If you don't make it to the big leagues, it can help you work as a scout, a coach or open the door to another country." "In Texas they began to teach me English with Rosetta Stone, but that did not work for me. One day he said to me, 'Hey, you can do it by yourself,' and then I started." "Playing rookie ball, 70 percent of the team is Spanish-speaking and 30 percent is American.I learn more by listening to people and having people help me. I felt I was the guy in the middle who had to order pizzas for them at night and be that guy who makes sure that Americans understand the Latin ballplayers and vice versa." "I had an American girlfriend [in Montana during rookie ball].We went for groceries together and one of us cooked, another one did the dishes. When I played Single-A, I was with Nelson Cruz, who was playing with Oakland, and he was the cooking guy.He always made a pot of chicken thighs." "I brought a cookbook with me from the Dominican Republic. When the season started, most of the guys and I went grocery shopping together, and then I cooked.
It was forbidden to cook inside the hotel, so we had to avoid having the smoke from our cooking get to the smoke detectors.I was on the phone with my mom: 'What do I have to do? In Venezuela they know that you're in the big leagues, and they expect home runs every day." "In our clubhouses, we play loud music from the moment we get there.' And she directed me on the phone." "The Caribbean baseball fan is louder. When I pitched there, it shocked me: The ballpark wasn't at full capacity, but they were so noisy, it sounded like the place was full." "In Venezuela, since the season is so short, they expect you to be in shape from the start, to have four or five hits every day. We are dancing, playing, always enjoying ourselves.We cooked in there and we saved ourselves a ton of money.If each of us contributed , we did a good grocery shopping trip and it lasted for the four to eight days of the road trip." "Back in Arizona, Dominican players gathered ourselves in groups of four or five.1.' It was hard to go get something to eat, to understand play instructions.