What, you didn’t hear about it? Well, there was Jim Thome, and Carl Pavano, and we got to watch Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s physical like it was an animal birth at the Miracle of Birth building at the State Fair,* and I totally played beer pong with Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, and Matt Capps in the press box,** and…
* It wasn’t as awesome as it sounds.
** This was just as awesome as it sounds.
Alright, none of that was true. It was simply for Twins employees from the 2010 season, but it was still plenty of fun, and not just because we got free gifts and harassed Ron Gardenhire for the entire night. Yep, that’s right, Gardy was even there.
I’ll spare you the less-interesting parts, but as soon as I arrived at the ballpark, I went up to the Legend’s Club for the party.
My friend Craig and I arrived late, so we were only able to snag a drink for myself and some snacks for Craig before we ran into Gardy.
Now, I didn’t want to be a blubbering idiot and I wanted more than just a picture, so I quickly thought of a question for Gardy. It had to be something that was somewhat relevant, and would have meaning to more than just myself.
Me: “What’s your nickname for Nishioka?”
Gardy: “I don’t know, I have to think of one. I don’t know if I can even pronounce his name!”
Oh Gardy, you and Bert and Gordo all.
About 15 minutes later, we were ushered* over to the Rod Carew portion of the Legends Club to listen to some speakers, and there was a brief Q&A carried out by a speaker and Gardy. He didn’t really reveal much with the Twins’ intentions this offseason, but some of his quotes are still noteworthy.
* Ironic, isn’t it?
(Note that these responses were paraphrased. If there are no quotations, these responses were paraphrased A LOT)
On Jim Hoey and Brett Jacobson: They have good arms, they can throw into the mid-90s, and I’m excited to have them in the organization.
On competing with the White Sox and Tigers after they acquired Adam Dunn and Victor Martinez, respectively: “The White Sox and Tigers, I don’t give a crap about them.”
On communicating with Tsuyoshi Nishioka: “I can’t understand Alexi Casilla, who cares if I can’t understand him (Nishioka)? There is one thing I know, and that is that he will be able to talk baseball at the end of the year.”
Finally, at the end of the presentation, Gardy was given three gifts to help him with the upcoming season.
– The books Survival Japanese and Instant Japanese
– A set of CDs on learning Japanese
While Nishioka may only learn how to speak baseball, it looks like Gardy will be speaking a bit more than just that. If he started wearing samurai attire, then we’ll know that he’s taking the Japanese culture a little too seriously, however.