Blue Jays great White chats with fans

Blue Jays great White chats with fans

Former Blue Jays outfielder Devon White participated in a Web chat with fans about his career and what he is doing now.

Devon White: Hey fans, I'm here. Let's get this chat started. It's good to be here in Toronto before it gets too cold!

mpjohn: You were born in Jamaica. Did you grow up there? When did you move to the US?

White: I moved to the US when I was 9 years old. I went to school in New York.

jaysdudes1: Devo! You're the best defensive outfielder to ever play in this city (maybe the best in the history of the game). What guys do you enjoy watching play now? Who would you pay to see play center field?

White: Torii Hunter is one. Right now, that might be it. Curtis Granderson in Detroit is pretty good as well, but that is it right now, off the top of my head. I don't see too many of the AL players right now. Dexter Fowler in Colorado is also going to be a great player. And thanks for the compliment, but Willie Mays was the best!

thegiper: Thanks for chatting with us. Do you live in Toronto now or are you still living in Arizona? Toronto misses you man, you meant a lot to this city!

White: No, I don't live in Toronto -- love to be back. But in Arizona the weather is so great, I don't know if I could get up and leave. Maybe in the summer though, when it is so hot there.

minfin: Hi Devo. A lot of the other previous players have sons that are now in the Majors and I was just wondering if your son, Thad, is as well. If so, with who, so we can follow his career.

White: My kids are not baseball players, they play basketball. My son is still in college. My daughter is playing basketball for the University of Arizona. And my baby is a volleyball player.

jiggywigs: Devon, you're the greatest! When you played, I don't ever remember you sliding for a ball. Did you have a no-slide policy or were you simply that great out there in center field?

White: I'm coaching right now and I do recommend to not slide if you don't have to because you get there quicker on your feet and too many guys are getting hurt right now sliding. So yeah, I think, unless you have to, don't slide. And from watching tape, it always seems like you have time to take even just one more step to get there.

soulman23: Devo, thanks for the chat! I heard a rumor that originally you did not want to hit leadoff for the Jays and that it took some convincing from Cito Gaston for you to take that spot. A) Is there some truth to this and B) What did you think when you were told the Jays wanted you to bat leadoff?

White: It's been so long I don't even remember! I hit everywhere when I came over here. I was hitting first, second, third, fourth and fifth with the Angels. I don't think that I had concerns, but it was something that I had never done every single day. But truthfully, I don't remember. It's always good to know that you're going to play and to know where you're going to hit though. You get accustomed to it though, and who is hitting before and after you.

bigbat80: Do you still keep in touch with any of your Back2Back teammates? If so, who?

White: I usually just speak with Joe Carter. We don't see each other too much -- everyone is busy with everything else they got going on.

cndnbat: What were your favorite places to hang out in Toronto?

White: I really don't have a hangout. I like Toronto as a city. I'm not much for hanging out, so you won't find me anywhere, dude! Ha ... Just go to different places, restaurants and what not. If you see me, you see me!

yesman69: Devo, a couple of weeks ago Rogers Centre had its worst crowd for baseball. What goes through your mind when you hear something like that? How did the Jays get to this point?

White: Well, I haven't been up here watching them all year, but you definitely have to win ballgames. Not saying they're not winning, but they're in a tough division and they need the fan support out there. These guys are spending a lot of money to get some good players out there and I know the economy doesn't help, but they need the fan support. The Yankees and Boston are getting old.

sapp1234: Mr. White! Pleasure to chat with you today! WAMCO (White-Alomar-Molitor-Carter-Olerud) is still the most dangerous first five hitters ever in baseball. I felt so sorry for those pitchers! What did it feel like to be a part of that demolition crew?

White: Well, when you were playing you didn't think about those things, you were just thinking about winning ballgames. I do feel that back in the day, for those three years, we were probably the strongest lineup, pitching, everything in baseball. We should have won it in 1991 too!

luckyanne7: Good morning Mr.White. How did it feel when you made the greatest catch of all time back in 1992?

White: I still get chills watching it. When I made the catch, it was just a play though.

badger81: How was fielding on turf vs. grass? Which did you prefer and what adjustments did you have to make when playing on either surface?

