Like most of you we've really been enjoying Padres Infielder Matt Antonelli's blog and twitter. It gives a good insight into what it's like to be in the Padres system. We emailed him after joking around on the Gaslamp Ball the other day and he seems like a really nice guy. He has a good sense of humor but takes his profession seriously. Here's hoping we'll see more of him in a Padres uniform in 2010.
Now on to the hard hitting questions!
Gaslamp Ball: When the Padres found out recently that you were blogging did they try to shut you down? Give you ground rules? Lecture you? Has it even been brought up?
Matt Antonelli: I'm not really sure if the Padres know that I have a blog or not, but they have not said anything about it. I am not sure if they will or not in the future, but I don't think they have to worry about me saying anything they wouldn't want me to. I pretty much stick to only writing about myself. I decided to write my blog for fun and to let fans, friends, and family know what's going on in my life when I'm 3000 miles away from home.
What are two secrets about Matt Antonelli that we should know?
Haha I don't really have any secrets, but if I did I don't think it'd reveal them on the Internet.
With all the young guys in the clubhouse these days, who do you see as the team leaders both with the big league club and at Portland?
The big league club is definitely a young team, but there are also a lot of great veteran leaders on the team. If I had to pick a few quickly it would probably be a guy like David Eckstein or Adrian Gonzalez. I obviously haven't been around the team as much as some of the other guys, but during Spring Training and my short time up in 08' I saw that these guys have a lot knowledge that they offer the other players. I feel really fortunate to have David Eckstein play the same position as myself and be able to learn from him. As far as Portland goes, it is tough to say because I won't even know who is on the team until right around the end of March. I am sure we will pick up a player or two that is an older guy and can bring a lot of wisdom and experience to the triple-A level.
Terry Kennedy is the new AAA coach. Though you obviously intend to make the big league club does the change affect what you'll be doing in the offseason or during spring training?
I had a chance to be around TK a little bit during the last two spring trainings and I can tell he is a really great guy. I have a lot of friends that have played for him in San Antonio and I haven't heard a single bad thing about the guy. I know I would love playing for him. With that said, I personally won't be doing anything differently because he could possibly be my coach. I just look forward to learning from him during the season.
Do guys in the clubhouse discuss whether to marry a Minor League girlfriend or hold out for a Major League girl?
Haha that's a funny question. Nah, I don't think guys talk too much about what type of girl a certain guy should be with. Most of the guys that I am playing with are already married anyways, or they are engaged. I'm starting to feel old.
With the Padres promoting so many young players, it must have been frustrating to have been hit with injury. How do you like your chances to stick with the club this season?
It is never fun to be injured. I had gone pretty much my whole life without ever being injured and missing time because of it. It is no fun sitting on the bench or in the trainer's room and seeing your friends and teammates out there playing without you. As far as my chances on sticking with the team goes, I never look at who I think is ahead of me or behind me in the organization. I try to focus on myself, and what I can do to improve my game in order to make the club and play for a long time. If I play the way I feel I am capable of playing I know I will have a chance to play.
You talk a lot about your swing on your blog. There is so much jargon in swinging a baseball bat. What cliches do you actually find useful and try to implement in your swing? For example, does "keep your eye on the ball" or "quick hands" actually translate to something for you to do?
My swing has definitely been a major topic of discussion, especially after the last 2 seasons. I'd always just gone up to the plate and hit, but after I got into a few bad habits somehow I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I have looked at my swing over and over again, torn it down and built it back up. I am always searching for something easy to think or say to myself that will help me stay locked-in at the plate. I think everyone has something unique and a little different from someone else that they use to keep their swing intact. I have used a bunch of different techniques throughout my life and right now I feel I have the ones that will help me this season.
What are those giant faces outside the gates at PGE Park?
I have no idea what the hell those things are.
Is there any chance we could get you to renounce all Boston sports teams?
I think it is really funny how mad some people have got at me because I like Boston sports teams. Since being drafted I have actually lost my love of the Red Sox. Once you get picked by another team your loyalty changes. My job is to make myself the best player I can to help the Padres win. I really haven't followed the Sox since 2006. As far as it goes for the Patriots and Celtics, I don't think there is anyway you could change that. I still live in Boston and have lived here for 24 years. I am not one of those fans that shoves it in other people's face when my team wins, and I don't cry or lock myself in my house when they lose, but I still love them. If I end up playing in San Diego for a long time I am sure I will go to plenty of Chargers games and cheer for them, but if they play the Pats in the AFC Championship I'm sorry, but I'm rooting for the Pats.
Thanks for all the questions guys it was fun.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, good luck this season! High fives all around!