Stephen Todd is the definition of a veteran player in the JAL. He's in his 8th season in this league, the last 7 of which have been with the same team, the Toutle Lynx. For his whole career up until last season he's also known nothing but winning. He's won a championship (JAL 9) and made it to the WWCD Cup 2 other times as well. His loyalty to the franchise has always been there, through the good and now through the bad. Dating back to the AC Semifinals of JAL 13 the Lynx have not won a game (7 straight losses), but seem to back on the right track. Anyone who knows Todd knows he isn't much of a talker, but recently he was kind enough to sit down with Cale Johnson for a Q&A. Here's Todd opening up more than usual about the Lynx decline as contenders and current progress to get back...
Cale: When you guys lost Jordan Halverson to the Rapids after JAL 13, was it weird not playing with him anymore?
Todd: A little bit, just because of the sudden lack of pitcher. But in terms of team chemistry, I had no transitional issues.
Cale: That 5-season era (JAL 9-13) with you and Halverson on the Lynx was and always will be one to remember. Still, you guys lost in the WWCD Cup twice and the AC Finals once, all very close games. I know you won it all once in that era, but do you feel like you guys left a little on the table?
Todd: Definitely. I think we had a lot more potential. If we had more consistency, me batting and Jordan pitching under pressure, we certainly could've won a few more titles.. Including the first ever to win 2 in a row.
Cale: The Lynx have lost 7 straight games. Are things getting frustrating for you?
Todd: Yes. I don't like losing.
Cale: At 0-3, is this a lost season, or do you still have hope?
Todd: I will continue to try and compete, though our chances are minimal.
Cale: If nothing else, you guys have at least found a gem in rookie Matthew Morton at pitcher to replace Halverson. How good is Morton?
Todd: I think Matt got off to a slow start just because he wasn't use to the game. In a while he'll be most likely be a great player.
Cale: How far away do you think this "new look" rebuilt Lynx team is from winning big again?
Todd: Next season. I think when Matt hits his groove and Anthony Heintzman gets back we'll be back to being competitors.
Cale: Morton is kind of the new star of the team, but at this point in my opinion (and a lot of other people's) you're the face of the franchise, and probably always will be until you're gone. Do you feel like the face of the Lynx?
Todd: I could understand being the poster boy of the team. I don't know that I'll ever earn "all-star" status though, even if I win more Fielding Crowns.
Cale: Speaking of your fielding greatness, I think you might be the only player in the league who gets in a full blown stance out there on every pitch. Why do you like doing the dirty work?
Todd: I like being the guy who takes the inglorious part of the game and makes it great.