What impact do you think President Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer have had since taking over the Cubs?
KW: They have been great. I have spent some time with both of them and we all have seen the moves they made and how they are trying to piece this thing together this season. I think they have picked up some good fits and some great talent. It’s obvious they have a plan and they are doing it the right way, for sure. They are impressive the way they ask people good questions and react to what they hear.
What do you expect from your team as far as wins and losses?
KW: Our expectations of ourselves is to win a division and get to the postseason. What is said outside of our clubhouse is irrelevant to me and should be to our team and our 25 guys.
Do you approach 2012 as most likely your last season as a player?
KW: I’ve kind of done that for the last five years now. It could be, we will see. I kind of sit down with my wife and assess it every year. Sarah and I will be married 10 years in November so we will probably make a decision at that time. I want to go out on my own terms, I don’t want to go out because I physically cannot do it any longer. Injuries will not be the deciding factor.
How is spring training the Dale Sveum way?
KW: It’s been great from the beginning. We have got a lot of work in and plenty of extra work as well. Guys have stayed after games and hit as well as doing other drills. We have had fun at the same time with things like the bunting contest.The veterans work just as hard as the young guys . Maybe I won’t run like some of the younger pitchers but I will make up for that with other conditioning drills.The coaching staff and Dale work as hard or harder than the players.
Who is your favorite teammate of all time?
KW : I cannot give you just one, however Mark Grace and Moises Alou are right at the top. Both great people and the type of teammates who would kill to win a game and help their teammates in any way they could. They made you better and had that respect factor as well. Jason Bere and Kent Mercker are the funniest guys I ever played with. Bere had that East-coast accent and a great delivery with his one-liners. Mercker had the best one-liners you would ever hear. This is a family article, right?