07/19/2007 12:06 PM ET
Wood: Taking the scenic route
Jason Wood is batting .246 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 55 games this season. (AP)
This is my first extended stay in the Major Leagues and it's been interesting. I'm used to playing every day in the Minor Leagues, but I've adapted to my role as a reserve player here in Florida. If it means being in the Major Leagues, I'll make whatever adjustments are necessary.
I've played in 1,785 games in the Minor Leagues, making me the active leader. Someone told me a blog was comparing me to Crash Davis, the Kevin Costner character in "Bull Durham." A reporter was asking me questions about it so I told them if it was something they wanted to write about, so be it. It wasn't to my liking, but it doesn't bother me so much. I'm in the Majors now.
Watching the College World Series in June, it seemed like just yesterday I was out there playing for Fresno State, even though it was in 1991. I've had a long career in baseball and it's been an enjoyable one. I've been fortunate not to have too many injuries and teams have liked me and wanted me back.
I had a little crack at the big leagues before with Detroit and Oakland, but I was never in a situation where I was able to stick or fit into teams' plans. A lot of it had to do with timing.
The Marlins called me up last September and I did well. So I went home to Fresno in the offseason and made a point to really work my tail off. Not that I didn't train hard in previous offseasons, but I came into camp this spring really ready to go.
I had a good spring and, honestly, I never thought about what I would do if I didn't make the club because it wasn't on my mind. Reporters were asking me what I was going to do if I was sent down, saying there wasn't going to be room on the roster. But I told them they were the ones talking about that -- not me. I never gave in to those negative thoughts. I just tried to make the decision as tough as possible for the Marlins.
One of the things I have going for me, I think, is that the team knows I have knowledge on how to play the game. I've logged a lot of games in my career. Maybe they're not at the Major League level, but I know how to play the game. We have a young, talented team here with their futures in front of them.
Looking back, my favorite season was 10 years ago when I was with Edmonton in the Oakland system. We won the Pacific Coast League and it was one of three championships we won. That year we did nothing but win, and since winning's what it's all about, that made being in the Minors more enjoyable.
Jason Wood, 37, is hitting .246 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 55 games this season. He had only 69 at-bats in that span, but eight of his 17 hits were for extra bases, including a three-run homer to beat the White Sox on June 20. The utility infielder played in 12 games last season, his first appearances in the Majors since he played 27 games with Detroit in 1999.