Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/langfellow/mnscore.com/blog/wp-includes/formatting.php on line 82
When the Twins started their season in April with modest expectations, all signs (literally, there were signs lining the streets of downtown Minneapolis), pointed to one date: July 15. Now that the All Star Game is history, many of the signs still remain around Target Field, but the excitement has waned.
The highlight of the All Star experience for Twins fans, of course, was Glen Perkins’ perfect 9th inning that preserved a 5-3 American League win. It was Perkins second selection to the Midsummer Classic, but his first appearance in the game.
The 31-year-old closer and I chatted about that big night, the Twins present and future, fantasy football and more during the last homestand.
DZ: It’s been (over) a month since the All Star Game, looking back on that, what stands out to you about the whole event?
PERKINS: Getting to participate in my hometown and my home stadium. It was an honor to be part of a game with the best players in baseball. I think I will be able to reflect on it a little more after the season is done. We’re still focused on trying to play as good of baseball as we can here. It was an unbelievable experience and it’s still - a month later - hard to believe I got to participate in it.
DZ: You’ve made a couple of All Star games and your profile has been raised a lot, do you get recognized around town more than maybe you did a couple of years ago?
PERKINS: (laughs) A little bit, but that’s been on a steady incline I guess since I starting pitching good and playing well for the team. That’s all part of it, I think. I just have to make sure I don’t do anything stupid. You never know who is watching.
DZ: This roster - even in the last month - has been under a lot of flux. What’s it like having all these new teammates and not really knowing….
PERKINS: It’s all part of it when you don’t play well and give (management) a reason to keep our team together, our team gets disbanded. It’s happened a few times and I guess we’ve kind of lost more guys this year than we have the past. I think it was expected and as we’ve struggled throughout the season, you are waiting for guys like Correia and Willingham and Kendrys and those guys who have gotten traded to get traded. It’s just a matter of time. It’s disappointing that we didn’t put ourselves in a better situation to stay together.
DZ: Have there been any young guys who have come up the past couple of years that you have kind of bonded with?
PERKINS: I think we are a pretty tight knit group, so you try to spend as much time with the new guys as the guys you have played with for a long time. You want to make everyone feel welcome and make everyone comfortable.
DZ: Anyone remind you of yourself; are you getting that old yet or not?
PERKINS: (laughs) I don’t think I am quite there yet.
DZ: I’ve heard you say that you are a lot more optimistic about the team’s direction this year; how long do you think it will be before the Twins can contend again?
PERKINS: Hopefully we’ll be a better team next year. We’ll see where we are at. I don’t know what the grand plan is, but as long, I guess, that we are a better team this year than we were last year. Hopefully we are a better team next year than we are this year. As long as we are moving in the right direction, I am all right.
DZ: I know you and Joe Nathan keep in touch. He’s hit some rough spots this year, do you talk to him about that?
PERKINS: No, that’s a tough spot. I think we play him on this homestand, so I will talk him then…I’ll ask him how he’s feeling and if he is healthy. I am sure he’s out there trying as hard as he can and it’s not going well for him. That’s more frustrating that anything; I don’t think he needs someone asking him how he feels about it.
DZ: You mentioned last year that you hadn’t been to a Vikings game in the Metrodome, did you get to one?
PERKINS: No, never did.
DZ: You been down there at all?
PERKINS: I’ve driven by it a couple of times…it’s probably been a month or two now.
DZ: (The new stadium) is starting to come up, it’s starting to look like something.
PERKINS: It was still a hole last time I drove by it.
DZ: One last thing, I know you guys have a fantasy football league every year, did you guys have your draft?
PERKINS: We haven’t done it yet, it’s scheduled, I don’t know when it is.
DZ: Do you know where you are picking?
PERKINS: I am drafting Adrian Peterson.
DZ: You traded for him last year, right?
PERKINS: Yep, I’ll make sure I get him.
DZ: Who is the defending champ?
PERKINS: Casey Fien, I think, won it last year.
See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players: