Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Roger Bernadina--Hungry To Play
On April 18th, 2009, Our Washington Nationals lost another heartbreaking game late to The Florida Marlins. The same day in which Roger Bernadina broke his ankle on a tremendous running to the centerfield wall and diving catch of a drive off the bat of Dan Uggla. The Defensive Play Of The Game that resulted in Bernadina missing the remainder of the 2009 season. A year in which his talents were developing a major league game.
Now reportedly healthy and back in spring camp for 2010, Sohna and I caught up with Roger for a few minutes after practice yesterday in Viera, Florida.
“I spent the entire off-season in Holland working with my personal trainer. My ankle feels good. I believe it to be 100% and I am ready to go.”
I remember when you first got injured and the surgery took place, the recovery did not go as well as possible. What was the reason for that?
“There were screws holding the ankle together after surgery. They were causing the problem. They (the doctors) took them out, and after that, I was able to make better progress. After that, I was able to build up my strength and turn the corner to begin getting back in playing shape. I am felling good again.”
But that broken ankle really set you back because you were very close to breaking out in the Big Leagues?
“I try not to think about it because the injury wasn’t pleasant for so many reasons. It did happen and I lost most of my last season. I did get set back. But I’ve been able to move past that and really want to move forward and prove myself again.”
When someone breaks their ankle, especially someone like you, there is a fear that physical speed might be lost? How about you?
“It was a big concern, but my speed has come back. When I got back home (to Holland) my personal trainer worked with me most every single day to help get my ankle to recover back to the way everything was before. He (trainer) did a tremendous job on me. We started in November and didn’t stop until I came here about one week before training camp began.”
You played some baseball in the fall, but have had little full time baseball activities since you broke your ankle last year. What’s your realistic chances of starting the season with the big club?
“I am hungry, hungrier than ever. I want to prove myself again. I am here to fight for a spot and see what happens there. I’ve been working on my hitting, being consistent again. (Roger had cut down on a looping swing and had developed a better approach at the plate before getting injured). You can only keep working on those things and that’s exactly what I have been working on since spring training started. When those games start--I will be ready to go.”
“I am actually very excited right now. I had never been out for that long of a period and that has made me want it more. The hungriness in my belly just will not go away. I want to get out there on the field and prove myself again. I need to go out there, have fun, and prove to them that although I broke my ankle, I haven’t lost my step. I can still play this game.”
With that answer, Our Conversation With Roger Bernadina concluded.