Ricky Romero is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Last year he won 15 games and was an All-Star for the first time while garnering several A.L. Cy Young Award votes for the Blue Jays.
Romero is also from Southern California (he was born in East Los Angeles and he pitched at Cal State Fullerton) and he is a big sports fan. In this interview with LAKings.com, he talks about one of his new passions – hockey – and basketball, a sport he grew up loving.
LAKings.com: Can you talk about one of your new-found passions in hockey?
Ricky Romero: Playing in Toronto I have gotten the chance to meet a lot of hockey players. I lot of them are big Blue Jays fans. When Calgary came into L.A. in January I came out to the Kings game at STAPLES Center. I had known Michael Cammalleri, who used to play for the Kings, and it was amazing. From there I met Drew Doughty and when Drew came to Anaheim the other day to see the Jays and the Angels play, we brought him down to the clubhouse. He is another awesome guy and a big Jays fan. Obviously I am rooting for the Kings in the playoffs and they are doing great so far.
LAKings.com: Prior to that experience, what did you know about hockey?
Romero: To be honest, not very much. I had hardly ever watched it. But playing in Toronto, and being around that atmosphere and getting to know a lot of the guys, I found myself watching a lot of hockey during the regular season – a lot. I understand that game a lot more and I appreciate the game a lot more. I am very impressed with what they put their bodies through and how they skate.
LAKings.com: How is your ability to skate?
Romero: Man, I don’t know if I could skate. I don’t know if I could even stand up on the ice. It would probably not go over very well with our General Manager.
LAKings.com: Can you talk about your passion for the Lakers?
Romero: I try to get to STAPLES Center as much as possible. Being a huge, huge Lakers fan I got to a couple of games over the winter. I love watching it live and I love watching Kobe Bryant. He is amazing and any time you get the chance to watch a player like that you have it.
LAKings.com: You also got a special Lakers-related opportunity, right?
Romero: I got to serve as a special guest reporter this year and I covered them for a day. I was able to talk to head coach Mike Brown and Pau Gasol. It was a really cool experience. I got to see it from a behind the scenes perspective and the guys were great. I had a lot of fun doing it.