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Rich 'El Guapo' Garces chat transcript

Wednesday July 25, 2007
BostondotcomHello everyone and welcome to today's chat with Rich 'El Guapo' Garces! Rich has joined us for an in-game chat from the bullpen of the Nashua Pride, who are currently playing the New Haven County Cutters. Submit your questions below ...
CJ__Guest_Are you still in touch with any of your former Red Sox teammates?
Rich_GarcesHi everyone... I haven't talked to the guys. Manny already told Luis Rodriguez with the Pride he wants me to come by. He told them they want me to go over there and talk to the guys a little bit and say hello... I'm gonna go to Fenway in the next couple of days, as soon as we get back from the road trip. They'll be people, fans, and everyone that wants to see me go there.
Otto__Guest_Hello Mr. Garces. What was the secret to your success in 1999 when the rest of baseball was scoring a ton of runs?
Rich_GarcesI was coming off leg problems, pulled groin, hamstrings, then I started working out with Chris Correnti and BJ Baker and I worked hard, almost every day, throwing long toss, short toss, try and hit the spots and throw my good pitches for strikes, and that's one of the reasons for my good success that year in '99... Lose a lot of weight, and everything was good. everything is about location and that's one of the reasons...
Silly__Guest_Hey Rich, Do you see yourself pitching in a Red Sox uniform again?
Rich_GarcesHaaa, haaa, I don't know. I don't know, I'm just doing right now what I wanna do. Go out there and pitch and the Nashua Pride gave me that opportunity... if I don't put on a Red Sox uniform that's alright, if I do it, it will be fine, I would be the happiest man in the world... big Papi has No. 34 and you don't want to mess with him.
Silly__Guest_How did you get the nickname El Guapo and do you like that nickname?
Rich_GarcesI like it very much. That was in 96, Mike Maddux came up with it in '96 and I love it very much. It was my first year with Boston. He was looking for a name for me and he said it's gotta be nice, because you're a nice guy. I think it came from 3 Amigos. This field right here in New Hampshire, it's crazyk, they call me El Guapo everywhere I go...
Nellie__Guest_Mr. El Guapo, what do you enjoy the most about playing for the Pride? Do the young guys listen to your advice?
Rich_GarcesWe have a lot of young guys here, they always come up with questions about situations. What can you throw. What kind of pitches can you use. Mechanics wise, just give good advice, and their doing pretty good right now. Our bullpen is good an the rotation too.
wbsoxRich with Mike Lowell being as productive as he as been and with Youk doing so well at first base do you really feel it to be the time to get someone like Teixeira?
Rich_GarcesIf they really need that trade, the team is doing pretty good right now with the guys they have. When they won the World Series they still had some of the same guys. I don't think that they're gonna need that trade. They're hitting the ball pretty good. Hitting the ball pretty good. The only guy they need out there is Curt Schilling. Lester pitched great the other day.
Nellie__Guest_What is your favorite memory from your time spent with the Sox?
Rich_GarcesEverything was my favorite day when I came out of that bullpen. I think my best one was the division series with the Indians, went to second round, and I think the third or forth game against the Yankees in the next round, bases loaded, Scott Brosius popped out to first and then I struck out Chad Curtis to end the inning. That was crazy.
stud__Guest_Guapo, what are you tipping the scales at these days?
Rich_GarcesActually I'm pretty much like 240-245 when I left Boston I did not stop playing. I played winter ball. I came up in shape, to go these days and perform the way the game is supposed to be your arm has to be in good shape, and mentally and physically you have to be in good shape. I've prepared yourself to play this year.
soxx__Guest_Rich, have you ever seen a pen as good as the Red Sox is now?
Rich_GarcesI think it's one of the best bullpens right now. When I was up there, we haven't had a good bullpen in a long time. The big thing Boston had was the starting rotation. We always trade somebody to get better starting rotation. We signed Pedro, Saberhagen, David Cone. ... right now the pitchers can go six seven innings and the bullpen can do the rest Okajima, Papelbon, Delcarmen.. all those guys.
Guapofan__Guest_Do you think Rockies first-base coach Glenallen Hill is making a wise decision by wearing a helmet? Should all of baseball implement this idea?
Rich_GarcesIt's kind of 50-50 decision thing. Not a lot of coaches have been hit in years past but I think it would be fine for the coaches to do that. It's very bad what happened. He's making a wise decision.
Guapofan__Guest_Did Barry Bonds ever homer off you?
Rich_GarcesNo. I'm glad. I'm happy for that so I don't have to go in the record books. He's doing it right now. Whatever he has to do to break the record or pass it right now, that's good for him.
Chris__Guest_Hola, Rich. No question. I just want you to know that when he was born in 2002, I gave my son, Andrew, the nickname "El Guapo," after you and the character in the movie "The Three Amigos."
