Monday, April 6, 2015
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: GARRETT & CASSIE JONES
Family is an important part of Bleeding Yankee Blue. We are a big family here, both writers and readers alike. The Yankees are a big family and so are the families that surround them. The wives and kids that give their love and support to that Yankee player, and the fans that surround them all. It's a terrific give and take, and I personally am proud to say that I've gotten to know a lot of these Yankee families and it continues today... on Opening Day.
I am proud to introduce to you Garrett and Cassie Jones, two terrific people with a whole lot to say about being part of the Yankee family. I've gotten to know Cassie and G recently, and I am thrilled to present to you right now, BYB's exclusive interview with them, on the best day of the year... Yankees Opening Day.
Enjoy this ladies and gentlemen... I certainly did.
BYB: Garrett, you'll be sharing time at first base and DH. You're a lefty hitter and there's a short porch at Yankee Stadium. What’s going through your mind right now as we approach your first game today?
Garrett Jones: Pure excitement! That's all I've been thinking about! I can't wait for the season to start and the atmosphere for baseball in Yankee stadium. Any way I can get in the lineup and help the team win, I will do it.
BYB: And I can’t believe it, you’ve never played at Yankee Stadium, have you?
Garrett Jones: I'm excited that my first time playing in Yankee stadium will be as a Yankee! Can't get any better than that.
BYB: So Cassie, how did you become a Yankee fan? You’re from Chicago, right?
Cassie Jones: Yes. It’s funny, I grew up in the South side of Chicago and kind of grew up a White Sox fan first.
But when my cousin, Ron Coomer started playing for the Yankees in 2002, I slowly became a Yankee fan. In fact, my whole family did. Not just fans, more like we were obsessed with the Yankees. So, it’s funny, when it was time for me to decide what college to go to, I was deciding between Harvard and Cornell, My family was saying, “Pick Cornell, you’ll be in Yankee territory. If you pick Harvard, you’ll be in Red Sox territory. I picked Cornell.”
BYB: How did you and Garrett meet?
Cassie Jones: I met Garrett early in his career, around 2009 right before he became a Pittsburgh Pirate. We actually met in Chicago. We were both at the batting cages. He was there training and I was there getting at bats for my upcoming collegiate softball season. So yeah, we met at the cages.
BYB: Wait, you played Softball?
Cassie Jones: Oh yeah, Softball. I played for the Junior Olympics and have played competitively on travel teams since the age of 9.
It was very expensive and very competitive but I loved it. In fact, my twin sisters play now and they’re in college. My parents gave us a great opportunity.
BYB: So when did you have time to do other stuff? Like, what about checking out Yankee Stadium?
Cassie Jones: You know, I have never been to the new Yankee Stadium and you’re not gonna believe it, I have never been to the old Yankee stadium either.
And it's the ONLY stadium Garrett has never played in as well! So crazy!! I went to New York City quite a bit in college but always during the off season, including the time we got engaged in Central Park. And, I always traveled to New York every time the Pirates or Marlins played there, but they only played the Mets, so neither of us ever made it to Yankee stadium.
BYB: Wow. Obviously because you had so much going on with Softball, right?
Cassie Jones: Right. We really didn’t have much time off, but it was always on my "if I have a weekend off" bucket list!
BYB: Garrett. I became a fan of yours when you were in Pittsburgh. Tell me what it’s like to play for Clint Hurdle, another guy I admire
Garrett Jones: Hurdle is a great leader and motivator. He has really helped bring that city to life, and I've enjoyed being a part of it and now watching it.
BYB: Garrett, the media is blowing up the DH spot between you and ARod too much to make it a circus. Even me being a fan knows when it comes to the DH, it’s about righty / lefty situations. What can you say to the BYB Audience to put that whole fake controversy to rest?
Garrett Jones: I just think it's going to come down to who's swinging the bat well and being the most consistent out there. Perfect scenario, we both are swinging that bat well and making it tough on Joe to keep one of us out of the lineup.
BYB: OK, so give me a nugget about you and Garrett that not a lot of people know.
Cassie Jones: This is a funny one actually. Because I’m a huge Yankee fan, I have all kinds of Yankees memorabilia. When Garrett used to come visit me at Cornell, he was with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I used to make him sleep with my Yankee blanket. He was like “Seriously Cassie? I play for the Pirates.” That poor thing is so ratty now.
