[editor's note, by jbox] I'll admit that when I read the questions Jon was going to send Andre, I got a little nervous for everybody involved, but Andre came through with some really thoughtful answers and I think Jonny's first interview was a success. If you don't understand some of Jon's questions then read the story of our first meeting with Andre or this subsequent meeting or even better just realize that Jon is a bit crazy and we can't even make sense of of him at times. Without further ado, please put your hands together for the Entertainment Employee of the Season (Diamond MVP Award) Pad Squad Andre!
Well it looks like the WANTED Poster worked. Gaslamp Ballers, I give you Pad Squad Andre: The Interview!
Andre: I am sorry for the delay. I was in the middle of midterms for my MBA program. Little did I know you guys were on New York Times with Journalism Deadlines.Next time I will put Gaslamp Ball ahead of Quantitative Analysis.
Gaslamp Ball: Lately Andre The Great is all the rage at Gaslamp Ball, especially with the 17 year old girl posse. Can you explain this?
Andre: I am actually very humbled by all the attention. There are many people who work hard on the Pad Squad and Friarvision team to really make the ballpark a fun place to be for the fans. Often, I am really just supporting them throughout the games.
Gaslamp Ball: How does it feel to be the only male Pad Squadder? Are there any extra challenges that go along with it? Or Benefits?
Andre: Though we are in the minority, the male Pad Squadders work pretty hard. Most of the time the team is spread out all over the ballpark, so I can understand why you may only see one or two of us together at a time. I often get confused for one of the other guys, usually Austin or Dave. But I have gotten used to it. The only time it really gets awkward is when they confuse me for Red Ruff.
Gaslamp Ball: Why is it that you always have bottled water with you? Everyone greatly appreciates it, especially in the summer. Is there any chance they'd let you pass out beer?
Andre: My contract with Dasani runs through the end of 2007, and I am open to new sponsorship for next year. Truth is I am always running all over the ballpark and it is easier if you are prepared for anything because anything can happen in baseball. So I often try and carry supplies for the game in my bag. Most of those supplies usually end up in the hands of fans, though.
Gaslamp Ball: jbox and I saw you at the Park in the Park during the tiebreaker game with the Rockies. We were so depressed about the game we left without saying goodbye. How did you take the loss? How did the rest of the Pad Squad take it?
Andre: Most of the Pad Squad Members take the losses pretty hard. I learned a long time ago, you cannot take losses personally. In my Nebraska high school football days, we lost 28 games straight games. That was a hard few years. But it I learned that there is a lot more to sports than just winning and losing. I really do love the intricacies of sports. Turning double plays, the trajectory of fly balls, Maddux's fielding ability, and the difference of the 10th man at Petco make every game fun to work.
That tiebreaker game was a lot of fun to watch. I really do appreciate the Padres Organization opening its doors to allow us to go through that struggle together as Padres fans.
My son Cayden is taking the off-season hard. He is not sure why the wiffle ball field does not have as many kids playing during the off-season and he makes me make up my own hat shuffle every day. (It is always the middle one). I keep telling him only five more months till pitchers and catchers report.
PS- Cayden also misses the addictive commercials on XX Padres game broadcasts.1-8-Hundred-9-0-1-11-0-2 CORKY'S!
Gaslamp Ball: Have you ever considered cheering for the Chargers squad? I'm not sure if they take dudes, but they could seriously use you right now.
Andre: Football is actually my favorite sport to play. It would be hard for me to be so close to the action and not be able pad up and play.
The couple games I have been blessed to go to, the crowd at the Chargers games have seemed very involved in every play.
I think football games and baseball games are very different. The atmosphere of Baseball and Petco specifically really allows the Pad Squad to make some great relationships with fans during the season.
Gaslamp Ball: What goes on in the off-season for the Pad Squad? Are there exercises the Pad Squad must do to stay peppy?
Andre: There really is not an off-season for the Squad. We spend a lot of time outside of the ballpark doing community service and other projects around San Diego County.
For me, I spend a lot of the time catching for the Padres' 2025 pitching ace. We watch a lot of pitching film including Rookie of the Year, Everyone's Hero and Angels in the Outfield.
Gaslamp Ball: Do you have to report early in the spring like the players? Go over new routines?
Andre: Well, we do go through extensive slingshot conditioning and t-shirt cannon launching certification. Honestly, we do try and spend time together as a team before the season so that we can work better together during the season. Pad Squad chemistry is important to get us through the season together.
Gaslamp Ball:And finally, what role did you play when Persia invaded the Greeks? Word on the street is that you may have single handily been responsible for slowing down Xerxes' army at Thermopylae.
Andre: It is funny that you mention it. I think the performance of the defenders at the battle of Thermopylae can be used as a good example of the advantages of training, equipment, and good use of terrain as force multipliers, and has become a symbol of courage against overwhelming odds. However, ancient writers first used the Battle of Thermopylae as an example of the superior power of a patriotic army of free men defending native soil. You could say that the Pad Squad is doing just that-- leading our mighty army of Padres fans in order to defend our native Petco Park soil.
Great Answers Dude, to great questions! I must admit I thought you, Dave and Austin were the same person. It's also nice to know you're a fellow Nebraskan.
Good luck with that MBA! See you next year!