On being a
starting centerfielder in the World Series, just 16 weeks after his big league
debut, and batting .438
pressure, but I figured this is uncharted territory for a lot of guys. Even if
you're a five-time All-Star, if you've never been to the postseason, it's new.
I told myself there was no reason to back down. I didn't want it to be over and
think, Oh, man, I could've gone harder.
On the post-Series
parade held in his honor in his hometown, Madras, Ore.
The coolest thing
was that it seemed like I knew everybody by first name, my old teachers, my
former teammates, my old classmates. Only 5,000 people live in our town, and at
least that many were at the parade. A lot of people talked about seeing me on
TV running in to celebrate after the last out. They were saying, "You
should have seen your face. It was priceless."
On Boston's Coco
Crisp, whom he replaced in center during the ALCS
We talk, we joke,
but the centerfield job hasn't come up. We know what's going on. He's been
great. The day I got called up, Coco took me out to centerfield at Fenway and
started telling me, "O.K., if the ball hits [the wall] here, this is what
it will do and where you need to be." He spent an hour with me.
On the off-season
regimen that helped him gain 15 pounds and improve his considerable speed
I do something
called SPARQ. It stands for speed, power, agility, reaction and quickness, and
it's about focusing on muscle groups that relate to what I do on the field. One
thing I do is swing a [612-pound] medicine ball like a bat—it generates
explosiveness through your hips, abs, legs, upper body. I've never felt more
prepared for a season. I've never been this powerful, this explosive.