This story appears in the June 15 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
KM: I've seen you referred to as Caveman, The Baron … You a man of many nicknames?
DH: My fantasy football team name was the Geico Caveman because of my tendency to not shave.
KM: Isn't it usually relievers who have weird facial hair, like long, twisty sideburns or mustaches?
DH: Well, Dave Bush, on the Brewers -- he's got quite a face of hair. A lot of teams don't let you have beards in the minors, so some guys rebel once they make the majors. A few years back, I let mine grow out for two months before spring training because I thought it would be funny to have a beard in my media guide picture. Then I was named the All-Star Game starter, and that picture was plastered everywhere. My wife didn't like that.
KM: Are you the most famous graduate of Pepperdine?
DH: I didn't graduate, unfortunately. But one alum is Montell Jordan -- the guy who sang "This Is How We Do It." He's pretty famous.
KM: Did you meet your wife there?
DH: It was during college, but she went to UC Santa Barbara. We met at a mutual friend's party during my sophomore year and dated from then on. But she was still going to school when I was in the minors, so my first off-season I lived in Santa Barbara with Ryan Spilborghs, who is now a Rockies outfielder. I slept in his garage so I would be able to see my wife, who was, at the time, my girlfriend. It could be absolutely freezing in there.
KM: Did you shower with the garden hose? Or did Ryan let you come in and use the bathroom?
DH: I would go in and shower once in a while. The treat was being able to shower at my wife's. Then I got to use all her herbal stuff and come out of the bathroom smelling like a fruit smoothie.
KM: You get to hit regularly in the National League. But in 2005, when you played for Oakland, you hit .400. Two-for-five. In my mind, you were once a .400 hitter.
DH: True. I was also one of the last to call his shot. It was a Triple-A game in Iowa in 2004. I led off the inning and told the guy who was on deck that if the pitcher threw a curve, I'd hit it out to left. Sure enough, first pitch: curveball, homer to left. So Babe Ruth and I should be mentioned in the same sentence.
KM: When pitchers get knocked out of a game, you always see them go into the clubhouse. Why?
DH: Some guys go watch video. Others open up a cold beer.
KM: Does anyone go watch Grey's Anatomy? Or do you stay focused on the game?
DH: No, you pay attention to what's happening. Before the game is a different story, though. I like to get my little TV and put on Seinfeld. I love the show, and it makes the time fly.
KM: So the perfect storm for you would be to watch Seinfeld before an away game at Citi Field and then go pitch with Jerry, who goes to a lot of Mets games, watching you?
DH: That would be cool. A year or two ago, while we were in New York, a bunch of us went to the restaurant from the show. It's up on 100-and-something street. I was real excited going in and seeing all the memorabilia, but the food was crap. That was a downer.
KM: I hear you dominate all the sports pools you guys do in the clubhouse.
DH: I won the Masters pool and my NCAA brackets, yeah. We actually did two random Kentucky Derby pools, and I somehow drew Mine That Bird in both of them. I was so mad. Before the race I asked Chad Qualls, who had two different long shots, if we could pool our horses. He asked me who I had, and when I told him, he said, "Hell, no." I was starting that night, so I was literally getting stretched out on a table while the race was going on. When Mine That Bird won, I jumped up and ran through the clubhouse with my arms up. As I've said, everyone hates me because I always seem to win.