What was your welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment?
When [manager] Lou Piniella cussed me out [when Diaz was a rookie Devil Ray in 2003]. I was 0 for my first 7, and he said, 'You really want that first hit, don'tcha, son?' in a calm voice. I was like, 'Yeah, I do.' And he goes, 'WELL, SWING AT BLEEPIN' STRIKES!' The next at bat I got my first hit.
Your most embarrassing moment?
Last year in Florida I had a bead on a ball hit over the fence. I didn't feel the warning track, and I ran full steam into the wall. It stuttered me, and I was up against the fence [thinking], What are you doing out here? [Centerfielder] Andruw Jones was laughing his head off.
Favorite off-day activity?
To fish for bass, then go to a movie with my wife [Leslee]. I like a chick flick every now and again.
If I weren't playing baseball, I'd ...
be a nondenominational pastor, like my dad. I want life to have a deeper meaning than playing a game, and I'm a people person. So that's a good gig.
After a hot start to the spring, Diaz, 29, who hit .327 last year, went 0 for 10 in three games last weekend.
As spring training winds down, Diaz will be battling Ryan Langerhans and Craig Wilson for playing time in leftfield.
TOM DIPACE (DIAZ ACTION)
G. NEWMAN LOWRANCE/WIREIMAGE.COM (DIAZ HEAD SHOT)