- Last Updated: 5:34 AM, July 1, 2012
- Posted: 11:29 PM, June 30, 2012
Q: How long do you want to play?
A: I don’t know. I like it. I enjoy it. I’m having fun. I don’t really think that far ahead, the only thing I think about is how I can get better today.
Q: What was it like turning 40?
A: Like the Y2K (smile). A couple of days before, you start getting a little concerned, then you wake up that morning and you look around and everything’s the same (smile).
Q: If you didn’t know how old you were, how old would you think you are?
A: 20. In my mind, right? I think I’m in between 20 and 25, I think. I forget. Except I have a lot of kids. We have four. And one on the way [in October].
Q: Does your oldest son, 10-year-old R.J., want to play ball?
A: That’s what he loves, yes.
Q: Did R.J. get a kick when you signed with the Yankees?
A: Loved it. Loved it. He hated the Yankees when we (Phillies) lost to them in the World Series in ’09. I actually ran into Jorge Posada in Miami — probably November, December — and my son was in the car. I was at this place that sells these smoothies, and I came in the car and I said, “Hey buddy, you know who that was?” And he goes, “Yeah.” I go, “Who?” And he goes, “Jorge Posada,” kinda like in a dull monotone. I go, “You want to meet him?” And he goes, “No.” ... He was still mad, about the World Series. So then, when I told him I was gonna become a Yankee, he kinda got the biggest grin on his face, and he said, “Do it, Dad. Do it, yes!” So he got so fired up, I said, “What happened to you?” He said, “That was a long time ago, Dad.”
Q: Sophia is 8.
A: Really free spirit. Really creative. Artistic. She rides horses competitively. Loves it. Really scientific mind. Into bugs and wants to catch ’em and pick ’em apart and loom at ’em. Not dissect ’em, but really examine ’em. Just a special, passionate little girl full of life. Doesn’t really get upset about anything.
Q: Victoria is 6.
A: Really intense, competitive. Athletic and girly at the same time. Everything she does, she wants to be the best at.
Q: Carolina is 3.
A: She’s a combination of Victoria and Sophia.
Q: The next one, boy or girl?
Q: What is your wife Tery like?
A: She’s just an incredible human being ... incredible mother ... an incredible wife ... incredible companion ... compassionate ... kind ... sweet ... demanding (smile). ... She’s the most incredible woman I’ve ever known.
Q: Talk about jiu jitsu.
A: It’s about leverage and about posture, and all of these things that translate to baseball. It’s a lot of fun.
Q: Three dinner guests?
A: Jesus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein.
Q: Why Da Vinci?
A: How far ahead of everybody else he was, how open-minded he was and how brilliant he was.
Q: Favorite movies.
A: “Gladiator,” “Scarface.”
Q: Are you a gladiator on the field?
A: I think when you go in the gym, and you train and stuff during the winter, I think sometimes a movie like that can be inspiring. I don’t know that I see myself as a gladiator on the field, no.
Q: How would you describe your temperament on the field?
A: I think it’s pretty intense. I would say that my temperament on the field is a little different from my temperament off the field. Off the field things don’t really bother me or aggravate me very often. It takes a long time to get me upset. I think on the field, you’re in a more intense state of focus, so I think things can get to you a little bit more. Over the years you kinda learn to try to tame that side.
Q: Favorite actors?
A: Denzel Washington, Robert De Niro.
Q: Favorite actress?
A: Gwyneth Paltrow.
Q: Favorite singer/entertainer?
A: Switch Foot, Pearl Jam, Rush, U2, old-school hip hop.
Q: Favorite meal?
A: Black beans and rice, a skirt steak, boiled yuca with mojo on it.
Q: What would you want Yankees fans to say about you?
A: I gave ’em everything I had, and that I played the game the right way, and that I helped the team win.
Q: If your life story was a movie, what emotional scenes should be in that movie that we haven’t talked about?
A: I played a game in college on the day that I buried my father. I think at the time ... my dad never missed a day of work ... so I felt, “My dad would want me to play.” I don’t know if I did it ’cause of that or if I just didn’t want to feel the pain, and I thought that that would help. ... The birth of my children ... getting non-tendered while I’m in winter ball, and I just found out that my wife is pregnant ... getting designated for assignment twice in a month with a pregnant wife, and we have to pack up an apartment and move everything. ... Those were difficult times, and you know what? By the grace of God, it all worked out.