Under the Bleachers with Jeff Manship
We had the ridiculous pleasure of interviewing Minnesota Twins pitcher Jeff Manship recently. The 25-year-old righty was called up to the big leagues last Thursday when fellow reliever Jose Mijares hurt himself in an attempt to cover first base and landed on the disabled list. The Manship made his first appearance since July 19 Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox, going 1.1 scoreless innings and earning the win.
Instead of inquiring about his pitching repertoire, what it's like to get the call-up, the difference in batters from AA to AAA to the majors, etc., we decided to get to know him a little better. Enjoy...
BLB: What is the origin of the surname Manship? At a family reunion, are there several Menship?
JEFF: I know I'm mostly Irish and part Scandinavian, but the name Manship is an English name. No idea how that all works out.
BLB: Are you okay with us calling you THE MANSHIP? I've heard you referred to as Jefferson Manship before, just FYI.
JEFF: I've heard it all with my last name. The "ship" is interchangeable with a lot of things. And I've actually heard about the Jefferson Manship thing before too. Pretty clever.
BLB: You've already won a Gold medal in the Olympics. What else can possibly top that?
JEFF: It was pretty special, but it wasn't in the real Olympics. I was playing with the 16 and under Youth National team in Veracruz, Mexico. I'm pretty sure the "gold" medal we won was a spray-painted piece of metal attached to a piece of yellow string. Not really on the same level as an actual Olympic gold. Even so, it was still an amazing feeling winning something for the USA.
(We'd be lucky to get a bronze medal in the Special Olympics, so we're still pretty impressed.)
BLB: Quote your all-time favorite movie.
JEFF: "Hey guys! Big Gulps huh? Alright, welp... see ya later." -Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber
BLB: What's the guilty pleasure on your iPod right now?
JEFF: People are surprised when they hear that I'm a heavy metal fan. Most people figure I like country since I'm from Texas.
BLB: Do you get screwed out of birthday presents since you were born around the holidays?
JEFF: I never really got screwed out of presents. I liked having my birthday so close to Christmas.
BLB: Being from San Antonio, are you a Texas baseball fan? Have you converted into a Twins fan?
JEFF: I was actually a huge fan of the Mariners growing up. Ken Griffey Jr. was my favorite player so any team he was on was my favorite. I did like the Rangers, though. It was always fun watching Nolan Ryan pitch. I think he was a guy that every kid aspired to pitch like. Unfortunately my arm never developed the ability to throw 100 mph.
(We noticed he hit 93 mph on the radar Wednesday night with a heater to Omar Vizquel.)
BLB: Lay down your best pick-up line, don't be shy.
JEFF: Haha due to the fact that I am a shy guy I don't really use pick up lines. I typically avoid trying to break the ice with a girl.
BLB: When world-renowned billiards legend Minnesota Fats died on your 11th birthday, did you vow to one day play for the Twins in tribute to him?
JEFF: I think deep down that was the plan considering I've never heard of Minnesota Fats in my life.
BLB: Are you single? (wink wink)
JEFF: Yes, I am a single man.
(Watch out, ladies.)
BLB: How do you like Target Field so far?
JEFF: Target Field is unbelievable. Everything about the stadium is first class. Its been great playing outside and luckily the weather has held together so far.
BLB: Does Kevin Slowey talk about us at all? BLB interviewed him at the Twins & Pins Charity event and now we have a huge crush on him. (kidding... kinda.)
JEFF: I haven't had the chance to ask him about it yet but I'm sure I will soon.
BLB: We noticed on your Facebook profile that you're hunched over a giant gun. Do you enjoy shooting stuff in the offseason?
JEFF: I definitely enjoy shooting guns and hunting. Being from Texas it just seems like the natural thing to do.
BLB: Any teammates you're currently in a Bromance with?
JEFF: Haha no Bromances. Everybody is a great guy in the clubhouse, but I don't try to get to the Bromance level.
BLB: Have you had to carry around the Ewok or Princess backpack? If so, what did you pack it with?
JEFF: Its actually a Chewbacca backpack, but very close to an Ewok. And I've had to carry both backpacks. I am currently the carrier of Chewbacca. He seems to draw plenty of attention when I walk down to the bullpen. Usually I'll pack a few Red Bulls, water, gum, and candy. I pretty much just take requests from the bullpen pitchers. There's not much room in the bag so I have to be somewhat conservative.
(Apparently we aren't the Star Wars nerds we thought we were?)
BLB: What's the first thing you bought with your big league earnings? Is there enough left over to take us out for dinner? :)
JEFF: I spoiled myself with a nice watch. I've always been a huge fan of watches and felt it necessary to buy one. Haha and I'm sure I have some left over cash lying around for dinner.
(Hook, line, and sinker baby.)
Seriously, a big thank you to Jeff for taking the time to participate in these shenanigans with us.