Bugs & Cranks Home
Bugs & Cranks
June 23, 2008 at 2:32 pm ET
1 Comment
GABBIN’ with G-Man

GABBIN’ with G-Man

Gary Gaetti was the best player to ever man the hot corner for the Minnesota Twins and intensity personified. As Al Michaels commented during the 1987 World Series “Nobody plays the game like Gaetti,” and it was true. When maximum effort meets incredible talent a special athlete emerges, and Gaetti was most certainly special.G-Man represented the junior circuit’s elite at third for the second half of the ’80s, winning four Gold Gloves and made a pair of All-Star appearances while teaming with Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky to form “Mt. Crushmore” and win a championship in 1987.Only five third basemen accumulated more than the 360 home runs launched by Gaetti over his twenty year run as a big leaguer, a list that includes Mike Schmidt, Matt Williams and Graig Nettles.

Gaetti not only homered in his first career at-bat, he went yard in his first game at the Dome and became the first player to homer in each of his first two playoff plate appearances en route to Most Valuable Player honors for the ’87 American League Championship Series. “The Rat” not only led the Twins to post-season baseball but helped both the Cardinals (1996) and Cubs (1998) reach “the tournament” as well. Efforts like that earned Gaetti a cult following in places near and far.

A couple of hours before the Durham Bulls took the field Friday night, a team Gaetti serves as batting coach, G-Man was kind enough to share a few minutes to reflect on a midnight return to a packed Metrodome following the pennant-clincher in ’87, his triple-double, what would happen in Chicago if the Cubs won it all, his odds on whether or not the DEVIL Rays can hold off the monsters of the AL East and how long it may be before we see a Gaetti on a big league diamond again.

They’re still the most beautiful words I’ve ever heard in baseball: (With Willie McGee batting) “To Gaetti, for the first ever the Twins are the world champions.”

Ladies and gentlemen, Gary Gaetti.

Hey, Gary how are you doin’?

I’m alright. How are you?

OverwhelmedNot too bad. We really appreciate you doing this, thanks a lot.

That’s alright.

You were inducted into the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame last summer. What did that honor mean to you?

It meant a lot. Just to be included with that group of guys that were already inducted, it’s a special honor. I was impressed with the ceremony and how the Twins did everything. I don’t know, it makes you feel special, being rewarded for a lot of hard work and a lot of time spent in the organization. It’s hard to say other than it means a heck of a lot, you know? I mean, I’m never going to be inducted into the regular baseball Hall of Fame, so I guess this is the next best thing for me.

Do thoughts of the reception the Twins received at the Metrodome following your ALCS victory in 1987 ever cross your mind?

All the time. That was one of the more memorable moments actually in my life. Not really expecting anything like that and to see 60,000 people at midnight fill the stadium just to say thanks and just to welcome the team home and show their support, it was emotional to say the least. Having lost Kent Hrbek’s dad earlier that year, seeing Kent’s mom there and just everything that was going on it was really special.

Having helped the Cubs reach October in 1998, what do you think would happen in Chicago if the Cubbies won the whole thing?

(Laughing) The town would blow up! That would be awesome. What would be even more awesome is if they play the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, we were talking about that the other day. But they deserve it, I mean they’ve come close a couple times and they’ve tried really hard to be in that position. They’ve had a lot of good players go through there and the fans deserve it, the way they come out and support their team and just the whole city and everything. I think it would be awesome.

Speaking of ’98, you started the season with St. Louis and ended it at the Friendly Confines which gave you a perspective unlike anyone else. What was it like witnessing the frenzy that was the “McGwire and Sosa Chase” first-hand that summer?

Like I said, I’ve had a lot of special memories throughout the years but that’s about as good as it gets. To see, first-hand on one side, at the time the greatest home run hitter in baseball (McGwire) and then go over on the other side and he took over the lead (Sosa) for a couple weeks, and just to see the media circus and the excitement around the ballpark every day just for batting practice. Just the ability of those guys and the sheer power that they had, it was eye-opening, that was a special time, too.

Walk us through it’s it like knowing that you are the only man in major league history to have started two triple plays in the same game?

(Laughing) I have bragging rights, that’s all. It was one of those things, you never really think it’s going to happen but you try to put yourself in position where, actually what I was trying to do was win the game. It was a close ballgame and I was playing in a position where if this happened this particular way I had this play covered and tried to alert my second baseman that if the guy hit it over here that was what I was going to try to do, but if they ended up bunting in that situation I had myself in position where I could make both plays. It’s funny how it’s a game of inches and you do prepare somewhat for that but when it actually happens, after the fact and then to happen again was just incredible. It’s fun to watch it on television, the replays of that but nobody thought to keep the ball, that would have been special but like I said, I just have the bragging rights to say “Hey, I started two triple plays in the same game.” Plus, they were both 5-4-3 which made it really unique, too.

Candlesticks always make a nice gift.What made you decide to get into coaching and what do you take out of it?

