Under the Bleachers With Joe Nathan

It's been a crazy few months for four-time All-Star Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Nathan. After having surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow during the off season, the badass closer ended up having season-ending Tommy John surgery just before the Twins started their 2010 season. This was a devastating loss to Minnesota fans, as he's easily one of the most feared closers in the game - he had an astounding 47 saves on the books last season alone!

Luckily, he's under contract through the 2011 season with a club option in 2012 - so Twins fans will get their beloved closer back next season when he's all better. Did we mention he's adorable, too? (Sorry ladies, he's married!)

Amid the madness leading up to his surgery, he found the time to sit down and answer a few questions for us at BLB. For this, we are ever so grateful. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy.

BLB: How did your slider get so awesome?

Joe Nathan:When I had my first injury it was a pitch I developed to get hitters out at the time. Then I continued to use it and it developed into the pitch it is as my arm strength grew.

BLB: Who is the hardest batter to get out?

JN: Mark Teixeira.

BLB: Makes sense. That's probably why they gave him the big bucks.

BLB: What is your all-time favorite movie?

JN: Forrest Gump.

BLB: Who is your all-time favorite ballplayer?

JN: Cal Ripken.

BLB: What was it like playing in the All-Star game?

JN: Fun and a great experience.

BLB: Does one All-Star game in particular stick out as more memorable than the others?

JN: New York, since it was where I grew up.

BLB: What was your most embarrassing moment (on or off the field)?

JN: When I was late for the plane in San Francisco. Side note: No, we at BLB didn't get the story out of him!

BLB: Who will take over Redmond's job as the clubhouse joker?

JN: Don't know.

BLB: Elvis or The Beatles?

JN: The Beatles

BLB: Totally.

BLB: Are you excited for outdoor baseball in Minnesota? Or will you miss the 72 degrees and sunny Metrodome?

JN: I'm excited for 2011.

BLB: SO ARE WE! (Even though big scary Rauch is doing pretty well for himself, we still love us some Joe Nate)

BLB: If you end up out for the season (we hope not!!) how will you spend your time off? (This was prior to Tommy John surgery)

JN: Relaxing and enjoying my summer with my family.

BLB: You're known for your 'quirky' moves before delivering your pitches - we love them! How did that start?

JN: Don't know. Just always had them.

BLB: If you weren't a big league pitcher, what would you have wanted to do for a living?

JN: Something in the sports field, maybe broadcasting.

BLB: We can see that - We thought you were great when you sat in with Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven at the start of the season! We love your personality, and we love your commercials!

BLB: We still feel that the Giants got majorly screwed in the deal that brought you (and then Minor Leaguers Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano) to Minnesota. You were there during Barry Bonds mania and when he broke the single season HR record. What was the clubhouse atmosphere like? Was it distracting for the rest of the team?

JN: No not at all. It was fun to watch.

BLB: What's your Twins prediction for 2010?

JN: I never predict.

BLB: That's a good rule.



He's a bit... terse here. Oh well. Not everybody runs off at the mouth (it's just fun when they do). His favorite player is Cal Ripken, so now I love me some Nathan even more. (And he WAS awesome with Dick 'n' Bert. I really want him to come do some commentary during the season.)