For eight years, Mauro Gomez awaited his opportunity.
When the Rangers signed Gomez out of the Dominican Republic — as a third baseman — they hoped he'd evolve into a major league threat. But after six years, Texas allowed Gomez to walk.
After a quick one-year stint with the Braves' Triple-A team, Gomez latched on with the Red Sox and signed a minor league deal. It proved to be the right move for Gomez, who was rewarded for his patience with his first major league call up.
In 37 games this season for the Red Sox, Gomez — the International League MVP in the minors — showcased his raw power, belting two home runs and 17 RBIs while batting .275.
Before the season ended, Gomez sat down with Red Sox beat writer Didier Morais to discuss his journey, the importance of patience, adjustments in the big leagues and his hero growing up. The interview — conducted in Spanish — is translated below.
Didier Morais: We're here with Red Sox designated hitter Mauro Gomez. Mauro, thanks for your time. Entering this season, you had never played in the major leagues, so how do you feel knowing you're finally achieving your dream with such a prestigious franchise?
Mauro Gomez: Like you said, I never had the chance to play in the big leagues and now Boston is giving me a chance and I'm just really happy and appreciative. They've treated me well and I'm just happy to be in Boston.
DM: How did you maintain a sense of patience, considering you were battling in the minor leagues for basically eight years?
MG: I'm always positive and when I undertake a challenge, I try to achieve it. I never felt [frustrated], I just kept pushing, tried to put up good numbers and kept waiting for an opportunity. Thank God I was able to do that this year with Boston.
DM: As a hitter, what adjustments did you have to make in order to adjust to major league pitching?
MG: Definitely try to be more disciplined at the plate — identifying the right pitches and taking advantage of my types of pitches. I also worked on hitting opposite field to right field and even center field. I think that's been one of the keys for me as a hitter.
DM: How valuable is it to have a guy like David Ortiz here to help you out?
MG: It's great, David Ortiz is a tremendous person. He talks to me about hitting, he always helps and tells me 'You need to do this or this.' I've learned a lot with him by my side.
DM: I know it's been a tough year for the team, what do you think of the state of the team?
MG: The game is like that sometimes, there's ups and downs. I think the team is going through a tough stretch this season, you know. I don't know what the problem is, but us as players, we're trying to give it 100 percent every single game and win. Things haven't gone our way this year and that happens. So for now, we're just trying to focus on 2013 and aim to win.
DM: Finally, growing up in the Dominican Republic, who were your heros?
MG: When I younger, I was a big Manny Ramirez fan. He was a tremendous hitter and a right-hander — like myself — and I loved watching him hit. He was definitely one of my inspirations.