Jose De Paula – on the mound today in a CTBC Brothers game at the Uni Lions – has been on the books of three of MLB’s most popular teams – the San Diego Padres, the San Francisco Giants, and the New York Yankees.
Now playing his baseball in Taichung, Taiwan, for this nation’s most popular team, a few days ago we sat in the Brothers’ dugout with Jose and asked him a few questions.
Here’s what he had to say:
Who is Jose De Paula?
I am a pitcher with the Brothers. I have played in the US for the Padres, in San Francisco, and in New York with the Yankees.
How did you get into baseball.
Back when I was a kid, my dad just said play ball and I liked it. (smiles)
Did you know much about the CPBL before you came here?
No, it’s my first time here in Taiwan and I didn’t really know what to expect.
How do you feel now that you are here?
I feel comfortable now I am here. Before the season started I felt a little bit confused you know, but now I feel comfortable. I know more about the hitters and the league.
We have four Dominican pitchers now in Taiwan, including yourself and Esmil (Rogers) here in Taichung. You also have Ariel (Miranda) from Cuba who speaks Spanish. How is it speaking to Mitch (Lively) – the Brothers long-serving American pitcher?
(Smiling) Every day I speak to Mitch. We speak English. I have known Mitch for a long time. I knew him from 2013 when we played in San Francisco.
How do you cope linguistically in the city (of Taichung)?
I have no trouble at all. Sometimes when I go out with Moises and Fielder (Brothers’ interpreters – pictured here) or other guys who speak English. It’s no trouble.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected the Dominican Republic?
It is so dangerous. At least 15,000 have caught the virus, and almost 500 have died already. It’s bad.
You are here, and cannot easily go back home. How does that make you feel?
Well maybe I won’t go home for a while. I want to be here till the season is over, and maybe see the COVID-19 finish in Dominica, then I will go back.
Today (Saturday 23rd) we are rained out again. Have you ever been to such a wet country?
No! (laughs) You know it rains a lot here, but we practice every day and we get ready for the games (when they come).
How do players deal with the game getting called off?
Players don’t feel good. But that’s OK, we have to take it. God gives us the rain so we take it.
How do you like to relax?
I like to go to my apartment, to talk to my family, and watch TV. I cook sometimes too. I’m a pretty good cook.
Your last game here was your first win in a Brothers shirt. The fans were here. How did it feel to win in front of them?
Yeah, it was. Sometimes the games have more energy with the fans coming to the field. The emotions of the fans affects the emotions of the players.
Any message for ball fans worldwide now watching the Brothers and the CPBL?
For people who don’t know baseball so much watching on TV, if you want to come here to the baseball field come along and learn some more.