““He’s meant a ton to me even though I only played about five games with him in the WBC as teammates. He’s just always been that guy that encouraged me from the other side. I played against him obviously a ton. One of those guys that early in my career really actually helped me believe that I could play here at this level and play well.
“I think it was maybe 2004. I was on second or something and he just said, ‘You can hit .300 in this league.’ That was kind of, to hear it from someone like that, it just kind of opens your eyes. I don’t think it’s just me, I think he does it to everybody, but for some reason when he tells it to you, you think you’re the most important person in the world. He’s just kind of got that personality, and he’s so good with people.”