Catching up with Former Twin Mike Redmond


Despite all the Twins have gained this season - a new stadium, a shortstop with power (J.J. Hardy), a legitimate second baseman and No. 2 hitter (Orlando Hudson) and a future Hall of Famer off the bench (Jim Thome), they’ve also lost someone special.

In his five seasons with the Twins, catcher Mike Redmond was the best back-up backstop in the game, a veteran leader, clubhouse prankster, beloved teammate and an all-around great guy. This week, the 39-year-old visited Target field and his former team for the first team. Redmond took some time out to chat with me before Wednesday’s game:

DZ: Last night it looked like you got a lot of love from your former teammates and the fans, that had to feel good.

REDMOND: It was great. I talked to a lot of these guys on the phone throughout the offseason and, like I’ve told many people, I am friends with a lot of those guys over there and will be forever. It’s going to be interesting to play against these guys. I am excited, a little nervous just because I am not sure what is going to happen out there. I am not sure emotionally how I am going to be. I am going to be a little bit out of my element in the fact that I am usually so focused out there. I am sure it is going to be hard for me with those guys and the fans, so I am exited to get out there and get going and see what happens. I think, at the end of the day, it is going to be a great experience that hopefully, I’ll remember for the rest of my life.

DZ: When is the last time you felt like this before a game?

REDMOND: I haven’t, I haven’t - never. So, it’s kind of weird, I feel like I am a little kid again. I played 7 years in Florida and we (the Twins) only went back there one time and I didn’t even play, I think I just pinch-hit and so to actually come back to a town where I spent so many years - so many great years - and was on so many good teams (pauses) to see the fans and my teammates should be interesting.

DZ: It’s got to be pretty weird coming back to play your former team, but the only thing you really recognize is the players because everything else is pretty much different.

REDMOND: Yeah, obviously we are not in the Metrodome anymore - thank goodness! It’s neat man, the ballpark is phenomenal. They did just a tremendous job - so nice - it’s a testament to the organization, to the fans, to the players - I know they (the players) really appreciate it. Those guys, over there are pretty proud of that ballpark. Especially the guys that have been here for awhile. They really are proud of this stadium and take a lot of pride in the fact that they have a new stadium and are really enjoying it.

DZ: When you join a new team, it is easier because you played against them so many times as a Twin?

REDMOND: I wouldn’t say it’s easier, it’s maybe a little more uncomfortable playing against your friends. That’s not easy.

DZ: I mean as far as coming to Cleveland, you played against them so many times.

REDMOND: Yeah, but that’s a great line-up over there, that’s a great team. It’s going to be a challenge for us to go out there and figure out ways to get those guys out. They’ve got a great team and I can bring some knowledge on how I think we can get guys out, but - on the other hand - you’ve still got to do it. That’s going to be the toughest thing.

DZ: What attracted you to the Indians and why do you think they sought out your services?

REDMOND: I think it was couple of things. We’ve got a some young catchers - we have a really young catcher in Lou Marson - we have a lot of young pitchers. I think they’ve respected what I’ve been able to do, the quality of pitchers I’ve been able to catch throughout my career. Obviously I am catching (Fausto) Carmona - is my guy too. So, he’s gotten off to a good start so (pauses) that’s what they like. Probably the same things that - at one time - the Twins wanted me to do too. Come in, provide some leadership, be able to catch and help their young pitchers and young catchers.

DZ: Like that young punk named Mauer - when you first came here.

REDMOND: (laughs) That young punk named Joe Mauer.

DZ: I read that Carmona was kind of your guy, was that something you knew coming in or did that evolve during spring training?

REDMOND: I knew that coming in, when I first got here they told me that he was going to be my guy that I was going to catch. Now I’ve caught (David) Huff - everyone of his starts too. Like I said, I am getting to play a couple of days a week which is a lot more than I would’ve played here in Minnesota - a lot more then I’ve played the last two years. So, it’s going to be a great situation and I’m excited.

3 Responses to “Catching up with Former Twin Mike Redmond”

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