Span chats with Twins Territory Team
Outfielder answers questions about strategy, goals, music, etc.
Outfielder Denard Span participated in a live web chat with Twins Territory Team members on Tuesday. During the chat he shared his thoughts about game strategies, pregame rituals and his goals for the team this season.
kytwinsfan: I am flying up to Minneapolis on June 12 for the Braves-Twins series. Any suggestions on "must see" elements for fans at the new park?
Denard Span: Center field!
brandon_6: When and why did you start wearing No. 2?
Denard Span: It pretty much wasn't a choice. It was my first big league Spring Training -- the number was in my locker.
brandon_6: Where do you like playing better as far as the actual game, Target Field or the Dome?
Denard Span: Target Field -- to feel the rain.
brandon_6: Have you considered starting to bunt more again to put some pressure on defenses?
Denard Span: Yes, I have. I fake bunt a lot. I've been practicing during pregame. It's definitely a weapon I want to use more, because I know it's going to help my offensive game even more.
jasmith79: Now that you have signed on for another five years, hopefully you are feeling a little more at home here in Minnesota. So what types of things do you like to do when you're not practicing or playing ball?
Denard Span: I like to sleep, relax and go to the mall. Watch TV.
patty929: What is your favorite thing about the new ballpark?
Denard Span: The clubhouse. The weight room and batting cages are steps away.
fiveat49: Hey, Denard. So far the Twins have been on fire this season! As a team, what do you think are your greatest strengths that have been working to your advantage?
Denard Span: Starting pitching right now. As a team, being able to draw walks and have good at-bats ... getting guys on base. And, of course, our defense.
josh_frost: What's the best part of the new player's clubhouse at Target Field?
Denard Span: The weight room and 10-person whirlpool area.
tboorstein: When you played in the Minors, which of the Quad Cities was your favorite?
Denard Span: Bettendorf.
tboorstein: You have a higher on-base percentage in the Majors than you did in the Minors. Why do you think that is?
Denard Span: I had Lasik eye surgery -- that helped a lot. Having the number of at-bats I had in the Minors, you learn and can have more quality at-bats.
josh_frost: Who's the funniest player on the team?
Denard Span: Orlando Hudson and then Matt Guerrier.
kgustafson: Who has the best at-bat music on the Twins, and who has the worst?
Denard Span: I think mine is the best. Nick Punto has the worst.
dznordeast: What's your favorite memory from your time in the Minors?
Denard Span: The relationships I had with some of my teammates. I still keep in contact with some of them.
rober783: Are you big into the nightlife down in the Twin Cities?
Denard Span: No.
rober783: What do you think are some things that you as an individual and the team as a whole need to work on?
Denard Span: Individually, basestealing. The team, hitting with guys in scoring position -- taking advantage of those opportunities.
brewertwin: Hi, Denard. Who do you feel is the Twins' biggest challenge to the AL Central title?
Denard Span: Detroit.
WinTwinsGuy: Hey, Denard! Who's the biggest prankster on the club?
Denard Span: Matt Guerrier or Hot Rod, our clubhouse manager.
8bit4life: Do you have a favorite food at the new ballpark?
Denard Span: I haven't had a chance to try it -- I've been busy playing ball!
brandon_6: What's your favorite nickname?
Denard Span: I had a guy who called me Catfish. I had a mustache that I didn't shave for like a month.
WinTwinsGuy: Funny, I'm actually wearing my Cooperstown Edition #2 today! Denard, I love the way you play ball, man! Slumps happen throughout the season, with every player. When you're in one, do you do things different to get out of it, or do you just stick to your routine?
Denard Span: I just stick with my same routine -- put forth some extra effort in going to the batting cage or watching some video.
rober783: What other sports besides baseball did you play growing up?
Denard Span: Football and basketball.
rober783: What is your favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities area?
Denard Span: Seven and Benihana.
dznordeast: Outside Target Field, what's your favorite ballpark to play in and why?
