So if youâ€™re the (Twins) manager and you have that bullpen, how (would you have done) things differently?
I talk to my starting pitcher and I say, â€œAnything from the first innings, close game, anything (bad happens), youâ€™re going out.â€ Iâ€™m using my bullpen.
The bullpen has bring me here so far to win 93, 94 games for the year and I going to use it. I will use it because I need to win three games and this is a short race. In New York you have â€¦ lose so many games. They going to say, oh, it going to happen again. I donâ€™t want to fail from the beginning right away.
Are you a little biased being a former reliever?
Yeah, but â€¦ I want to see the Twins advance a little bit more. Thatâ€™s nice for the fans and the new stadium. He should manage a different way because I know if Tom Kelly is in there, Tom Kelly bring all his bullpen right away. You know, want to give you chance.
What are you doing now?
I do a lot of things. I help my kids. My kid that play hockey, he did a couple tryouts for the Hawks in Chicago. But he get a minor league contract to go in the minor leagues, but he want to graduate. He go to Hamline University. He want to play one more year then graduate, I think, in May or June.
My other son (has had) a couple tryouts with the Twins. Heâ€™s a pitcher and outfield. â€¦ I want to take him to Florida, train him really good and see what happens from there.
And I do sales. I do sales with Freeway Ford, especially for Latinos and the Internet. I try to keep more time to myself. â€¦ I do a lot of charities. â€¦ Sometimes I go teach some kids. Say something on there, itâ€™s nice to help the kids.
On playing with the Twins:
(Teammates) never called me Juan, my name. Everybody call me different names. I had no problem with that. Al Newman, he call me â€œSeÃ±or Smoke.â€ (Steve) Lombardozzi (call me) â€œGasolinoâ€ and always pitching, â€œHey, Gasolino.â€ Always try to make me more relaxed on the mound. I really enjoy playing with the bunch of guys who wanted to win. â€¦
Tom Kelly know how to (direct). When I have a bad day and I be hit, he say, â€œBe ready the next day because you go right back in thereâ€ and he did. When you work with somebody who have confidence in you, you want to get back in there because you want to be helping the team.
I enjoy the team because everybody want to participate. Anybody say, â€œLets go get together for dinner on the road,â€ (of the) 24 guys, 20 guys showed up. Itâ€™s amazing how these guys take together and do a lot of things together.
A lot of (times) itâ€™s individual. You no can win individual. You have to be together. â€¦ Thatâ€™s how you win some games and win the playoffs and win the World Series.
On how he came to pitch for the Twins:
(Manager Roger Craig) said I go try my best (to) bring you to San Francisco and be my closer and the middle reliever. He did. I really no like San Francisco. I wanted to be traded in to the American League, because I no like the National League because my success is to pitch high. I had a lot of problem to keep the ball down because itâ€™s a completely different strike zone.
And the ballgame is faster in the National League because (players) bunt a lot and Iâ€™m a bad fielder.
I wanted to come back to American League because the hitter is more free swinger, try to be a hero and knock it out of the ballpark. â€¦
Thatâ€™s when I come into free (agency) and get a call from Tony Oliva. He said, â€œWhy you not come over to Minnesota?â€ â€¦ I come in in spring training. I talk with Tom Kelly and I talk to Andy MacPhail, who was the general manager that year. He offered me year and the option. â€¦
You played in a lot of major league markets, why did you decide to settle in the Twin Cities after you retired?
When I come over here my wife really fall in love. The schools and my kids enjoy and have a lot of friends. For me itâ€™s better that my kids have more friends. They donâ€™t have to care about go to different school, like Detroit, New York where the people a little more crazy. That the reason: The school is better in here than any other places.