This past week in particular has been real good for me. I felt good, and I hit some balls out of the ballpark. When you have a week like that, you just try to enjoy it.
Getting off to a good start is great, but I don't put too much weight on it in terms of my coming to a new team and my wanting to prove myself right away. A team signs you to play because they believe in your abilities. Over a 162-game schedule those abilities will come to the surface. So, there really is no reason to fret over a good or a bad start. You just go out there and try to help the team win.
Of course, hitting in this lineup gives me a good feeling. I come to work and watch guys like Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and other guys like that, and it is really special. I try to learn as much as I can from them every day, but I also enjoy watching them take the field.
As for my hitting in the same lineup with those guys, I look at my job as doing my best to extend the middle of the order. We have a great middle with Holliday and Pujols, so my goal hitting behind them is to make the pitcher throw more pitches and to drive in as many guys as I can when I have the opportunity. It is about being a tough out.
St. Louis is my third team in less than a year, but the change here is a lot different than when I went from Houston to the Yankees during the season a year ago. I had all of Spring Training to get acclimated. Last year was a real shock. I had never been anywhere other than Houston and getting thrust into a different situation takes some getting used to. This year, I have been able to ease into it more. Plus, I have a lot more familiarity with the Cardinals than I did with the Yankees. I know the teams we play better, and I know the National League Central a lot better. It is a more comfortable feeling.
I am also comfortable in the city of St. Louis. It is a great place to play baseball. You always hear that, and nothing I have experienced so far would sway me from that. It is one of the premier spots to be in, and I am happy to be here.
We go to Houston for the first time during our next road trip. It will be weird to go into that building and go to the other side. I'm sure that my first at-bat as a visiting player will be strange. But after that, and after a game or two, it will seem normal. I have a job to do, and I have a game to win.
Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman hit six home runs last week for his new club as St. Louis won six of its seven games. The veteran switch-hitter is hitting .327 through his first 13 games as he re-adjusts to the National League after playing the end of last season with the Yankees. He began his career with Houston in 1999 and played 85 games for the Astros last year.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.