04/29/2006 12:36 PM ET
Wild Pitches: Jeff Suppan
By Ben Platt / MLB.com
Welcome to Wild Pitches, where your favorite players take time to chat about something other than baseball. The questions will, hopefully, provide you with a glimpse of the person behind the ballplayer, and maybe a few laughs, too.
Jeff Suppan has posted consecutive 16-win seasons for the Cardinals. (Tom Gannam/AP)
When your last name is Suppan it's inevitable that your baseball nickname is going to be "Soup," which Jeff Suppan has used to his advantage. The 31-year-old pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals owns a restaurant in Woodland Hills, Calif., called Soup's Grill that he operates with his wife, Dana.
Originally drafted by the Red Sox, the well-traveled Suppan moved from Boston to Arizona to Kansas City to Pittsburgh, and then briefly back to Boston in 2003. During that time, the Southern California native had been an effective starter, but it wasn't until he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent in 2004 that the right-hander found a home, posting consecutive 16-win seasons and helping the Cardinals reach the postseason both years.
Being a restaurant owner is ...
Very challenging. It's something that I've actually wanted to do for some time and got the opportunity to do it. Serving is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when people are very demanding. So, I think it humbles you a little bit, to be out there and you try to provide a service for them. And you want them to come back and treat them the best possible way that they can be treated and hopefully they have a good time. But sometimes you can't please everybody.
Compared to old Busch Stadium, new Busch is ...
Great. There are a lot of great memories in old Busch. I think the new Busch is going to have a lot of great memories, too, but anything new is always an adjustment. There are things that you used to do one way and now you have different routes to different places. Overall, I think it's a beautiful ballpark and I think the fans appreciate it.
If the Cardinals were on "Survivor," first off the island would be ...
I don't watch a lot of Survivor, but I know there's a lot of strategy involved, so I'd have to vote off Jason Marquis. We have a hitting system going on with the pitchers and he was a Silver Slugger last year. He's probably the best hitting pitcher on our team. So, for strategic reasons it would have to be Marquister. Hey Jason, I voted you off the island. (Marquis, passing by, shakes his head)
The best practical joke ever played on me was ...
When I was a rookie in Boston, we ordered these Cambridge Sound works speaker systems and I was all excited to get mine. I arrived in the locker room and it was in front of my locker. I went out to practice and when I came back it was gone. But there was a little note that said to go talk to the trainer, so I go talk to him and he says you have to go talk to the equipment manager, Joe Cochrane. So I go over and talk to Joe. So they basically send me on a wild goose chase and about an hour later I finally find my speakers -- taped to the batter's eye in center field at Spring Training.
The best prank I ever pulled was ...
I try not to let people know when I pull pranks, so I can't really give out that info. I'm very secretive, so watch out.
The best rock band of all-time is ...
I have to go with the Rolling Stones because they're still out there playing. They've withstood the test of time for decades and decades and they're still rocking. Personally, my favorite rock band would have to be Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. I started listening to them at a young age with my older brothers and listening to what he's put out recently, and going back, I love it all. So Tom Petty gets my personal vote, but all-time, it goes to the Stones.
When I have time to watch TV I watch ...
"24" because it's the greatest show ever. I love "24." I started watching the show and just loved it. I went to Spring Training and wasn't able to watch the whole season, so I went to Best Buy and I bought the DVDs of season's 1, 2 and 3. I can watch six hours straight and just be so locked in. I mean hour, after hour, after hour. I like the real-time and it's filmed in the San Fernando Valley and I know a lot of the locations because I'm from there. And I just think "Jack Bauer" is the man.
My favorite golf course is ...
Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. I played there two years in a row. If they dropped you off in a helicopter in the middle of the golf course you'd have no idea where you're at. I think there's like 40-50,000 trees there. It's probably the most beautiful golf course I've played on and it's very challenging, especially for someone like me, who doesn't play that often.
As hard as I try I'm just no good at ...
Playing the guitar. I try every year, pick it up, and try to play the guitar. I just can't do it. I always try to pick it up around New Year's time and I just can't do it.
I give the media a "word of the day" because ...
It started out that whenever I talked to the scribes, I would always joke around and use cliché words like "pinnacle" and "apex" as a joke. We started going back and forth looking for new words that I could use in my repertoire. I gave one to one of our media guys once and he used it on the air. It became a thing that people love and they ask me every day what the word is. Now I have to stay on top of my game with words. "Surreptitious" is a word I like to use now, and it's a small thing that teachers probably appreciate me doing. It's just a fun thing to do.
If I couldn't pitch, I'd probably be ...
Working in our restaurant or possibly teaching in some sort of way. But probably cooking or being a host in the restaurant.
Ben Platt is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.