I've changed teams six times over my 16-year career, but this is the first time I've switched uniforms during the regular season. During this process I have found there's a lot that goes into it, both on and off the field.
I began Spring Training with Seattle in Peoria, Ariz., but I started the season at Triple-A Tacoma. About a week into the season, I got called up to the Mariners and played well. Then, all of a sudden, I was designated for assignment -- a decision that came out of left field in my eyes. Now I've landed with a very good team that's trying to make the playoffs.
Going from Seattle to Atlanta was just part of the fun. We were in Cleveland when I was designated. I had to fly back to Denver, where I live, and wait until I got the news that I had been traded. Meanwhile, I still had my truck filled with all of my belongings in the parking lot at Safeco Field in Seattle because I had not found a place to live yet. On top of that, I also had a ton of things in a storage unit in Tacoma.
It's a lot to figure out, especially when you have a wife, two kids and a dog. But I feel like we're finally settled here in Atlanta.
Changing teams in the middle of the season was new to me, but these guys have really taken me in and made me feel comfortable. I appreciate that -- they've treated me well.
When I first came here, I expected my primary role to be as a bat coming off the bench. I had experience doing that in Colorado earlier in my career. But with injuries to some of our outfielders, including Mark Kotsay and Matt Diaz, I've ended up starting some 10 or 11 games in the past couple of weeks.
Playing more has been a challenge. I started off well and then went through a long skid at the plate that lasted like three weeks or so. But I had a good weekend against Seattle, and hopefully I can get myself going again.
Another adjustment has been going from the AL back to the NL. Though I wasn't with Seattle very long, I had played the previous couple of seasons with Tampa. When I first made the adjustment going from the NL to the AL, I didn't find it that tough. But since I haven't seen a lot of these young pitchers before, I've needed to make more adjustments. A good thing about the NL is that you sort of know you're going to get a chance to play in every game, one way or another. In the AL, if you start on the bench, you're probably going to end the game on the bench, too.
Veteran Greg Norton, a switch-hitter who can play the corners in either the outfield or infield, was 4-for-9 in the Braves' weekend series against the Mariners, the organization with which he began the season. He's currently batting .243 with two homers and 16 RBIs.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.