KC Close Up: Danny Duffy

On Saturday, we’ll be 23 days away the official Spring Training report date for Royals pitchers and catchers!  Number 23 for the Royals is Danny Duffy, an easy-going lefty from Lompoc, Calif.  Danny made a lot of new fans on Royals Caravan and we had a chance to talk with him about his rookie year, the upcoming season, his favorite TV show and more.  Be sure to follow Danny on Twitter (https://twitter.com/dduffkc23)!

Around the Horn:  What have the past few days been like on Caravan? 

Danny Duffy:  It’s been a lot of fun.  I knew how much support we had – it has been nice to see first hand.  There are a lot of neat people who have been supporting us for a long time – it’s really appreciated by all of us.

ATH:  You were taking some pictures as we rolled across the Flint Hills toward Wichita.

DD:  Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like this from the ground.

ATH:  What do you like about Kansas City?

DD:  Everything.  The barbeque…the people are friendly, the hospitality is second to none.

ATH:  Talk about your offseason and preparation going into 2012.

DD:  Almost everything outside of hanging out with my family has been baseball related.  I’ve been trying to run as much as I can, do core work and put on some good weight.  I’m just doing everything I can to be here Opening Day and help this team.

ATH:  Did you travel at all?

DD:  I went up to my family’s cabin in the Sierras and hiked around a little bit.  I don’t get to go there in the summers anymore so it was nice to take advantage of a dry winter.  Most of the time is spent hanging out with my family.

ATH:  What are your goals for 2012?

DD:  As a team, we want to make the playoffs.  That’s first and foremost.  Personally, I want to be more pitch efficient.  That will keep me at the level that I want to be at.  I feel like I’ve done everything that I can this offseason to assure that my hard work is going to pay off.  I’m excited to get out there and prove to everyone that I’ve been working really hard, as I’m sure the whole team has.

ATH:  Talk about some of the highlights of last year.

DD:  Getting to the big leagues is obviously a frontrunner…(along with) getting to know everyone on the team…I’ve always looked up to Gordo since I was drafted.  We had never really talked too much before I came up.  It’s been cool to get to know him and his family…same with Hoch (Luke Hochevar), I’ve always really looked up to Hoch.  I think my favorite part of the year was becoming good friends with people on this team.  It’s cool to be able to play on the same squad as them.

ATH:  Who are some of your closest friends on the team? 

DD:  I can’t really single one person out.  Blake Wood…we’re good buddies.  Eric Hosmer is one of the realest people that I’ve ever met.  Moustakas (a fellow Californian) – we go way back. 

ATH:  We’ve seen the Broncos tweets…what are some of your favorite teams? 

DD:  I think the Lakers are my favorite team, outside of the Royals.  I had the opportunity to sit behind the bench this offseason.  As corny as it may sound – I think watching Kobe and how hard he works has driven me.  I’ve gone out running after Lakers games because I’m so hyped from watching Kobe.  I like Fresno State – I’ve always been a fan in football.

ATH:  You mentioned running and we’ve also seen that on Twitter.  Is that something that you like to do on road trips?

DD:  Yeah, I’ve always enjoyed running.  Everybody has their way to wind down and shut the mind down.  That’s my way to cool off. 

Photo courtesy Texas Rangers

ATH:  What’s your favorite road city so far? 

DD:  I really enjoyed Arlington because it was so secluded.  It was an amazing ballpark, we had a good time down there, hanging out and laying low.

ATH:  Are you a video game player?

DD:  No, I’m not into video games…but it will be cool to be on one this year.  I will definitely check out the new MLB games.

ATH:  Who was your favorite baseball player while you were growing up?

Photo courtesy Los Angeles Dodgers

DD:  Mike Piazza.  I had a wall of 50 of his cards and was at his last game with the Dodgers.  (Remembering the trade like it was yesterday)…They traded him to Florida (with Todd Zeile) for Bobby Bonilla, Gary Sheffield, Jim Eisenreich, Charles Johnson and Manuel Barrios.  (ATH mentioned that Danny might meet Eisenreich at some point as the former Royals outfielder resides in the KC area.)

ATH:  You mentioned Piazza’s baseball cards.  Have you seen any of your cards?

DD:  I have seen a few, my Mom usually gets them as soon as they come out.

ATH:  What’s your favorite TV show? 

DD:  SportsCenter…other than that, I’m a big fan of Family Guy.  I love Stewie for his sarcasm.

ATH:  Yeah Stewie’s the best…well Danny, thanks for the time and good luck in 2012!

DD:  Thanks!

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