I’m sure the fans are just as excited to get the real thing underway as we are. It’s great that we’re swinging the bats well and putting up good numbers in Spring Training, but everybody knows that doesn’t count. We want to make sure when April rolls around and those games start counting, we’re ready.
Kosuke is back, but it doesn’t matter as far as what I do. I’m going to approach my at-bats the same, and all the work I’m doing in the cage and the weight room, I’m going to approach it the same way. I’ve always prepared myself and my body to play every day and that’s what I’m going to do. Whether I’m in a platoon situation or it’s a situation where I’m strictly the fourth outfielder or a situation where I won the job, I’m always going to prepare myself to be an everyday guy. That way, if an opportunity does come about, then you’re prepared for it. If you’re sitting back and pouting and not approaching things the right way, that’s when you have a tendency to not be prepared when that opportunity comes about.
People say, “Oh, this game is a lot of luck.” I think when preparation meets opportunity, for me, that’s what luck is. If you’re not prepared when that opportunity comes about, you’re not going to give yourself that chance to capitalize on that so-called lucky opportunity.
Nothing’s really changed for me. I’ll approach things the same way, like the things we’ve been working on down in the cage with Gerald. You try to see the ball in detail — not just look at the ball but see it in detail and really track it and follow it. That forces you to keep your head still and slows the ball down. So whether there’s 40,000 people in the stands, or 5,000 people in the stands, whether I’m the fourth outfielder or a starter, all I’m worried about is keeping my head still and seeing the baseball. That’s all that matters.
That’s how I think guys at all levels perform. They take something that they’re keying off, whether it’s in batting practice or down in the cage with Gerald, they try to take that into the game and work on something new every day and try to become a better player. That’s what you do over a whole career. It’s a game of experience. I’m definitely learning every year.
As for Fontenot, he was a little under the weather last week — there was the flu or food poisoning or whatever it was going around the clubhouse. He was pretty sensitive last week, so I need to lay off him. I see the sensitive side come through. He came in, and he was pouting. I have to give him a week off and come back with full force next week with the Mike Fontenot session.
I think the combination of him feeling under the weather and his big movie star debut in “My Boys,” I think he had a lot on his plate and he didn’t need to be reading my blog to give him one more thing to worry about. We’ll give him a rest this week. This might be worse than a rest.