I am doing this all over again. Not because I didn’t feel good about the last installment. But because I personally enjoyed the subject matter of the last installment so much.
The really great part about sitting down and talking with my teammates, in this manner, is that I get a glimpse of who they are. Spending half the year away from home, away from you’re friends and family, really forces you to live two separate lives. To be two completely different people. At the ballpark, I know the baseball player version of these men. But, often times, it is a complete mask, a cover for who they really are.
Who am I kidding? It’s just a fun way to get way to personal. So, this time, I give you a joint interview with Frisco starting pitchers Blake Beavan and Michael Kirkman.
BV: So, I’m sitting here with Michael Kirkman, Blake Beavan. A couple of promising young studs in the Texas Rangers organization. Um, so this is all about relationships. This is like part two. Last time, I interviewed Brennan Garr and his girlfriend. She was there. We did a little three-way. Not in the cool way. (Beavan and Kirkman laugh) But it was good. But, uh, alright. So, I got a question. Because Michael, you’re married. Blake, you’re in a long, long-term relationship, and I’m, uh, well, I’m doing my thing. (more laughs) So I gotta ask you. What kinds of concessions or compromises do you find yourselves having to make at this point in your relationship as opposed to earlier stages of your relationship? I mean, now that you’re married?
MK: Um, well, you know. There’s not as much going out with the guys, especially at home. You know, uh. Tend to spend a lot more time with the wife, especially when she’s there. When she is in town. You just do a lot less stupid stuff, especially now that I’m married. Especially when she’s there.
BV: And you’ve been married for how long now?
MK: Uh, about a week.
BV: Nice. (Beavan laughs) Blake, you’re a couple years out of high school. What’s changed from having the ole high school sweetheart as opposed to having a serious long-term girlfriend?
BB: Uh, not hanging out with friends as much. You know, you don’t really… Like they say, you find out how many friends you have left after high school. You know, when everybody goes to college and does their own thing. And starts their own lives. And, uh, my buddy, he’s the same age as me. He’s twenty, and he just got engaged today. So, that was pretty shocking news. And, uh, he’s always been the type to have the long-term relationship. And that’s how I’ve been. Me and my girlfriend have dated for four years now. Going on five. So, you know, that’s just… I made a lot of sacrifices, not hanging out with friends and not doing that kind of stuff.
BV: So, the general theme is you don’t get to hang out with the guys as much?
BB: Yeah, basically.
BV: And the translation of that is women suck the life out of you. (A nice uproar of laughter, mostly Kirkman) As a side effect, what kind of benefits are you now seeing? Having made that commitment to be married, or as you pass through that whole high school sweetheart phase?
MK: Oh, let’s see. I don’t know yet. (long pause)
BV: So there aren’t really any benefits to being married? (Beavan laughs) Kind of forced into it?
MK: (laughs) Not yet.
BV: Blake, do you have anything?
BB: Uh, not having to go out and look for something. Having something guaranteed that loves me for me. She knows what I do for a living, and she doesn’t care what I do. She’s not all about being in the spotlight. That kind of thing. Uh, she loves me for me. She’s always supportive. You know, she’s never been one of those girls that complains about having to wait around four, five, six months out of the year. You know, we make our own time to see each other. But, you know, she’s just been… She’s been great. She stands by me with whatever and let’s me do my own thing when I want to. And we just seem to have a lot of fun doing that. And, you know, I still get a lot of time to hang out with my friends. Just not as much as I used to.
BV: I should point out that we’re playing in Frisco. Which is a whole, what, half hour from Irving, your hometown? So making time, that must be rough. You know, the thirty minute car ride.
BB: Yes, we get a lot of time. So I’m not really worried about making that much time. I know she wants to see me a lot. But I like spending time with the guys and doing my job.
BV: Alright, that must be rough. (Beavan laughs) Um, how much now, through the history of your relationships and stuff… How much has baseball been a complication?
MK: Uh, quite a bit. But, uh, like Bev was saying, you kind of work through it. You know, she understands. She’s been with me since I was a junior in high school. So, she’s been with me before I was anybody to when I was getting talked up and all that kind of stuff. And all the way through the draft. And all the way up ’til now. And, forever, so…
BV: Junior in high school?
BV: So, you really played the field. (Kirkman and Beavan laugh) Alright? You know, that’s good. I don’t understand it. (Kirkman laughs) I mean, it works for you. Fantastic. You know, but…
BB: Nah… it’s tough. You know, having to deal with being away. Having the whole trust, commitment kind of thing. Not being insecure about each other and worrying about, you know. She might be here. She might be there. And you know, you get caught up in all that. And then you start getting distracted. And all that stuff comes into play, which has happened. But I just try to take a step back and say, ‘I’m doing my job. This is my job. I can’t let anything distract it.’ And, you know, we work things out pretty good to where it’s not really a big issue about having to argue about stuff. And having to knit-pick at each other.
BV: He’s so well trained. (Kirkman laughs) I mean, he’s got the whole… This is Nuke LaLoosh right here. I mean, he’s ready for like T.R. Sullivan or something. Or Jamey Newberg. Holy cow. Let it rip. Don’t be afraid to cuss. I have found interesting ways to get around cuss words. Let the truth come out. Holy cow. I mean, holy (feces). (Beavan laughs) Alright. Now, there’s a big age discrepancy here. You’re (Kirkman) twenty two. He’s a young pup, twenty. I’m twenty eight. Now, you’re married. He’s… he’s on the road. I’m as single as they come. Although… Yeah, I’ll just leave that with a bit of mystery. (Beavan laughs) Uh, put yourself in my position. Imagine you’re a twenty eight year old ballplayer. Been toiling in the minor leagues. How is that going to affect one, your career, and two, your outlook on relationships and stuff? I know it’s tough to imagine.
