Every year I would tell my brother, Antwon, that I would break Joe DiMaggio's streak [of 56 games]. He would laugh. I haven't told him that this year yet. I don't believe in jinxes, but I told him last year, and technically we're picking up from there, so do I need to tell him again?
On Dom DiMaggio's saying that if Rollins breaks the record, it won't displace Joe's single-season streak
I agree. If [the streak] is broken, it will be an alltime record -- a 57-game stretch. It won't count as a single-season record. But first I have to get to 37. You know what I'm saying?
On how he prepared in the off-season
At the end of the season my swing felt good, and I didn't want to mess with it. I waited until I got to Florida and started seeing pitches with coaches watching me, and hoped I would feel as good as I did at the end of last season. So far so good.
On where he spent the winter
In Swedesboro, N.J. I was mostly working on my house. [He's single.] I bought the house last year from Michael McCary, who was in Boyz II Men. When I came to look at it, we talked for three hours about lifestyle -- just being in the light. But they weren't in the light, they were the light.
On being a top defensive shortstop
God gave me good instincts, but we also study hitters like we're preparing for an exam. You know which way they skew, so you start shifting before the pitch.
On how he ranks among shortstops
You have [Miguel] Tejada, who's real good. Derek Jeter, who's real good. And after them ... probably me. Number 3. Babe Ruth was number 3. I like it.
On the athletic influence of his parents, James and Gigi
My dad played football, ran track and wrestled, and my mom played in a fast-pitch softball league while I was growing up [in Alameda, Calif.]. It was a competitive league, the equivalent to the minor leagues for the girls. She played second base and pitched.
On his siblings
They both go to school in San Francisco. My sister, Sharon, plays basketball for the University of San Francisco. We've been calling her Shaky Poo since she was in elementary school. Antwon was drafted by the [Texas] Rangers, but he goes to art school for video production. He produces a show on Comcast every Thursday night.
On his video career
MC Hammer is from Oakland, and when I was about 13, he had an open casting call. My brother and I were picked to be in one of his videos. We were in a graveyard scene. But there was no dancing involved. You don't want to dance next to Hammer. Then my sophomore year in high school I was in a Mavis Staples video called The Voice. I played a little thug on the street corner selling drugs. Then I shot somebody and jumped a fence. It was fun. I wouldn't say I'm retired, just that my acting career is temporarily suspended.
ROLLINS, 27, A CAREER .273 HITTER, OPENS THE SEASON ON APRIL 3 WHEN THE PHILLIES HOST ST. LOUIS.