“Lima Time” is always a good time

Jose Lima has made almost $25 million in 13 Major League seasons.

He has reached the pinnacle of his sport — winning 21 games for the Houston Astros in 1999 — and has hit rock bottom. There have been stops in Mexico, Korea and the Atlantic League all within the last year.

So why does a 35-year-old with Lima’s career success keep going?

For glory?

For another shot at big money?

For the opportunity to display one of his memorable explosions of emotion every fifth day?

No, no and no.

Lima, now 4-4 with Camden, is in love with baseball — the game that has given him so much yet has taken so much away — and he knows all he needs is another opportunity. Whether that will come or not is still in doubt. But here’s one thing that’s for certain — Lima is great to talk to about his life experiences. So that’s exactly what I did Sundy evening at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

You’ve had some decent outings your last couple times out, what’s been working well for you?

“I’ve been well rested. I pitched in Lancaster last week and I started feeling good. Finally, I’m stretching myself. I came from Korea and I threw almost 90 innings over there and now I’m feeling real good. I know I’m not going to throw 95 (mph) again, but I’m starting to pitch again. If I keep the ball down, I’m going to be good.”

Why did you decide to come back to the Atlantic League?

“I’ve got a lot of good memories (from the Atlantic League). Five years ago I pitched in Newark and I got the chance to go back to the big leagues from there. I have a lot of appreciation for this league. I’m far from quitting and I’m far from done. If I can show I can still get people out at this level, because this is like Triple-A for me… they will see I still have a good arm. I could get a chance to go back and finish my career there (in the majors).

“I want to get a ring. You see guys play 20 years and never get a ring and you see guys who get a ring their first year. It’s disappointing sometimes.”

Through all your years in the big leagues, what was the most important lesson you learned?

“Wow. One thing is to be yourself. I’ve also learned a lot (of other things). What I did in Houston was great. But then I struggled and they kicked me out. Never fall in love with a ballclub. That’s the way it is. That the one thing I learned — do not fall in love with a team because when you’re not performing well (finger snap) they get you out of there. I think that’s the biggest thing. I love the game, but you can’t get too comfortable with a ballclub.

Manny (Ramirez) is a good example. I don’t think they’re (Boston) going to win anything. Now Big Papi cannot hit because he’s got nobody protecting him. You’ve got (Kevin) Youkilis, (Dustin) Pedroia and (Mike) Lowell and I know one guy cannot win a championship, but it takes one guy to create that fear. I think they’re in trouble now. Tampa Bay, for me, they’re for real. That’s my opinion.”

Are you looking forward to starting in the playoffs?

Definitely. Hopefully, I can get signed before then, because there’s no deadline (in the Atlantic League). I’ll go to Southern Maryland (later this week) and hopefully there’s a lot of scouts watching. I’ll pitch and my name’s out there. We’ll see what happens.” 

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3 Responses

  1. Google “Jose Lima’s Wife” and I think you’ll see what he’s playing for.

  2. Great call Josh. Thanks for bringing that up, I never knew “Lima Time” had so much meaning haha.

    She definately ranks up there in the pantheon of All-Time Sports Trophy Wives.

  3. I really liked your blog with the Dodgers mention! A World Series maybe this year?!?

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