Blue Jays rookie pitcher Ricky Romero chatted with fans about his season, growing up in Los Angeles and his favorite music.
Moderator: Ricky will be coming up from the Blue Jays' clubhouse shortly. Keep sending in your questions!
Moderator: Hey Fans. Ricky is here. Start sending in the questions!
citorules: Hey Ricky! Thanks for chatting with us Jays fans. Is it hard for you to really take enjoyment out of your tremendous rookie season in light of how the team has performed lately?
Ricky Romero: Well, I guess that you just try to stay positive through everything and go out there and play hard. Play for pride. You just go out there and do your job as best as possible.
fast__ball: Hey Ricky. Who was your baseball idol growing up?
Romero: I think that it would actually have to be a football guy, and it would be Steve Young or Jerry Rice. I actually got to meet them in Oakland thanks to Kevin Millar.
luvingjays: Ricky, you're the man! From a young player's perspective, what is the biggest difference [between] playing in Canada [and the] U.S.?
Romero: To be honest with you, there isn't really any difference. You're still playing all the teams here that you would there.
redgal: You seem incredibly humble and mature. Who has been a major influence in your life outside of baseball?
Romero: My mom and dad. They've been my biggest inspiration and they're the reason that I'm standing here today. And if it wasn't for them, it wouldn't be possible.
cndnbat: What are your plans for the offseason and when do you plan to get back into baseball mode?
Romero: Plans for the offseason: probably just take some time to relax and enjoy visiting with my family. Getting into baseball mode: probably in November.
bigbat80: Hey Ricky. Thanks for taking the time to chat today. As a rookie, who has been your biggest influence this year, and how so?
Romero: From a baseball standpoint, I'd probably say the guy that has kept me positive is our pitching coach Brad Arnsberg.
cdnstud: Hey Ricky! Love the fight that you guys showed in NYC last week during the brawl. Were you squared off with anyone?
Romero: I was just in there trying to grab our guys, and then I got taken down for a second there, too, but I got back up on my feet. Jesse Carlson is the man! But he's a straight suspect!
linder26: I think the Jays should do a Ricky Romero bobblehead next year! Do players think it's cool if they get a bobblehead, or is this something that is not a big deal to guys? Be honest!
Romero: I think it's pretty cool. Anytime you get something like that done for you -- not too many people can say that they have a bobblehead of themselves.
deetz24: How do you plan on improving in the future?
Romero: I guess you just try to learn from every outing. For me, I'm a guy that likes to stay as humble as possible, and I don't take anything for granted. I just try to make the adjustments when the hitters make them on you, and I show up at the stadium trying to learn something new every day.
deetz24: Hey Ricky. Where was your favorite place to travel to with the team, and why?
Romero: The two best places that I've been to are New York and Boston, because of the atmosphere and the fans really get into the games there.
rolenjays: Who are your best buddies on the team?
Romero: I'd say Scott Richmond, we've been roommates since Spring Training, Travis Snider and Casey Janssen.
cyroy: What are some of the goals you would like to accomplish in the future as pitcher?
Romero: I think that everyone's goal is to be part of a winning team, where we get to play in October -- get to play in the World Series. That would be the thing that I want most in my career. All the other stuff is just extra.
jwendle: Hi Ricky! With the potential departure of [Roy Halladay], it looks like you may be elevated to one of the leaders/faces of this team. How do you feel about that added resposibilty at such an early stage of your career?
Romero: First of all, I wouldn't want to see Doc in any other uniform. But, you know, you just lead by example and try to do things the right way either on the field or off the field.
fast__ball: What is your favorite park to pitch in?
Manderson: Hey Ricky. I see that you spent time at both Garfield and Roosevelt High Schools -- both known for their football programs. Which of the two schools did you root for on the gridiron?
Romero: Well, I went to Garfield for three years, and then I transferred to Roosevelt so I didn't really root for anyone. I tried not to get into it too much, because it was a huge rivalry.
cndnbat: What is the one thing you plan to work on in the offseason to make you more effective in 2010?
Romero: I plan on working on mechanics more than anything and trying to just repeat my mechanics to the best of my abilities.
cyroy: Are you planning to develop a new pitch for next season?
Romero: Yes. I've talked to Arnie and I'm planning on trying to work on a cutter.
aaaaaaaaah: Who do you think the Jays' MVP was this year?
Romero: I'd say we have three guys: [Marco] Scutaro, Lindo [Adam Lind] and Hilly [Aaron Hill].
dragonzigg: Hey Ricky. Who is the one Major League pitcher out there right now who you most admire?
Romero: Johan Santana, because he's left handed! No, he's a guy that I've always enjoyed watching pitch since college, and I like his style.
deetz24: What kind of music do you listen to before a game?
