Guerrier answers fans' questions
Right-hander goes behind the scenes with Twins devotees
Twins reliever Matt Guerrier sat down and answered fans' questions on Wednesday in an online chat. The following is the transcript.
twinsmp: You've issued 18 walks this season, just three walks shy of the 21 you posted in each of the past two seasons. Any reason why you're walking more batters?
Matt Guerrier: No reason, really. I've had to intentionally walk more batters, so that may be reflected in that number.
u8mycar: How do you think the Twins are doing right now, as far as the bullpen? I've noticed over the last couple of weeks that the bullpen has been used a lot and I was wondering how you guys are holding up.
Guerrier: I think we're doing pretty well, considering the amount of work we've had. We went through a rough stretch the last week or so, but we're all holding up pretty well.
mlbrian2_2: What is your favorite thing to do on an off-day?
Guerrier: I like to just relax, maybe go to dinner and catch a movie with my wife.
mlbrian2_2: Have you always been a pitcher or did you play other positions?
Guerrier: Growing up, I was a catcher, and as I got older I started to play a lot of different positions. Later in high school, I realized I was a better pitcher, so I focused more on that than anything else.
jessgrewe: What team do you see yourself with five years from now? Do you plan on staying with the Twins?
Guerrier: I would like to stay with the Twins. You always want to stay where you feel comfortable, and I would love to stay -- especially with the new ballpark coming in 2010.
jaiskies: In the movie Major League, one character, Pedro Serrano, did all kinds of voodoo before each game. What are your pregame rituals?
Guerrier: I always play cribbage with Joe Nathan, Jesse Crain and Michael Cuddyer. After card games, I take a shower, get cleaned up and get ready to go to the bullpen. Those things are the only things I do consistently every day.
scout01: Who is a better cribbage player? You or Nathan?
Guerrier: I would say me, but my name has come up for being skunked the most.
scout01: How has the change in your roll on the staff affected the way you approach a game?
Guerrier: I try not to let it affect me. I still go down to the bullpen early and am ready to pitch whenever they call down. Even though it's changed, I still expect a phone call in the second or third to be for me. I just try to stay ready for the whole game.
scout01: What do you and the rest of the relievers talk about during the game, while sitting in the bullpen?
Guerrier: A lot of times, we talk about what hitters are doing during the game. A lot of times, we talk about what we did the night before or the afternoon before. Mostly, we're just joking around.
boonga: Do you ever envision yourself joining the Twins rotation at some point, or are you happy being a reliever?
Guerrier: That is a tough question, because I enjoy being a reliever, but I've always wanted to be a starter. I am happy where I am at right now, but if they give me an opportunity to start, I would love the opportunity.
Emma_Lynn: I'm a huge baseball fan and love getting autographs from any player willing to sign. But sometimes, I feel like the players are annoyed by fans pestering them for signatures. In your opinion when is the place and time for fans to ask for autographs?
Guerrier: It is tough because we are asked so often on and off the field. You may catch us on a bad day or you may catch us on a good day. The best times are when we're on the field, or leaving or coming to the ballpark.
scout01: What is your typical day like once you arrive at the ballpark?
Guerrier: I usually get to the field about 2:00 or 2:30 p.m. CT, relax for about an hour, play cards. I work out for a half-hour, and then I get ready for batting practice. After BP, I have my typical cribbage game and then take a shower and get ready to go down on the field.
swellsam: What is your favorite ballpark to pitch at?
Guerrier: Fenway Park is my favorite place to go, not necessarily to pitch. It's always fun to go to Yankee Stadium, too. Safeco Field in Seattle is another one of my favorites and a good place to pitch.
Emma_Lynn: In your experience, which rival city has the most obnoxious fans?
Guerrier: Cleveland. I hate to say it, because I grew up there, but they're always pretty terrible and graphic.
Emma_Lynn: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us fans! I've caught your weekly 93X interview a couple of times and was wondering, is radio commentary something you'd like to try after your done playing pro ball?
Guerrier: Yeah, I love talking on the radio. It's always fun to have a good time and not talk strictly baseball. I've always enjoyed doing radio and TV stuff, because you can have fun with it.
mlbrian2_2: Who would you say is the clubhouse leader? And why?
