08/13/2007 8:42 AM ET
Eric Byrnes: Enjoying the desert
I like it here in Arizona. We have a good, young team with a veteran pitching staff. It's a great place to play. Bob Melvin is a great manager to play for and we have a fine group of coaches. I'm really having fun. So, yes, I'm really happy and excited about signing on for another three years here.
Three years is enough time to really go out there and see what this group can do. This is an exciting young team that should only get even better in the near future and I want to be part of it.
Everybody likes a sense of stability and routine. I played for three different teams in 2005, which was an unpleasant experience with all of the moving around. So it's nice to have somewhere to settle for a while.
I played my first five seasons in one place, Oakland, and now I'm starting to get to a similar comfort level here. It's a different situation than Oakland, though, because things are run differently and because I'm a little further along in my career now.
My role is different, too. Here I'm counted on to produce every day. That's good. That's why I'm here and I'm having fun doing it.
After my experience in Oakland, I realize I'm more of a National League-type player, too. Spending all of those years on the bench in Oakland was difficult. If you're an American League bench player, you rarely get to play. There are no double switches and not even as much pinch-hitting. So if you don't start the game, there is a good chance that you won't get into the game.
Last year (26 home runs, 79 RBIs), was a career year for me, up until that point, at least. I think I can improve upon that. But just getting the opportunity to play every day last season gave me the opportunity I needed. I came into Spring Training and the club told me I was going to get a chance to play and I was able to put up some decent numbers. It's the same thing this year -- I just want to improve and help the team win games.
Eric Byrnes, who last week signed a three-year contract extension with the Diamondbacks, is enjoying another strong season, batting .300 with 18 homers, 67 RBIs and a career-high 31 stolen bases. The Redwood City, Calif., native is also known as one of the great personalities in the game and a regular contributor to various media outlets.