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Rock Social Studio

Social Media Q&A with Andres Galarraga, performed and translated by @RafaelRojasC

@effiejayx via Instagram asked: What has changed for you since your retirement?

@effiejayx "On a personal note, I can see my family more now that I'm not playing; enjoying golf , I travel a Little bit"

@effiejayx "Baseball's in my blood, though; Whenever I'm watching a game at home I think of coming back in any role"

@effiejayx "I don't know when I'll ever come back to baseball, I would like to keep the doors open though, but for now I'm cool"

@effiejayx "Leones (my winterball team in VZ) have always wanted me back, since Omar Vizquel is now going to be in a technical role, I could join him. Nothing definitive yet"

@bracamontedavid asked: Several years ago, you became a mentor to Miguel Cabrera. What did you talk about to him and what was your advice to him?

@bracamontedavid (via Instagram): "It's very easy to talk about Miguel Cabrera. Despite his huge potential and status, he's a very good listener."

@bracamontedavid (via Instagram): "I'm surprised at the way Cabrera listens to advice, that's something you don't see in many youngsters who haven't got as far as he has".

@bracamontedavid (via Instagram): "Miguel is always encouraging his teammates. He listened to all his coaches (at the WBC). We have a great relationship".

@bracamontedavid (via Instagram): "I have given a lot of advice to Miguel both on and off the field. Especially with his personal issues. I told him he must keep on striving on being a positive role model"

Luis Garcia Rivas asked: How was it for you to become batting champion in a time in which there weren't as many Venezuelan stars in the Major Leagues as now? And how did you deal with the sudden increased exposure your batting title gave you, giving you such a high popularity?

Luis Garcia Rivas (via Facebook): I was so lucky to become batting champion in '93 with the Rockies, my name sounded a lot back then"

Luis Garcia Rivas (via Facebook): Those feats helped me to be in fans' minds, I worked on to surpass the offensive records set by Tony Armas for VZ MLB players"

Luis Garcia Rivas (via Facebook): I was extremely fortunate to become an important representative of all Venezuelans.

Luis Garcia Rivas (via Facebook): I am patient when it comes to meeting with fans, sometimes it's so hard for me to express that people are so fond of me.

Luis Garcia Rivas (via Facebook): I like to get people's love and respect, I am a shy person and I always wanted to go under the radar when my career began.

Luis Garcia Rivas (via Facebook): I think it's positive that I can be a positive influence on kids and that I can serve as an example.

Luis Garcia Rivas (via Facebook): "My dealing with cancer made me get love and respect even from people who weren't baseball fans, that helped me a lot in overcoming the disease"

Galarraga: "I didn't want to get any additional chances or an easy way in because I was a cancer survivor. But, with a lot of hard work, I got to the ASG and I won an ESPY.

"I got letters from all over the world, that gave me a lot of strength. And it helped me in getting a little popularity, and I thank fans for that".

@arturomarcano asked: What do you think of the use of steroids in the Major Leagues? How big was it in the years you played?

@arturomarcano "Back then, there wasn't a lot of talk about steroids. It became an issue on the later years of my career. I don't know if anyone used them"

@arturomarcano "We felt so uncomfortable when we knew someone used steroids, I wouldn't recommend it myself since it is so unhealthy"

@arturomarcano "Steroid use goes against the legitimate work of many people in the baseball industry, I was always an enemy of that"

@arturomarcano "Ballplayers (who used steroids) don't think about breaking records, they just care about getting a better performance and more money"

@arturomarcano "When so many players break records due to pure, hard work, it's ugly to see someone cheating them out"

@AvsAngel14 asked: "you used the number 14 for much of your career, is that number significant to you?"

@AvsAngel14 "When I played winterball in Venezuela, I got the number 41, and I couldn't get it in the Major Leagues since it was already taken"

@AvsAngel14 "I agreed upon getting number 41, which is 14 but backwards. And I kept on using it for the rest of my career"

@RoxBBFan57 asked: "How did you get the nickname Big Cat?"

@RoxBBFan57: "When I came to the US I got that nickname from my first Expos manager in rookie league, due to how big I am, but also agile.

@RoxBBFan57 "Besides, that manager couldn't say the name ┬┤Galarraga┬┤, so that's why that nickname stuck with me"

@will_e_777 asked: How did the Big Cat develop his batting stance?"

@will_e_777 "Nobody had that batting stance before I started using it. When Don Baylor started to develop it with me, it was a bit uncomfortable at first"

@will_e_777 "The difference with the new stance is that I was doing eye contact with the ball with both eyes instead of one, so my swing was quicker and more fluid"

@will_e_777 "Before the change, I only looked at the ball with my left eye. After Baylor worked with me, I saw the ball with both eyes and my swing improved dramatically"

@will_e_777 "And it's so great that it happened, because I was able to become batting champion with that. Baylor was my hitting coach in St. Louis. He told me that we would go to the Rockies together. From that day on I never stopped hitting until the end of my career."

@KDub1988 asked: Why did he choose to sign with the expansion Rockies after St. Louis?

@KDub1988 "Don Baylor was my hitting coach in St. Louis, so we worked on how to improve my hitting"

@KDub1988 @harding_at_mlb "I signed with the Rockies so I would continue to work with Don Baylor, and go on with the things we started developing in STL"

@wagner2080 asked "How did you feel in that season in which you lead the League both in batting and in strikeouts?"

@wagner2080 "Because of that thing with strikeouts, I admire Reggie Jackson a lot. He used to say that a K was just one more out"

@wagner2080 "If I struck out twice but I got two hits, I did twice as good for my team. Since I was a power hitter, my contact wasn't as much. But we came to a point in which both my hitting for power and for average both went smoothly at the same time"

@wagner2080 "I never got bummed for striking out quite a bit. That's the same with CarGo, who is even a better contact hitter than I ever was."

@VivaTigres asked: What is your least favorite pitch to hit, and in what location? Thank you!

@VivaTigres "The outside slider was the pitch which was hardest for me to hit. It starts looking as a fastball then it goes to the lower outside corner"

@VivaTigres "So when I tried to hit the ball, it landed low and outside. That was the hardest pitch for me to hit. It made me get the gray hair I have now."

@mighty_flynn asked: "What was your most memorable plate appearance in '95 at Coors Field and why? Thanks for the smiles.

@mighty_flynn "Of all my Rockies career, my most memorable at-bat was maybe that homer in Miami. It was 579 ft long and they cut it down to 529 three innings later"

@mighty_flynn: "The Coors Field prejudice annoys me so much, you have to pitch your hardest anywhere, and you have to hit your hardest anywhere. That's why I was glad I got that long homer outside of Denver".

@dansport84 asked: "Did you ever imagine that the current Venezuelan boom in the Major Leagues would happen?

@dansport84 "I did think at a moment that the Venezuelan boom at MLB was bound to happen sooner or later. Look at Miggy: I think he'll break all of my records very soon."

@dansport84 "Miguel Cabrera will even break the records set by American players. The growth of Venezuelan talent in the Majors has been astonishing over the past 8 years."

@dansport84 "VZ baseball has grown so much we don't even rely on foreign players at winterball. So many Venezuelans now play in the Bigs or Triple-A."

@dansport84 "There were more than 120 VZ kids playing in Spring Training, and maybe I am short at that number. In the regular season we have between 60-80 players"

@dansport84 "Cabrera, CarGo, there's so many that I even forget the names... I always mention Miggy because he's the one who gets compared with me the most"

Galarraga: "The Coors Field prejudice annoys me so much, you have to pitch your hardest anywhere, and you have to hit your hardest anywhere. That's why I was glad I got that long homer outside of Denver".