DETROIT — After pitching against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday and playing one of sport’s biggest chess matches, Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher and Peru native J.A. Happ kindly accepted another chess match — the NewsTribune’s Prep of the Week-style of questioning.
Week after week during the prep sports seasons, area high school athletes are asked bizarre, crazy, interesting and informative questions in order for fans to better understand them.
Why stop at the prep level?
Happ is a MLB pitcher, but is also a human being just like the rest of us and enjoys food, sports and movies.
With that said, here are the questions the eight-year MLB veteran and St. Bede alumnus answered after defeating the Tigers 7-3 to win his fourth game in five starts for a 5-2 record.
NewsTribune: Who is the toughest MLB hitter you’ve pitched against?
Happ: Miguel Cabrera is pretty tough. I say that since he’s fresh in my mind after playing them.
NT: How often did you watch the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks in their postseasons?
Happ: I’m not huge in hockey. I follow winning and losing, but I don’t know a ton about it. I watched part of Game 7 (in the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Kings). I do watch some basketball and am a Bulls fan. I’ll be excited next year when D-Rose (Derrick Rose) gets back.
NT: A lot of athletes aspire to be musicians and vice-versa. Did you ever have any aspirations to be a musician?
Happ: I don’t have the talent for it, but if I could do anything else I would do that definitely. I’d love to be a musician. I think that would be the greatest job.
NT: What instrument would you play?
NT: On your birthday, what is your favorite meal or dessert to eat?
Happ: I like to go to a good steakhouse.
NT: If you had to play one, chess, checkers or Connect Four, which would be the first one you would play?
NT: What is your favorite restaurant to eat at when you’re on the road?
Happ: That’s tough. I don’t know about one specific. I like any sushi place or steakhouse.
NT: What movie never gets old?
Happ: ‘Dumb and Dumber.’
NT: When you were coming into the pros, who was the one MLB player you wanted to meet that you have had the opportunity to meet?
Happ: Roy Halladay.
NT: What do you miss most about the Illinois Valley?
Happ: Just being able to go and relax. I just loved growing up there. It was a great spot to go and do anything — ride your bike to the ballpark when you are young and get a pickup game of baseball or basketball. Everything about it.
NT: What color is your toothbrush?
Happ: Currently, I believe it’s white and blue.
NT: When was the last time you washed your car?
Happ: I actually just sold my car. It has been a long time, probably eight months, since before spring training.
NT: Besides your baseball socks, what kind or color of socks do you wear?
Happ: It depends where we’re going. If we are on the road and there for a travel day, you’ve got to wear dress socks. Otherwise, just short white.
Brandon LaChance can be reached at 220-6995, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @NT_LaChance.