BYB: That's funny. Now, when Garrett got traded, there was a lot of Twitter action from you. Where were you when the trade went down?
Cassie Jones: I actually found out first about the trade on Twitter . I was at home. I remember the Marlins made a move and got a guy that could have essentially replaced Garrett. I just started looking on Internet and 2 minutes later, it said that Nathan and Garrett were on the Yankees radar and it was further along than before. So I found out before Garrett. Garrett was working out with Pedro Alvarez, his teammate with the Pirates. I called him and said “I think we’re going to New York!” He was like “No way!” He called his agent. I called my family and we were all like “Oh my God!” You see, because we’re all Yankee fans, it was amazing. When anyone asked my step-dad what his favorite team was, he’d say “The Yankees and any team my son-in-law's on.” They DVR’d ever Yankee game and game Garrett played. I recently joked with my step-dad and said, “Now you’ll gain a lot of space on that DVR, he’s a Yankee!”
BYB: What do you have to do when your husband gets traded. I mean, we spoke with Rick Ankiel’s wife Lory and she came up with a database to help the baseball wives, because it’s gotta be stressful moving. Tell me about your experience...
Cassie Jones: It can be, yes, but this time is was nice to have friends in New York, mainly because of my time at Cornell. Plus, getting traded in the off season makes the world of difference. And yes, there are groups out there for the baseball wives to help get things together for the families; Living areas, doctors, pediatricians, Realtors. We have some good networks.
BYB: Major League, Bull Durham or Field of Dreams? What’s your movie?
Garrett Jones: Major League
BYB: So have you bought your son that little #33 jersey yet?
Cassie Jones: 33 is one of his fave numbers and it just so happens to be the double of my college number so I was happy. You know, the YES Network actually filmed a little segment with Jax and me in the team store and bought us both a couple things, including "Little Daddy" and hats for us, which was great because I finally begrudgingly parted with my Yankees stuff last year. I gave it all to my family, and when I asked for it back when Garrett was traded to the Yanks, they called me an "Indian Giver" and said, "No way - get your own stuff!" So I definitely need to replenish my stock in gear!! Garrett is currently working on getting a full uniform for Jax. I can't wait to see my boys in matching pinstripes!
BYB: Where about Family here at BYB as much as we are the Yankees. You guys are in a good place right now. What’s the most important thing to you?
Cassie Jones: Us as a family. Garrett’s a very hard worker and you will see that this season. But when he’s not playing baseball and we’re away from it, he’s all family. We both are. Garrett is very good interacting with fans but when it comes to family time, it’s family time. A happy, healthy family is important. We are big family people and we will always spend nights together whenever we can maintaining our unit.
BYB: What’s on your iPod right now?
Cassie Jones: It’s funny. I’m a rock girl, but Garrett is a Country music fan. We recently moved the Nashville and I have to tell you, Country music consumes you down here. I am pretty amazed by how quickly he adapted to the country lifestyle. He goes to the Jack Daniels distillery, bought some camo, goes shooting once in a while, he bought a pick-up. He’s all in. I was recently telling this to Chase Headley's wife. It's funny because we live right by them and didn't know it! The Headley's are great people. Anyway, I personally am always listening to Pearl Jam, Lifehouse, and Mumford & Sons to name a few. Oh and Garrett is a huge rock guy too. Metallica is his favorite!
BYB: Garrett... What's up with the Country Music? Is that a baseball thing? I mean, you're from Chicago!
Garrett Jones: We are from Chicago but moved to Nashville as you know! But, I love all different types of music and country is now one of them. I always felt like I should have been born and grown up in the south!
BYB: When did you discover Bleeding Yankee Blue?
Cassie Jones: You guys tagged me in one of your articles on both Garrett and I. It was a really sweet article and I believe you guys were one of the first to write about us. It was nice. Thank you. YOU GUYS ROCK!
BYB: What message can you give to the BYB audience and all the Yankee fans out there?
Garrett Jones: Thank you for all the support and positive feedback we've received. We appreciate it very much! Looking to do some damage this year and help bring a championship back to the Yankees!!
Cassie and Garrett. I just want to say thank you for taking the time and joining us at Bleeding Yankee Blue. You are beautiful family and we really appreciate you here. You're also part of the BYB family now! Welcome to the Bronx!
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