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Original Issue

Kickin' Back

Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks, 23, hit .239 with 13 homers and 42 RBIs in 360 at bats after being called up on June 10. The Brewers' top pick in the 2003 draft reflects on his break-in period and looks ahead to his first big league off-season.

I HAVE no idea how players are supposed to spend these months--all I know is that I am going to catch up on a lot of movies, a lot of TV and a lot of sleep. I have a whole season of Dave Chappelle DVDs that I'm going to dive into. I had surgery to repair a torn ligament in my left thumb last week, and I'm going to have to wear a cast for six weeks. I'd been playing with soreness in the bottom of my thumb, but that's not an excuse for how I struggled over the last month of the season. [He batted just .224 with one home run in September and October.]

AFTER OUR last game, on Oct. 2, I spent a few days visiting my parents back home in Orlando. I caught up with some sleep, got a haircut and ate some real nice home cooking from my mom--it had been so long since I had that! After that I went to Baton Rouge to see my younger sister, Kaisha, who goes to my alma mater, Southern University. I stopped by to say hi to my college coach, Roger Cador, who I've been keeping in touch with regularly. With all that traveling and the surgery I haven't spent much time watching the playoffs.

NOW I'M going to settle down for the off-season in Orlando, where I have a home. I work out at the RDV Sportsplex, and a bunch of major league players are regulars there. I'll see my boys--the Cardinals' David Eckstein, the Reds' Felipe Lopez and also Tim Raines Jr. I'm also planning to do some fishing.

I LOOK back on the season, and overall I'm happy with how things went. I'm disappointed in the way I finished up, but the team ended up at .500 for the first time in 13 years, and that was exciting--it was one of our goals. The highlight of the season was, without question, hitting my first home run, on June 25 against the Twins, with my teammate and friend from childhood, Prince Fielder, hitting his first home run in that game too. That was awesome. I'm looking forward to next season and to getting myself ready for the spring. But until then, I've got a lot of sleeping to do.