Valenzuela chats about playing days
Dodgers legend fields questions during bilingual chat
Dodgers pitching legend and current Spanish-radio broadcaster Fernando Valenzuela participated in a bilingual chat Tuesday. Valenzuela answered questions about being a Mexican in the Major Leagues, the 1981 world championship season and the current Dodgers team.
Fernando Valenzuela: Thanks for your patience. Let's start.
Base_Ball: Where in Mexico were you born? With your busy schedule, do you get to visit Mexico very often?
Valenzuela: I was born in Sonora, Navojoa, Mexico. During the winter time, I go back to play winter ball for Mexicali for the last couple years.
Base_Ball: (In Spanish) What moment in your Major League career do you feel proudest of?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) When I pitched in my first Major League game against Houston because that was the start of my career.
hjghjg_hjgjhgjgjgh: What was it like winning the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award in the same year?
Valenzuela: It was a great year and great moment for me because we had a good team and that helped me to win games and to earn those honors. It was all thanks to my teammates.
mlbeditor1: (In Spanish) Hey Fernando you're the best! What has changed in the game since you last pitched?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) It hasn't changed all that much. Probably in the way they use the players, especially the pitchers with their pitch counts.
raul_carrillo: Hello Fernando. My family has always been a major supporter of you since day one. I wanted to know, have you ever thought about going into a manager role or becoming a pitching coach and how do you like this year's crop of rookie players?
Valenzuela: No, I've never thought of being a coach or instructor. I'm not a very patient person, so that would be difficult for me. As far as this year's rookies, they have all responded. They called them up and gave them the chance to play and they're doing a great job right now.
Base_Ball_3: (In Spanish) What does it mean to you to be an example to so many Mexicans and sons and daughters of Mexicans who have come to this country looking for a better life?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) I feel being Mexican, and representing all the Mexicans, is an honor and I always tried to be my best. Thanks for all the support when I was pitching. That gave me a little extra strength to do things better. Hello to everyone out there.
Base_Ball_3: Fernando Mania, boy do I miss it! Do you miss playing in the big leagues?
Valenzuela: I've been out of big leagues for eight years. The first couple of years, I missed it a little bit, not much. Now, after eight years, I'm still playing winter ball in Mexico, so that's baseball.
adorofernando_2: (In Spanish) First, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Secondly, what does the future hold for you?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) Continue doing the Spanish-language radio broadcasts on KWKW. And probably continue pitching in Mexico in the winter.
cubsfan1357: I'm only 12, so I didn't get to see most of the prime of your career, but I was wondering, what was your favorite part of the 1981 season?
Valenzuela: The World Series. The third game when I pitched that game, that was a great moment. Thank you for following the Dodgers.
sonnydr132184: (In Spanish) Were you interested in playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) I had an invitation to help the Mexican pitching staff as a coach. I was proud to be part of that team.
jessel: Have you been asked to teach any of the young pitchers the screwball, and do you think that would be a good idea?
Valenzuela: No, no one has asked me to teach them. Right now, they are using more fastballs and curveballs. They're looking for more speed. But if somebody asked me, I'd be glad to help them out.
Diane_Gonzalez: (In Spanish) Hello El Toro! How does it feel now that your son is following in your footsteps?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) I support him. I am happy that he is trying my same career. Although he plays a different position, first base. I hope he has a chance to make baseball his profession.
lwdnlbc: Other than baseball what's your favorite sport?
Valenzuela: Golf. I think that's similar to baseball because of the swing. It's a lot fun, especially when I lose a lot of golf balls.
Base_Ball: (In Spanish) Hello, Fernando. I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you. You are the reason that I have been a Dodgers fan for 20 years. Are you surprised that you still have so many fans after all these years?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) When I returned to Dodger Stadium for the first time after so many years I was surprised by the reaction of the people in the stadium.
Base_Ball_3: I remember you being a good hitter. Did you take pride in hitting and fielding?
Valenzuela: Hitting is part of my work. I could help myself not only with pitching, but if I got the opportunity to do it with the bat, I tried to do my best. I think fielding is part of pitching. For all young pitchers, it's a good idea to work on their fielding. They can help themselves win games with the glove.
oplascen: (In Spanish) Fernando, how do you see the Dodgers pitching staff this season?
Valenzuela: (In Spanish) They started real well, but in the last couple of games they have had some problems. But I think they will continue to reach the playoffs.
Valenzuela: Thank you very much for taking part in this web chat. We hope to see you soon at Dodger Stadium.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.