The Scoop On The Coop: Mud Hens Pitch Some Stats

. April 14, 2018.
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The bird is the word. Or so we’ve heard. We had the opportunity to go to a Meet-n-Greet at Hensville with the Mud Hens last week, and although the hen house was full of cackling press, a few of the guys sat down to speak with us.

Here’s the soup on some of our staff-picked questions.

Doug Mientkiewicz, ManagerManager-doug

Years with the Mud Hens?: “This is Year One (1).”
From?: “I was born here, in Toledo, grew up in Miami, FL, and I still live in FL.”
Pregame rituals or superstitions?: “Um, lock myself in my office and not to talk to anybody.” [For how long?] “As long as I possibly can!”
Any tattoos you didn’t mean to get?: “No tattoos at all. I’m the blue-striped zebra: they don’t make us anymore.”
Favorite bar in Toledo?: “I haven’t been to one yet. Any suggestions? My living room is usually a good one, because I bring my own booze. BYOB. I can entertain myself.”
Favorite sport to watch?: “Football. College football. Florida State. [But I’m a Clemson fan.] “Oh no! It was going so well, too. We were friends for a minute. Well, congratulations. Took you long enough to beat us.”
Sliders/No Sliders?: “Like, pants, shorts underneath? I don’t slide anymore, but sliders. If I slide now, we’re all in deep trouble!”
Favorite thing about Toledo?: “Well, since the last time I was here in ’81, I’m gonna say fishing for Walleye on Lake Erie.”

Chad Huffman, Utility PlayerChad-Huffman2

Years with the Mud Hens?: “Two (2). 2016, last year with St. Louis, and now I’m back here.”
Pregame rituals or superstitions?: “I do eat peanut butter before every game. Peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwich. Before every game.”
Any tattoos you didn’t mean to get?: “No tattoos, and no bad decisions.”
Favorite bar in Toledo?: “You know, I haven’t really been… I wouldn’t say I’m very experienced in the bar scene, but I guess I would say Tin Can… I like that one. It’s right there. It’s close.”
Favorite sport to watch?: “Football. Texans and TCU.”
Favorite thing about Toledo?: “Farmer’s Market. All the local produce. They have eggs, the sausages. I like that.”

Pete Kozma, Shortstop (SPete1

Years with the Mud Hens?: “One (1).”
From?: “Tulsa, OK.”
Pregame rituals or superstitions?: “I never touch the white line. I always hop over it. And I shower before every game.”
Any tattoos you didn’t mean to get?: “None.”
Favorite bar in Toledo?: “Last night, we went to the Tin Can, so it’s a pretty good spot so far. That’s #1 right now.”
Favorite sport to watch?: “Hockey. Watched the Red Wings last night. Red Wings are my team.”
Sliders/No Sliders?: “Have to. Absolutely.”
Favorite thing about Toledo?: “I don’t know yet. It’s close to home. I have family in Detroit.”
Anything else interesting we should know about you?: “Nope, I’m pretty simple stuff.” [That’s a pretty solid answer, actually.]

Christin Stewart, Left Field (LF)Christen1

Years with the Mud Hens?: “One (1). I was drafted by the Tigers in 2015.”
From?: “Northville, GA.”
Pregame rituals or superstitions?: “I always put my left sock on before my right.”
Any tattoos you didn’t mean to get?: “I have three (3), but they all have meaning. I’ve never gotten drunk one night and got one, if that’s what you mean.”
Favorite bar in Toledo?: “First time here, so I don’t know yet. I haven’t been anywhere yet.”
Favorite sport to watch?: “Basketball. I grew up in a basketball family. Right now, I don’t have a team, but I like LeBron.” [Who doesn’t, right?]
Sliders/No Sliders?: “Have to. I’ll tear up my legs if I don’t.”
Favorite thing about Toledo?: “It’s a lot different than where I’m from. I’m not from a city, I’m from a suburb just outside of Atlanta, so it’s different. It’s a lot colder here, that’s for sure!”
Anything else interesting we should know about you?: “Nothing really. I’m a very average player. I do like to fish. And I’ve been to Cuba. That’s about it.”

Jeff Mathers, Strength and Conditioning CoachJeff1

Years with the Mud Hens?: “This is my first (1) year.”
From?: “Erie, PA.”
Pregame rituals or superstitions?: “If the guys are on a winning streak, I’ll wear the same apparel through the entire streak. I won’t change.” [Ever?]
Any tattoos you didn’t mean to get?: “Nope, no tattoos. No bad decisions.”
Favorite bar in Toledo?: “I haven’t been to any yet. I’ve been to Fricker’s! I ate food at Fricker’s once.”
Favorite sport to watch?: “Other than baseball? Basketball.”
Favorite thing about Toledo?: “Umm… not the cold weather, that’s for sure! This is my first time in Toledo, but it seems like a cool stadium, cool city, so I’m looking forward to being here to help the team out.”

Erik Ibsen, General Manager (GM)Gen-Man1

Years with the Mud Hens?: “22 years. I’m from Philly, went to University of Arizona, then came to Toledo to do an internship at Skeldon Stadium. And here it is, 22 years later.”
Pregame rituals or superstitions?: “Not really superstitions. I think when I’m at games, it’s really just about walking around the ballpark, greeting people, thanking people for being here, and making sure everything is a go to give fans a good time for any particular game.”
Any tattoos you didn’t mean to get?: “I do not.” [He grinned.]
Favorite bar in Toledo?: “I’d better say Holy Toledo Tavern, because we’ve opened that downstairs.”
Favorite sport to watch?: “Basketball. 76ers.”
Favorite thing about Toledo?: “I think the people. Not being from the town, but having been here a long time and having a family here, it’s just such an under-appreciated area to live. I know other people from larger cities that have settled here, and between all the attractions in town–the Hens, the Walleye, the Toledo Zoo, the TMA and metroparks, it’s really a great place to live. You can still get the big city experience from a number of places that aren’t too far away to get to, as well.”

And there you have it! The scoop on the coop. See? That wasn’t so hard. Play ball!