Big League Stew - MLB

Curtis Granderson(notes) answers your questions in The Grandstand's first Q&A ... 

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Has anyone ever told you that you look like the actor Dule Hill?  He's an actor in the show "Psych" as Gus and was on "The West Wing", and my dad and I both think that you two look very alike. 

— Andrew Tucker 

Marcus Thames(notes) was the first to point it out two spring trainings ago. I actually met with the creators and writers of that show last season because they thought I resembled him and they wanted to see. They said facewise it was really close, but I guess he's bigger than me but I was slightly taller than him. I haven't seen Dule in person yet. Maybe they can put me in an episode or two and we can find out.

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What was your favorite minor league city, whether home or away?  What made it the best out of all the cities you might have played in?

— Frank Novak, Springdale, Arkansas

In terms of city, my favorite was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It had a big league feel. There is lots of stuff to do within walking distance from the hotel and field. They also have one if the best sub sandwich places I've ever had within walking distance. The best stadium belongs to either the Lowell Spinners or Brooklyn Cyclones.

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Which Hall of Fame (or soon to be) outfielder did you model your playing style as a youth?
 
— PFC Adam Halleck, COP Cashe South, Iraq

It's hard to answer that one, because I was a shortstop for most of my youth until my junior year of high school. Until then I liked watching Ozzie Smith. Ken Griffey, Jr. was my favorite outfielder though.

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You have an excellent reputation as a player who is willing to sign autographs. One of the stories we've heard is that as a kid, you sent a card to Kirby Puckett for an autograph and he sent it back to you signed, so you know from personal experience how much that can mean to a kid. Is that a true story? And are there any other baseball memories that inform your willingness to sign? Thank you for your time.
 
— Patricia and Lucy, Dinged Corners

Yes, that's a true story about Kirby. I sent him a letter to get something signed for a school project and he sent something back, so I try my best to return my fan mail. I spoke with Derek Jeter(notes) after the World Baseball Classic and got to watch how many people wanted his autograph everywhere we went. He wouldn't sign everyday, but he let everyone know he would sign tomorrow or the next day, and that made me also try my best to sign when I can.

Keep in mind everyone, we can't sign every day and for everyone. Also, we have a game to get ready to play so when you see players running in after batting practice it usually isn't so we don't have to sign it's so we can get ready for the game. Most guys usually come back and sign before the game once they are finished warming up.

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Have you ever asked an opponent for an autograph?

— Frank Montague, Toledo, Ohio

I asked for Ken Griffey, Jr.'s autograph when I first met him in 2006 when we played the Reds.

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You bat lefty and throw righty, and I was wondering if there is anything else that you do with your left hand? Why do you think that some people throw righty and bat lefty, and vice versa? I ask this because I am lefthanded, but I bat from the right side. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why that is, and keep coming up empty-handed. Do you have a theory?

— Nina, from the 'burbs of Chi-town

There is no real theory as to why that is. My dad said he saw me trying to swing left-handed when I was little but didn't stop me or try to change me. I do any swinging motion left-handed (golf, hockey, etc...) but writing, shooting a basketball, and passing, are all done right-handed. I guess I'm just a little bit weird.

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Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie?
 
— Jordan W., Baltimore

I've always been a big fan of Angelina because of the lips.

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I'm a librarian and a long-time Tigers fan. I'm wondering if anyone on the team likes to kill time by reading while traveling on road trips.  Books, magazines, newspapers — I'm not picky, just about anything counts.  Please tell me not everyone is plugged into their iPod.

— Wendy, formerly from Kalamazoo, MI, now in Yorba Linda, CA.

I can't lie, the iPod is always on most players. A lot also read too — mostly newspapers (usually USA Today, or the local paper depending on the city), magazines (ESPN The Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, etc...). For me, when I try to read a book, they always usually put me to sleep. It's not because of a lack of interest, but because the reading relaxes me to the point where my body falls asleep within the first few pages.

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How did you first become a KU basketball fan, and who's your all-time favorite Jayhawk? 

— Matty Roberts, Kansas City

In the early 90s I saw them play during the NCAA tourney, and I fell in love then. My favorite player was Jacque Vaughn. I was a point guard too, and Sports Illustrated gave him the cover. I was loving it.

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Were you able to hit up a Red Wings playoff game during an off day this season?  And if not, did you catch Red Wing fever at all?

— Doug, Byram, NJ

I didn't get to any of the playoff games, but when we weren't traveling or weren't playing I would watch on TV. A lot of times we were playing at the same time. We were in Pittsburgh for game 7 and we even were listening to it on the bus from our game back to the hotel.

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While growing up were you more into Transformers or G.I. Joe? It's tough to decide when you factor in all the cartoons, toys, and upcoming summer blockbuster movies)
 
— Nate,  Ontario, Canada

Both were very good. I think I had more Transformers, but overall I was a He-Man fan.

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Curtis Granderson how grand are you? I heard you are grander than the Grand Canyon, and when you go to the Grand Canyon, they just call it the canyon because you're too grand for two things to be called grand in one place.

— Timothy Forbes

I've never been to the Grand Canyon, but when I do go, I'll ask around and see if the name has changed.

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Being that you're on a team with a lot of Spanish speaking players, I wanted to know have you ever attempted to try and learn a little Spanish from them?

— Teresa

I have picked up a decent amount from my draft year until now. I'm still not 100 percent comfortable with using it all the time. I do have Rosetta Stone for both Chinese and Spanish, and want to continue to use it so I can surprise my teammates who speak Spanish.

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I'm a fan of players wearing their socks up like yourself and Brandon Inge(notes). I've noticed that a couple of the younger players that came up this year, Josh Anderson(notes) and Don Kelly(notes), are doing the same. Are you influencing this or is it just their style? Why do you sport the 'old school' style? Is it because of a player that influenced you growing up?

— Tony, Battle Creek, Michigan

I've never said anything to Josh or Don or even Inge about their socks. I think we all have our reasons for doing it. I've been doing it ever since I finally had socks I could pull up high enough. So from little league until now, I've worn them up. I also had the influence of Negro Leagues players and loved how they wore their pants and socks.


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What is the weirdest thing a fan has ever said to you.
 
— Tyler

For some reason guys love to tell me that if their wife or girlfirends wanted to cheat on them, it would be OK if they cheated with me. Most I think are joking, but the amount of guys who have said it to me surprises me. I think some are serious. And if they are serious, they can always bid for a private dinner with me at my next charity event on July 23. Go to www.curtisgranderson.com/passport.

(There was no better time for a shameless plug than right there.)

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Curtis Granderson plays center field for the Detroit Tigers and his blog will appear regularly on Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew during the 2009 season. Make sure to check out and support his Grand Kids Foundation

Previous Posts: The importance of education (June 19) Breaking up a no-no (June 8) Tip of the cap to Luke Scott(notes) (June 1) • Hanging with Hammer (May 22) • Sweet home, Chicago (May 14) The catch in Cleveland (May 11) • Impressive ballpark amenities (April 29) Handling A 10-Game Road Trip • (April 22) Cautious About Identity Theft (April 14) Season's High Hopes (April 6)

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