Note: Spring Breaks is a Big League Stew series debuting today that talks to players about their lives off the field during spring training. First up: Jedd Gyorko, 24, of the San Diego Padres, who has one of baseball's most interesting names (pronounced JER-ko), and is looking to secure the Padres' starting second baseman job after an impressive spring.
Mike Oz: What's your favorite spring pastime off the field?
Jedd Gyorko: I'd like to be able to go golfing some. But once games start, it kind of makes it tough get out there because we get done so late. It wouldn't really be worth your time. I just enjoy going back and relaxing. You're getting up at 6 o'clock and getting back at 5 o'clock. Those are long days and getting your sleep is pretty important. I like to just really go home and relax for the night, get a nice little dinner and go to bed pretty early.
MO: Have you found a favorite place to go eat? A new restaurant you've discovered?
JG: There's a lot of good places. Right here in Peoria, you got all these places to eat right around you. I like to change it up. I don't like to hit the same spot too many times. Arrowhead Grill is very good. Chase [Headley] took me out there when we first got here, which was nice. That's definitely a good spot to be at.
MO: Have you had a favorite TV show or movie you've been watching this spring?
JG: Not really. I'm the big "Sportscenter" guy. I'm the guy that'll wake up early and watch it three or four times for some reason, which doesn't really make any sense. It's better to watch that than some of the shows that are out there.
MO: Are you a music guy? Who do you listen to during spring training?
JG: I don't listen to too much music. I don't consider myself a music guy. But if I have to choose, it's gonna be country. I like Jason Alden, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, those guys. They're the new guys coming up through, which is kind of nice.
MO: You're married, right? And your wife is here. What do you do as a couple — you're married, you're young, what do you do to have fun at spring training? Or do you?
JG: Just go out and have dinner and go back home. She's just out for a week. A couple of the other guys' wives are here, so she likes to spend time with them and introduce herself to some of the people she hasn't met.
MO: Who's the guy in the locker room that knows everything about where you should eat, what movie you should watch, the guy that's your travel planner?
JG: [Mark] Kotsay, for sure. He's been around the game for so long, there's nothing he hasn't seen or done. If you have any questions about anything ,you can go to him and he'll have an answer for you.