BV: Because you’ve been with these girls for so long and stuff. But, if having that steady girl wasn’t such a significant part of your life, would it be easier to focus strictly on baseball? And saying, ‘I don’t have a timetable. Like, what if I’m not in the big leagues by the time I’m twenty five or twenty six?’ Then whatever. If you didn’t have someone there with you, you didn’t have someone there to care about you, someone you had to look after, would you maybe carry on your baseball career longer if it didn’t work out soon enough?
MK: Um, it’s really hard to say. It’s always nice. You have a bad outing, there’s always somebody there who talks to you. You have a good outing, there’s always somebody there to talk to. And, you know, if I didn’t have that, I don’t really seeing it being too much different.
BB: I don’t think it’d be a distraction. Um, you know, when I was single for however young I was…
BV: You were twelve. It’s alright. You can say it. You were twelve.
BB: I was still doing the baseball thing, leaving every summer. Not being home all the time. Doing all kinds of little prospect… like trying to showcase those kind of skills like everyone else did when they were younger. But I don’t think… I think it’d be less of a distraction, if you didn’t have someone, honestly. I mean, you have nothing to worry about. Nothing to argue with because it’s just you. And you’re single, and you’re doing your thing. And you can do whatever you want. You know, there’s no boundaries. No rules. Nothing to hold, so… I mean, there’s good things, and there’s bad things. With me, having a girlfriend, it’s really not that different. We can still do our own thing and tell each other what we’re doing.
BV: So, you were doing the whole baseball thing from the time you were thirteen, or whatever… Well, unlike you (a type of willow, plural), I played football. (Kirkman laughs) I’m sorry.
BB: I played football too.
BV: Yeah, okay. One year of Pop Warner doesn’t count. (Beavan and Kirkman laugh) Speaking of football, it leads me into the next question. Kirk, you’re from Lake City, Florida. It’s right at the junction of I-75 and I-10. Which is right next to…
MK: Florida Gators.
BV: Gainesville. You got it, baby. Bev, you’re from Irving. A couple hours up the road from… Let me hear it.
BB: A couple minutes.
BV: A couple minutes?
BB: Dallas Cowboys.
BV: No, not the Dallas Cowboys. Jeez. We just said Florida. Not the Dallas Cowboys. I’m saying… Follow me here. College football.
BB: Oh, U.T.
BV: There you go, baby. Now, hypothetical, say the college football national championship comes down to Tim Tebow and the Gators, doing that Gator (physical act of love with an ‘ing’) thing. (I imitated the Chomp) Whatever they do. (Beavan and Kirkman laugh) With the arms, you know. Against Colt McCoy and Texas with that little hang ten, longhorn sign. How does that game turn out? How does the 2010 national championship come out? Is it Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy hoisting the Sears trophy up above their head?
MK: (no hesitation) Florida’s got it.
BV: Shocker that he said that. (Beavan laughs)
MK: But I ain’t a Florida fan. I’m a Florida State fan.
BV: You’re a Florida State fan?
MK: Yeah, but I am also a Tim Tebow fan.
BV: Tim Tebow fan. Okay. I don’t really get that.
BB: It’s gonna be a tough match.
BB: I think it’d be a good game.
BV: Wow. You know what I’m sensing right here? He just came right out and said it. He doesn’t even like Florida. But he comes out and says, ‘Florida’s gonna win. Sorry.’ And you’re like, ‘Well, it’s gonna be a tough match-up.’ That’s your way of saying they’re gonna get their (donkey) kicked. (Beavan and Kirkman laugh)
BB: No, I mean… Colt McCoy’s good. I’m not all into college football that much. But, U.T. has always been good enough to hang with a lot of people. But I know Tim Tebow is a great quarterback.
BV: Well, you know what? Represent your home state, damn it. You both go (physical act of love) yourself cause Arizona State is gonna win the (same word with ‘ing’ again) title. (Beavan and Kirkman damn near broke my audio recorder with their laughs here) We’re gonna get it.
BB: (still laughing) Arizona State…
BV: (I laughed) Last question. What MLB hitter would you most or least like to face? Ri
ght now. Who do you want to face or not want to face? And for what reason?
ght now. Who do you want to face or not want to face? And for what reason?
MK: I want to face Pujols to see if I could get him out once.
BV: So, I think that would fit most and least.
MK: Yeah, most and least.
BV: Okay, that’s good. You want to challenge yourself. And at the same time, that guy is dangerous.
MK: (laughs) What can I throw?
BB: I’d like to face A-Rod. I mean, he’s a good hitter, but you know. I’d just like to face him to see if I could get him out like Kirk said. See how my stuff matches up with one of the greatest big league hitters even though he’s had all this stuff on ESPN with steroids. And all that stuff. I’d just like to face him and see if I could do any good against him.
BV: Alright. Good answers. Pujols and A-Rod. I would pick like some twenty fifth man on the roster. I wanna face that dude. Cause if he ain’t cracking the starting line-up every day, I’m gonna get his (donkey) out. (Beavan and Kirkman laugh) You guys swing for the fences. I love it. That’s really all I got. Thank you both for doing this.
Blake and Michael were good sports for sitting down with me. We were playing cards in the hotel room when I sprung this on them out of nowhere. And now, I won’t get to hear any complaints from their significant others on how they suck the life out of their ballplayers. I was summoned back to Oklahoma City shortly after this interview, and I don’t have their phone numbers. So, if you guys read this, thanks again.
Alright, this is the end of examining relationships with ballplayers. Unless I can convince a certain reliever teammate here in Oklahoma City to talk about his wife’s pregnancy and expecting a child. I don’t want to call him out. But his nickname is Pirate. He’s a left-handed side-armer. And he’s been ducking me like a little (female dog).