Eric Byrnes is a wild man. He crashes into walls with a wreckless abandon. He pours half a bottle of baby powder down his pants before games (evidently). But he’s so much more than just a ball player. Recently, he did an interview with mlb.com that showed just a few ways he’s more complicated than you may have expected.
Eric on his hobbies:
Karate was fun. My dad was a fourth degree black belt in karate and was a karate instructor. I loved it, I just think I got to the point of whatever my parents wanted me to do, I wanted to do the opposite. I eventually strayed away from karate and tennis. The other thing was that in karate I was always getting disqualified for head contact. I kept hitting the other kid in the head and you’re not supposed to. I loved playing tennis and I played it very competitively until I was about 16 years old, and then I gave up everything else for baseball and football. I made it all the way to brown belt in karate and probably, when I’m done playing ball, I’ll go back and get my black belt. I still play a good game of tennis. My serve is still there. My forehand is good and I used to have a two-handed backhand — you can now throw that out the window, that doesn’t exist anymore. I’ve gotten a little bigger and I use a one-handed, sliced backhand, I need to work on it. Tennis was probably the most competitive game I played when I was growing up. It was intense.
Eric on his dogs:
My two bulldogs are the pride and joy of my life. I love them. They are the cutest little things that you will ever see and even through all the drooling and slobbering and farting and snoring that they do, they are just a joy to be around. I just like to kick it with them and take them down to the beach, let them go crazy in the waves — they run and hit the waves and run back because they get scared. They love to go out on walks and because they’re big, they like to wrestle and get after it a bit. We’ve definitely gone a few rounds wrestling. My girlfriend takes care of them when I’m on the road. It’s a pretty good deal. Without her I wouldn’t be able to have them, it would just be too tough. The joke that I’ve always told her is that the dogs are what’s held our relationship together … uh, she obviously doesn’t find that very funny.
Eric on the media:
I watch Fox News. That’s all, no TV series, no CNN, just Fox News. I leave the TV on it all day.
Eric on what could have been:
If I hadn’t been a baseball player I would have been a bridge toll taker. I’m not kidding. I always wanted to be a bridge toll taker when I was a kid in the Bay area. I would see those people kicking it in the booth and I thought that would be a really cool job. Just sitting there with your music, reading, watching TV, do whatever, take the money. Looked like a good job to me.