"Personally, it will be fun for me being with the organization for a year, going to Spring Training, knowing everyone and getting a feeling for how everyone is. I think that's important as a player. I've pretty much continued what I did last year. That's one thing I wanted to focus on after the season. I wanted to take some down time, but I didn't want to get away from what got me back to being healthy. The only thing you really can control is what you do in the winter time to get ready for the season. If anything, I've worked as hard as I ever have, considering my age, the injuries I've had and just the passion for our club to get back to the World Series. As a player, it's your responsibility to show up in shape to Spring Training and be ready to go."
The preparation for the 2007 season began on Thome's part shortly after the 2006 campaign came to an end, with Thome staying on his back program that helped him bounce back from an injury-plagued 2005 season with Philadelphia. Thome started hitting about 10 days ago and anxiously awaits the start of Spring Training in February, when he will come to Tucson, Ariz., with a little more firsthand knowledge of his teammates and his environs.