Jarrín hit jackpot with Dodgers
Broadcaster has mutual respect for colleagues
Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrín chatted with Dodgers fans in a live Web chat on Tuesday. Jarrín, in his 49th season as "the Spanish Voice of the Dodgers," spoke about some of his favorite moments over his long career, and working with Fernando Valenzuela and Vin Scully.
JARRIN: Thank you all for taking part in our live Web chat. This is a first for me, so it's very exciting. There's a first for everything. Siempre hay una primera vez. We have a very exciting announcement to make. Starting next year and for the next three years, the Dodgers will be heard on KHJ/La Ranchera 930 AM in Spanish. This is a very exciting time for the Dodgers and our fans. With a stronger signal and all of the stations in the Liberman media group, we are able to reach so many more Spanish-speaking fans and better serve our audience. We have enjoyed our many years with KWKW, but we have also worked with Jose Liberman before and we know this will be the renewal of a wonderful relationship. And with that, on to your questions.
TrueBlue42: Out of all the Dodger moments you've called, which come to mind as the most memorable?
JARRIN: I would say that calling the Opening Day of the 1981 season, when Fernando started the game instead of Jerry Reuss. It was an exciting day, as Opening Day always is. Then, seeing the number of people coming and the atmosphere... As long as the game went on, it became something very special, very unique and very exciting. Even though I think that Fernandomania started in 1980 when he came in to relieve in that series against the Astros, 1981 is the year that really comes to mind as one of the greatest years in the history of baseball in Los Angeles.
DIF1: Congratulations on your long tenure with the Dodgers. That is a great accomplishment. I'm wondering how it is working with your son, Jorge. Do you boss him around or does he boss you around more?
JARRIN: It is really very exciting for me to be near my son. Jorge is doing a great job with selling our broadcast. I am very blessed to have been associated with the Dodgers for such a long time. Next year will be my 50th year and it was like hitting the jackpot getting to be with the Dodgers. When I started, I thought that it would be a matter of five, six years and then move to something else. Even though I worked on TV on Channel 52 later on, I fell in love with the game and I'm still doing what I love to do.
gelomac: I heard that you have called more than 30 world championship boxing title bouts throughout the world. Have you called any of the games that Manny Pacquiao played?
JARRIN: Unfortunately, no. By the time Manny [Pacquiao] came into the picture, I wasn't doing boxing. I did boxing in the early 60s and in the 70s and in the 80s. I did the Thrilla from Manila and the Carlos Monson Fights from Paris and Monte Carlo and Milano and Rome. I also did fights from Las Vegas, Houston and the fight in Puerto Rico between [Jose] Gomez and [Carlos] Zarate. I really enjoyed doing fights, but in the 90s and this decade, it is very tough for me to leave the Dodgers to do boxing so I stopped doing boxing.
Maria55: Hola Jaime. Yo soy del Ecuador mi mama y yo siempre te escuchamos somos muy fanática de los Dodgers, hay veces que pasan los juegos en el nueve te vemos solo quería decirte que estamos muy orgullosa de que un compatriota nuestro este en el salón de la fama?
JARRIN: Quiero agradecerlo mucho. Muchísima gracias por esos palabras. Me siento muy orgulloso de representar a Ecuador en el exterior. Todo trabaja que me hizo, lo hago pensando siempre en mis compatriotas. Nunca me olvido de Ecuador. Muchas gracias.
scalino: What baseball terminology doesn't translate into Spanish?
JARRIN: There are several terms that don't have any translation like "strike," "balk," "bullpen" and some others. We could probably find a translation for the "bullpen," but it comes out better if we use the English word. I try to avoid using Spanglish because I am doing the game in Spanish and I should do it using Spanish terms. For instance, I've never used a term that is very common among other broadcasters like "tubay" for "two-base" hit. I think that's like killing the language when you use that. You should use English or use Spanish.
roberto6: Did you watch a lot of baseball in Ecuador?
JARRIN: No, I didn't because it isn't a very popular sport over there. I started watching baseball when I came to the United States in 1955, watching Triple-A baseball in Los Angeles at Gilmore Field and Wrigley Field with the Hollywood Stars and Los Angeles Angels. That's how I started introduction to baseball.
kikiblue: Antes que nada quiero decirle que para mi es un placer poder conversar con una leyenda como la cual es ud. Mi pregunta es, que futuro le ve ud. A los Dodgers sobre los siguientes tres anos con los jugadores jóvenes que ahora tienen?
JARRIN: Bueno, muchísimas gracias por sus palabras. Yo veo un futuro muy brillante. No solo porque contamos con jóvenes prospectos muy brillantes, pero también por la dedicación que los Srs. McCourt, Ned Colletti y otros dirigentes están poniendo para que los Dodgers sigan adelante y poder traer a Los Angeles una Serie de Mundial.
alejanseren: What kind of working relationships do you have with other Dodgers announcers like Vin Scully and Fernando Valenzuela? Also, how has Fernando Valenzuela adjusted to being in the booth and does he still hold any negative feelings towards the Dodgers organization?