Rich_GarcesHaa. thank you.
Joe_M___Guest_In your opinion, who is the best hitter in baseball? Ichiro? Pujols? A-Rod? Jeter?
Rich_GarcesA-Rod is the best hitter. No doubt. He's the best in power and average in the major leagues right now.
Ober__Guest_What's your favorite food, Rich? Big fan, here! Loved watching you play!
Rich_GarcesI eat Latino, I eat American. Steaks, mash potatoes, vegetable. Latino I like rice, beans, guacamole, chicken with that too
BB1984__Guest_The CAN-AM is generally a pitchers league...how many pitchers are in AA and AAA talent range?
Rich_GarcesNot every single guy but what I see so far, it's a lot of guys who up their velocity, 92-93-94-95, a lot of guys throwing cheese out there... I think hitters hit long home runs... this league is hard. These guys can play in AA and AAA easy, they might be in the big leagues, you never know.
Ye_Dante__Guest_El Guapisimo! Have you made it to Margaritas in Nashua yet?
Rich_GarcesNo I haven't, I haven't but one of these days. We're just so busy right now. One of these days. Today we got a 12:05 day so we have the rest of the day... we'll see what happens.
Nellie__Guest_Mr. El Guapo, What did you do after you left the Sox?
Rich_GarcesI took one full year off to stay with my family a little bit longer. Lay off of baseball for a little bit. It was too much stress for me and my family, I hadn't seen them. I went home and relax, see my girls and spend some more time with them. And then I pitched that same year in winter ball. After that I spent half year with my family and the next year I was playing again..
angelo__Guest_Who would win in a hot dog eating contest El Guapo or Mo Vaughn?
Rich_GarcesHaaa... I think Mo, I don't know. Me probably. But we can't eat like the contest. 4-5 dogs. I like steak better.
CAsoldier__Guest_What is it like to play for Butch Hobson?
Rich_GarcesI like it. He understands pretty much everything about being a pro baseball player. He already managed a major league team. I'm here to help him out. Close some games. Get some wins. But he's a nice guy.
Silly__Guest_El Guapo, Will we ever see you on Dancing With the Stars?
Rich_GarcesHaaaa... No, I'm not that much of a dancer. And no way for American Idol too. I'm not a pretty good singer. I'm just a regular guy, have some fun.
FunkyFunk__Guest_Hi Rich! I was wondering if you paid attention to the Red Sox during the World Series run. You played with a lot of those guys and were only a few years removed from Boston. Did you watch at all, and what were your thoughts?
Rich_GarcesI was a little sad because I was there for seven years because I worked hard all those seven years I was there. I deserved something like that. i went through injuries, pulled muscles, hamstring, groin, tendonitis in my arm... I went out there and pitched a couple of times like that... I wanted to be there. I was watching from home and it was so sad because I was not there when it happened.
CAsoldier__Guest_Who is the best Venezuelan player in the game today?
Rich_GarcesRight now, probably Magglio Ordonez. The highest batting ave. 4-5 in RBI, he hits home runs. He's having the best year of his life.
The_Handsome__Guest_What are your plans after baseball is over for you? Do you plan to try broadcasting?
Rich_GarcesHaaa haaa I don't know, probably try one of those. Probably be a bullpen coach or pitching coach, but I'm gonna be around baseball another 4-5 more years. You never know. I'll be around either here in the states or Venezuela.
dk1234556__Guest_hello sir. how does it feel to be one of the most beloved relief pitchers in recent red sox history?
Rich_GarcesOh that feels great. I don't know that. That's new for my ears. One thing for sure I went out to have fun and do my job. The day I retire I'm gonna be happy because I went out there and did my job and that's what I did.
pete__Guest_Rich, how fast are you throwing these days?
Rich_GarcesAround the same 90-92-91-93, same as when I left Boston. It's coming around a little bit more. Some days you feel real good.
Steeeve__Guest_Mr. Garces, do you get to bat in the Can-Am?
Rich_GarcesNo, probably one of those chances if somebody got hurt, sometimes they run of position players they have to use a pitcher.
PDiddy__Guest_Where can I buy a el guapo red sox t-shirt?
Rich_GarcesI don't really know. They have them here at the Nashua Pride. Nashua Pride pitcher here No. 51 that I wear now. They also have No. 34. they probably have the Red Sox ones near the park.
Ja__Guest_Guapo, welcome to Nashua...what do you think about our lovely town?
Rich_GarcesIt's very nice. So far everything is good. The food is good. the people good. the fans are good. The only thing is you wake up and don't know if it's gonna be cold weather, rainy day, hot day, you gotta be ready. Nice ballpark the fans are good. Nice fans.
carbs__Guest_Who was the best teammate that you played with?
