In his first interview since coming to the Padres, recently acquired outfielder Aaron Cunningham was nice enough to sit and chat with RJ’s Fro. Enjoy!
RJ’s Fro: Let me start out by saying welcome to San Diego. Being a recent addition to the club, why don’t you introduce yourself to the fans of San Diego.
Aaron Cunningham: First off I would like to thank you for the interview and for giving the fans a chance to get to know me. I’m a 23 year old outfielder that plays all 3 positions, but will be playing as a 24 year old next season. I am married to my high school sweetheart, who has been a soldier for me, she’s helped get me to where I am today. I’m also a very laid back person, so you will never see me doing the Gatorade cooler chuck, or the helmet throw haha. I love and respect the game of baseball and can’t wait to get my opportunity so I can get my career started in San Diego.
RJ’s Fro: Let’s not beat around the bush and get the toughest and most important question out of the way right off the bat…. How big of a breakfast fan are you?
AC: To be honest I am not much of a breakfast fan. Sorry if that upsets anybody. I have a very small appetite in the morning, so normally my go to’s are a bowl of Captain Crunch or a bowl of fruit. Normally something pretty light.
RJ’s Fro: Uh oh, that answer doesn’t bode well for you. Perhaps I can put in a call to Garfinkel and let him spare you just this one time. Tell me how you found out about the trade and what your initial reaction was?
AC: I found out from the Assistant GM David Forst. It was funny because when the phone rang, and I saw it was Forst, my wife and I immediately started laughing. Since we have been through this situation a couple times before, we figured he wasn’t calling to ask about my well being. He said “I know you have had a couple of these calls before, but you have been involved in a trade that is sending you to the San Diego Padres.” My reaction may not have been what he was expecting though because I was pretty damn excited. Earlier in my career when I was with the White Sox my family asked me what other teams I would like to play for? I said the Padres, Diamondbacks and the A’s. As it stands now I have been a part of all three of them. I would like to think that doesn’t happen to often.
RJ’s Fro: You were actually born in Alaska. According to The Baseball Almanac there have been only 11 major league players ever to come from that state. How many of them can you name?
AC: I have been informed of the list, but I cant remember who was on it. I believe one of them was on the A’s last year but I cant remember who. Maybe David Wells is on that list. Like I said I cant remember, maybe you could jog my memory.
RJ’s Fro: You & Daniel Schlereth were the only 2 to play in the majors last year…and I believe the tubby starting pitcher you are thinking about is Curt Schilling…not David Wells, he’s from San Diego. You’ve put up solid numbers throughout your career in the minors but have never really been given a chance at the major league level. Does it ever get frustrating?
AC: The thing is every bit of playing time you receive is an opportunity. You really need to take advantage, when you can. I haven’t really gotten much consistent playing time, but that doesn’t make it an excuse for me to say that’s the reason for my poor numbers in the majors. Yes it is frustrating, but you have to be happy with any bit of playing time you are receiving. I feel lucky to have been with the A’s the last couple of seasons because they tend to go with their youth more than other teams. Who knows, maybe if I was with another team I would have never gotten the opportunities I have received, at the age I did.
RJ’s Fro: Describe a normal off-season day for Aaron Cunningham?
AC: My off-season program at this time is a little different than normal. I had a minor surgery on a sports hernia, so it’s pretty slow at the time being. I’m just trying to get healthy by going to physical therapy and having light workouts at the gym. On a normal healthy off-season day I wake up around 8 am and take care of the dogs. Then I will head to the complex around 9:30 or 10. Once at the field, we start with conditioning and throwing, move on to our weight training and finish it off with a few rounds on the tee and some batting practice. After all of that I head home and hang out with the dogs, maybe play a little video games and then spend time with the wife after she gets off work. We watch a lot of movies. I also try to get a round of golf in whenever I can.
RJ’s Fro: There’s a rumor going around that you sold a car to Ice-T and his wife Coco a few years back. Tell me True or False? And if it’s true we want to hear all the details on how that all came about and if you keep in touch with them. (h/t Gaslamp Ball)
AC: The answer is True. I had my car on Autotrader and a guy named Tracy had been calling me about my Lincoln Navigator. Of course at the time I didn’t know that Tracy was Ice T. I talked to Tracy for a couple weeks til he finally came out to my house. He calls me up and says he was at my place and I proceed to open the door and see Ice-T and Coco standing there. I was definitely surprised. He actually ended up buying the car for Coco. We didn’t keep in touch on purpose really, I guess she saved my number in her phone and most of the time my name is at the top of peoples phone books so she would butt dial me pretty often. Its not like we became friends but I would send text messages back just saying I enjoyed talking to your purse and what not. They have invited my wife and I to some parties, but we didn’t attend because we aren’t big party people. Coco did send some signed magazines and calenders to me so I could give them to a teammate of mine that was a fan of hers.
RJ’s Fro: Coco probably butt dials people in the Z’s with the goods she has. Please tell me I’m going to see them in the stands at Petco Park next season wearing Padres gear. We all know nothing says gangsta like San Diego Padres baseball.
AC: I am sorry to say I don’t think that will be happening. To be honest they probably don’t even remember my name.
RJ’s Fro: Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions Aaron and we look forward to seeing you roam the outfield of Petco Park next season.
AC: Thank you for having me. I am always open to fan questions, you can have me on any time. I cant wait to wear black spikes again and sport the blue, sand and white.