05/20/2012 6:06 PM
New Jersey Jackals shortstop Angel Berroa is a familiar name and face to baseball fans in Kansas City. Berroa spent the better part of seven seasons with the Royals, 2001-06. In 2003, he was the American League Rookie of the Year. Since leaving KC in 2006, he’s played for the Dodgers, Yankees and Mets. T-Bones Director of Media Relations, Matt Fulks, sat down with Berroa at the beginning of this four-game series with the Jackals, for this “Chat with Matt.”
Matt Fulks: First off, welcome back to Kansas City. It’s good to see you.
Angel Berroa: Thank you, thank you. It’s good to be back.
MF: Watching you take batting practice, you had 17 home runs during your American League Rookie of the Year season, 2003, with the Royals. It looks like you still have some pop in your bat.
AB: I’ve just been working hard and just trying to get better every day.
MF: What do you remember about your time in Kansas City, particularly your Rookie of the Year season of 2003?
AB: I remember our team was hopeful at that time with a lot of younger players like Carlos Beltran, Carlos Febles, Raul Ibanez, and Tony Pena was our manager. That was a great year. Plus it was the beginning of my career.
MF: Speaking of that year, Frank White, who’s in his first year as a coach with the T-Bones, was in the Royals’ front office then. It was good to see you guys reunite here today.
AB: I was surprised when I saw Frank here. I’m so happy for him. He really helped me in Kansas City, and in Wichita, where he was my manager. I’m glad Frank is here.
MF: This is your first year with the New Jersey Jackals. Is there a big difference between independent baseball and the minor or major leagues?
AB: It’s really no different because we have a lot of guys on our roster who have been professionals before now, including the minor leagues and major leagues. In independent baseball, you know that you can make it back to the major leagues, so that’s why we are here. We want to get back to the majors.
MF: Angel, we wish you the best of luck this season. Not this weekend, but throughout the season.
AB: Thank you so much, Matt.