I can’t really talk about the culture of winning because I haven’t been on a team that’s been to the playoffs. But at the same time, I was on teams that were on their way. I saw the beginning and I saw right before the teams started to win. I was on the Phillies coming up and got traded in ’05. In ’06, they were one game away, and ’07 was the first trip to the playoffs and that started their dynasty now. I saw the culture change over there. I saw them building within. I saw the young guys — we would have second- and third-rounders who would come in, high school kids who got paid big bucks, and their first year in Spring Training, and if they came in and weren’t in shape, they got rid of them. There was no b.s. involved in that organization as far as teaching and development. If you weren’t their type of player you had to go, it didn’t matter what they paid you.
Of course, nowadays, guys are getting paid more but at the same time, it didn’t happen that way. That culture in Tampa, they don’t mess with their top pick. When they had the first pick overall, they didn’t miss. And they produce. Same thing in Texas. That culture over there completely changed. In 2007, I came in and it seemed like it was a good team but the team really didn’t come together like you wanted, didn’t really have that chemistry. It was a great group of guys but it didn’t come together. Then, there was the influx of Mike Maddux and an influx of Ron Washington and an influx of Nolan Ryan, and they brought in all the right players. That was a huge step they made. From ’07 to ’08 to ’09, from 2007-08, getting beat down by the Angels, then us almost making the playoffs in 2009. But dominating the Angels changed everything in the AL West. You saw that last year in 2010. How the Rangers played, they weren’t scared of anybody.
It starts at the top. That’s automatic. I like what Pat Gillick says: “I’m not here to rebuild, I’m here to remodel.” That’s what he does and that’s what he did in Philly. That’s what Nolan did in Texas. It starts at the top but you have to put every single piece together. Ron Washington comes in and he says, “I need a Ron Washington team.” What did they do? They gave him a Ron Washington team — a team with speed, a team with defense, a team with pitching, a team with timely hitting. Now it seems like all the guys they have there are superstars.
What Pat Gillick did in Philly, he kept bringing in the right players and not just big name players, but players who are big names and they produce at the same time. Changing that culture, it’s not an easy thing to do. You need the right people in place at the top. Then you have to pick the right people all the way down.
The season’s over, but I’ve got work to do. I’m different. I’m big on having my body ready. Playing center field, especially at my age, I have to make sure I can go out there and just run around like crazy for nine innings. The first two weeks after the season ends, I’ll eat nothing but raw vegetables. I do a detox and cleanse my whole body. Do steam showers every day. I do epsom salt baths for six minutes every night, just to draw out everything. Once a week, I’ll do dead lifts, as heavy as possible, probably like 415 pounds, one rep, six sets of that.
I don’t shut down. There’s no such thing to me. I feel if you shut down, then you have to rev back up. I don’t want to start back up further down from where I started. After a two-week span, I start doing my lifting, about the middle of October, and start getting into it slowly. In November, it’s more getting my core strength and flexibility back along with my lifts and I’ll do a lot of kettlebell stuff, kettlebell movements. In December, I start boxing and get my sprinting in and go a little heavier and start work on getting my strength up. That’s when I start doing my traveling and go to San Francisco to work with Victor Conte and his group. I go down to Florida and work with my trainer there, Terrence Thomas — I’ve been with him seven years, going on eight years now.
I have to talk to Rudy about when I should come out and start hitting. Usually I start hitting Jan. 1. This year I might start a little earlier and get a week with him sometime in December, probably right before the Christmas holidays.
In January, I ramp it up. January is full power moves and I do my heavy workouts and transfer it more into my in-season routine. I’m hitting, throwing, doing my boxing, doing my sprinting. That’s it, all day long.