Denard Span: Seattle -- it's just a cool setup. Anaheim -- nice stadium and beautiful weather.
two4life: How much do you "scout" umpires? Do you talk about that night's plate umpire and what his strike zone might be?
Denard Span: Naw. We don't do that.
dcornell: With the Carlos Gomez-J.J. Hardy trade, how has it changed your routines before and between games knowing that you will be in the lineup and in center field every day?
Denard Span: It hasn't changed my routine at all. It just made it easier coming to the field every day and knowing what position I'm going to play.
jasmith79: Do you have any personal goals that you hope to accomplish this season (hits, RBIs, homers, etc.)?
Denard Span: I have goals every year. I always want to do better that the year before.
kgustafson: How has being on social media, like Twitter, helped you stay connected to your fans?
Denard Span: It's interesting to hear what people think and how they're feeling. A lot of times, it's encouraging.
TouchEmAll: Who were some of your sports heroes growing up?
Denard Span: Michael Jordan and Ken Griffey were the biggest.
nikiatc: Do you have any pregame rituals?
Denard Span: I usually eat peanut butter and jelly. I go through the same stretch routine.
nikiatc: What is your favorite TV show?
Denard Span: ESPN -- Sportscenter
rober783: Facing Freddy Garcia tonight and John Danks tomorrow night, what are the types of things you look for up at the plate going against those guys?
Denard Span: I only faced Garcia once -- [he's a] sinkerball pitcher, tries to get us to hit ground balls. Danks tries to do what Mark Buehrle does -- speed the game up. So we have to slow him down.
dcornell: Who are your favorite and least favorite pitchers to hit against?
Denard Span: Favorite -- Buehrle. Least favorite -- Roy Halladay and A.J. Burnett.
kgustafson: What does the team do for warmups if it's raining?
Denard Span: We have a new weight room now, so it's easy to go in there to get loose. I like to use the batting cages.
jasmith79: A lot of players have their superstitions. What's the strangest one you've seen in the Twins organization?
Denard Span: Justin Morneau -- he always goes out the same time every night. At 6:47 he's on the field.
daveh123: What was your favorite piece of advice from Torii Hunter?
Denard Span: Just to keep working. Play angry -- play with a chip on your shoulder. I started doing that in '08 when I got sent down after Spring Training.
nikiatc: If you could meet any MLB player, dead or alive, who would it be?
Denard Span: Jackie Robinson.
rober783: Do you hang out with a lot of the guys on the team off the field?
Denard Span: We hang out -- more together on the road than away from the field.
kgustafson: How do you feel about the phrase "Let's get Denarded"?
Denard Span: I like it. It's pretty cool.
brandon_6: Do you see yourself playing for the Twins for the rest of your career?
Denard Span: I wouldn't mind. Yeah, I could.
brandon_6: With the recent A-rod crossing-the-mound incident, are there any unwritten rules that irritate you when people break them?
Denard Span: I don't get caught up in that. Old-school rules. I kind of wish some of those would go away.
brandon_6: What has been the most memorable thing since you made it to the Majors?
dcornell: What has been the hardest thing to adjust to about playing the outfield at Target Field as opposed to the Metrodome?
Denard Span: Definitely the wind.
cjs1: Good afternoon. I was just wondering if players dread playing in conditions like today? How does if affect you?
Denard Span: Nobody likes to play in the rain. It may slow you down a little bit, but it really doesn't affect me. We'd all rather play in perfect conditions, but it's part of the game.
kytwinsfan: What was your favorite MLB team while you were growing up?
Denard Span: Atlanta
brandon_6: Do you think the Twins have enough talent to go to the World Series, or do you think a move or two is necessary?
Denard Span: I think we do. I think if everybody's healthy that we have on the roster, I think we have what it takes.
brandon_6: Did you do anything special for your mom on Mother's Day?
Denard Span: Went out to eat. Dinner and a movie. It was the first time in eight years I've spent Mother's Day with her.
gitesferrett: What's it like having a Hall of Fame player in Jim Thome playing with you guys everyday?
