Talking baseball and life with Matt Barnes

September 13th, 2019

Red Sox reliever is in a tough situation. He grew up in Connecticut and plays in Boston, yet there’s one kind of food local to New England that he just won’t eat. Find out what Barnes is keeping off his plate and in which movie he would most like to guest star.

When you were a kid and you said, “When I grow up, I want to be a ... ” what did you think you were going to be?

This, because I loved baseball and it’s what I wanted to do. My family had one hundred percent faith in me from when I was young. Anybody that tells you that you can’t do something that you want to do doesn’t have big enough dreams.

Believe it or not, I’ve never eaten __.

I’ve tried this, but I’ll never eat it -- seafood. Don’t eat it. Nope. I’ve tried a bunch of it, don’t like any of this. I hate it. I hate seafood. I hate the smell of it. I hate the taste of it. I hate the texture. All of them -- lobster, salmon, swordfish, shrimp. I didn’t like the first one I had, but decided to continue to try it to see if it was just that one. And no, it was all of it. I eat a lot of steak and a lot of burgers and a lot of chicken. Beef and chicken.

What’s been the coolest gift you’ve been able to give somebody now that you’re in the position you’re in?

I was able to help buy my dad a pair of stereo speakers he’s wanted for the longest time. A few years ago -- four, five years ago -- I was able to help get that done, so that was pretty awesome. I got the Father’s Day jersey that I wore and had it signed by all the guys on the team to give to my wife’s father when he was battling cancer before he passed away. That one means a lot to us.

You’ve played in Europe and in Asia. Which international experience stands out to you?

Playing in Asia was interesting. You get to see a totally different culture. Playing for Team USA, there’s something about having USA across your chest that just represents something a lot bigger than you. … When we were in Taiwan, they dried their field. They literally had a bin with a fire at every base. They would take a flat shovel, take the wet dirt, hold it over the fire until it dried and then they threw it back down. That’s how they dried the field.

If you could guest star in any movie, which film would you want to be on?

I would be in The Fast and the Furious. I just love cars and I love those movies. [My character] would probably be in the crew with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. The first one is my favorite because it’s the original, it’s the best.

What is your favorite memory as a Major League baseball player?

The two best moments: the World Series and when you make your debut. Making your debut and getting here is the first step in the journey which you hope is going to be 10, 12, 15 years. It’s everything that you’ve worked for finally coming to fruition. When you win the World Series, it’s getting to the top of the mountain. It’s like getting to the bottom of [Mount] Everest -- OK, we’re here -- and then you get to the top of Everest -- OK, we did it. They’re just different [moments], but both equally awesome.