Fresh off a Player of the Week win, we sit down with our second rookie this season, Joel Brunk. Brunk has brought some much needed offense to 7th Linning Stretch and seems to have settled into the starting pitching role as well.
He’s on the leader boards for pitching (ERA/OBA/HIP) and batting (RBI/TB), and is fighting neck and neck with Alex Cohn for the best numbers this season for a rookie. Though, sometimes the numbers get overshadowed in the popularity contest of the year end voting. Brunk’s role on a possible playoff team, and Cohn’s recent injury, could become factors in voters’ minds.
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Nickname: Jake – yeah I don’t get it. Only my dad uses it, somehow it’s easier to say than Joel?
Hometown: Bridgewater, VA
Resides: Alexandria, VA
Employer: U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
How did you find the PWL: Nick West – I invited myself onto his team after he mentioned it to others during a fantasy baseball draft, although he’ll tell you he recruited me.
Career Batting Avg: .409
Awards: Player of the Week (Sp13 – Week 5)
TWIF: What is your favorite baseball team and who is your favorite baseball player of all time?
JB: St. Louis Cardinals. My favorite color was green at age 4 in the late 80’s, which naturally meant my favorite team was the A’s and my favorite player was Mark McGwire. When Tony La Russa and McGwire went to St. Louis, I followed and have been a fan since. No, I don’t juice like my former idol.
TWIF: What is your favorite thing about wiffleball?
JB: The fact that I can hit a homer. I was the definition of warning track power growing up playing baseball.
TWIF: Name your least favorite West.
JB: Nick. His hitting prowess and reputation are overshadowing my campaign for ROY. We also have an ugly history on the basketball court that rivals Bird and Lambier. I’m just getting to know Matt, but he’s by far the nicer West.
TWIF: Have you ever used a wiffleball bat for other than its intended purpose?
JB: Growing up my siblings and I used our wiffleball bat as a microphone, shield, crutch, light saber, spoon, torch, etc. But most often it was used as a club to beat the winner of whatever game we were playing.
TWIF: If you could drown one player in the Potomac river, who would it be and why?
JB: Alex Cohn. Seems like a nice guy, hope that thumb feels better, but somehow his flashy web gems have earned him the frontrunner position for ROY. I guess I make it look too easy, or all my plays don’t count (see Brunk falls on Trunk video, which doesn’t clearly show that it was a Willie Mays style over the shoulder catch as I fell over the fence) or are off camera (I swear, they happened). Anyway, pretty sure he’s Harper and I’m Trout in this situation.
TWIF: You seem to be the only guy keeping 7th Linning alive. Early on, the Commissioner predicted a quick and quiet fall for your team. This was done using stats, past results, and a gut feeling about all possibly likelihood of your season. You seem to have picked them up on your shoulders, and drug them being over .500. Driving in runs when needed, keeping the opposing offense in check. My question is, don’t you think your team name is kind of lame?
JB: Being a rookie, I’ve been coached extensively on how to respond to questions like this, else my spot in the lineup could be in jeopardy. Despite the obvious truths you point out, this is a team game and it has been a true team effort to get over .500 and into the playoff picture. We’re only going to get better as we gel together as a team and learn how to throw strikes consistently. And yeah, I honestly didn’t get the name until Nick explained it in Week 3. I thought it was some inside joke, and I was just trying to fit in so I kept my mouth shut. Hopefully I’ve earned my keep enough to publicly call it lame now without getting fined.