Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, a friend of the MLB Fan Cave, is currently participating in the 2011 Taiwan All-Star Series. While overseas, Jeremy will be serving as a correspondent for the Cave, documenting his experiences. Below, Jeremy answers fan questions from the MLB Fan Cave Facebook page.
Victor Magallon I know a lot of players liked playing overseas, would u consider playing over there?
Guthrie: I have always enjoyed traveling and giving my family the opportunity to enjoy different cultures and customs. I would jump at the opportunity to play baseball in a foreign country, be it Japan, Italy, Taiwan etc. Hopefully I can play many more years in the Major Leagues and then have the chance to play overseas.
Andrew Pelosi How would you compare fan involvement with the game in Taiwan vs. back home in North America?
Guthrie: Although we have played only one game thus far, I feel like fan involvement is at a much higher level here in Taiwan. They have chants and songs throughout the game and applaud each and every play of the game—even swings and misses! Their involvement makes the game that much more enjoyable for us players.
Sam Shaughnessy Do the hitters in Taiwan do the high leg kick like many of the Japanese players in the world baseball classic? and if so would that change your pitching approach?
Guthrie: My pitching approach over here is pretty simple—throw strikes! We do not know anything about their hitters so there is no real strategy to our pitching as a staff. I did not notice any high leg kicks but some of their stances are different from those we are accustomed to seeing in the United States.
Greg Burian Do you think the fans in Taiwan would enjoy seeing me in the MLB Fan Cave in 2012?
Guthrie: I definitely think you are the guy to have in the Fan Cave in 2012 even though I don't have a clue who you are or what you look like! Good luck in your quest. You have a lot to live up to after Mikey O and RWags tore it up this year.
Kurt Sumption Hey Jeremy, what is the food like over there?
Guthrie: The best adjective I can give to describe is this: very soggy. It is different
than what I expected, but they have some really good things like dumplings and noodles as well as some things I do not care for like stinky tofu (don't ask, just know that is smells horrific!).
Jonboy Spearmansperman Also, some recommendations: try Din Tai Fung soup dumplings, spicy hot pot, shrimp fishing, a night at Luxy (make sure you get on stage with the "la mei dancers"), do-it-yourself all-you-can-eat BBQ (assuming you're in Taipei, check out one of the spots on Civic Boulevard), the night view from Yang Ming Shan Mt, and as many night markets as your stomach can handle (Shi Lin and Ximen, for starters).
If you're feeling bold and can get around the island, make sure you take a scooter trip through Taroko Gorge, rock a KTV mic in one of the fancy spots in Taichung (or anywhere, really), check out the temples (and dine on barbecued squid) in Tainan and enjoy the scenery (and eye candy) at any of the many beaches (Kenting, preferable). Okay, this American hopes you heed his wise words.
Guthrie: We ate at Din Tai Fung as a team while in Tapei and the food was the best that I have had while over here! The dumplings were amazing as well as the noodles and pork chop that we ate. The restaurant was beautiful and the staff amazing, and I would recommend the place to anyone looking to enjoy authentic Taiwanese food (there is a location in Los Angeles). I was even given the opportunity to help roll the dough with the chefs in the kitchen and pinch the little dumplings closed.
Jesse Hodgson How does it feel to be in a country where everything is different from yours in any personal sense?
Guthrie: I enjoy learning about different cultures and meeting people from other parts of the world. The people here are very respectful and courteous, and they have treated us like royalty. It has been an amazing experience thus far for all of us.
Zac Weiss What inspired you to do this trip, and what will you take out of this experience?
Guthrie: I have always wanted to travel to Asia, as my family roots come from Japan. This is the first of what I hope are many stops to this part of the world. I will take a lot of memories and experience from this trip with a greater understanding of the Taiwanese people.