
Yes Please don't I'm better looking then DeJesus anyway :) OK Why should anyone go to an O-Royals game ?

Ha, dream on. Nobody's better looking than DDJ. :)
Oh, there are so many reasons to go to O-Royals games; this is an easy one! Last year, the AAA boys gave the home fans a lot of drama, taking 10 home games into extra innings (and winning 8 of those -- five on walk-off home runs!) on their way to a home record of 45-27. Really, the pitching staff had a lot of glory moments too. I remember being really REALLY excited one night because Billy Buckner had come extremely close to pitching a complete-game shutout (he left after 8.1 innings) where he only walked like one batter. Just awesome stuff. Then the very next night, Ben Hendrickson did pitch a complete-game shutout, and didn't walk anybody. It was astounding; excellent stuff for anyone who loves watching good pitchers. I'm hoping for more of that this year.

And of course, there are the ever-so-sexy promotions girls (me), and all the amazing giveaways. And really, really, really good food. Just today, I found out that Famous Dave's is returning to Rosenblatt Stadium, and there are going to be a lot of other great concessions and entertainment options this season. And...dollar beer night. You really can't beat Thirsty Thursdays at Rosenblatt Stadium. I'm not just saying these things because I work for the O-Royals. Spending last summer there was the most fun I've ever had; there are a lot of really great baseball people around those parts, and becoming familiar with Minor League faces really made me a better fan of the Major League club.

What blogs/boards do you visit the most ?

I go through a pretty rigorous daily reading regimen, to keep me in shape for any Royals discussion that may come my way. Joe Posnanski is my favorite writer, so his blog is always first. After that, I make sure to hit Ball Star and Rany on the Royals. Then I pretty much just run down the blogroll at the Royals Nation message boards (which I also keep tabs on several times a day, along with RoyalBoard, and of course the team website and everything at the KC Star site). It's a lot of time to spend staring at my monitor all day, but it's been keeping me warm through these depressing winter months.

Alright I'll give you a name and you tell me what you think about them

Bud Selig?

He has done a lot of boneheaded things, sure, but he's not The Great Evil by any means. He certainly has brought a lot of money and new fans into baseball, and I think he's finally getting his ducks in a row by somewhat dealing with the whole steroids monster. Did he let steroids go on too long? Yes. But if he can manage to make some changes -- even if they are somewhat superficial and PR-ish -- he can save a lot of face. He could take some face-saving lessons from Andy Pettitte for sure.

Dayton Moore?

Is it bad that the first words that popped into my head were "my personal lord and savior"? I wouldn't actually take it that far, but I do think Moore is an absolute genius, and I'm thrilled that he is our GM. As much as I hate the long winter months, a Dayton Moore offseason is pretty exciting. You never know who he's going to dig up, that could turn into a star.

Alaird Baird ?

I'm glad he's gone, but I do feel bad about the way his departure was handled. Nobody should have to the last to know they've been fired.

David Glass ?

My heart has softened toward David Glass in the last few years. I used to hate him -- I mean, the very mention of his name would make a dark cloud come over my usually cheerful face -- but I think that he's slowly figuring out how to be a non-hated owner, and operate a non-losing franchise. It's unfortunate that he kept the Wal-Mart philosophy (garbagey products, sky-high personal profit) for so long, but I'm willing to forgive if there is actually significant change for the better.

Will you miss Johan Santana ?

In a way, it's a relief to not have Santana in the Central anymore, but I love watching good pitching, so in that respect it's sad because I do not generally watch as many Mets games as I do Twins. Also, I have a weird thing where I like being in a high-quality division like the AL Central, even if my team is at or near its bottom. It would suck to be in a crappy division, because where's the valor in winning one of those? But if the Royals step up and contend within a strong division, that's a much bigger point of pride.

Have you ever ran the base's after a Sunday home game ?

I don't think I have actually run the bases, not at the K. I have done it at Omaha games, though. We didn't go to a lot of games when I was of Fun Running age, because I grew up in a town that was a 9 (or more, I don't was boring though) hour drive from KC. Now I almost feel like I'm too old, but you can bet when I have kids I will use them as a handy excuse to go run the bases myself!

Be sure and check out Minda's blog Baseball and other things.
Tell next time RoyalsonRadioetc signing off.

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