It’s September, and there are a lot of guys here. We had very few September callups when I was in Toronto. We had a really small roster in Spring Training, and usually a lot of September callups were the same guys you would see early in spring — guys who are on the 40-man roster. In this organization, you get to see a lot of guys in Spring Training, and now you see the same faces around. There are some good opportunities, not only for the players out there but the organization as well.
Look at K-Rod. He came up for the Angels in September  and helped them in the playoffs. You get a first look at guys who are possibly going to be in the organization for a long time. It’s exciting to see those guys in this atmosphere as opposed to the Spring Training atmosphere. I think Lou and everyone in the front office can get a good look at how guys handle Chicago in general. Going to play in a big league organization somewhere else is one thing, but when you come here and you’re playing on this field in front of an electric crowd — not everybody can play under those circumstances. It’s a good opportunity to see which guys you think are going to be the future of the club and which guys will be best suited to play somewhere else.
You see some other organizations rebuilding or going the young route and trying to cut salary. With those teams, you’ll see a lot of older, veteran players moving out. Financially, it makes more sense. Here, I think they’ll continue to spend money to put the best team on the field.
No more beard. No goatee. I’ve got a little scruff under my chin right now. That’s it. There’s nothing to it. I don’t feel like I’m struggling and need to shave to get hits or anything like that. I feel comfortable at the plate and feel good at the plate. In the past, I’ve stuck with it through the good times and bad times. I’m not a superstitious guy anyways. The beard doesn’t have much to do with that.
It grows pretty fast. By the time I get back to Chicago, I’ll have something so fans can say, “Hey, I know who that is,” rather than them getting a new player in center field.
Everyone was surprised when they saw it. I don’t know if I’ve seen myself without anything ever. I’ve always had a goatee or beard or something. This is the least amount I’ve had in a long time.