JARRIN: I feel very fortunate to be part of a true Dodgers family in the booths, English and Spanish. I have always gotten along very well with everybody. I respect them and they respect me. With Fernando, it's like a younger brother or a son, probably. I have known him for such a long time since he came to the Major Leagues that I feel very comfortable being with him and I hope he does with me. He has shown me he is very comfortable. I have known Pepe [Yñiguez] for many, many years and we have worked together for almost 10 years. It's a great, great feeling in the booth. Regarding my English-speaking colleagues, I don't have words to express my appreciation for what Vin Scully has done for me. He has been a great friend and great mentor to me and I respect very much what he does. Rick Monday and Charley Steiner are true professionals and we get along very well. We've never had an instance where there was a problem or a misunderstanding. I really appreciate all the help we have received from the English side of the business, especially Vin Scully. As time goes by, Fernando feels much better in the booth. At the beginning, it was difficult because it was new for him. I think he still misses being in uniform but he realizes that his days as a Major Leaguer are in the past. He is enjoying his new job more and more each day and he's doing an excellent job. And I know he doesn't have any bad feelings towards the Dodgers. He has expressed that several times. People thought he was bitter or unhappy from when he left as a player, but the fact that he came back to the Dodgers speaks for itself about what he feels for the Dodgers. He probably has had other offers, but he has expressed to me that he was a Dodger, he is a Dodger and he will always be a Dodger. He also understands that things that happened to him happened under different administrations, different owners. Many times he stands up and waves to the people and it shows how happy he is there.
fluffyd: Do you have any close pals on the Dodgers?
JARRIN: Well, I don't have very close ties with the players. I've always maintained my distance. I know that they need to have some distance from the announcers and I respect that. Of course, over the years, there are players who have been very special to me. With the bunch of guys we have now, I have very good relationships with them, like [Rafael] Furcal, Olmedo Saenz, Ramon Martinez and Nomar [Garciaparra] has been great and he's a very good friend. I appreciate his friendship very much. I know his family and have known them for a long time. And I get along very well with English-speaking players, too, like [Andre] Ethier, [James] Loney and Russell Martin. It's a great relationship between them and the announcers.
ladodgerbluefan: Hola Jaime. Tuve el placer de conocerte en un evento ya hace varios anos cuando era niño. Como fue que comenzó a usar la frase "La pelota se va, se va y Despidala con un beso"?
JARRIN: Bueno, no se exactamente cuando usar esa frase. No fue al principio de mi carrera. Fue después. Son cosas que resultan en el momento, no recuerdo como ni cuando. Pero me gusto la frase y lo sigo usando.
Fco_mex: Vivo en Mexicali, B.C., no es justo que nos hayan quitado la señal de los juegos de los Dodgers en español, mi pregunta es volverán a escucharse en la frontera estos juegos?
JARRIN: Nosotros también la ventamos mucho que nuestras transmisiones no se eschuchen mas en Mexicali y alrededores. Pero, no es culpa de los Dodgers. La emisora que teníamos en el centro cambio su formato, vienen otra programación. Creo que es religiosa y por esos suspendieron el beisbol. La ventamos mucho ese cambo y ojala la señal de la nuevo estación de los Dodgers en el ano proximo llegue al Mexicali. Tendremos que esperar y ver si podemos llegar hasta ustedes.
gabog: How much longer do you see yourself calling games? Do you have any plans on cutting your work load as Vin Scully has done?
JARRIN: Well, this year I was able to sign a new contract with the Dodgers for five years, so I will stay with the Dodgers at least until the 2011 season. As long as I feel physically well, I will continue doing this. Eventually, I could probably cut down the number of games that I do if the Dodgers would allow me to do that. I could probably ask for a one-week vacation in the summer or something like. But for now, I will be doing whatever I have to do to stay in the booth.
tabas01: Te quisiera preguntar que quiere decir come ahí papa Francisco Javier?
JARRIN: Cuando José Garcia trabajaba conmigo, el tenia la expresión "Come allí papa" cuando el out se producía de pitcher a primera. Y un locutor de KWKW de nombre Francisco Javier me llamaba con mucha frecuencia y decirme "Hola Jaime, me decía 'Come allí papa'" y entonces, de vez en cuando, cuando se producía esa jugada, decía yo, "Come allí papa Francisco Javier."
DIF1: What kind of advice would you give to someone who wants to get into the broadcasting booth?
JARRIN: Well, the only advice I can give you is to be responsible, be yourself. Don't try to copy anybody. Above all, dedicate all of your time and all your efforts, all your talent to what you are doing. Be punctual -- never be late. In this business, one minute is like one hour in another business. Do your homework before every game, even if you think you know everything about a subject. Before I say goodbye, I would like to say that the Dodgers decided not to renew a contract with KWKW because they couldn't guarantee us more than 120 games and to accept that would have been a disservice to our audience. Even though I have been with KWKW for 52 years, not only as an announcer but as an employee of the station until two years ago, I think that we are improving tremendously regarding coverage. We are going to be reaching areas that we couldn't reach in the past with KHJ/La Ranchera 930. I think that's the only reason why the Dodgers have decided to change - because we want to do the best for our audience. You deserve the best. You deserve to hear every game, good and bad and at KWKW, we couldn't do that because of their other commitments. So, I am excited and looking forward to being on KHJ because I know that we are going to be doing a great job for all of you. There will be plenty of time for a good pregame and postgame show, so be sure to tune in next season and for the rest of this year. I am very excited and very pleased to be serving you. Thank you very much for your patience and it has been great to be with you. Muchisima gracias a todos!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.