As some of you may know, I’ve had the opportunity over the last few months to contribute to 49ers Insider, a digital magazine from the San Francisco Chronicle. Between this gig and my day job, it’s limited my time and energy to write for BPP, though it’s given me something cool to offer.
I’m writing these words from the pressbox at Candlestick Park where I had a credential for the 49ers-Dolphins game today. Primarily, I was out here gathering material for an upcoming feature on Frank Gore though I had better luck after the game talking to a non-football player. San Francisco Giants reliever Sergio Romo was in the 49ers post-game locker room, wearing an Aldon Smith jersey, holding an autographed football and giving away signatures of his own to players.
Amidst all this, Romo made some time to talk with me. Excerpts of our conversation are as follows:
BPP: What brought you out here today?
Romo: Show support to the Niners. These guys are doing something special this year and I just kind of want to come out and show support. A bunch of ‘em came out to support us this last couple of years. Why not just be there for them?
BPP: Were any of the players out there during the World Series?
Romo: Alex Smith was out there. I got to talk to him a couple times. I’ve had the pleasure to meet Carlos Rogers and a couple of them like that, Crabtree. For me just to be able to come over here and be on the field and be able to see a little bit from their perspective, what they do and whatnot, it’s a very, very, very awesome experience for me. The game sounds and everything about it, just awesome.
BPP: You guys are two months away from pitchers and catchers reporting. Are you starting to look forward to that?
Romo: Yes, definitely, itching to get back. I know the season ended about roughly a month ago so it hasn’t been a whole lot of time, but it’s been long enough for me personally. I miss my teammates. I miss putting on that jersey. I miss going out there and that competitive nature taking over. I definitely miss baseball.
BPP: Do you think you’re going to be closer this next year?
Romo: As of right now, I’m just a relief pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. If they ask me to close, then I close. It’s kind of like the last year’s situation for us. Whatever I get asked and whatever way I can contribute, I just want a chance to pitch. If it’s in the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, all I’m looking for is an opportunity.
BPP: Anything you’ve been doing this offseason to prepare for next season?
Romo: Oh yeah… I started my offseason workouts already. I haven’t touched a baseball, I haven’t thrown or nothing. It’s more or less just conditioning stuff just to try to get going. This week coming up, I’m supposed to get up hard with some weights so, I mean, here we go right?
BPP: You’re trying to add some muscle?
Romo: Yeah, definitely trying to add some weight in general, uh–
BPP: Do you have a goal as far as how much weight you want to add?
Romo: No, not really. I just know that last year, I started the season 20 pounds heavier than I finished. I don’t want that to happen again. I’ve had somewhat of a history with my injury and whatnot, so I just want to eliminate all possibilities of that. Just to get bigger, faster, stronger is kind of the concept.
BPP: When you had 20 pounds of bulk, did that make any difference in your throwing motion?
Romo: I don’t know if I’m going to add 20 pounds of bulk–
BPP: No, no, no, I mean you said you got 20 pounds heavier.
Romo: I was just chubby. That’s how much I weighed. There’s no real difference in throwing mechanics. Baseball is one of those things where, if you’re mechanically sound, the better it is, the easier things can come around. I’m not really trying to get buff but definitely trying to get stronger to keep that flexibility. I just want to be heavier, more durable.
BPP: One last question for you. My friend Felicia’s a huge fan of yours. Can you say, ‘Hi Felicia’?
Romo [laughing]: Hi Felicia! That’s what’s up.