On his relationship with his brother, Nationals first baseman Dmitri
It's good. He was so much older [now 34 to Delmon's 22], the only thing we could do together was play video games, play Madden. We're not that competitive with each other, but when I was entering high school [in Camarillo, Calif.], he sent me his baseball card with a note that said, "Beat these stats." He was trying to inspire me.
On guidance he got from his dad, Larry
He let me do whatever I felt like, as long as I got my baseball work done. We started hitting when I was 12, every day, at a batting cage, 200 balls a day. He watched other hitters, talked to hitting coaches and compared my swing to guys in the big leagues. Manny Ramirez was the model. My dad [a former Navy pilot] liked the way he went about everything at the plate—he was competing for the Triple Crown every year. That's what I'd like to do.
On making a fresh start after being traded from Tampa Bay, where he had a public tiff with manager Joe Maddon last September
Everyone can use a second chance. I see Randy Moss going from Oakland to New England—same player, different team. Same with my brother. Last year he was the same player he was the year before [with Detroit], but on a new team, a better environment for him, he was happy and played well.
April 6, 2008
On being criticized as too much of a free swinger
If you think you can hit a pitch, go ahead and take a hack at it. Baseball's a sport where people focus on the negatives. Vladimir Guerrero's a free swinger, and they say he swings too much. Then there are guys who draw walks, and they say they don't swing enough. You can never be perfect in baseball, but the easiest way to get on base is to swing the bat.
The top draft pick of 2003, the former Devil Ray gets a new start in Minnesota