White: On turf, the ball comes at you a lot quicker. And on grass, you do get bad hops. My preference is grass. It's harder work being on turf, you have to work harder because the ball is moving quicker. When you have to stop on the turf there is no give.

longshott: Devo, your postseason numbers are incredible. What did you do to prepare and how did it affect your game?

White: Postseason is postseason. You have to come with the best and people remember the end, never the beginning! In the postseason, if you do well, you become a star no matter what you did during the season. Some guys just perform better at the end.

cndnbat: With your speed you were always great at stealing bases. What is the trick to being an effective base stealer?

White: Well, there are different basestealers. Speaking for me, I stole when I needed to. I didn't run just to run. A lot of guys, though, that is their goal, to be the guy with the most steals. A basestealer is a basestealer. For some guys it's just not part of their game.

toronto75: You were such a fast runner. I am curious if you ever timed how fast you could run the 40? What was your time?

White: I can run a 40 -- back then -- in about 4.2 seconds. And a 60 in 6.2 seconds.

badger81: What were your favorite stadiums to play in?

White: Back in the day, I loved Anaheim Stadium. Symmetrically, it was great, and the weather was always perfect for night games. The walls were padded, the turf was great. But of course, when you get here to Toronto, symmetrically, it was designed the same way and you saw the ball real good in the outfield. I didn't like playing in Boston or Chicago [Cubs] defensively -- their walls are unforgiving.

toleg2q: Devo, I know you're a huge hoops fan. Who is going win the title this year? Lakers? Cavs? Or my Rockets?

White: Yao Ming might come back but I'm a Laker fan. Kobe Bryant fan. There is no comparison between Kobe and LeBron James. Do not compare them. Two different players.

krammer33: Devon, I hope you're well! Thanks for coming back for the Back2Back Weekend. What was it like for you guys? I got chills when they introduced you!

White: You got chills? I got chills! I hadn't seen these guys in so long. It was very nice that we were honored that way. Hopefully, you'll see us around more in the coming years instead of waiting 17 years!

beastmod12: Devo, you are the best ever! Would you ever think of coming back and playing center field for us? The guy that is currently there is not doing so well! I would love to see you roam the outfield for one more day!

White: Do you have a cane for me? Vernon Wells is a pretty good player -- he just had an off year. I like him as a player.

bigger89: Hey Devo, you the man! People seem to be dumping on Cito right now because of the way the team has played. What, in your opinion, makes Cito so great as a manager?

White: Cito is a players' coach. He has a lot of players, and I don't know all of them, but he has a lot of players that are not everyday players you might say. And I think that he is doing the best with what he has, so we'll see what the Blue Jays do to get some players in here.

pennylovr9: Hi Devo. You played with a lot of great players during your time. I was wondering who was the best player you've ever played with?

White: The best player I ever played with -- it's tough to say. [Roberto] Alomar, [Dave] Winfield, [Paul] Molitor -- all great players all-around. I played against some great players -- one of them was [Bo] Jackson. He was phenomenal. He could totally take over a game. The best teammate, I would say [Moises] Alou, because he was my buddy. Real great guy and I played with him in Florida, too.

bigball45: Did you like it playing better when the roof was open or closed?

White: It didn't matter to me. Just not cold!

woutdo_2: What was the best clubhouse prank you played on someone? What was the best prank played on you?

White: I came up with a bunch of veterans. I was the only rookie so they took care of me. Best prank played was with Derek Bell's car and dressing up other rookies!

dirt123: Who is the toughest pitcher you ever faced?

White: Nolan Ryan.

mpjohn: What does an outfield coordinator do?

White: I basically teach them how to use their speed and how to play the outfield.

luckyanne7: Do you miss playing baseball?

White: I miss the camaraderie with the guys.

prosenbe: What was your favorite part of playing with the Jays

White: My favorite memory was the 50,000 people every night! The fans made it alive in this place and you can't beat that for two years in a row.

White: Thank you for chatting with me. Hope to do it again very soon.

Thank you for participating in today's chat. Don't forget that next Thursday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. ET Jeremy Accardo will be here to chat with you.