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The Questions with Matt Diaz
March 26, 2007
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March 26, 2007

The Questions With Matt Diaz


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What was your welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment?
When [manager] Lou Piniella cussed me out [when Diaz was a rookie Devil Ray in 2003]. I was 0 for my first 7, and he said, 'You really want that first hit, don'tcha, son?' in a calm voice. I was like, 'Yeah, I do.' And he goes, 'WELL, SWING AT BLEEPIN' STRIKES!' The next at bat I got my first hit.

Your most embarrassing moment?
Last year in Florida I had a bead on a ball hit over the fence. I didn't feel the warning track, and I ran full steam into the wall. It stuttered me, and I was up against the fence [thinking], What are you doing out here? [Centerfielder] Andruw Jones was laughing his head off.

Favorite off-day activity?
To fish for bass, then go to a movie with my wife [Leslee]. I like a chick flick every now and again.

If I weren't playing baseball, I'd ...
be a nondenominational pastor, like my dad. I want life to have a deeper meaning than playing a game, and I'm a people person. So that's a good gig.

After a hot start to the spring, Diaz, 29, who hit .327 last year, went 0 for 10 in three games last weekend.

As spring training winds down, Diaz will be battling Ryan Langerhans and Craig Wilson for playing time in leftfield.

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