This week on Ask An Indie Rock Dude About Sports, we shift from the frigid Northeast and return to sunkissed hills and golden strands of southern California to talk to none other than Kim Shattuck, matriarch of the long, long running carbonated pop-punkers The Muffs (we’re keeping the name of the column the same because it’s almost 2015 and “dude” is a gender-neutral pronoun). Shattuck has a ton of skin in the game, putting out her first album in a decade this year with Whoop Dee Doo, and she’s certainly the only human alive earning rave reviews on both Burger Records and the Clueless soundtrack.
She’s also, as you’ll read, a huge Dodgers fan, and we spent a good long while talking about that team’s recent rise from the ashes, her love of Clayton Kershaw, and that time Darren Dreifort made her fangirl in public.
How’d you first start watching baseball?
I think it was just my family. My mom, dad and grandparents always had it on, and I gravitated towards it.
Were you ever drawn towards the Angels or was it always the Dodgers?
I grew up in Orange County, so you would think that the Angels would factor into that, but no it’s always been the Dodgers. I’m not against them or anything, but I’m definitely true blue.
The Dodgers are in such a great place right now compared to where it was four or five years ago. What’s it been like watching this team become so competitive so quickly?
My husband and I are both Dodger fans and we’ve talked about it a lot. One of the things we couldn’t believe was the amount of ineptitude in the management we had. The only managers we haven’t hated were Joe Torre and Don Mattingly, although Don Mattingly did make some stupid decisions in the playoffs, but I’ll let that go.
I think everyone who’s been watching baseball is pretty much in love with Clayton Kershaw. What’s it been like watching that guy every week? It must be nice knowing you have that dude locked up for the future.
I love Clayton Kershaw. Everytime I think about the Clayton Kershaw experience, I think about his first year in back in 2008 or whatever, and he was this guy that we were resting all our hopes on. He didn’t have a great debut, and I remember everyone complaining about how he’s not living up to the hype. It seemed like I was the only one who had patience, and of course he came around and he’s everything that he was supposed to be. He’s amazing, and he’s just one of the guys. Zack Greinke gets totally overlooked.
Absolutely, and having guys like Greinke and Kershaw has added up to a pretty massive payroll. Do you ever blush about that? Yankees fans never feel remorse for being the evil empire, are Dodgers fans the same way?
I have this old-school thing where I think it’s distasteful to talk about money and people are talking about it all the time. I remember back in the late ‘70s where the team was the same team, the infield was the same infield, for many years in a row. I’d be cool with having this same lineup for the next couple of years. Of course now Hanley won’t be in the lineup, oh well.
If they were to spend money anymore, I think getting a decent bullpen would be nice. That’s why we didn’t win in the playoffs, we can’t trust our bullpen.
Speaking of the playoffs, at this point with the Dodgers it’s pretty much World Series or bust every year. And you’ll be bringing most of the same team back next year and you’ll be right back in the playoff picture. So how disappointed are you? You’re not in a position like the Royals where it’s hard to imagine everything breaking this way again, are you worried that you’ll start running out of time to get it done?
Yeah, we’ve seen them go through so many dry spells before. But I love baseball so much that I don’t watch it for titles. I love when they win, but I just like going to games. But you know, you want them to go to the World Series! It’d be nice if they could get… closer.
How’d you feel about the Bumgarner performance?
He was on fire. It’s hard as a Dodger fan to watch the Giants do well. But I’m not a hater of teams, so I can appreciate how good they were all year. Bumgarner was better than he had been all year in the playoffs. Nobody could hit him. No one. It was frustrating!
Were you rooting for the Royals?
I was rooting for the Royals because they hadn’t done anything since 1985, and the Giants have those two, now three, titles. You always gotta root for the underdogs!
What’s your most hated baseball team?
The Cardinals. They throw at our guys, they don’t even pretend like it’s an accident! And I hate the way they play themselves off as midwest elitists. I try not to hate any team, but something about their management… oooh it just pisses me off.
I mean they threw at Hanley like three times!
Who’s your favorite baseball player of all time?
Oh man, when I was in high school it was Steve Garvey and Bill Russell, but that was mostly because I thought they were cute. (laughs)
Were you into jocks in high school? I’d always peg you for punk rock guys.
No no, I don’t have a type like that. But I don’t get starstruck unless it’s with a sports person. Like this one time we were going to opening day and the person taking our tickets was Darren Dreifort, (writer’s note: early-millennial Dodgers rotation guy, 4.36 career ERA,) and I did this thing that I never do and my husband still makes fun of me for it. Just this high-pitched “oooooooooo, Darren Dreifort you’re my favorite!” He was just like “oh thank you dear!”