Interview: Steve Poltz, Part 5

In Part 4 of our chat with singer/songwriter/Padre fan Steve Poltz, Steve talked about Steve Garvey’s homer in the NLCS in ’84, shagging fly balls while Tony Gwynn took batting practice, and more.

In our final segment, Steve discusses his meeting of Ken Caminiti, the heartbreak of watching USD alum Brady Clark struggle in Colorado, and his favorite baseball movies.


Ducksnorts: How about the ’98 team?

Steve Poltz: Back in ’98, Kevin Brown did it all. He was such a gamer; I f***in’ loved that guy… [Ken] Caminiti, down in Mexico getting an IV… I have a memory of him driving on his motorcycle at Windansea — that was the year I knew the whole team pretty well. I remember him walking up to the deck at Windansea where I live, where I’ve lived for 19 years, and shaking my hand. Dude, that guy was larger than f***in’ life. He was badass.

[We ramble about Caminiti and Padres history.]

SP: I’ve been predicting the Rockies will get swept [in the World Series]. I’ve been saying, “I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. The Rockies are going to get to the World Series and remember, ‘Oh, wait, we’re the Colorado Rockies; we’re a fourth-place team that got hot.’” I told my friends that and they’re laughing; I’m hoping for a sweep so I can say, “I told you so.”

[Ed note: The Rockies were down to the Red Sox, 2-0, when this interview took place; they did get swept.]

I’ve seen that happen so many times, where a team gets hot — with the Padres against the Yankees [in '98], and in 1984 [against the Detroit Tigers]. Those were two of the greatest teams we lost to, those ’84 Tigers and ’98 Yankees.

DS: Both of those teams were unstoppable.

[Waitress stops by to check on us; Steve raves about his pork chop and orders us homemade ice cream sandwiches for dessert.]

DS: I hate to ask, but as a fellow USD grad, how painful was it to watch Brady Clark struggle in center field in that final game?

SP: It hurt so bad. I was at the game when we lost our left fielder and our center fielder. That was one of the weirdest things ever. I was saying [to my girlfriend], “That guy [Clark] went to USD, my alma mater; it’s okay, honey, we’ll still be all right.”

Brady Clark looked scared, and it broke my heart. They don’t want that to happen.

My favorite player this year was a guy that everybody would always rip on at Ducksnorts, [Geoff] Blum. I love that guy, and I was, like… everybody’s so harsh on him. What did they call him?

DS: “Silent L.”

SP: How come? What’s “L”? Is that for “Loser”?

DS: If you take the “l” out of “Blum,” you’re left with “bum.”

SP: Oh, wow; that’s genius… It’s so funny, I always thought that OG meant “Original Giles” and NOG meant “Non-Original Giles.” I laughed so hard when I saw “Orange Giles.”

I am such a fan of Ducksnorts. Next year I’m going to post. I’m going to get the courage up.

DS: Do it; you’re among friends.

SP: I’m so obsessed with the web site that after a game, in the morning, if I haven’t seen the game — I’m on the road, playing a show — I’ll read the comments of what people were saying during the game.

DS: Wow… Shifting gears, if you were GM for a day and you could make one move to help the club, what would it be?

SP: This would be selfish, because I love this player, but I’d do anything to get Eric Byrnes on the Padres. I love his hustle. He’s a freak. I want a guy with that kind of energy. I want gamers on my team. Do you like Eric Byrnes, or does he bug you?

DS: He bugs me when he plays the Padres, which means I like him. Dave Roberts used to do that to me before he came here.

SP: Yeah… Did you ever write on Ducksnorts about how they would call Dave Roberts “The Doctor” and what the song, “Dr. Roberts” is about? There’s a Beatles song, “Dr. Roberts,” about a guy who prescribes amphetamines.

[Ed note: This interview took place before Mike Cameron's suspension.]

DS: Final question. What is your favorite baseball movie?

SP: I love Bull Durham. It’s such an obvious answer. I really liked 61, the one that just came out. I love The Natural and A League of Their Own — that movie made me cry.

I’m a big fan of Bad News Bears — the original, with Walter Matthau. I like The Rookie, and I loved Major LeagueField of Dreams was amazing.

The best baseball book I ever read — David James Duncan wrote this book called The Brothers K. He was a big fan of Dostoevsky, so it’s sort of an homage to The Brothers Karamazov. This is the best book I’ve ever read. [It] deals with religion, which has been a big theme in my life, baseball and war.

DS: Cool, I’ll have to check that out sometime.

Thanks again to Steve Poltz for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat with us. Be sure to visit his web site at to learn more about his new CDs, Traveling and Unraveling. And if you’re in town and looking for a good place to eat, drink, and otherwise hang out, give Starlite a shot. Tell ‘em Ducksnorts sent you.