By La Velle
But before that….
JUAN CRUZ UPDATE
The Twins, who HAVE made an offer to free agent reliever Juan Cruz, did not speak with Cruz’s agent, Barry Praver, on Sunday like expected. While the sides are expected to continue negotiations this week, indications are that it will be tough for the Twins to agree to terms with Praver AND agree on the players to trade to Arizona.
I’m not predicting that a deal won’t get done but, based on the people I have spoken with, it’s going to be tough. One phone call changes everything. But that phone call had not happened as of last night.
BACK TO CREDE-MANIA!
I was warned that Crede was Jason Kubel-esque – a pleasant fellow who doesn’t say a whole lot. I think Crede will be a little more talkative than Kubel.
In an attempt to make Crede my newest best friend, I started to chat him up about Jefferson City, Mo. ,where he was born. I told him about my career at the Kansas City Star and how I covered high school sports all over the state.
“I think the state basketball tournament used to be there,” I said of Jeff-City, (as Missourians refer to it).
“Yeah, I played against Kareem, Rush there,” Crede said.
That unlocked a good talking point. I covered Kareem’s older brother, JaRon, a little bit when they were at Pembroke Hill high school in Kansas City. We chatted prep hoops for little bit before he was summoned by a media sentinel. So I’m on my way with the new guy…
Anyway, there are some leftover Crede quotes from yesterday I thought you’d like to read:
on not wearing a Sox jersey: “It takes a little bit to get used to. But it’s a good change of scenery and hopefully it’s for the better.”
On getting to know the team: “Yeah, I had a chance to meet Morneau. We were in the same group so we got a chance to joke around. It was a lot of fun. ”
on having any nerves: “You always have nerves when you come in because of the unexpected. As a player you are kind of a creature of habit. Do the same things for 6-7 months. Used to doing the same things. But then it gets broken up and…there’s a new team a new atmosphere. There’s definitely some nerves there. I think my family was more nervous than I was last night when they flew in . It was a lot of fun. It’s gets back to one thing and that’s trying to win ballgames.”
How big is the family? : “Two girls (ages 5 and 3) and one on the way, we don’t know yet, due in June.”
on if he was looking for a place to play or a place to win:“I think a lot of factors were involved in it. I think winning was one of them. This team definitely has got the potential to not only go to the playoffs but go deep in the playoffs. They manufacture runs in so many different ways. Not only the home run but they have a lot of speed on the bases. When you get those guys on base and add the big guys in the lineup that takes more pressure off of you. And they can steal a base here and there you don’t have to worry about getting a guy over and stuff like that. That stuff is going to happen as well. This is a team that is very competitive we have seen over the past 4-5 years playing against them. It’s going to be a lot of fun to be in this lineup and see what you can do this year.”
on if it was easy to get up to speed: “Absolutely. I’ve been doing baseball work for the past month. Physically I feel really good and I passed with flying colors all the running and everything else. Bottom line is that you are out there doing the same thing. You are taking the same ground balls – it doesn’t matter what uniform you have on You do the same things and the same goals.”
on getting used to the Twins’ way of preparing for a season: “We did different drills. We did some drills I’ve never done before in spring. It all comes down to the same thing. It doesn’t matter how you do it or what way you do it as long as you get it done. That’s really the only difference, the way things were done. It’s very similar to what we did in Chicago. But like I said it comes down to winning ballgames and doing thing fundamentally sound.”