Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Man of the Minute: Matt Holliday

Sparks of Dementia was very lucky to touch base (heh) with today's hero for the Rockies, mashing left fielder Matt Holliday, who appears to have his swing back folllowing a 4-for-5, 4-RBI performance to skyrocket his average to .400. After that terrific outing, what does Matt have to say about today? Take it away.

(The one on the left with the goofy smile is our special guest. The one laughing in his face and clutching his hand is his pal, Garrett).

SD: Thanks for chatting, Matt.
MH: Sure.
SD: So tell us, how did you feel about today? What did you do differently?
MH: Not a whole lot. I mean, I was making some good swings earlier in the series, just trying to get the bat through, see the ball better. I was just going out there looking for a pitch I wasn't going to do too much with, just keep my hands level, keep my stance even, and rip it. I don't change my approach, it's sometimes just a matter of luck with this game. I was feeling good out there and today we got some results.
SD: Your good buddy Garrett Atkins kicked things into gear as well. What do you have to say about that?
MH: Oh, Garrett, I've said it before and I'll say it again, but he's one of the most underrated hitters in the NL. Last season he walked more than he struck out, he's equally good on the road, he has a sweet swing. It just comes real easy for him. He's just a tough out, knows what to do when he's up there. He plays the game the right way.
SD: How confident do you guys feel at the start of the season?
MH: It's a long season --
SD: I knew you were going to say that.
MH: Uh. Sorry. But it is, we got 159 games left that we have to go out there and grind, do our best, just put everything into it and leave it all on the field and come back the next day and do it again. But a strong start is important. You don't win pennants in April, but you can lose them if you're not careful.
SD: Are you tired of people complaining about the humidor?
MH: Oh totally. It's there, it's going to be there. If everyone goes on about how Coors inflates numbers, then why do we play games there? They still count, it's a fact. It's also a fact that we're a mile high and that's just the way the ball breaks here. Me and Todd [Helton], we offered the humidor guy a lot of money to just go away but he wasn't gonna be bought off. [laughs] So it's here, and that's what it's going to be, and everyone's just going to have to deal with it.
SD: Ever get the feeling that people are complaining because they're used to being able to come into Coors and pad their stats and beat up on what used to be a bad Rockies team?
MH: To some effect, maybe, but I don't want to get in trouble. [laughs] But yeah, we've got a lot of charge in this lineup, as long as our pitchers can keep the ball down and get some outs, and we can play defense and compete as a team, we can win some ballgames.
SD: Who's got the best poker face on the team?
MH: What?
SD: C'mon, it's just a question.
MH: Well... I dunno, actually. Carroll, maybe... Fuentes is pretty good too.
SD: What do you do in your spare time?
MH: Spare time? What's that? [laughs] Well, usually I'm watching tape or working on my swing, stuff like that, but if not, I like to hang out with my wife, my kids, play a little golf, kick back, watch movies. Nothing too stressful.
SD: Congratulations on the birth of your new son. How's he doing?
MH: Thanks! He's a good kid -- he sleeps well, so that means that [wife] Leslee and I do too.
SD: Who's your best friend on the team?
MH: Oh, Atkins, definitely. We've been teammates since -- wow, since about 2001, back when we were in Salem. And Sullivan - we live together in spring training, all three of us, and my family too, but Cory's down in Colorado Springs right now.
SD: Ever make Garrett and Cory babysit?
MH: [laughs] Yeah, sometimes.
SD: Do you trust your kids to them?
MH: [laughs] Sure, why not?
SD: Ever read Purple Row? It's a great Rockies blog.
MH: Yeah, I've checked in there once or twice. It's interesting to see what the fans have to say. SD: Ever posted anything?
MH: [smiles]
SD: Well, one last question.
MH: Great.
SD: Does it bother you that I'm making all of this up?
MH: Naw... since you're in New York and I'm in Colorado, it's the best you could do.
SD: Thanks! Well, I'll actually see you in April when the Rockies come to New York to play the Mets, and good luck in the season, Mr. All-Star. Hopefully you can be wearing that Colorado uniform to San Francisco.
MH: That's the goal.
SD: Again, thanks for letting me invent this!
MH: No prob, any time.

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