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The Questions with Matt Diaz

March 26, 2007
March 26, 2007

Table of Contents
March 26, 2007

2007 Baseball Preview
SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
2007 NCAA Tournament
2007 NCAA Tournament
Pro Basketball
PRO FOOTBALL

The Questions with Matt Diaz

BRAVES LEFTFIELDER

What was your welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment?
When [manager] Lou Piniella cussed me out [when Diaz was a rookie Devil Ray in 2003]. I was 0 for my first 7, and he said, 'You really want that first hit, don'tcha, son?' in a calm voice. I was like, 'Yeah, I do.' And he goes, 'WELL, SWING AT BLEEPIN' STRIKES!' The next at bat I got my first hit.

This is an article from the March 26, 2007 issue Original Layout

Your most embarrassing moment?
Last year in Florida I had a bead on a ball hit over the fence. I didn't feel the warning track, and I ran full steam into the wall. It stuttered me, and I was up against the fence [thinking], What are you doing out here? [Centerfielder] Andruw Jones was laughing his head off.

Favorite off-day activity?
To fish for bass, then go to a movie with my wife [Leslee]. I like a chick flick every now and again.

If I weren't playing baseball, I'd ...
be a nondenominational pastor, like my dad. I want life to have a deeper meaning than playing a game, and I'm a people person. So that's a good gig.

LAST WEEK
After a hot start to the spring, Diaz, 29, who hit .327 last year, went 0 for 10 in three games last weekend.

THIS WEEK
As spring training winds down, Diaz will be battling Ryan Langerhans and Craig Wilson for playing time in leftfield.

PHOTOTOM DIPACE (DIAZ ACTION)PHOTOG. NEWMAN LOWRANCE/WIREIMAGE.COM (DIAZ HEAD SHOT)