To accommodate the New York City baseball writers whose work is so important to the Spanish language baseball fan base, the two New York MLB clubs, the Mets and the Yankees, hold monthly press conference is Spanish. These events allow the writers to pose questions that will help them ensure that the fans will become more familiar with their Latino baseball heroes as human beings as well as professional athletes.
Last week, Jeurys Familia, the ace of the bullpen staff of the Mets was the subject of the first Mets Spanish language press conference. On Tuesday, Michael Pineda, the most effective of the starting pitchers on the Yankees, answered questions from the press at Yankee Stadium.
The conference hosted and organized by Kenny Leandry was considerate to all reporters present and allowed much information regarding Pineda to be learned. Lenadry, like Melissa Rodriguez, his counterpart on the Mets, is a great benefit to the organization for which he works and to all members of the media.
The answers given by the 27 year-old and the personality reflected by his manner at the conference reflected positively upon his upbringing. He explained his repeated words “thanks to God” for every positive experience in his life and career by saying, “I was helped by my faith in God.” In addition to his religious faith, Pineda referred to the support of his “beautiful family.”
He was asked if he expects his 17 year-old brother to one day join him in the major leagues as fellow Dominican Pedro joined his older brother Ramon Martinez on the Dodgers. He called his brother “very talented” and intends to be of whatever help he can to his sibling.
He continually mentioned his desire to protect his health to do well in the majors, “I hope to win as many games as possible if I can maintain my health.” Health is a daily concern to the right-hander because of the serious injuries he has suffered and the amount of time he has spent on the disabled list. He missed the entire 2012 season due to right rotator cuff tendinitis and subsequent surgery to repair an anterior labral tear in his right shoulder. In the following year, 2013, he was on the DL from March 16-July 7, recovering from the surgery. Last year he was again on the disabled list for a lengthy period of time. A right shoulder muscle injury kept him on the DL from May 6-August 12. He considered the injuries to be “very painful” both physically and emotionally. Now he intends “to work hard to keep my health. I hope to be able to pitch every five days.”
Despite the difficult experiences, he tries to maintain a positive attitude, “I am a happy person and much makes me laugh.” A smile came to his face after listening to most of the queries.
Pineda was traded to the Yankees on January 23, 2012. He expressed great pride and joy for being on the legendary club. “I am very happy and proud to pitch for a team that is known world-wide. I am physically and mentally prepared to pitch in this city. It is very emotional to pitch in Yankee Stadium.”
The proud, happy and religiously devout young athlete has a 3-0 mark this season and has developed into a superior ballplayer.