As told to Luis Fernando Llosa, who translated this interview from Spanish
On his ideal pastime at home in San Pedro de Macorís, D.R.
Chilling with my buddies at the corner store. We pull up a bench and hang out all afternoon, into the night. We cook on a carbon stove and make chercha. Chercha is laughing, joking and talking about everything.
On his ideal pastime in New York
Hanging out in my barbershop with my Dominican friends. It's two minutes from Yankee Stadium. I sit there with the guys and talk and listen to music. It's very nice there.
On the impact of his father, José
I didn't see him often because he was playing baseball. But when I had vacation from school, he'd take me with him. He took me to Mexico, where he was in the summer league every year for five years. He taught me that without discipline you can't get anywhere.
On the impact of his mother, Claribel Mercedes
We never talk about baseball. Nada, nunca. She was always concerned that I respect my elders and become someone. She taught me to study hard. My parents were on top of me. Even though my dad was overseas, he'd call and ask where I was, what I was doing, who I was with.
On Derek Jeter's impact
My first experience was when I did [a TV] interview with my shades on. Jeter told me, "Next time don't do that. People will think you're cocky." This year he told me to remember that no one is secure in this game. He said, "I have to keep working too. Nothing is certain."
On his nicknames
They call me Ray Charles because they say I've got a big smile like him. And Jeter doesn't call me Canó; he calls me Canoe.
On his first big league slump
Oh! When I first got here, I went 2 for 23. Joe Torre helped. We were playing Seattle, and I hit a ground ball my first at bat. He said, "Keep swinging. You are swinging very well." After that I hit a single. Then a double. That's what motivated me. Having the support of the jefe.
On his living arrangements
I live in New Jersey with my mom. She cooks and everything. I get home and I forget about what happened in the game. We chat; I might go to the movies.
Immigrants do the work nobody else wants to do. In the Dominican Republic, Haitians do jobs like chopping sugarcane. Immigrants who work hard to make a better life for themselves should be given a chance.
On his favorite ballplayer of all time
Bernie Williams. I've been a Yankees fan since I was a kid. [Williams] always gets the job done. And he's always humble.
A BIG LEAGUE SOPHOMORE, CANÓ, 23, WAS BATTING .303 WITH 19 RBIS FOR THE YANKS.