A veteran who has been in the game for a while, has success, you just assume you’re going to go out every single year and the numbers are going to be there. When you start slow like I have — I think I have three hits in 40 plus at-bats — it’s something you never forecast, you don’t see it coming. You keep working hard. When I was younger, if this would’ve happened, I would’ve been sent down and been in full panic. I keep my routine the same. It’s one of those things where you don’t get confidence until the ball starts falling. You have to keep working, I have to keep doing my thing in the outfield to help my team win when I’m not helping at the plate. I have to wait for that day to come when I find my swing. When guys struggle, they either come out of it or they don’t. Guys who have been around long enough and have had success, they come out of it. You just don’t know when.
I’ve tried to explain to guys like Ian Stewart, David DeJesus, Chris Volstad what it’s like to play at Wrigley and to be a Cub. You come into town and love playing at Wrigley but it’s completely different when you’re an actual Cub and have 39,000 cheering for you. It takes me back to some things that Derrek Lee was telling me when I first came in about the excitement and what Billy Williams has told me — there’s nothing like being a Cub. You don’t know until you actually put the uniform on and get to run out there and hear the fans cheering out there. I was explaining how I sort of salute left center field, center field and right center field, and I told them they need to come up with a salute or something to acknowledge the bleacher bums. It’s one of those things that you can’t explain that feeling until you’re actually out there. These guys get to go through that this year.
This is going to be a hustling team. I’ve been on teams where my hustle stood out and it’s not going to stand out on this team. That’s a good thing. It shouldn’t be that way; it shouldn’t be, “That guy hustles, that guy hustles.” You should say, “Oh, my gosh, that team is always coming. The Tampa Bay Rays, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Texas Rangers, the Philadelphia Phillies are always going hard. We’re going to be that team, too.
I told those guys, being in Chicago, on and off the field, there’s nothing like it.