Happy Labor Day! Regularly Scheduled Articles Will Resume on Tuesday, September 2.
April 10, 2010
Clever Trevor: Plouffe and Guitars
For fans, baseball offers an escape from everyday life. For players, baseball is their life, so they seek other diversions, both in the clubhouse and away from the ballpark. Trevor Plouffe, a 23-year-old infielder in the Twins system, likes to escape the daily grind with his guitar.
On baseball as life: “I think that professional sports, whether it be baseball or any other sport, are somewhat surreal. I really don’t believe that we lead a normal life. We’re not going off to work 9 to 5 and then coming home to our families. We don’t have weekends off. In that sense, our schedule and our seasons are very surreal. It’s seven straight months, sometimes eight straight months, of playing baseball with a couple of off days thrown in each month. I think that if you told anybody else, in any other profession, ‘Hey, we’re going to make you work now for six months and give you 12 off days,’ they would be like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ But that’s what is great about baseball, it gives people the opportunity to see us play on a nightly basis. It is an entertainment business and as long as people are coming out and supporting us, that is how it’s going to be.”
On schedules and routines: “For us, the last week has been so hectic. [The Rochester Red Wings] were the last team to leave spring training. We got up here on Tuesday morning and went straight from the airport to the field, to our banquet dinner, and showed up at the field the next morning at 7:30. Then we drove up to [Pawtucket], seven hours on a bus. This has been a little different than usual, because we haven’t been able to get into our routine at all, but normally it’s very monotonous. And you want it to be that way; you want to develop a routine. If you have a lot of things going on outside, it really just distracts you from the game.”
On getting away: “When we leave the clubhouse, everyone will go into their separate lives. In the little separate lives that we do have, the little time that we do have for those lives, a lot of guys like to get away from the game. If you’re carrying the game home with you, whether it was a good or bad night -- that’s not how you want to live. I don’t want to go home and talk to my parents or to my girlfriend about baseball. I don’t. I want to get away from it, because we spend so much time that you need that free time to keep your sanity almost.”
On clubhouse conversations: “It varies. I mean, we never really get away from baseball. It’s almost impossible to fully leave it at the field. Last night we went out to dinner and what were we watching? We were watching the Red Sox-Yankees game and talking about it. So we’re all fully invested in the game. We do love the game and we do talk about it a lot. But in the clubhouse, on any given day, it could be something different. It could be college football season starting up at the end of the year; it could be the NBA playoffs. A lot of it is regional bickering, like ‘My home state is better than your home state.’ You kind of get that whole atmosphere, that eclectic atmosphere, where you get guys from all over the country and you kind of see how hey live and they see how you live. There are a lot of comparisons along with all of the trash talking that goes on. It’s all over the place.”
On music in the clubhouse: “Music is another big, big thing that separates a lot of people. You’ve got guys from the south who are only into country music. You also have guys from the south who are only into hip-hop music. I like to see myself as more eclectic when it comes to that, but it’s something that’s always kind of funny to see: If there is a stereo playing, what type of music is coming out, because there’s no way you’re going to please everybody. You want to try to please as many people as you can, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that well.”
On playing music: “We have a couple of guys on the team who play and that’s another way to keep your mind sane after the game -- you have some downtime to strum the guitar and whatnot. I play a little bit of guitar. Dustin Martin, on our team, plays guitar. A lot of guys throughout our whole organization have kind of picked it up. I’ve been playing for awhile now and it’s just something that’s fun. It’s a hobby”
On the best guitar player in the Twins organization: “I haven’t heard everyone play, but there are a few guys below me that I’ve heard are really talented. I haven’t heard them, but of the guys I know, the best player is…I’d say it was Evan Meek, who pitches for the Pirates now. He’s talented and I used to tell him when we were in A ball, ‘I think you might have picked the wrong profession, buddy.’ At the time he was kind of struggling with baseball, but he could play the guitar. Of course, now he’s doing really well, because he’s in the big leagues.”
On if he is a better infielder or guitar player: “Sometimes I’m not good at either of them. On the guitar, I like to play my own stuff, but I hope that I’m better at baseball. I hope.”