How much do you actually know about St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Joe Kelly? Do you know what he typically orders at In-N-Out? How about his thoughts on pitching in a World Series game? Well, Viva El Birdos has the answers to these questions along with many more. We thank Joe for his time despite being extremely busy with Spring Training.
VEB: Growing up, which MLB team did you support? Who was your favorite player?
JK: Growing up in Southern California I wouldn’t say I had a favorite team. I didn’t really care for the Dodgers, so I guess I liked the Angels more. My favorite player growing up was Ken Griffey Jr. I had his baseball video game and never put that game down.
VEB: Do you pull into In-N-Out with an ordering plan or do you try to stay in the moment and follow the lead of the cashier to see what might be particularly good that day?
JK: I usually order the same thing at In-N-Out, but I occasionally mix it up. My order looks like this: one 3x3 cheeseburger with lettuce and ketchup only, one order of animal style fries with grilled onions on top, and one large lemon-up (which is a 7UP and lemonade combo).
VEB: What’s your experience with the Sega Genesis Power Rangers video game?
JK: My experience with Sega Genesis was awesome. I loved that console and absolutely loved the Power Rangers game. I was the biggest fan of the show. I would rush inside my house every single day as fast as I could to watch Power Rangers.
VEB: You quickly became known and appreciated for the sense of fun and humor you brought to the dugout. Did you pick up any skills in that regard from veteran jester John Axford?
JK: Axford is a funny man. I had the chance to hang around him a little bit and just enjoyed his beautiful mustache. There was never a dull moment with that guy. His hump day costumes were brilliant, and we had a great time running around in those things.
VEB: How many reps of pepperoni pizza do you typically do?
Always working hard pic.twitter.com/VrtEaLv4OK— Joseph Kelly Jr. (@JosephKellyJr) January 28, 2014
JK: I usually do about 90 lbs of dumbbell pizza bench reps. It is part of my routine.
VEB: If you could pick one dance partner on the Cardinals roster who would it be and why? Also, which song would you choose?
Credit: Chad Moriyama (MLB GIFS)
VEB: There is a nasty rumor being spread by @lil_scooter93 that your handshake was "limper than soggy bread." Do you wish to address this charge?
JK: That rumor is true. I am a big fan of the dead fish. There are so many people that love to shake my hand during a signing or greeting, so I usually give everyone a limp grip.
VEB: Which side of the rubber do you prefer to stand on and why?
JK: I prefer to stand on the far left side of the rubber which helps me command the outside fastball to a right-handed hitter.
VEB: How difficult is it to switch from being a reliever to a starter mid-season?
JK: It really isn’t hard to make that switch. You just have to be mentally tough and mentally prepared for any situation that is given to you and take pride in whatever you have to do that day.
VEB: Let’s be honest, how often do you shake off Yadi?
JK: I shook off Yadi less than five times last season.
VEB: Who is the toughest hitter you have faced?
Editor's Note: It's a good thing Aoki has moved out of the NL Central (now with the Royals) because he has seven hits in 13 at-bats against Kelly with a .538/.647/.769 slash line.
VEB: What is it like to start a playoff game? How about a World Series game?
JK: It is so hard to explain what it is like to pitch in a playoff game and a World Series game. It is a mixed bag of emotions, and you don’t realize it until you are actually out on the mound throwing. It was a huge blur for me, and I didn’t remember much from those starts. I was just so focused on beating my opponent that my adrenaline was pumping, and I was really just anxious to perform well.
Viva El Birdos is extremely grateful for the time Joe took in answering these questions. We hope he enjoyed our questions as much as we enjoyed his answers. We wish him the best in 2014 and beyond.