Simply Baseball Notebook straight from the source May 2005

Kickin' it with the Cork man

The announcement that journeyman backstop Corky Miller had made the Twins opening day roster was met by first by surprise, then laughter and finally, skepticism in Minnesota. With catchers Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond along with Matthew LeCroy, who has caught in the past, on the roster, many fans simply wondered why.

SBN: You have a unique name, Corky Abraham Phillip Miller, what is the history behind that?

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My uncle’s wife’s brother’s name was Clark and they called him Corky. They kind of named me after him.

SBN: How about the two middle names?

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It’s funny, my mom didn’t want me to have the name Corky if I ever became president, so I can change it to Abraham if that was to ever happen.

SBN: Do you like the name?

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Yeah. I guess I have to like it, I’ve had it for almost 30 years.

SBN: Do you ever get teased about it?

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Everybody is going to get teased about their name, but I did a little bit more than others.

SBN: How many times have you been asked about it?

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I still get asked about it, (I have) ever since I started playing. Everybody doesn’t believe that it is my real name.

SBN: When did you find out you made the team this year?

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About the last day (of spring training). They waited to see what was going on and told me with about two days left.

SBN: What was your reaction?

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(I was) surprised, happy. You just go in and hope for the best. It never really came to the point that I thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was always in the back of my mind that it would be tough to carry three and a half to four catchers.

SBN: How closely do you look at your stats.

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I don’t. Most of the stats I care about what the pitchers do (when I am catching) -- their win/loss record, ERA -- I don’t look at it closely, I just go out and play….once every week or so.

SBN: Do you know what your batting average was last year?

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Yeah, one...probably zero-two-five or something.

Note: Miller hit .026 (1 for 39) with Cincinnati in 2004.

SBN: Do you ever get teased about that?

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No, it was tough, but it’s a new year this year.

 

SBN: You are 0 for 8 this year, how bad do you want to get a hit?

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You always want to get a hit. I don’t know that you want it more than other times. You just go out and put a good swing on the ball whenever you can.

SBN: What has been the highlight of your career in the major leagues so far?

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Just playing up here. Everything is a highlight -- watching the guys that I played with: Barry Larkin, Sean Casey, Ken Griffey and now Torii and Jacque, Joe Mauer, guys like that.

SBN: How are the Twins different than the Reds?

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Different people, everybody around here really wants other people to do well and cares about other people -- not saying that the Reds didn’t -- everyone seems equal and open here.

SBN: Who is your favorite pitcher to catch -- major or minor leagues?

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I liked catching Jared Fernandez, he’s a knuckle baller.

SBN: You like catching a knuckle baller?

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Yeah, it’s fun to be out there. You have to work to catch that stuff. (I also like) Radke, Santana, the guys over here -- Scott Sullivan was a great guy, they are all great.

SBN: Anyone you don’t like to catch?

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It’s never really came to that, I always enjoy catching everybody. Some guys are tougher than others, so it’s more of a challenge.

SBN: You have the reputation of being a prankster and a funny man, what do you do on the bench to keep things loose?

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I usually just say whatever comes into my mind, sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s not. You just have to stay loose and try to keep everybody else loose.

SBN: Is there any one thing you hope to accomplish before you are done playing?

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Just keep playing until they tell me I can’t. That’s the only thing I want to accomplish. Hopefully that lasts for a while.

Corky Miller: What's in a Name?

Miller's page @ Baseball-Almanac.com

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