Romero: Rap -- usually it's Little Wayne, Tupac, TI and recently TO's finest, Drake.
jess1234: What did it feel like pitching your first big league game?
Romero: It's something that you dream of when you're a little kid, and I think the best thing was having my parents here. That was the best thing, and what was even better was that we won and they were here to see that -- no better feeling.
gregheath: What team did you grow up watching?
Romero: The L.A. Dodgers. I grew up about 15 minutes from the stadium and went to a lot of games as a kid.
jess1234: What's your favorite pitch?
Romero: I'd probably have to say fastball. Why? Because, as a pitcher, you work everything off your fastball to get to your other pitches.
jays199293: Ricky, thanks for chatting! I remember when the Jays drafted you. J.P. [Ricciardi] said you were the most big league ready of the top guys available. Why do you think it took you longer than expected to get to the Majors?
Romero: I think the biggest thing that you don't realize when you get drafted is the grind that you go through in a season and pitching every five days. I think that I needed some more time to mature as a pitcher. Looking back, the three years that I spent in the Minors is probably the best thing that happened to me, because it helped me learn a lot.
mark_l: What kind of experience was it coming up to the big leagues and having the publicity related events like photos, a baseball card, signings and such?
Romero: To tell the truth, to me, it's still kind of weird when you see fans wearing your jersey with your name on the back. I don't know -- it's just crazy. I'm just a kid from East L.A., and at times, it's still a little surreal to me and you just have to take a step back. It's really cool, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.
scuba1977: Are you worried about the "sophomore slump?"
Romero: No, I'm not!
gregheath: How many pitches would you say you throw on game day in the bullpen before the game?
Romero: Probably 30-35 pitches.
cyroy: What is best thing about having Roy Halladay as a teammate?
Romero: What people don't know is that he really enjoys talking the game and he's a very knowledgeable guy. And I've had some chats with him about the game, and he has a lot of really interesting things to say.
oldbaldguy: Do you feel that you will be able to keep your pitch count down for next season?
Romero: That is one of my goals. You look at a guy like Roy Halladay that goes deep into the game when he goes out there, and you try to immulate him and learn from it. You throw strikes, and you'll be successful.
aaaaaaaaah: If you were not a baseball player, what do you think you'd be doing?
Romero: Probably a high school baseball coach. My major was kinesiology. Working with kids somehow.
mark_l: Have you preferred being in a six-man rotation, or five? Is it harder to get in a groove having more time between games?
Romero: I prefer five. I think that you just try to prepare the best possible, and I don't mind the five-day rotation.
deetz24: Have you always been a pitcher, or did you have to develop into one?
Romero: I've always been a pitcher. [I] started pitching when I was probably 11 years old, and I've loved it since.
cyroy: You have fared good against most teams you have faced. Is there any particular reason for your struggles against the Red Sox?
Romero: Walks. I think that I've beaten myself in these games. ... It's just been the walks, and you can't walk guys with teams like that.
jess1234: Can you hit, or just pitch?
Romero: Just pitch. I saw my performance this year -- not very good with the bat.
shane111: What advice do you give kids for being a pitcher?
Romero: Take care of your arm. That was my dad's biggest concern when I was a little kid, and watching how many pitches that I threw. The off-the-field work is just as important -- staying active as far as conditioning goes.
scuba1977: When players come up to bat, they have a certain song that they have chosen to play. If you were a hitter these days, what would be your song?
Romero: There are so many! I'd probably come out to "California Love" by Tupac. It's always been a favorite.
fast__ball: What is your favorite thing to do on off-days?
Romero: Depends on if we are in Toronto or on the road. If we're in a place like New York or Boston, then go shopping, but otherwise just get some rest. Here in Toronto, I always end up here at the ballpark working out.
thesven55: Do you have any pregame rituals?
Romero: I just like listening to music, and that's pretty much it. I'm not too crazy about anything else.
jeffey36: Why do they call you the big guy?
Romero: Eric Neilson?
mark_l: Will you be cheering for the Dodgers in the postseason?
Romero: I won't be cheering for anyone in particular. I just like to watch good October baseball.
jeffey36: Ha ha!
scuba1977: Would you prefer to play your entire career in Toronto? It's a rarity these days.
Romero: Yes, I'd like to win a World Series here.
mark_l: I've heard you had your little brother with you in the dugout for some games. That's pretty cool. Has he expressed interest in following in your footsteps?
Romero: Absolutely, he has. I think the thing that helps him is that he is a bit smarter than I am as far as schools go, so either way, he'll be successful in life somehow.
Romero: All right everyone. Thanks for the chat. See you at the ballpark. I'm off for the team picture on the field. Suspect son!
Moderator: Just a reminder Jose Cruz Jr. is chatting this Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.