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Phillies Reliever Antonio Bastardo Discusses His Breakout Season With Philly2Philly.com

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Relief pitcher Antonio Bastardo is having a sensational 2011 season for the Philadelphia Phillies.antonio bastardo


 

The 25-year-old lefty from the Dominican Republic has been nearly unhittable in his third year with the team.

 

 

I talked to him yesterday morning by phone about his stunning season, his hometown, his interesting name and even some…cattle racing? While I wished there was a translator available for us, we both did our best, as you’ll see. (It’s been awhile since that I took that one year of Spanish in college.)

 

 

 

Goldberg: Antonio, thank you for taking some time with me and my readers and congrats on another great outing last night

 

 

Bastardo: You’re welcome. I peetch and Cubbies not hit the ball.

 

 

Goldberg:  For those who may have missed the game Tuesday night, you came into the game in the bottom of the ninth protecting a 4-2 lead. You proceeded to strike out all three batters you faced. Can you take us through the ninth inning, por favor?

 

 

Bastardo: Gracias. Charlie Manuel me da la bola, y la agarro en mi mano izquierda

 

 

Goldberg:  Excuse me, but can you speak in English, please?

 

 

Bastardo: But you said por favor—

 

 

Goldberg:  Yes, but my Spanish pretty much drops off the table after that. So, por fav, er, please, in English

 

 

Bastardo: Okay. Thank you. Charlie Manuel gives me the ball, and I grip it in my left hand—

 

 

Goldberg:  Fascinating insight. And if we can cut to the chase.

 

 

Bastardo:  Chase Utley very good player, but no hit too much power with bad legs.

 

 

Goldberg:  True. But, let’s go back to that ninth inning.

 

 

Bastardo: Cubbies have three hitters and I strike them all out.

 

 

Goldberg:  Don’t be too modest, Antonio. You struck the first two guys out swinging, and the last guy looking. None of them looked like they had any chance of hitting you.

 

 

Bastardo:  No, not a chance I get hit; I am very, very, very good peetcher.

 

 

Goldberg:  To put it mildly. Some fans may not realize that you have seven saves and seven holds without any blown saves. Your ERA is an

incredible 0.99. you’ve won all three of your decisions, and your WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) is an amazing 0.74. What is the secret to your amazing season?

 

 

Bastardo:  I am very, very, very good peetcher.

 

 

Goldberg:  Yes, but coming into this season, your ERA was 6.46 in 2009 and 4.34 last year. Who could have predicted this?

 

 

Bastardo: My village in Hato Mayor has a, what do you call her, a medium. She predict the future. Magdalena Rosa Mujer de la Tarde predict I have wheep of 0.75 this year.

 

 

Goldberg:  That’s amazing. Your medium must be a big baseball fan.

 

 

Bastardo:  Who?

 

 

Goldberg:   Magdalena Mujera Tarde

 

 

Bastardo:  You mean, Magdalena Rosa Mujer de la Tarde?

 

 

Goldberg:  Yes, she must be a huge baseball fan.

 

 

Bastardo: No, she’s medium.

 

 

Goldberg:     You are correct, sir. Are there lots of mediums in your village?

 

 

Bastardo:  Where?

 

 

Goldberg:     In Hato Mayor.

 

 

Bastardo:  Hato Mayor is eastern province of Dominican. We have small mediums, and extra large ones.

 

 

Goldberg:  I think we’ve squeezed a lot out of that medium line, so let’s move on. What is Hato Mayor known for?

 

 

Bastardo: Middle infielders, relief pitchers and cattle racing.

 

 

Goldberg:  Do you mean cattle raising?

 

 

Bastardo:  No, cattle too heavy to raise, so we race them instead. But we sometimes tip cows.

 

 

Goldberg: But why would you tip a cow?

 

 

Bastardo: Sometimes, they give extra good service.

 

 

Goldberg:  Why else would you tip them?

 

 

Bastardo:  Sometimes, they give us a good tip on the cattle racing.

 

 

Goldberg:  I see. What can you tell my readers about baseball in Hato Mayor?

 

 

Bastardo:  In my town, only one baseball field nearby. After cattle races, we play in hot sun all day and night. Fifty players on each team, everyone bats, so that’s why a lot of Dominican players swing at every peetch.

 

 

Goldberg:  Do all fifty play in the field?

 

 

Bastardo:  No, nine players and no more than 41 designated hitters per side.

 

 

Goldberg:  So, you must have to get to the field pretty early in order to get a decent slot in the lineup.

 

 

Bastardo:  Yes, but if you get there too early, you have to sit through all those—

 

 

Goldberg:  Cattle races?

 

 

Bastardo: No, the soccer games. That’s even worse.

 

 

Goldberg:  May I change the subject?

 

 

Bastardo:  Seguro.

 

 

Goldberg:   Do you get any snide comments about your name?

 

 

Bastardo:  Why? Antonio is very common name.

 

 

Goldberg:  I didn’t mean that.

 

Bastardo:  My name is actually Antonio Francisco Rafael Bastardo. My little brother is Antonio Rafael Francisco Bastardo, and my little sister is Antonia Rafaela Francisca Bastarda. My older brother is Antonio Guerrero Francisco Alberto Bastardo, and my stepbrother is Antonio Luis Alfresco Rafael Bastardo.

 

Goldberg:  Wow, doesn’t it sometimes get confusing when you’re all together?

 

 

Bastardo:  No, why would it?

 

 

Goldberg:  No particular reason. So, tell me, were any of your siblings good ballplayers also?

 

 

Bastardo:  Yes, Rafael is an amazing shortstop.

 

 

Goldberg:  Which one is he, er, nevermind. How about I ask you two more Phillies questions?

 

 

Bastardo:  Seguro.

 

 

Goldberg:  You’ve done an amazing job as the Phillies’ closer, but Ryan Madson is expected to return to that role soon. Will you be okay as the set-up man again?

 

 

Bastardo:  Wherever Charlie wants me is okay. Nobody hits me no matter what. Just like my medium Magdalena say.

 

 

Goldberg:  Did Magdalena make any predictions about the World Series?

 

 

Bastardo:  No, she told me just worry about regular season. But her sister—

 

 

Goldberg:  You must mean Magdalena Rosa Mujera del Dia?

 

 

Bastardo:  Yes, Rosa likes us to win it all this year.

 

Goldberg:  Seguro!
 

 

A Disclaimer: This phone conversation with Antonio Bastardo did not really take place—but is it really all that far-fetched?

 

 

Along with being a lifelong Philly sports fan, Matt Goldberg is a unique, award-winning writer, speaker and all-around humorist who resides with his wife and son in South Jersey. He is a featured columnist for the Phillies for Bleacher Report, and is also the author of two new humor books—Wordapodia, Volume One, and All That Twitters is Not Goldberg. They are not sports books, per se, but definitely have a lot of sports passion and humor, and Philly flavor.

 

 

For information on ordering books, requesting customized writing, media requests and special events, please contact matt@tipofthegoldberg.com , or visit www.tipofthegoldberg.com

 

 

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