What was your welcome-to-the-big-leagues moment?
Walking into the clubhouse [as a Rangers rookie in 2001] and seeing Pudge Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez, [Rafael] Palmeiro. Names I watched as a kid. I was like, Wow. And they treated me like I was one of the guys.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Getting hit in the, uh, [groin] off a [Jose] Contreras split-finger. Of course there's pain. But it's funny too; it'll probably be on blooper videos for a long time.
One thing about being a ballplayer people don't know about?
That I hit off a tee. Young kids say, I don't like hitting off a tee; but it hones your skills. You can really work on what you have to do while the ball is still; you can focus more than when the ball's moving.
If I weren't playing baseball, I'd ...
be a physical therapist. In high school I dislocated my left shoulder and found out about the body and the muscles and how it works. Fascinating.
The 30-year-old Monroe, who slugged a career-high 28 homers last year, raised his spring average to .350.
The Tigers begin their defense of the American League title when they host the Blue Jays on Monday afternoon.
LUCY NICHOLSON/REUTERS (MONROE ACTION)
PAUL SANCYA/AP PHOTO (MONROE HEADSHOT)