Cubs multi-positional guy Mark DeRosa, 31, recently had to excuse himself from a game because he took too much medication for his various ailments. The drugs, a cocktail of anti-inflammatories, pain-reducers and who knows what else, made DeRosa feel like he was in “la-la land.” What perfect timing to ask him 20 Questions. DeRosa, who most recently played at Texas – where the evil former manager Buck Showalter made the Rangers watch as much film on opponents as Andy Griffith reruns – grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan despite being from Passaic, N.J. “Sopranos” country. Bon Jovi territory. DeRosa has been a solid hitter and a versatile defender for the Cubs, but if you expect him to go Steve Lyons and play every position in a nine-inning game any time soon, you can fugettaboutit.
1. Let’s see how your negative drug interaction is progressing. How many fingers am I holding up?
Five... zero... five... one... zero.
2. See? You’re still out of it. You have a bad headache. How much ibuprofen should you take, max, in 24 hours?
God, I don’t know. I definitely O.D.’d, there’s no doubt about that. The bottle says six? I went over that.
3. If you could go back and change anything about your experience as quarterback of the Penn football team, what would you do?
I’d watch more film. I watched film, but I really didn’t put the time in that I thought – now looking back on it – was necessary to be as good as I really could have been at it.
4. You went to an Ivy League school – you didn’t STUDY enough?
Yeah, it’s just one of those things with class and baseball and football – I put the time in, I really did – but if I could go back, I would have put in a lot more.
5. Did you have Northwest Herald writer Nick Hut in any of your classes at Penn? He was a Quaker, you know? Why wasn’t he on the football team with a name like “Hut”? Got any answers?
[Laughs]. I don’t think I recall him, no. I don’t know what to tell you.
6. Bears going to repeat as NFC champions, or will it be your Cowboys?
I hope the Cowboys win it. I definitely think they have a chance. I know Wade Phillips is a guru of the defensive scheme they run, but we’ll see. Chicago is probably as safe a bet as any.
7. Have you hugged Tony Romo lately, or shouldn’t you?
I would have liked to have met him; he threw out the first pitch the other day. I would have liked to have picked his brain about some things, but I didn’t get a chance to meet him.
8. Where in the heck is Jimmy Hoffa buried, if not in an end zone of Giants Stadium?
I think he’s there. I’m a believer. That’s one of those great myths about growing up in New Jersey. He’s probably there.
9. Where is Jerry Jones’ old face buried?
[Laughs]. I have no idea!
10. If Bon Jovi called and asked you to join the band, how would you fit in?
How would I fit in? I’d like to sing but, God, Richie’s got such good harmonies, and his background vocals are so perfect, Jeez, I’ll play the tambourine just to go out on stage with them. I don’t care.
11. Jon Bon Jovi’s got an Arena Football team. You have unfulfilled quarterback dreams. Could you see yourself playing for the Soul?
No. My body will be done by the time I’m retired from this game, so, maybe I’ll just get season tickets and watch ’em play.
12. If you and your wife went on a double date with Richie Sambora and (insert celebrity babe here), what would you do?
That’s a good question. To be honest with you, I’d just like to go to dinner with ’em, have a few drinks and talk shop. I’d just like to pick his brain about stuff – how they come up with these songs, who wrote ’em, what’s their hidden meaning behind all of them.
13a. ’86 Mets vs. ’98 Yankees?
That’s a good question. I’m gonna say the ’86 Mets. They had a little more offense. The ’86 Mets had the great pitching. So did the Yankees. But, there’s a lot to be said about chemistry, and the Yanks had it.
13b. ’86 Mets vs. ’85 Bears?
[Laughs]. ’85 Bears. I’m no dummy.
14. Would you please, in your own words, tell the story of your magical at-bat against the White Sox where everyone got confused?
Wow. I hit a double off the wall for an RBI – that’s what I thought I did. What turned out happening was a keystone cop play. I understand how Felix [Pie] could kind of get screwed up on that play because it is a tough play. He didn’t know how good I hit the ball. I knew Mackowiak wasn’t going to catch it. Good thing Uribe got in the way of Pagan, or it could have been ugly.
15. You married a model named Heidi Miller. Taking away the handsome, intelligent, funny and ballplayer parts of yourself, can you please pass along the instructions on how to marry a model?
How to marry a model? Be a nice guy and have a good sense of humor. I think my wife would say those things.
16. End of the “Sopranos” – what the heck was that?
No idea, to be honest with you. A lot of people liked it, a lot of people didn’t. I definitely would have liked a little more closure, myself. The guy did such a great job writing it. I guess he had his reasons.
17. Ryan Theriot’s last name spells out “The Riot” (also Heir Tot, Hire Hot and Otter Hi, among others) – what can you make with DeRosa?
Does it spell out anything?
18. “Adores, soared, sea rod.” ... You’ve never caught a game or played center in the majors – when are you going to get some versatility?
You know what? People have asked me if I liked to play all nine positions and I wouldn’t. I think it downgrades the guys who do move around. I think it’s more of a goof than to be looked at as a real good thing. I’m proud of my versatility, I’m proud I’m able to move around to different positions every day. I don’t want to downplay the guys who have made a nice living doing it.
19. What was the meaning of life in Texas?
20. You played with Chris Young. You play with D-Lee. How can one guy who’s 6-foot-10 get into a fight with another guy who’s 6-5, and nobody hits each other? With the length of those arms?
I have no idea, ... and, “How can two of the nicest guys in baseball get into a fight?” is a better question.
– David Brown is a sportswriter for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.