Rich_GarcesAs a person, Manny Ramirez. I think is one of the best guys in the clubhouse to have. He's happy every day. He smiles every day. He's Manny being Manny.
Rich_GarcesSomeone asked about today's game and if I'll pitch. We're winning 1-0 with men on first and third, so there's a good chance I'll pitch.
Supersub__Guest_Rich, if the Yankees offered you a job would you take it or say No Way like Curt Schilling?
Rich_GarcesActually, no problem with me. Like I say, if they come and offer me something, no problem.
Nellie__Guest_In 1990, you were the youngest player in the majors. Did you know that at the time?
Rich_GarcesYes I knew that a week when I got called up to the big leagues. I was 18.
Steeeve__Guest_Who do consider the best closer in the game?
Rich_GarcesI think it's a lot of guys but Valverde of the Diamondbacks. Francisco Cordero is one of the league leaders.
mike_3__Guest_Guapo, if you were pitching to Barry Bonds when he was one HR away from the record, would you pitch away from him?
Rich_GarcesI would pitch away from him, yeah, you don't want to be in the record books. I was pitching against Cecil Fielder in 1990 when he was going after a record. Threw him a fastball and he fly out to center field.
catamount__Guest_Rich, can you compare the quality of play in winter ball to the majors? Do many big leaguers play? What is the experience like?
Rich_GarcesBobby Abreu, Magglio Ordonez, Tomas Perez, Henry Blanco... there's a lot of big leaguers, Alex Cabrera in Japan, Miguel Cabrera, a lot of them, They come up and make the team because winter ball keeps you in good shape.
Nellie__Guest_What is your favorite post game activity? A cold beer or a good meal?
Rich_GarcesA good meal. That would be nice. We run out of energy when we're in the game. Sometimes you have a little beer but mostly you're hungry.
livin_large__Guest_Rich- Did you like the passion at Fenway or was it too much pressure?
Rich_GarcesNo, no. I think the other way. When I play there it was fantastic. No trouble with the fans. They never say anything bad. they don't boo me. i had some bad games and they even clap. I like to play with a lot of people.
Tankski__Guest_El Guapo, thanks for taking time out to chat. I follow the Pride regularly because of you and a friend of mine Jim Mann (who also pitches for the Pride). I was curious if you have had contact with any Major League Clubs as you are having a terrific season?
Rich_GarcesActually right now my agent has been calling and they were asking how I was pitching right now, but nothing confirmed, nothing like that. It doesn't matter if I sign with somebody else or if I stay here. I just want to pitch and have some fun.
ShepDawg__Guest_Did Jason Varitek have any impact on your success as a pitcher?
Rich_GarcesYea. He would give me the signs and I was throwing the pitch that he would ask me to throw. He's one of the reasons the pitching is doing so well right now. The last 4-5 years they've been doing well. He's one of the best.
mickerdoo__Guest_Welcome back to the region! where is the better food...Nashua or Boston?
Rich_GarcesHaaa... we're not too far from Boston anyway. Nashua got pretty good food, same thing as Boston. It's like the same place. Boston is Boston so everywhere you go you're going to find a nice restaurant.
Sonic_Boom__Guest_I take my kids to Pride games all the time, it's a ton of fun. I goota ask, though - how do you feel about the upcoming bobble belly promotion, or that they named the steak sub after you? Do you get paid extra for taking such abuse?
Rich_GarcesHey fine. It's a big thing here. Bobble belly thing is pretty good. I saw them yesterday they're pretty good. People are going to have some fun with it. Something different. It's a good idea. People gonna find it funny, that's what I like. The steak sub is real good, I invite you to come over and have one. they're selling them every day at the park. Very tasty.
Novak33__Guest_Hey Rich....What was your favorite part about going to the ballpark everyday in Boston?
Rich_GarcesAs soon as the game was over I went home and I could wait to wake up to get back to the ballpark. I would walk from the ballpark to my apartment sometimes because I lived downtown. I always have fun. To be in the clubhouse was like my home. I was there early, leave the ballpark late. I always like to be in the clubhouse.
skinny__Guest_El Guapo- you were one of my favorites when with the Sox. What kind of pitches are you throwing these days?
Rich_GarcesI'm throwing the same ones. Split change, four seamer, fastball, and a curve ball. The same when I was there.
BostondotcomThanks Rich for chatting with us today. Fans, check out www.boston.com/redsox to enter our contest for the chance to meet 'El Guapo' and have him throw you batting practice!
Rich_GarcesThank for having me on the show and the internet. Hopefully you guys come see the Nashua Pride and see the game once again.... we're winning 5-0, but you never know, we have a long way to go. So long, thanks again for having me. Have a nice day.
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