Milledge’s season ends early
Lastings Milledge’s season is over after suffering a left oblique strain he sustained during batting practice on Tuesday.
“It’s going to be tough,” Milledge said, when asked of his chances of returning. “As of today, I don’t think I can generate enough force to play. I play 100 percent. I don’t know how to play 80 percent. That’s going to be the tough thing.”
Milledge will end his season with a .277 AVG, 34 RBI and seven home runs.
Despite the numbers he posted, Lastings believes he has ended his season the best point it has ever been in his career.
His past was full of negativity and with the reputation for being a bad teammate, and a lazy player who ran on talent, not hard work..
“I broke a lot of labels,” Milledge said. “I broke a lot of things that were said about me. That was a goal, as well to get that negative vibe from over my head this year. I think that’s bigger than hitting 30 homers. I think that’s bigger than anything else, because now teams see that I’ve gotten a lot better as a player and a lot better as a person.”
Milledge will play winter ball in Venezuela during the off-season to get more at-bats. A pretty good idea considering there are many players fighting for that right field spot.
“I think I changed my game a lot this year, and it kind of cost me some playing time,” he said. “I changed my approach around a little bit to get more hits and be more adequate on the field. I think I just need to be the player I am instead of changing so much. That kind of put me in a situation where I don’t know what I’m going to be next year. I just have to make sure that I go back to the drawing board, and do what I feel like I need to do to be the best player I know I can be.”
General Manager Neal Huntington has not discussed Milledge’s future with the organization. Milledge hopes for another chance for regular playing time.
“I think that I’ve been a winning player,” Milledge said. “I’ve done everything possible that I can do physically and mentally to put my team in a better situation. There is nothing that I regret this year. I gave it over 100 percent every day.
“I think I still see myself as a cornerstone guy. I don’t know what the team views me as. I know what I view myself as, and I know that I’m going to do everything that I can do to be able to do that. I want to be a starter, so I’ve got to work as hard as I can to show all that I have.”
“I want to be an everyday starter. I want them to look at me and say, ‘This guy is going to do anything to win the game. Anything.’ That’s what I want.”