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Article: Twins Game Recap (7/22): Twins Turn Triple Play,...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:19 PM
The Twins turned a triple play in the first inning, Mitch Garver hit two of the Twins’ five home runs and the bullpen held up a lead for...

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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:11 PM
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Matthew Boyd

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:07 PM
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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:00 PM
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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 03:59 PM
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An Interview with Glen Perkins

Posted by John Miller , 28 February 2019 · 1,313 views

This is the second winter that Glen Perkins will not be gearing up towards playing in the regular season for the Minnesota Twins after his retirement following the 2017 season. The baby-faced pitcher with a bright smile that fans became used too, is still there, but now, it’s hidden behind a large grey beard. Like every Minnesotan, right now he’s just trying to survive winter, yearning for the days where he would be in Fort Myers for Spring Training at this time. The Stillwater native, who now resides in Lakeville, is at peace with how his career went.

Playing his whole career with Minnesota Twins was “surreal”. “I went to a lot of games in high school. In the spring, on Wednesday’s, they would have $5 tickets and $1 hot dogs. I still remember as a kid, sitting up in right field watching Tom Brunanski and Kent Hrbek play catch,” Perkins said. He hasn’t taken for granted how lucky he was to be a Twin for his whole career. Not only that, but to make friends with his childhood icons and former Twins as well. It’s every fans dream.

The Twins had three 1st round picks in the 2004 MLB draft. They selected Trevor Plouffe at pick number 20, Perkins at pick number 22 and Kyle Waldrop at pick 25. All three players made it to the major leagues. Many first-round picks don’t make the major leagues, the Twins had not one, not two, but three from one draft. For Perkins, being drafted by the Twins was the perfect match. “It kind of worked out that I was getting clumped into that 15-25 range, the Twins had three picks and they like local guys. I got picked to pitch for the Twins, pitch for the organization just out of pure luck,” he said. Perkins pure luck turned into joy for many fans who had followed him since his playing days at Stillwater high school and the University of Minnesota.

Throughout his career Perkins only experienced one playoff game playing for the Twins. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to what his most memorable moment on the field was, the 2014 MLB All-Star game in Minnesota. “That night running out on the field, the crowd and all those things, I had said at that time, unless I got to pitch a World Series game at Target Field nothing could top that.” Perkins went on to pitch one scoreless inning, striking out one and collecting the save as the American League All-Stars beat the National League.

Collecting saves was not always what Perkins had in mind for his playing career. Being a starter his whole career, relieving did not appeal to him. “My wife had asked me one time if I would ever be a reliever, as I was a starter coming up, I said no. I’m going to be a starter and all that, I’ll never be a closer or anything like that. That was 2008, 2009 and 2010 and all of a sudden four-years later I was closing an All-Star game,” said Perkins. Looking back at it now, Perkins wished he had switched to a reliever earlier in his career.

The days off in between starts for a guy who has ADD were quite boring for him and as a reliever he had a chance to be a part of the team every day. “I struggled with going to the field knowing that I’m going to be on my own today and I don’t even know if people would have known if I showed up or not.” Moving to closer was something he grew to love. “This team is trying to get me the ball at the end of the game and that’s a really cool feeling, that’s motivating and I think that’s what kind of helped me succeed as I got into that role,” he said. Perkins went on top be one of most dominant closers for a three-year span collecting 102 saves between the 2013 and 2015 seasons. His success came from a love for analytics.

Perkins developed a love for math in his early years and when he found out that baseball had advanced metrics to analyze, he jumped right on it. “There really wasn’t a whole lot of analytics or anything like that when I first started playing and then it was around 2009 when I kind of discovered that there was people talking about and it still was far from mainstream. That’s why I started to learn about pitch trajectories and spins rates,” said Perkins. In 2009, Perkins was already in pro-ball for nearly five-years, but when he found analytics it made baseball “fun” for him.

Leaving the Twins never appealed to Perkins, the idea of living out of suitcase throughout the entire regular season was not for him. Not only that, but being with the Twins and in his home state for his entire career was what he wanted most. “It was always cool to me to be able to watch Twins players growing up as a kid in Minnesota knowing that I got to be out on that field having kids in Minnesota watch me play. I think that was more important than money, more important than seeing what other teams were trying to go win with another team. It was always most important for me to stay home.” Perkins wanted to be home with his wife and kids, it was hard enough that he was traveling during the season, but he appreciates the fact he was able to be home more than most players on the team.

Perkins agent wasn’t always enthused that he wanted to stay home. “My agent always wanted me to make more money,” Perkins said with a hearty laugh. It didn’t matter to Perkins, home was where he always wanted to be. “I didn’t even want to know what it was like to play somewhere else.”

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