Q&A with Jason Kubel

2008 was a breakout year for Jason Kubel and in 2009 he’s been even better.  The soft-spoken designated hitter/outfielder has already equaled last year’s homerun total of 20 and ranks among the American League’s leaders in batting average.

Kubel took some time out from his hand-held video game system to chat with me before Sunday’s game.

DZ: Obviously things aren’t going the way you guys want right now, do you think you still have time to turn it around and get back into the playoff picture?

KUBEL: Yeah. As long as we are still in striking distance there is always a chance. I think we still have a good shot.

DZ: On a personal level, your numbers a good – you taken the next step up from last year is it just a matter of confidence?

KUBEL: Yeah, it’s a matter of confidence, that and I have been feeling great body wise. I just have the normal aches and sores like everybody else does. Structurally everything is good and stable, so that’s a plus and I really haven’t gotten into any bad habits yet.

DZ: I think you are hitting about .312 with 20 homeruns; this has been your first really big year. Are you looking to take the next step and make the All Star team next year – is that something you think about?

KUBEL: That would be nice. It’s in Anaheim next year, so that would be really cool (for it to be near home), but I am not really worried or focused on that. Obviously we still want to make the playoffs here and beyond that just keeping working and getting better each year.

DZ: Obviously it helps to be batting around guys like Mauer and Morneau, it seems like you are the guy who sneaks up on people and doesn’t get a lot of attention. It seems like you would like that role, knowing your personality a little.

KUBEL: I like that role. I don’t like getting all of the attention from the TV standpoint – they are going to talk about Mauer and Morneau getting all the hits and stuff, but I don’t mind that. I don’t think I am too much of a secret to opposing teams anymore. I think I am getting a little bit of respect out there. I take a lot of pride in doing the best I can, if I am doing good it means Justin Morneau might get some more pitches to hit too.

DZ: Because you don’t get a lot of attention, what can you tell us about yourself, what you like to do in your free time, hobbies, etc.

KUBEL: I do play a little bit of (video) games. I don’t get to play them as much – I hardly play them anymore with my almost 2-year-old. He’s going to be 19 months pretty soon – he keeps me busy. I just play around with him all day and hang out with the family, that is about it.

DZ: On a typical off day, what do you do?

KUBEL: I would just hang out with the family, whatever they feel like doing, we’ll go out and do…During the All Star Break we had some time so we went out to the Mall (of America), I took (my son) on some of the rides, took him to the zoo, that kind of stuff. There is some fun stuff to do and some stuff I look forward to doing this off-season when I have time with him – we’ll go around California there is tons of stuff to do (there).

DZ: When you go out to the mall or something, do you get recognized a lot?

KUBEL: I do, but it’s nothing close to Mauer or Morneau. People come up and want autographs and wanting pictures and all of that kind of stuff. It’s cool….yeah it is cool.

DZ: One last thing, have you gotten a chance to get down to the new stadium and check it out?

KUBEL: I have, it was awesome. If they haven’t put the turf in – I haven’t heard – they should be pretty soon…Supposedly we are going out there to hit sometime next month, so I am looking forward to that. I can’t wait, it looks awesome from what I have seen already and it’s not even done.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

August 16: Carl Pavano
July 28: Justin Morneau
July 15: Anthony Swarzak
July 10: Bobby Keppel
July 8: Denard Span

2 Responses to “Q&A with Jason Kubel”

  1. Kickin’ It with Scott Baker » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] 18: Jason Kubel August 16: Carl Pavano July 28: Justin Morneau July 15: Anthony Swarzak July 10: Bobby Keppel July […]

  2. Q&A with Brian Duensing » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] 3: Jon Rauch August 28: Nick Punto August 27: Scott Baker August 18: Jason Kubel August 16: Carl Pavano July 28: Justin Morneau July 15: Anthony Swarzak July 10: Bobby Keppel July […]

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