Reporting Matt Loede
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Indians Sunday showed off the new and hopefully improved Roberto Hernandez, a player Indians fans knew for years as Fausto Carmona.
Hernandez is officially back with the Indians, and Sunday for the first time answered questions about what it was like while away, as well as his feelings being back.
Below is a transcript of the interview that was conducted at Progressive Field with the media Sunday talking about coming back to the Tribe.
Q: What’s it like to be reunited with your teammates?
Hernandez: “I feel great to be here, I want to say I am sorry to my teammates, I am thankful for the support they have given me and I am excited to be back.”
Q: How did you feel after you were found out?
Hernandez: “It was a bad moment and I had time to reflect, I thank God that I am here and that I have been given a second chance.”
Q: What was the reflection like?
Hernandez: “It was a bad moment for me, I had to look deep inside and I am just thankful for the moment and the second chance.”
Q: What message did you give to the kids that you spoke to you in the Dominican about what you went through?
Hernandez: “I was able to give a message of prevention and really just to tell them not to do what I did. I really focused on the players between the ages of 15 and 16 that were about to sign, and just be there for them to ask questions and be a source for them not to do what I did.”
Q: Whose idea was it to change your name and why?
Hernandez: “I really wanted the chance to be able to sign in the Dominican Republic and that’s why I changed my name. I just wanted the chance to sign, and if not I wouldn’t be able to sign.”
Q: Who is the real ‘Fausto Carmona’ and is he related to you?
Hernandez: “Yes he is a family member, a very distant family member.”
Q: Did you pay attention to the Indians while you were away?
Hernandez: “Yes of course this is my team, I was focused on seeing where they were and how they were doing.”
Q: Did having a false name put any more pressure on you when you were on the mound?
Hernandez: “I want to forget about the past, and move forward. I don’t know if I am going to be better, but I am going to surely work at giving what I can because I am the same person.”
Q: Did you ever worry about the day of being found out happening?
Hernandez: “I tried not to think about it, but I knew that the day would come I’d be found out. It was chaotic but I got a lot of support from the people in the Dominican, and I just kept my head high.”
Q: What message do you have for the Indians fan base?
Hernandez: “I am extremely remorseful for what happened, and I want to apologize to the fans, to my teammates, to the team, and to everyone that looked up to me.”