Back in spring training, I interviewed Michael Cuddyer(notes) of the Minnesota Twins, but I misplaced the file. It was later found, but publication just kept getting pushed back. Then it was forgotten. Well, I'll be darned if it isn't playoff time and Cuddyer (along with most elements of the interview) is still relevant after he hit a two-run homer in Wednesday's game against the Yankees.
So, enjoy this never-before-published, mini-pseudo Answer Man with the Twins' Magic Man!
David Brown: You've been described as a coffee snob.
Michael Cuddyer: I used to be [laughs]. I got married in 2006 in Jamaica; Far as I'm concerned, Jamaican coffee is the best in the world. We would import it. We'd go on the internet and buy it. That stuff's $30, $40 a pound. It's not cheap. Now we got the the Koureg, the single cup, the K-Cup things. Until they come out with Jamaican coffee — Blue Mountain Coffee — K-Cups, we're sticking with those.
DB: What makes this stuff so special?
MC: You're just going to have to try it. It's just different; A little sweeter. Just in my opinion, it's better. One of those things you can't really put a finger on, you just know it's better.
DB: Is there anything else about you that's so particular?
MC: I am a reality TV junkie. I'd be lying if I said it's because of my wife, because it's not. I watch "The Bachelorette," I watch "American Idol" and all of the TV dramas. I guess I'm a TV junkie. "Survivor" is my favorite, hands down. Everything else is a close second.
DB: Some of that stuff is good, but some is crap.
MC: Yeah. The "Real World" is crap, but I still watch it [laughs]. Sure, sure. Mindless. It's all mindless.
DB: Can it help you relax?
MC: Yeah, you know? And get away. My mind can drift, get away from baseball and things of that nature. You can just sit in front of the TV and you don't have to think about much to watch those shows.
MC: When I was young, I was Denard Span — I was baffled by it. I'm the type of guy that, if I like something, I'll research it. I read about new techniques so I can continue to try and grow the craft. I started making up my own tricks. It first started with the big-league club. It was a good ice-breaker [socially].
I came in here, my first year, at 19 years old. Terry Steinbach was here. And Ron Coomer. And Torii Hunter(notes). And Rick Aguilera. I'm not just going to go up to them and say "Hi." But card tricks allowed me to open that door. They were playing cards one day and I asked if I could borrow the cards, and I'd do a trick and, ultimately, it allowed me to get a foot in. Now, I use it because I like the reactions.
DB: Only cards? Is that the only thing you work with?
MC: Pretty much. The other stuff? You can go to a magic shop and get a bunch of that stuff. I like making up and developing my own tricks. So far, cards is the best way I can do that.
DB: You wouldn't need to do it for a living, but ever thought of going to New York City and setting up a table on a Manhattan sidewalk and putting on a card game for the people?
MC: Not really that, but I'll go to, like, other clubhouses and walk in — or if visiting teams come to us — I'll go down on the field during early batting practice and I'll just do some tricks for guys. They like it, they think it's fun.
DB: Is Span still scared by magic?
MC: He's skeptical. I don't know if he's scared. He's skeptical about everything I do.
DB: Have you a favorite magician or card shark?
MC: I like David Blaine. I don't know about his recent TV episodes, but when he goes out and does the street magic, it's pretty ridiculous.
DB: What's to look forward to from Target Field as a home-field advantage?
MC: The thing that makes a home-field advantage is the excitement of the fans. The only thing that's going to be different is, it's not going to be a Teflon roof.
DB: What makes it a good year for you, personally?
MC: I'm not one to look at personal stuff. Personally, if we make it past the first round of the playoffs, then it's a better years. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to win the World Series. And if we win the World Series, it's going to be personally gratifying.
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