Kosuke Fukudome now has played two full seasons in the Major Leagues with the Cubs, and finished the 2009 season with nearly identical stats to those from his first season, batting .259 with 11 homers and 54 RBIs. With the help of interpreter Hiro Aoyama, Fukudome talked about his offseason plans, favorite foods and a few other things.
MLB.com: What's the first thing you want to do this offseason?
Fukudome: I'll go to the hot springs in Japan for about a week and relax.
MLB.com: When you were growing up, was there a player you idolized?
Fukudome: When I was little, I really wanted to be like [Kazuyoshi] Tatsunami. He played for the Chunichi Dragons. He was not really a home run hitter; he's a little bit taller than Hiro [Aoyama].
MLB.com: If you could trade places with someone on the Cubs for a day, who would it be?
Fukudome: I would like to be Otis [Tom Hellman], the clubhouse manager. I think it is a difficult job, and it has a lot of responsibilities. He has to stay late at night and do everything that needs to be taken care of for the players. I want to be him to see what it's like. I think it would be interesting and definitely something different from what I do in baseball.
MLB.com: This offseason, when do you start your workouts?
Fukudome: I will take two to three weeks off, and then start moving, like walking and more active things. Sometime in December, I'll start hitting, depending on my body and how I feel.
MLB.com: If you could be Lou Piniella for a day, what would you do?
Fukudome: I have never argued with an umpire before in Major League Baseball. If I could speak English fluently, and I was the manager, I would like to come out of the dugout, go up to the umpire and argue with him. In English. And I would put some dirt on home plate.
MLB.com: Would you throw your cap?
MLB.com: Is there a comfort food you crave?
Fukudome: Sushi. I have a particular restaurant [in Japan] I want to go to.