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Catching up with Jeremy Guthrie

Liam McGuire (@LiamRMcGuire) Jun. 9, 2014 1:31 PM
Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) made his MLB debut back in 2004. Since than he’s played on three other teams, pitched almost 1500 innings and won over 70 games. Off the field Guthrie is known for his vibrant personality, as he’s a guy that just looks like he’s always having fun. I had the chance to catch up with him, and here’s out conversation.

(Image via Hound Sports)

When you're in Toronto, what are some of the things you like to do? I know you like to bike around Toronto.

For sure, my first time in Toronto was in 1997 when I was in high school. The thing I remember about 1997 was all the underground tunnels we got to go through. The next time I got to go Toronto was 2006. I enjoy riding bikes, the rental bikes, I think it used to be called bike share it used to be known as Dixie for a number of years. I've also spent time up there in Yorkville for the film festival. I've been to Kensington Market. I enjoy walking up and down Queen a ton; I enjoy the boutiques and shopping and also some of the sneaker sports west of Spadina. I just enjoy being around the city; I think it's one of the great cities certainly in North America and in the world.

Sticking on the topic of shoes, you have a shoe vault?

I do, I have a shoe vault in my house just a concrete room. We put a vault there on it just to top off the look.

How many sneakers do you have? What's your favorite pair?

I have around 400 sneakers. Most of them are Jordan's, I got some of my Air Jordan's when I was in high school and my first pair were black and white patent leather concord 11's which came out in 1996 and I still have those in the original box. I have my original Air Jordan 4's from 1989 that I kept, but those are obviously falling apart and crumbling. I've also collected a number of pairs that I like since than as well.

Sticking with Canada, you're a big fan of Avril Lavigne, no?

Yeah I am.

I really enjoy her music. She's one of those artists, one of four people, that I'll actually go to the store and buy their record. The four are Avril Lavigne, I really enjoy The Backstreet Boys, I really like Justin Timberlake and Justin Bieber. I'll go buy all of their music, the hard copies. Avril is one of those artists I can listen to all of her songs on all of her albums, and I have them all. Her voice is unique and I really enjoy her music.

What's your go-to Avril song?

I like all of the albums, they are all different, so the most recent album Avril Lavigne my favorite song by far on that one is Falling Fast.

It's a slow song, one of those ballad type songs that I really like when she has those. Going back toGoodbye Lullaby, I really like the song I Love You.

When you get a chance to listen to the songs, she has so many great records that every album I appreciate all of them.

She's been getting a lot of flack for the Hello Kitty song, critics have been calling it racially insensitive, what are your thoughts on it?

I didn't take it that way [laughs], and ironically I'm half Japanese. I didn't take it offensively. One thing I do know about her is that whenever she goes over to Asia and she performs she's over there in front of huge sell out crowds and arenas, I know that she's really appreciative of her fans over there. I don't know how exactly how you would take it, but when I first heard it, it seemed like she was writing it for her fans overseas. It's a catchy song.

What's your go to Bieber song?

Oh man, all of them, there's not a bad song on any of the albums. Before games I'll usually pop in All Around The World, As Long as You Love Me or Boyfriend on occasion. Actually, one of my favorite songs he's done is the one he's recorded with Chris Brown.

Obviously he's had his struggles outside of music, but in terms of just the music, I definitely think he's come up with some of his best songs on his latest albums.

So what about The Backstreet Boys, is that a band you grew up with and it's just stuck with you through the years?

When The Backstreet Boys had just become popular in the U.S, they were already popular in Europe prior to their arrival here in North America, they had just come out with As Long As You Love Me, right as I was graduating high school in 1997. That song was catchy and they released a few more singles when I was in college and I got to here it a bunch. Than I moved to Spain, and over there I heard a bunch more of their music, and around that time that's when Millenium came out and although I wasn't in the U.S., I heard and saw a lot about them and they released more albums that I enjoyed. I was intrigued by them and watching them be interviewed and talk, they just seemed like a good group of guys.

Do you ever take any flack from your teammates regarding your music taste?

Oh yeah, all the time [laughs]. I appreciate the fact I can listen to the music I like with my kids and listen in front of anybody and although they may not like it, you can't really be offended by it. Where as a lot of the music my teammates like is music that you wouldn't probably play anywhere outside of a clubhouse or in your headphones because it can get a little bit rough.

Who's got the worst music taste on the team?

For sure [Royals outfielder] Jarrod Dyson. I can't even listen to their songs, whenever their songs come on I tell them "That was my favorite song, please play it again," and they actually take me seriously and replay it and it's like the worst song I've ever heard.

You had some words for Fifty Cent after that pitch, what did you think of it?

Well, it was terrible, really bad. You just take for granted that someone can put a ball in their hand, be it a baseball, softball or any type of ball, and that they should be able to throw it somewhat straight. Mechanically, they may look funny, they may have a funny arm motion or whatnot, but it just seems it would be relatively simple or elementary to be able to throw it straight. So to see how that came off of his hand, the trajectory towards the camera man, it was just really funny. It was so bad I was wondering if he was just joking or if he wanted to make it funny, because if it was just to be funny it was really good. If it wasn't than it was pretty bad.

What pitching advice would you give him?

Practice, you need to practice [laughs]. If that's what you got you've got practice a bit more.

If you weren't playing baseball what would you be doing?

I'd like to design shoes. That's what I always wanted to do. I'm not real artistic but I'd like to think that if someone else could help me or I could tell them yes or no on what things I like. I always planned on working for Nike, which was kind of my childhood dream. Whether it's an actual shoe design or just retail or advertising, it's something I'm passionate about and I would love to dedicate time and thought towards a job involving sneakers and the growth of a brand I really appreciate.

What would a Jeremy Guthrie sneaker look like?

Hm.. I'm not totally sure. It would probably have patent leather, that's one of my favorite materials that they put on any of the shoes. I just recently learned that Nike has this big book with hundreds and hundreds of different materials that you can put on different shoes, and I never knew that. You get kind of used to seeing the same ones over and over, whether it's a safari print, patent leather or flywire which we've seen more recently on shoes. So I'm not totally sure what the shoe would look like but I'd certainly mix in some of the different materials that you're not accustomed to seeing as often.

What would someone be surprised to know about you?

They would be surprised to know that in fifth grade I was Oregon State chess champion and that in sixth grade my four-man team competed in the national tournament in Westchester County, New York, where we placed eighth out of more than 300 elementary six grade and younger chess teams.

Changing topics a bit, are you a big movie guy?

I'm relatively diverse, my favorite movie, which will probably make you laugh it's kind of like my favorite music it's a little bit different, is probably Serendipity with Kate Beckinsale, John Cusak and Jeremy Piven.

I love the story of it, I love the humor and I don't mind seeing Kate Beckinsale in the movie either. I also like A Few Good Men, Back to the Future and The Social Network, the latter I was fascinated with the storyline and how they tell it, and I thought it was so well done, Justin Timberlake and the other actors were amazing in it. I really like Iron Man, I don't really care for the sequels, but the first one if probably the best action hero movie in my opinion.

What other sports are you a big fan of?

I love basketball, I played it growing up and I also love American football. I cheered for the Los Angeles Rams in Football, and the Chicago Bulls in basketball.

Jeremy also shared some of his favorite pictures he's taken when he's been in the Toronto area. Check them out: