On learning to
My dad [Larry]
came up with it. He felt that if I could switch-hit, it would give me an
advantage. When I was a kid, he hung a tire from a tree [in his backyard in
Austin] and had me hit it--50 swings lefthanded, 50 swings righthanded--pretty
much every day. It teaches you how to drive through the ball, how to coordinate
your hips with your hands. To make the thing go, you've got to really drive
your backside through it.
On his current
I still hit off
the tee a ton. It's a great way to groove your swing. You don't have to worry
about the ball moving, so you can concentrate on your mechanics. Baseball's
such a reaction sport that the more times you can repeat your swing, the better
chance you're going to have. You don't want to even be thinking about [your
swing] when you're up there.
On the Astros'
I'd be surprised
if there's a clubhouse more cohesive than ours. Credit goes to [Jeff] Bagwell
and [Craig] Biggio. They set the tone of professionalism, mentoring the young
guys and establishing a laid-back atmosphere. There are no cliques, no
On being swept in
the '05 World Series
Our society is
such that if you don't win the whole thing, you're a failure. I don't feel like
that at all. We accomplished a lot, especially for an organization that had
never been to a World Series. The good thing is, we have a lot of young guys
and a good nucleus. Maybe we have another couple of runs in us.
On being known as
a chatty player
When you get me
and [the Reds'] Sean Casey together at first, we're way more concerned about
what we're saying [than the game]. We talk about the wife and kids. "How
are you swinging it?" That's one reason I like playing first; it's a lot
less boring than the outfield.