Welcome to another edition of Mike’s Mailbag. I want to thank everyone for all the questions, comments and support. And remember that you can continue to submit questions by e-mail to
1. (from Matt) What are your plans for next year and beyond? Would you like to stay in St. Louis or get back to Detroit?
After this season, St. Louis controls my rights for the 2008 season. I will become a free agent after next year. It’s hard to know what the plans are for next year and beyond. In baseball, you never know about next week!
2. (from Barbara in Richland, Mich.) What advice regarding setting goals and staying focused can you pass along to my brand new sixth grade students? I have read that you have visited schools to talk to kids. What encouragement can you pass along to my new batch of fresh faces?
I think that it is important to set goals, both short- and long-term. Goals force you to stay focused and aim high. And without goals, it is very hard to push yourself to be your very best. Goals help bring determination. I would tell your students to strive to do something each day to help achieve each goal that they set.
3. (from Ryan in Prairie Du Rocher, Ill.) What was the hardest thing for you moving from the American League to the National League?
The biggest adjustment from the American League to the National League is the designated hitter rule. Teams in the American League have another hitter in the lineup while the National League teams have the pitcher’s spot. Having the DH difference really changes the dynamic of the lineup and how you have to approach it as a pitcher.
Another big change in coming to the National League is that I now have a responsibility as a hitter in the lineup. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to contribute to our team’s ability to score runs!