After the first day I hurt my back, I made so much progress. I still have a little bit of stiffness in my right side. I don’t plan on this being more than 15 days. The 16th day, I’ll be playing.
The fan reception for De-Ro and Woody was great. The comments you heard while De-Ro was here playing, and the comments you heard about him when he left were all good. When they mention either De-Ro’s name or Woody’s name, it’s always somebody saying something positive about those guys. This can be a tough city for players who come back and play here whether they’ve had a long career or short career here. Not many of them will get warm welcomes, but those two guys did. They go about their business the right way and I think the fans recognize that.
When I went back to Toronto last year, I got a nice reception. I don’t know if Woody or De-Ro felt the same way I did. I knew the fans appreciated me, but when I came back last year, it was magnified even more and you realize how much they miss you as a player and I think those two guys got a taste of that Friday.
I’m sure the fans are happy to see them but I’m sure they’re even happier we ended up winning the game. That’s the way everybody’s wired together here. Thanks for stopping by, but, geez, I hope we win. It was a good win for us, too.
Just winning ballgames right now is important for us. I don’t think it’s a motivational thing to play the White Sox. If it was, it’d be a really good series for us to look forward to because it’s easy to get the adrenaline going with the rivalry and the way the fans get into the game. Our fans have been into the season since Day 1. Offensively, we really haven’t shown what we showed them last year. Hopefully, we can find that rhythm again.
If we can get Soriano swinging the bat well again with the way Derrek is swinging and add on Aramis around the All-Star break — maybe before, maybe after — if we can do that and stay pretty close in the division race, we’ll feel pretty confident.
I was hurt last year during the Cubs-Sox series. I think I was 12 days into the DL stint when we played the White Sox at their place. I was healthy and I knew I could play but I had to ride out the 15 days. Just to watch that atmosphere — it was like a playoff atmosphere — and to not be part of it, that stunk. I’ll be looking forward to it this year.
I try to do the same thing at the plate with runners on as I do with nobody on. Right now, I’m trying to keep my swing simple, and take a straight path from my back shoulder straight down to the ball. Whether or not I’m leading off the inning or whether the bases are loaded and nobody’s out, I know that’s my best chance to hit the ball hard somewhere. I try to take the same approach that’s brought me success.
You really don’t want to change your approach. Some guys are trying too hard to get a hit with runners in scoring position, and that’s the wrong way to go about it. I don’t know if that’s what’s going on with our team. I know from my experience, when I haven’t hit well with runners in scoring position, it’s one of those situations where you’re trying too hard. You have to scale back, be patient and get pitches.
I know fans are frustrated. We’re frustrated, for sure. I think even though we have our Nos. 4 and 5 hitters out, you feel like you’ve got good enough players in here to do more than what we’re doing. We’re not going to be the same team without those guys, but at the same time, I don’t think our offense has really lived up to its capabilities.