I guess I just like baseball and I enjoyed my last few years talking to the younger guys that were coming up. When you play in the National League you end up sitting on the bench a little bit more just because of the double-switch and things like that so I found myself sharing stories and tips and experiences with a lot of the younger guys and I guess I felt like I had a natural gift to teach a little bit and got some good advice from one of my former managers to not stay gone too long from the game and that kind of led me in that direction. I went to spring training with the Cardinals, just as a spring training-type coach and I liked it. I liked having the uniform on again and without the pressure of having to play and yet being able to win and the experiences I had from the game being able to help out the organization. For me, what I’ve taken out of it is it’s a good job. You get to work outside every day and you get to do something you really like and something that you know quite a bit about from the past and get paid for it. It’s a good gig.

Is managing in “The Show” a goal of yours?

I wouldn’t mind doing that or trying it but I don’t know how it’s going to happen because I’ve already had to change, you get fired (as Houston’s batting coach) and you have to start over with a new organization and then if you do well at what you do they want you to keep doing that. So to change titles right now is probably not going to happen anytime soon unless I force it or go back a couple levels in baseball and start down. I guess I prefer to be a major league hitting coach as opposed to an A ball manager, but I may have start there. But I would like to do it

How did coaching in the 2005 World Series with the Astros compare with winning it all as a player in ’87?

It was about the same. It was about the same and I had plenty of emotions running high but I had all the guys, I couldn’t just watch out for myself, you know? So in that regard I had a little more responsibility having to get all the guys ready to play and keep track of the pitching and all that kind of stuff and the scouting reports. But as far as the intensity and the emotional part of being in a World Series it was about the same for a coach. It was terrific. I mean it’s hard to describe all of those things and you forget a lot of what went on and just making it there, there’s a lot of satisfaction in that and a lot of reward for all the hard work you put in for the whole summer, so it was very similar.

Give us one name from the Durham roster who will show up in Tampa later this year and help the Rays in their quest for the franchise’s first ever berth in the post-season.

(Sighing in thought) Reid Brignac. We have numerous guys but you never know with injuries, but he’s as ready as anybody we’ve got. Maybe Chris Richard with the way he’s swinging the bat now.

Speak of the DEVIL (Rays), what kind of chances do you give the parent club of holding off the Sox and Yankees to win the AL East?

I think a lot of it hinges on the health factor of the team but, I mean I gotta give ‘em at least 50/50 with both of those teams. They’ve played pretty good, at least at home against both of those teams. So if they can do that and manage to play .500 on the road and not hit any real bumps along the way and the pitching stays healthy I don’t see why they can’t continue doing what they’re doing.

Your son Joe is currently an outfielder in the Oakland A’s organization. How has he been progressing and do you think it’ll be long before we see another Gaetti on a big league diamond?

He’s spent time this year between AA and AAA, and he’s currently at AAA with the Sacramento Rivercats and he’s doing really well. I mean he’s right there at the door, it could be soon. If somebody were to get hurt or he gets really hot he might be the guy to get called up but he’s doing really well right now.

Gary, thanks so much for your time we truly appreciate it and we just wanted to say we really loved watching you play when you were with the Twins.

Well, thank you. I appreciate that, too.

Good luck tonight.

Thanks.

Read more: , ,
Print  |  Email  |  Share/Save
One Response to “GABBIN’ with G-Man”
  1. chumpstain says:

    Good interview. I didn’t realize his son was so close to the majors.

Leave a Reply

Our Sponsors
Vividseats.com is your premier internet destination for all MLB Baseball Tickets, such as Phillies Tickets, Cubs Tickets, LA Dodgers Tickets, Pirates Tickets, Marlins Tickets, and many more.
SecureYourSeat.com are able to provide you with a great selection of Premier League tickets including Arsenal tickets, Manchester United tickets, Liverpool tickets and Chelsea tickets. We also stock a fine selection of Champions League tickets including Champions League final tickets.
Best online sports betting bonuses and promotions at Sportsbetting.com. Join now the most secure online sportsbook!
For a selection of online slots games and casino reviews visit Online Slots Entertainment, a leader in online slot machines since 2003.
AllianceTickets.com carries all MLB Tickets including Colorado Rockies Tickets, Seattle Mariners Tickets and San Francisco Giants Tickets. They carry all Sports Tickets at discount prices.
With Texas Holdem Masters you can get information about the hottest trends in the popular Texas Holdem Poker game, with strategies and tricks so that you can be a master too. At Gambling Experts your poker skills will be upgraded from being an amateur to being an expert.

windows 7 key

windows 7 key

serial winzip 11

serial winzip 11 key

serial corel draw 11

serial corel draw 11 serials

photo shop key

photo shop key

free corel photoshop download

free corel photoshop download keygen

adobe free

adobe free

winrar password cracker serial

wirar password cracker

winrar 3 download

winrar 3 download freedownload

office 2010 professional key

office 2010 key

download photo shop free

photo shop serial

free winrar download for xp

download winrar for xp for free

cs5 serialz

cs5 serialz free

windows 7 free

windows 7 crack

free corel downloads

free corel downloads cracked

office 2010 free

office 2010 key

key office 2010

office 2010 key

photoshop key

photoshop key

windows key

windows key

corel dvd moviefactory 6

corel dvd moviefactory 6 downloads