1. Favorite team growing up: I'm still somewhat of a Yankees fan. I went to more Mets games because I got more tickets. But I wasn't a big fan of either team.
2. Favorite player: I'm a big Manny Ramirez fan. I went to Yankee Stadium when the Indians came in town because he was from the area.
3. When did you move to the United States from the Dominican Republic? In April of 1994. I was 10. It was a culture shock. I was happy to be with my mom again, but it was a big culture shock. I came from a small town, and moving to New York City was a lot different. The language barrier was of course big. But the bi-lingual programs in New York are great. My mom came in '92 and my brother and I came two years later.
4. When did you realize you could play professionally? After junior year of high school I kind of thought about it. There were talks about it. All the hype and all the stuff started coming out. I was supposed to go really high, second through fifth round in high school, and it didn't happen.
5. You were drafted in the ninth round after high school. Why did you choose college? I wanted to experience the college life for a few years. It helped a lot. But I hurt my ulnar nerve. I had the surgery, and then the Tigers drafted me, said we'll let you back to school, see how you'll do. After that year, I was supposed to be a first or second-rounder, so they gave me first-round money to sign.
6. What's the difference between this year and last year for you? Being healthy. Being on the field, being able to pitch every five games. Last year I would show one good game and then it would disappear for the next two games. I missed half the season with injuries, so my body never held up to the expectations that I had for it. I pulled my lat muscle, and then I started spring training, and then I had mono in extended spring training. So I was home just doing nothing. Then I had to start my throwing program again and next thing I knew the first two months of the season were gone.
7. Favorite baseball movie: I like Natural. Also Eight Men Out, Major League. Bull Durham. I like them all.
8. Toughest hitter to face: Especially at this level, there's a lot of guys who can hurt you. Every game you start, you're always going to find one guy or two guys who might not be the best hitters on the team but for some reason they're tough for you.
9. Biggest sports thrill: Signing my first pro contract. It's a big deal, you know? I had to wait a while. After being hurt, it was like, wow, is this going to happen now, is this ever going to happen.
- Maureen Fulton
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