Imagine that – all of a sudden – you're presented with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have five minutes with your fave ball player, one-on-one.
Well, that's exactly what happened when I stopped by the Jays Shop at Sears Eaton Centre earlier this summer to get my jersey signed by J.P. Arencibia, rookie catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. Since his unforgettable Major League debut last summer (check out the video clip here – those two homers are still unbelievable!), J.P.'s become firmly ensconced as a fan favourite, really seeming to embrace Toronto as his home, and offering behind-the-scenes glimpses of life as a Blue Jay via his incredibly popular Twitter account.
So with just 300 seconds on the clock, I did what any journalist would: (temporarily) shelved the hero-worship, whipped out my pen and notebook, and kicked off a rapid-fire interview.
(And then humbly asked him to sign my jersey.)[caption id="attachment_1909" align="aligncenter" width="400" caption="Alright, so after the obligatory fanboy dream photo, it's more like 180 seconds with J.P. Arencibia... Still, this moment was easily the highlight of my summer."] [/caption]
Ready, set - go!
Who pops up first on your iPod workout playlist? “’Lil Wayne.”
What’s your fave pre- and post-workout snack? “Post-workout’s always a shake. Pre- is usually something with carbs – whole wheat pasta, or something like that.”
How do you wind down after a big game? “Really, it’s just about being in my own space. I’ll come home and that’s where I’ll relax and just chill out, watching TV.”
What’s the hardest thing about playing on the road? “Living out of a suitcase is kind of a pain in the butt because you’ve got to pack every three days, go on the road, then unpack, and then pack again in three days... So that would be the worst part about it, I think.”
What’s your perfect day off? “My dream day off would be on a beach; but for now, golf is like an ‘out’ because you can just relax for the day. But yeah, I’m a big fan of Maui...”
What was your fave cartoon as a kid? “Ninja Turtles.”
Is there anything about being a Jay that would surprise the fans? Like, do you shop for your own groceries? “Not now, not during the season; but other than that, I think people would be surprised at how normal we are. During the season, you’ve got games every day so you’ve got to relax. We go home after a day on the field and just hang out; it’s not like this lavish life everyone thinks of. We really do the things that everyone else does."
Do you have any other talented sibs? “My sister’s raising six kids – that’s talent!”
Given the chance, which pro athlete would you most like to interview? Let me know by entering your responses in the Comments section!