Denard Span: Unbelievable. He's a Hall of Fame person and everything. Probably the best teammate I've ever had, to be honest.
rober783: Who is the biggest ladies' man on the team?
Denard Span: No comment.
brandon_6: Do you watch a lot of film or do anything to prepare against pitchers you are not familiar with?
Denard Span: Yeah, I watch film of whoever the starting pitcher is everyday.
jasmith79: Who's the worst heckling catcher at the plate?
Denard Span: There was a young guy from Cleveland -- last time we were there this year. He was doing more talking than any other catcher does.
brewertwin: What's on your iPod?
Denard Span: Jay-Z
Mowwy: Do you have backup/longer cleats to change to in wet conditions like they do in football?
Denard Span: Same ones. I wear metal everyday.
brent77: Denard: What do you guys do between games of a doubleheader, like you had on Friday?
Denard Span: I try to get a nap in -- get something to eat -- maybe get on the phone.
mollzmurr: What music do you listen to in order to get yourself ready for a game?
Denard Span: I listen to some gospel during BP. Before the game I put on some Jay-Z or Rick Ross.
dcornell: How has the clubhouse atmosphere changed from last year, with all the personnel changes in the offseason? (Redmond, Gomez, Thome, Hardy, Hudson, etc)
Denard Span: I wouldn't say it has changed a whole lot. The biggest thing that has changed is that we're not so close together. At the Dome we were on top of each other -- now I might go a whole day without seeing certain people.
mollzmurr: Who's the easiest pitcher to steal off of?
Denard Span: Carl Pavano.
mollzmurr: How does it feel as a player seeing sold-out crowds at Target Field at every game so far?
Denard Span: It get all of us excited to go out an play in front of the fans. It makes it a lot easier. It's hard to go out when there's no one in the seats. It makes it more enjoyable coming to work everyday.
nikiatc: What is your favorite part about traveling to away games?
TouchEmAll: What is more important in stealing a base -- knowing when to jump or pure speed? Is there another factor?
Denard Span: Anticipation and first-step quickness.
cjs1: What is your at bat song?
Denard Span: A Star is Born -- Jay-Z
brandon_6: When we make the playoffs, will you please grow a beard?
Denard Span: I already got one!
nikiatc: Who is your favorite football team?
Denard Span: Vikings now!
brandon_6: Do you enjoy the winter caravan?
Denard Span: (Laughs out loud)... sure, why not?
dznordeast: Have you ever considered rocking some old school stirrups?
Denard Span: I used to wear my pants up all the way up until Double-A . . . but no. I slumped in Double-A and started wearing my pants down.
nikiatc: If you could pick any other position to play, what would it be?
Denard Span: If I were right-handed, I'd say shortstop.
rober783: If an on field brawl was about to go down which teammate would you want on your side?
Denard Span: Freakin John Rausch -- the intimidation factor.
Mowwy: What's Rausch like as a teammate? It's such a rush being at the games and getting a chance to see him come out of the 'pen! Is he as fun/crazy as he looks?
Denard Span: (Nods head) He likes to talk.
TouchEmAll: Would rather win a Ring or the Triple Crown? Can't say both = ]
Denard Span: A ring.
nikiatc: Is it difficult for your family when you travel to away games for long periods of time?
Denard Span: I'm away from them a lot -- I have no family in the Twin Cities. Even a home game is really an away game.
brent77: Seeing that you grew up a Braves fan, what did you think of Kent Hrbek's tag on Ron Gant?
Denard Span: I don't remember that.
mollzmurr: What's your favorite part of TwinsFest?
Denard Span: Signing autographs.
nikiatc: What is the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked/said to you?
Denard Span: Too many to say here ...
brandon_6: Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Denard Span: My mother.
kytwinsfan: Who has a worse temper? You or Gardy?
Denard Span: C'mon. Gardy. Speaking of, he's gonna kill me if I don't get out of here.
Denard Span: Thanks for all of your questions and go Twins!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.