When I got home, I wasn't sick, so I was able to continue all of the hard work I did last year. It was nice to be able to get back on that routine, start lifting, training and hitting, keep working on those things.
We have to win every single night, ... We create our own destiny; it's in our hands. If we win every night, we put the pressure on everybody else. We don't have to depend on anyone else to win or lose. As long as we keep taking care of ourselves, we'll be all right.
Johnny and I spoke a few times over the last week and I strongly encouraged him to sign with the Yankees. It is good to know that our lineup next year will include a natural leadoff hitter whose presence allows Jeter and A-Rod to return to their preferred places in the batting order. Johnny is a good friend and a great guy to have in the clubhouse. I am very excited about having him as a teammate again.
The game slows, ... I don't overanalyze. I just try to get a good pitch and hit it. Even when I cooled off after July, I was still taking good at-bats. I'm just trying to hit the ball hard. Tonight, I got a few mistakes.
Baseball had record crowds last year. Probably with Barry going to break the [home run] record, it will bump it up and more people will come out and watch it. That makes players more popular, and in turn guys make more money.
I think it's going to be a little bit easier for Johnny. He's coming over from Boston. I think he has already been through it. He's not going to have the deer in the headlights (look), where I came over from Oakland and the media outweighs the players.
When they first got down there they were trying to speed him along. I talked to him and he said they had some good workouts . . . I don't care how much you train or whatever you do, you can't simulate being on the field and playing baseball.
This is all news to me. I didn't know any more of this than what you guys know. I've done what I had to do last year and I've gone forward. I handled it last year, gone forward and I'm worried about winning a World Series now. It was the best thing I needed to do.
You can understand George's position. He's basically got $50 million worth of players there. You tell me what billion-dollar corporation would want $50 million of its [assets] out somewhere with no guarantees if they get hurt.
I think he was harder on himself. He wanted to come in here and win 25 games. He battled for us, and even when he didn't have his best stuff, he helped us win. You know you've had a great career when 17 wins is a bad year.
Over the course of the season, you're not going to score 10 runs every night. You need to win the 2-1 games, too, and we're not going to have to sit back and wait for a big homer to win a game. We can scratch and claw with Johnny and Derek up top, which is important.
Everybody's goal is to win. When you're a veteran player, you don't worry about getting your numbers, because everybody here has gotten their contract and has gotten paid. It's all about winning, and to do that, you have to concentrate on the little things.