Guerrier: We have a lot of leaders this season. Nathan in the bullpen, Livan Hernandez in the rotation, and Cuddyer and Mike Redmond are good spokesmen.
swellsam: How much do fans at the Dome affect you as a pitcher?
Guerrier: It's really exciting when the fans get into the game. We were just in Milwaukee last week, and the environment was awesome. It's always good to have the crowd behind you and into the game.
mlbrian2_2: If you weren't a baseball player what would you do?
Guerrier: I've never had one thing I wanted to do other than baseball. I've always wanted to do a lot of different things. I love to draw, but that wouldn't be my profession, but it's a hobby I would probably do more if I wasn't playing baseball. I would probably like to coach and teach at the high school level.
scout01: How does it feel when a long-time teammate leaves the team, such as Juan Rincon?
Guerrier: It's tough, because you grow so tight with guys, especially for me with those in the bullpen. You have a feeling when things are going to happen, and we've all had that feeling the past couple of weeks. Hopefully, the best thing for him is a change of scenery and we're all still rooting for him. That's all you can do.
scout01: Your mom threw out the first pitch on Mother's Day. You are obviously close with her, so what type of roll did she play in your baseball career?
Guerrier: She is a very strong-willed person and has always been that way. I would hope it rubbed off on me and made me a stronger person, able to take on anything.
sitzdown: What is your outlook on the rest of the season?
Guerrier: We go on a stretch like we did, go on to the playoffs and, hopefully, on to a World Series!
swellsam: Whats your favorite thing about Minnesota?
Guerrier: I like going to Lake Minnetonka and having a day out on the lake. When Brad Radke was still with the team, I was able to spend some off-days on the lake with him, and it's always a good time.
scout01: How do you handle all of your media and player appearance requests?
Guerrier: I do as much as I can, because you never know how long you'll have the opportunity to do stuff like that. Most of the time, the things we do are fun so it's not that hard to be talked into.
mlbrian2_2: Did you play other sports growing up?
Guerrier: Having an older brother, we always played basketball and football in the front yard or backyard, but I never played either in high school.
scout01: Do you hold any records at Kent State? And as an alumnus of the university do you give back to your roots?
Guerrier: I used to hold a single-season strikeout record, but I'm not sure if I still do. I think that's it. They're in the process of upgrading their field every year, so I hope I get an opportunity to help them out with that.
mlbrian2_2: What is your favorite clubhouse prank?
Guerrier: We've had some good ones: freezing shower shoes or putting cream cheese in their deodorant. There are a lot of funny ones, but it depends on whether or not I'm doing it or it's being done to me.
mlbrian2_2: What do you think the Twins need to do to move to first place in the American League Central?
Guerrier: We need to win five more games than the White Sox from here on out!
Emma_Lynn: Obviously, we love our baseball here in Minnesota, but hockey is in our blood. Are you a hockey fan? Have you been to a wild game yet?
Guerrier: I'm a hockey fan when the Stanley Cup Playoffs start. I don't get an opportunity to go to any games since I live in Alabama. I've never been to a wild game only because Justin Morneau hasn't invited me.
boonga: Do you ever hang out with players from the other major sports teams in the area, like the Timberwolves or Vikings?
Guerrier: No. I've met some of the other players, but never get a chance to hang out with them. Being on different seasons, it's tough because we are playing every day and they are getting ready to play.
Emma_Lynn: Do you have any plans to be a guest at Unplugged again this year?
Guerrier: Cuddyer always saves a good place for Nathan and I to go. We always schedule that appearance together.
scout01: Would you consider growing your hair back out or do you prefer a buzz cut?
Guerrier: I prefer the buzz cut, but I'm not ruling it out. If we need to break a slump, it could return. Also, Crain is taking over in growing his hair out.
scout01: When is the last time you hit a home run in a real game?
Guerrier: The last time I hit a home run was the first time I hit a home run. My first at-bat was my senior year in high school. I thought I was going to hit 50, but I hit only one.
Guerrier: Thanks, and see you at the ballpark!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.