KM: Say there are five games left and you're at .402. Do you sit some of those games?
CJ: I owe it to the game to play. Ted Williams was hitting around .400 on the last day of the season and played a doubleheader. I would be cheating history if I sat.
KM: Correct me if I'm wrong, but as of today, you have two stolen bases on the season.
CJ: I stole them both in the same week, actually.
KM: Did you get faster all of a sudden?
CJ: I got healthy all of a sudden. Then I got unhealthy just as quickly. Stealing those bases is probably what hurt my quad. I'm sure the words "old guy" and "stolen base" were uttered in the same sentence in the dugout or the press box. Or both.
KM: But you're not really old, in human terms.
CJ: In baseball years, 36 is ancient. Well, John Smoltz is ancient. I'm more of the elder statesman. There was a prospect, Tyler Flowers, in spring training this year. One day he told me how I visited his class early in my career. I asked how old he was then, and he said fourth grade. That put things in perspective.
KM: Do you get recognized everywhere you go by now?
CJ: Funny story about that. Last year I was at the Daytona 500 with a friend and Richard Childress. Kelly Clarkson, who had sung before the race, came into the room. She walked my way, looking at me like she knew who I was, so I started to put out my hand. Then she pulls out a camera and asks me to take a photo of her and her friends. My buddy lost it. I'm from Daytona, so everybody knows me there. I was so embarrassed that I just wanted to go get a beer. Boy, was I put out.
KM: Do your sons play better than you did at their ages?
CJ: My 10-year-old is on the same path. My 8-year-old's more of a computer guy. My 3-year-old is ahead of schedule. He hits a pitched Wiffle ball over the house. Literally. At 3. And my 2-year-old is following in Brian Urlacher's footsteps. He'll run into a brick wall, gash his forehead, bounce up and say, "Again!"
KM: In 1972, my best friend, Mark Samsaver, hit 843 home runs in Wiffle ball. Which is more impressive: that, or Griffey's hitting 600?
CJ: I'm going to say the 840-some. That's a ton of homers.
KM: I've had the honor of getting to throw the first pitch of a game before. I've always threatened to instead turn around and throw it over the outfield fence. Good idea?
CJ: If you can make that throw, you might have to look into a career change. They'd be picking your arm up from shortstop if you tried.
KM: I probably wouldn't go for centerfield. Maybe where the wall's 310 or so.
CJ: A warmup? No warmups?
KM: There will be so much adrenaline I won't need it.
CJ: Maybe you should throw a couple on the side before you try that.