Cuddyer Talks Snuggies and Other Pressing Matters

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After today’s much needed 6-3 win at Detroit, the Twins limp into the All Star break with a 46-42 record having lost 7 out of 10. After being entrenched in first place of the AL Central most of the season, the squad finds itself trailing the surging White Sox by 3 ½ games.

No Twins player has endured more in the first half than Michael Cuddyer. The 10-year veteran began the season in rightfield, but also spent time at first, second and third base. While his offensive game slowed after a hot start - no doubt in part due to the defensive shuffling - Cuddyer did finish strong, hitting two homeruns on the recent road trip and driving in two big runs in today’s victory.

The always positive and perky Cuddyer chatted with me about a variety of topics during the last homestand.

DZ: There’s an ad around town with you, Denard Span and Patrick Reusse all wearing snuggies, can you tell me how that came about?

CUDDYER: Denard and I both do a radio show, I do it every Wednesday at 12:30 and Denard does it every Thursday at 12:30. Reusse’s the host, so that is what the ad is for.

DZ: The burning question is, do you actually own a snuggie?

CUDDYER: Yeah (laughs) I am a huge fan of the snuggie. I don’t like having a blanket on me, then you can’t do anything, so the snuggie is nice.

DZ: Does your wife like them too?

CUDDYER: It grew on her, she didn’t like it at first. She thought it was kind of dorky or geeky or whatever, but I am never once to fall under peer pressure so I like it and she’s a closet snuggie fan.

DZ: The big news for you personally is that you’ve been playing a lot of 3rd base lately, how’s that been going for you?

CUDDYER: It’s going well. For me it’s whatever helps our team and if getting Jim Thome in the line-up everyday or at least four or five times a week is going to help our team, then I am all for it. I go there and I do the best I can.

DZ: It’s kind of funny, you were drafted as a shortstop and I think that and catcher are about the only positions you haven’t played here.

CUDDYER: (laughs) Yeah, I played shortstop in the Hall of Fame game back in ‘04, but as far as a non exhibition game, short and catcher and pitcher are the only three.

DZ: As far as positioning yourself in the infield, do you have to lean on Nick Punto and those guys for help?

CUDDYER: Punto; and I look at Gardy pretty much every hitter. Gardy helps me out where he wants me positioned whether it’s in, deep, left or right. So he’s been great and helps me out a lot with that.

DZ: Jason Kubel has been doing a pretty good job in right field, he’s a lot better outfielder than people give him credit for. What do think about his play?

CUDDYER: I think you know with him because he’s been DHing the past few years, you kind of get that label of “can’t play defense”, he can shed that label really quick if he has an opportunity. With me moving to 3rd and Thome DHing it gives Jason an opportunity to get out there in the field.

DZ: You spent a lot of time going to the Metrodome and now you are going to Target Field, have you every caught yourself on autopilot heading down to the Dome?

CUDDYER: No, not yet because I am coming from across the city so I’ve never had a need to go through the city, but if I lived in the St. Paul area I probably would go to the Dome because then I wouldn’t have to cross through the city.

DZ: Do you come in on (Instate) 394?

CUDDYER: Yeah, 394.

DZ: It’s pretty hard to miss this place from there. Your son Casey just turned 2, do you plan on having any more kids?

CUDDYER: We’d like to….we plan on it eventually at some point, I don’t know when or what the time table is - at some point.

DZ: One last thing, counting 2001 - when you had a little time up here - this is your 10th season with big league experience, did you plan on going this long?

CUDDYER: I’d like to think I would. When you are growing up, you want to first make it to the big leagues and the next goal is to stay. You envision yourself staying for a long time and it’s been a long time and hopefully it will be a little bit longer.

DZ: At the same time, you’ve seen a lot of guys come and go.

CUDDYER: No doubt. It’s been special for me to be with the one organization the whole time. I don’t want to go anywhere else. Hopefully, in a few years - however many I don’t know - but hopefully this will be the only organization I ever play for.

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

July 8: Jason Repko
July 5: Nick Punto
June 12: Jason Kubel
June 9: Drew Butera
May 11: Denard Span
April 25: Justin Morneau
April 22: Alex Burnett
April 21: Mike Redmond
April 16: J.J. Hardy

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