Exclusive: Colorado Rockies legend Vinny Castilla on his career, future, and grilling

DENVER - JULY 4: Vinny Castilla #9 of the Colorado Rockies bats against the Detroit Tigers on July 4, 2004 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies swept the Tigers with a 10-8 win. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER - JULY 4: Vinny Castilla #9 of the Colorado Rockies bats against the Detroit Tigers on July 4, 2004 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies swept the Tigers with a 10-8 win. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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MEXICO CITY – MARCH 08: Vinny Castilla #9 of Mexico looks at his coaching staff during their 17-7, loss to Australia during the 2009 World Baseball Classic Pool B match on March 8, 2009 at the Estadio Foro Sol in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY – MARCH 08: Vinny Castilla #9 of Mexico looks at his coaching staff during their 17-7, loss to Australia during the 2009 World Baseball Classic Pool B match on March 8, 2009 at the Estadio Foro Sol in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

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Particularly after Castilla’s retirement in the last few years, there has been some talks on how one thing with playing at Coors Field is that the recovery time for players is different, whether it be from injuries or just the transition from road games (not at altitude) and home games (at altitude).

After calling Mile High Stadium or Coors Field home for parts of nine of his 16 MLB seasons, he said that he never felt that way.

"“I’ve heard that before but to be honest with you, I never felt any different. I hear now that, because the altitude, it takes a toll on the players but I always felt good in Denver. After the season, I always played winter ball too. I wouldn’t play a full season of winter ball but I played for a month and a half or two months after the major league season."

As we mentioned earlier, he is a special assistant with the Rockies but, in the near future, that could potentially change.

"“[Next month], I’m going to manage the team that I used to play for in winter ball in Mexico, the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, and I want to really find out if I really want to do this in the future by doing that,” said Castilla. “I always say that baseball is my life and my passion and I want to stay involved in this beautiful game for the rest of my life. If the opportunity comes up and I like the coaching, I would love to [coach in the major leagues].”"

He has managed and coached in the past, including managing Team Mexico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. That was the most recent time that he managed, though, as he did manage the Naranjeros de Hermosillo as a player-manager in 2008 and 2009 as well as managing Team Mexico in the Pan American Games in 2007.

At least in the meantime, though, Castilla will keep grilling with his family and friends and doing his special assistant duties with the Rockies.

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You can check out Kingsford’s Taste of the Game cookbook on their website and on Amazon.com.

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