Guentzel shares perspective on Fan Cave life
Twins representative sits down to chat about unique experience in New York
Twins: You're several months removed now from your MLB Fan Cave experience in New York. What moment still sticks out to you as the most memorable from your time there?
Guentzel: I have to say, the first week of the season was probably the most memorable, just because we were settling into our new lives in New York City and getting situated into our roles as Cave Dwellers. Our first "task" was watching the Athletics take on the Mariners in Japan, which meant we had to be up and ready to watch baseball at 5 a.m. Walking to the MLB Fan Cave that morning from our apartments, it all finally felt real.
Besides the Opening Series in Japan, we rang the bell at the NASDAQ, hosted ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" and MLB Network's "Intentional Talk" at the Fan Cave. We also helped Al Leiter, Sean Casey and Kevin Millar light up the Empire State Building for Opening Day and watched the Marlins open up their new stadium while Far East Movement performed in our "living room." Needless to say, it was the most ridiculous week of my life, and I was so happy that I had decided to apply for the MLB Fan Cave.
Besides that first week, getting to go to the All-Star Game in Kansas City was incredibly special for me, because I got to share the whole experience with my father. He's the reason I love baseball so much, and it made the whole experience worth it just to see the look on his face when he walked into Kauffman Stadium.
Twins: What was it like watching Joe Mauer wash a Twins fan's hair?
Guentzel: Watching Joe Mauer wash a fan's hair was probably one of the silliest things I have ever been a part of. We were really short on time for shooting, so we had to get everything right the first time. Luckily, Joe was a pro, although I don't think he has plans to quit his day job any time soon.
Twins: How well did you get along with your fellow "Cave Dwellers"? And did the fact that almost all of you had different teams you were representing ever create any friction?
Guentzel: Nine big personalities in one space can get to be a little much at times, but I really liked the other Cave Dwellers. We all have very different personalities, interests and career goals, so it was very rare to be stepping on anyone's toes, so to speak. The best was when our teams played one another, because it created some great energy in the Fan Cave! They are definitely some people that I will keep in touch with and cheer on for years to come. I genuinely want nothing but the best for all of them!
Twins: How was the food in the Fan Cave?
Guentzel: We were responsible for getting our own food, but in New York City, that is not a problem. Every place delivers, and most of us took full advantage of that. Major League Baseball did cater a lot of food for events, so we were very well taken care of. And then during breaks or between games, the Cave Dwellers always tried to go out and grab food together. There were a few restaurants in the neighborhood where we became regulars!
Twins: What celebrity (athlete or otherwise) made the most positive impression on you and why?
Guentzel: This is the toughest question to answer, because there were so many really great people coming in and out of the Fan Cave on a daily basis. Charlie Sheen definitely threw me for a loop. He has a very public past, but he was so down to earth and charismatic during his visit with former MLB player Todd Zeile. We all just had a blast talking baseball with them, and then both of them stopped by our set at the All-Star Game, so we got to have a nice little reunion.
Twins: Was there any part to life in the Fan Cave that you absolutely did not expect going in?
Guentzel: As silly as it sounds, I did not even think about the West Coast games when I applied for the Fan Cave. So that first month was a huge adjustment for me! Those games didn't even start until 10 p.m. on the East Coast, meaning our nights didn't end until 2 -- sometimes 3 -- in the morning.
Twins: What would be the biggest piece of advice you would give to a future "Cave Dweller"?
Guentzel: Be yourself. It is really easy to become overwhelmed by all of the stuff going on, but just roll with it and stay true to who you are. And have fun. It's a contest, yes. But the second you start worrying about getting sent home, you immediately start losing out on the experience. Also, get sleep whenever you can. Those late nights will catch up with you!
Twins: If you had to it all over again, would you?
Guentzel: Absolutely! Obviously now that the Fan Cave is over, I can look back and think about things I would have done differently. But it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is already setting me up for my next adventure. Plus there was nothing better than representing the team and fans that I love. That made the whole thing worth it.
The MLB Fan Cave is coming back in 2013, and it will be bigger and better than ever. Season three will feature more MLB stars, more celebrities, more concerts, more stunts, more pranks and more exclusive access for fans. If you think you have what it takes to represent the Twins in the Fan Cave, apply here.