My very first professional baseball game went 18 innings and lasted five hours. It was the Florida Gulf Coast League, and it was 100 degrees out, and I went 1-for-9. Every game after that was easy.
My dad taught me everything,
really. How to be a man. He worked hard for 20-some years in the same job.
I've never minded the work.
It's all about repetition.
The minor leagues was harder than I expected. But anything worthwhile is.
I can't say that I knew right away. Even in '05, I got sent down for a day, then got called back up. After that I thought I was ready. I thought it was my time.
The game really speeds up. You're playing against better players, and they're making adjustments that much quicker. It's a constant battle, and it never ends.
Maybe in Triple-A, you get one, two, three pitches to hit in an at-bat. In the big leagues, maybe you get one, maybe none. Maybe you get a pitch to hit and you foul it off. Don't expect to see it again.
At the plate I don't hear much. It's mostly the voice in my head that I hear. It tells me to slow down. You have to slow yourself down.
Subtle differences change the outcome of games.
I took a picture of my first paycheck. That's kind of corny. Kind of embarrassing, actually.
Obviously, last year was tough to get over the way the season ended, but you can't be thinking about last year or next year. You can't look too far back or too far forward.
You're going to have good days, you're going to have bad days, but those days when you feel good? Those days are easy. It's the days when you're tired or you don't feel good that separate the good players from everybody else.
You might have a perfect day, hit the ball four times on the screws, and get nothing for it. You might make a perfect pitch and get beat. Baseball's a crazy game.
You have plenty of time to think in baseball. Too much.
If I could change anything, I'd want to be able to throw harder, run faster, be stronger, [have] better eyesight. All that stuff. I'd want to be Superman. Yeah. Superman in a baseball uniform.
No one's ever going to be completely satisfied. No one's ever going to figure it all out.
Better come ready to play tomorrow. Tomorrow you have to do it again