Who is your favorite teammate of all time?
Lots of guys I really enjoyed playing with, but Jim Thome has to be No. 1. Just the excitement and energy he brings to the park everyday is unmatched. When you play with him you know you’re with a great player but he is just himself with his teammates.
Who is the best person you have met in baseball?
Another tough question, but it has to be the “Mayor” Sean Casey. This man is always happy, always upbeat. He gets to first base and you cannot tell if he is 0 for 20 or on a long hitting streak. Just a great person, even as a rookie he took care of me.
What are your impressions of Dale Sveum the manager?
He runs a camp the way it should be run. The teaching is off the chart and his coaches do everything right. They teach, but they make you repeat a drill if you do not get it just right. I have never been with a staff that has had this much experience -- ever. These guys played and now have coached forever.
How do you deal with your name always being in trade rumors?
That is just the business of baseball. When I was younger that stuff really hurt. Now you just roll with it. I am a Cub, period. I really do not think about the things I cannot control. In 2008 my name was out there with rumors of me going to the Cubs. That really shook me up. I played poorly all spring.
What do you think of the new upper-management team?
Theo (Epstein) and Jed (Hoyer) have done a lot in a short period of time. They ask the right questions and they know how to implement a plan. Things are going to be pretty exciting around here for a long time. They understand tradition and what it takes to win a World Series.