Interview With Uni-Lions’ Josh Roenicke
The Uni-Lions’ foreign player Josh Roenicke is set to begin his third season in the CPBL. Since 2018, the 37-year-old right-hander has been the most consistent pitcher for the Uni-Lions with a career record of 3.31 ERA and 1.19 WHIP across 261.1 innings.
In mid-March, about halfway into the Uni-Lions’ spring training, the team placed Josh Roenicke on paternity leave. He left Taiwan and returned to the United States to support his wife for the birth of their fourth child.
Given the current situation with the Wuhan coronavirus around the world, to comply with Taiwan CDC’s new policy, once Roenicke returns to Taiwan, he would have to go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
CPBL Stats were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to have a quick chat with Josh Roenicke, who is currently under 14-day quarantine inside a hotel room.
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) July 30, 2019
Life Under 14-Day Quarantine
Q1: Can you share your experience before you arrived in Taiwan on March 28? And how was the trip?
A1: The trip back home was nice, we were basically on lockdown, so I got to spend a lot of quality time with my wife and kids and also got to see the birth of our brand new baby girl.
I appreciate the Uni-Lions and Mr Su (general manager) allowing me to be home for that, especially with these tough times right now. My flights back home were very empty, but the flight to Taiwan was pretty full.
Q2: How’s the 14-day hotel quarantine going so far for you? How was the food? What have you been doing to keep yourself entertained?
A2: The 14-day quarantine is like nothing I have ever experienced before, just so many hours each day sitting in a small room. I have been watching a ton of TV and doing some reading. I do a total body workout every other day as well as my throwing and arm exercises.
As for the food, the hotel brings a meal and place it outside my door three times a day and are mostly the boxed meals you often see out there. But thankfully there is Uber Eats which I have been using daily for both Starbucks and other meals.
Q3: I saw you posted a dancing video on Instagram, is that a preview of what fans can expect from you this season during the post-game MVP dance?
A3: Haha, I’m sure I will continue to do the floss for the post-game dances since the fans seem to like it. The video was just a spontaneous thing, I had been watching some dance movies, and then while working out to my music, I was dancing a little and decided to post the video.
Q4: What’s the first thing to do when your quarantine is finished?
A4: The first thing without a doubt is just to take in the fresh air and enjoy being outside.
Note: To catch everyone up to speed, this is what Roenicke was talking about when saying doing the floss at the post-game MVP dance. Make sure you watch all the way to the end.
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) May 12, 2018
Baseball Influence & Favourite Athletes
Q5: Do you have a favourite sports team and player growing up?
Q6: Biggest influence to you as a professional player?
A6: The biggest influence was my dad. He was playing in the major leagues when I was born. So from day one, professional baseball was a part of my life.
He also never pushed it on me and allowed me to play whichever sports I wanted to, which is important because if not, I’m sure I would have been burnt out with baseball. My older brother was very passionate about baseball as well which also influenced me
Q7: Any hobbies or pastime outside of baseball?
A7: Basketball has been a hobby of mine forever and have played during off-seasons my entire career. It is a great means of conditioning and plyometrics, which I believe has been very important throughout my career.
Playing in the CPBL
Q8: What do you like the most about the Uni-Lions which you can’t find in other teams in the league.
A8: Well, I can’t speak for any of the other teams obviously, but I really enjoy my teammates. We have a great mixture of veteran and young players, and everyone gets along.
TRIPLE PLAY!! #UniLions Josh Roenicke nabs a comebacker and throws to second to start an inning-ending triple play. This is the 18th triple play in 29 years of #CPBL history. pic.twitter.com/xbZv065N86
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) May 26, 2018
Q9: With the CPBL being a four-team league. How do you keep your stuff fresh, have you adopted any new pitching strategy since playing in Taiwan?
A9: Yeah, it is definitely unusual only to face three different teams the entire year, but it allows us to know each hitter pretty well. I just try to stick to my strengths, and if I see them making an adjustment to how I pitch, then I try to adjust right back and execute my pitches.
— CPBL STATS (@GOCPBL) March 29, 2018
Q10: What do you think about the fan cheering culture in Taiwan? The CPBL hitters have their theme songs during their at-bat, if you can pick your theme song, what would you go with?
A10: I think it is pretty cool seeing the Lamigo fans and cheerleaders dancing along with each player’s theme songs. Back in the States, we always had walkout songs, and I usually go with some R&B or Hip Hop songs. “Imma Star” by Jeremih may have been my favourite.
Q11: Favourite teammate during your time with the Minnesota Twins? What about favourite Uni-Lions’ teammate?
A11: My favourite teammate during my time with the Twins was Mike Pelfrey. Haha, I can’t name a favourite Uni-Lions teammate, don’t want to hurt any feelings.
Favoutie Food Living in Taiwan
Q12: What do you like to eat while living in Tainan City.
A12: I would say my favourite local food to eat in Tainan is the soup dumplings from the Shanghai dumplings restaurant. But the local place called “ABC Burger” is my favourite burger in all of Taiwan without a doubt.
Message to Uni-Lions’ Fans
Q13: Lastly, any message to all the Uni-Lions’ fans in Taiwan?
A13: Yes, I would like to thank all of my fans for their support and all that they do for me. They have been nothing but kind since my first days as a Uni-Lion, and I really appreciate it.
Nery Wang started a fan club on Instagram for me, and the fans show a lot of support for me on that page. It also has been great for my friends and family back home get to see things out here that I am not able to post. I definitely appreciate the account and all of the fans.