I talked to Milton. It’s just somebody letting him know how good a player he is. If you get behind in the count 0-1 because you feel the umpire made a bad call, you’ve got to have confidence in yourself as a player that you’re better than that and you can overcome that and three, four pitches later, you’re in a hitter’s count and you’re attacking the baseball.
If you don’t take that attitude, you’ll find yourself more times than not sitting back on the bench and not getting to run the bases. That’s something that he’s got to know. No matter how confident you are in your game or how good you are as a player or how talented you are, sometimes you forget that when you go through struggles. Every once in a while, you need somebody to remind you of that. That’s basically all that took place.
This game is so humbling that even the best players in the game — and I guarantee you, Barry Bonds, when he was at his peak, this happened to him — you get that feeling that you’re the worst player on the field. I’ve been through it. The only way I can talk to Milton or anyone else on this team is through experience because I’ve been through the same things as far as confidence and stuff like that. You might not see it. Every hitting coach or manager or guy you’ve played with says, “Don’t let the other team know whether you’re 0-for-20 or 10-for-20.” That’s basically where we’re coming from. Milton’s better than all the stuff that’s going on right now and he can overcome it. That’s pretty much all it was.
Guys are sticking up for Milton. MLB was basing its argument on Milton bumping the umpire, and if that’s the case, and the bill of his helmet did happen to graze the umpire’s hat, I never saw the umpire move back or anything. I don’t think anyone thought Milton would get suspended. It’s unfortunate he did. It is only one game.
We recognize as players the era we play in, and that any time you have a good year and hit a couple home runs, people will talk about performance enhancing drugs or things of that nature. That’s something we’re prepared for. If you happen to go on a tear or hit five or six home runs in a week, people are going to assume it’s a steroid issue. I think we’ve got to be happy as an organization and happy as players who are part of the Players Association that we’ve taken steps to try to clean the game up. Most of the issues that have been talked about — besides Manny Ramirez — have happened in the past. That’s something we can be proud of as a group. We’ve done our job to clean things up, and if you use and you’re caught, you’re going to be suspended.
Theriot’s thing is hamburgers. He eats a lot of Drumsticks. Have you seen those ice cream things? I’ve seen him eat French toast. I just follow him around and try to eat whatever he eats. He’ll occasionally take his shirt off and go in the weight room but he just works beach muscles. It’s not functional stuff that would help you on the baseball field. He goes in there and does bi’s and tri’s and chest, and then checks out his spray tan in the mirror. Maybe we’ll start getting on Theriot a little more. He gives me a high five the next day when he sees something in the paper I said about him. Font gets upset. Theriot’s off to a great start, and not on the juice.