Friday (Lew Ford and Minnesota sports characters) edition: Wha' Happened?
- Blog Post by: Michael Rand
- August 28, 2009 - 9:02 AM
We're pretty sure we did a post like this a while back, and we don't really care. Ever since Clarence Swamptown/Becker22 mentioned that Lew Ford is now with the Reds' AAA affiliate in Louisville -- and really, it's a shame it happened a year late because we were in Louisville around this time last year -- we can't stop thinking about our fateful Q&A with Lew a few years back, the transcript of which only tells part of the story of the sheer hilarity that ensues while watching him answer questions.
Your question of the day deals with sports characters in this here market: who were some of the biggest? We're casting our vote with Lew, and here is a look back at that Q&A:
His productivity and playing time have fluctuated in recent seasons. But Twins outfielder Lew Ford has remained a model of consistency when it comes to sticking out in the clubhouse. From his mechanical aptitude and love of computers to his ability to forget how many outs there are, Ford keeps his teammates guessing - and laughing. He recently took some time to chat about his reputation.
Q. It seems like you get laughed at by your teammates a lot - that everyone has a Lew Ford story. How do you feel about that?
A. I don't think about it one way or the other. I just like to have fun with the guys, have a good time here and keep the atmosphere here light.
Q. Do you feel like you fit in? A. Oh yeah, definitely. I try to give back as much as I can take ... but I take a lot, so I have to give it back.
Q. You have a reputation for being into computers. Where does that come from?
A. Well, this latest time was this spring. I brought my laptop and also my desktop computer down to spring training. You know, because the desktop is more powerful and has a 19-inch flatscreen monitor. But when we first made our road trip, I couldn't figure out what to do with my computer, so I brought it to Toronto and Cleveland. Somehow the guys found out about it, so I had to explain why I packed it..
Q. Where did you pack it?
A. Just with my regular luggage. I could only bring like one change of clothes because I brought my computer.
Q. How much time do you spend on the computer when you're on the road?
A. Well, there's just so much time downtime on the road. And right now it's cold and raining some days. I don't really go out and do anything. I'm on the computer in the hotel. And I have the wireless on the desktop and laptop. I'm either playing games or looking around on the Internet. I have a couple games that I play. I was playing EverQuest, an online multi-player game. And I have some friends back home that play another one called World of Warcraft, but I don't play that anymore. I played that some this offseason. It's the kind of thing where you can talk on the headset with all your buddies about what's going on during the game.
Q. Are you the only player who packed a desktop computer for spring training?
A. Nobody else has admitted that they bring a mainframe with them. But that was just for the spring. I'm not going to bring it on all the road trips.
Q. I've read a story about how Ron Gardenhire saw you having dinner on a road trip one time with some guys you met playing games on the Internet. That seems to be the "quintessential Lew Ford story." Can you explain it a little more?
A. You know, it's not something you would tell your kids to do because you don't know who's on the Internet or who you're talking to. But I had my agent with me at the game, and I had already arranged it with my buddies, who I had known from being online for like four years. But by the time I saw Gardy, my agent had taken off. I think he was a little bored because all we were talking about was computer stuff. So it was just the three of us having dinner when Gardy showed up. It was really funny because of Gardy. You should have seen his face when he asked how I knew the guys and they said, "We met on the Internet." He just stood there and stared.
Q. I've also read you did well on the SATs - that you're just generally a pretty smart guy. Do you read a lot?
A. Not really. But my dad was a high school teacher and high school football coach, then a principal. My grandmother and grandfather were teachers, and I grew up in their house. From an early age, they were just teaching me. I was good at the school stuff.
Q. Still, your teammates give you a hard time because it seems like even though you're smart, you space things out.
A. It's OK. I like to have fun with that - it doesn't bother me at all.
Q. You also seem to be a fan favorite, with everyone chanting "Lewwwwwww" when you come up to bat. Why do you think a lot of people have latched onto you?
A. It's a great feeling here because the fans are truly behind you, even when you're not going good. A lot of times last year there were so many fans that would just give me confidence, talk to me, tell me I was doing a great job. A lot of them are truly just great fans that were really behind us.
Q. This year has been different from the past couple in that you're fighting more for playing time and you had an early injury. Has it been tough for you early on?
A. Yeah, the worst thing in the world is to have an injury early on. Hopefully I can just get past that as quickly as possible.
With that, Ford stood up and started looking for a "practice cap" to wear onto the field for an off-day workout. One was pointed out to him, but he said, "No, that's a game hat." He also seemed a little concerned. "I'll be looking for this article. What are you going to put in there about the computer stuff?" he asked. "You have to remember: I don't take the big one on every trip. You have to make sure to put that in there." Consider it done, Lew.
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