Opening pitch to the baseball season is about 72 hours away, and while we’re having a blast with the previews, why not mix in an interview? Enter Detroit Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson. He’s smart (two college degrees!), trendy (he’s got a blog!) and coolest of all, he was willing to answer a few questions we asked him. We tried something like this last year with budding blogger Billy Wagner of the Mets, but he danced around our questions as if he were pitching to David Ortiz in the bottom of the ninth. Granderson was a much better sport.
Q: Without question, the pioneer in this increasingly athlete-as-blogger world is Gilbert Arenas. Did you hit him up for advice on how to do this new-fangled blogging thing? Did you read his blog as a precursor to your blogging?
Actually I didn’t have a chance to check out his blog. It’s something I wanted to do as a way to connect with fans and get closer to them. Gilbert Arenas is an amazing athlete, and I do know he’s done a great job of connecting with his fans through his blog among other ways. He appreciates everything the fans have done for him, as do I. I have to be careful though, because betting and baseball have a bad history, and Gilbert might not be the best guy to take advice from in that area right now. I’m just kidding Gilbert.
Q: Be honest – score any dates out of this? Is blogging a good way to meet women? or were you getting more love from the ladies on myspace?
I have had the general comments, like â€œwill you marry meâ€ but I’ve yet to get any dates on here. I’m not too sure why not. I have had people say I look skinny, so maybe I’m not big enough for the ladies out there.
Q: Speaking of the net, we had an item on Ryan Freel of the Reds possibly using Craigslist to get some mid-morning action during spring training. a) Do you think any ballplayer would resort to that, b) Is spring training that boring?
I could see a player putting that out there, because each player has different things they have to do everyday that gets them ready for games, and I wouldn’t be surprised if mid-morning action wasn’t one of them. It might get you really light on your feet, and Ryan Freel is a fast runner, so maybe.
Spring Training can be boring because it gets to be monotonous. It can be nice to have other attractions around to get your mind of baseball every now and then. The Tigers are in Lakeland FL. A lot of people and players make comments like: ‘What is there to do here?’ or ‘There really is a downtown Lakeland!’ or ‘I haven’t seen anyone young in the whole city!â€ Lakeland may not have the same attractions as maybe Tampa (Yankees) or Orlando (Braves), but it’s a city that has been very good to our organization.
Q: What’s on your tivo these days, and why?
If I had TIVO which I’m considering getting, I would have a lot of mid day reruns that I miss while I’m at the field. For example: Simpsons, Martin, Steve Harvey Show, and Wayans Brothers. I almost know all the episodes from those shows but I still look forward to seeing them. Nick-at-Nite still helps me out with Fresh Prince and the Cosby Show.
Q: The most recent movie you’ve seen, and offer a critique.
I started watching the Departed on DVD, but didn’t end up finishing it because I was tired. The only problem I had with it was either my DVD was bad or my DVD player was bad, because there would be periods when the voices didn’t match the movement of the characters mouths. Since I didn’t end up finishing the movie I can’t give it a 100% critique. The last movie I saw in the movie theater was SAW III, and I thought it was good, and even if you didn’t see the first two, the movie did a good job of letting you know what happened in the first two. I really like scary movies so my rating might be a little higher than most on this movie.
Q: Better athletes: baseball players, football players, or NBA players? This discussion never ceases to amaze us.
I used to play basketball as well, so I have some experience here. Across the board, each sport has fast players, and each sport has players who are explosive and can jump really high, but I would say that football has the strongest players. So I have to give the award to football players.
Q: Let’s head back to the world series. Kenny Rogers is on the mound and … oops, something’s on his hat. What was the view like from your perch in the outfield, and did you know what the heck was going on? Did you guys huddle in the outfield?
When the whole thing happened, you have to remember I’m about 200 feet away from Kenny, so I can’t really hear what is being talked about or really see small details like that. I know that in the past they have made him moved the rosin bag off the mound a couple times, because it’s visible, so I thought the conversation might have been dealing with that. I didn’t really get a chance to talk to anyone about it, until the inning was over and I asked what was going on, and someone said that the camera caught something on his hand.
Q: Practically nobody is picking you guys to return to the playoffs. It’s all about the Twins, White Sox and Indians. Without getting all cliche on us, that’s gotta piss you off, right?
I like being the underdog. It keeps you under the radar. All season last year we were the underdog and I think it helped us to sneak up on a few teams and prove people wrong. Yet again we aren’t in the â€œFavoriteâ€ category, so we are a team that gets another chance to prove people wrong.
Q: Who’s the best player not on the Tigers that nobody is talking about? The most underrated player in baseball?
Marco Scutaro (Oakland A’s) is a player that always hits very well against us, in our ballpark or Oakland’s ballpark. He seems to hit every ball up the middle and as a hitter if you do that you have a real good chance of being successful, because you are doing things mechanically right and your timing is really good.
Q: We’ve got a pretty firm stance on the salary cap – we think baseball needs one. Players disagree and fans vary in their opinion. Answer us this – if one team spends $50 million to put together a roster, and another spends $175 million, how can this possibly be called a level playing field?
I’ll try to answer it this way: what if both teams spend $175 million, should they end up in a tie? Of course the answer is no. With that understanding, any team at any time with any amount of money can be successful. The past six or so years, each year, there was a different champ and each year the amount spent on each team was different and not the highest (except the Red Sox in 04′ who were 2nd in spending).
Q: Two higher education degrees? What’s the about? And do you know any other ballplayers with this distinction?
While at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) I was first a Business Management Major and was able to add Business Marketing with just a few more classes and still graduate in 4.5 years with a double major. I honestly don’t know how many other players have a double major or two degrees. UIC worked with me while I played baseball to finish up school with my graduating class. The Tigers also knew that school was very important to me before the draft and they were supportive in helping me graduate as well.