It's sort of weird how I've gotten to this point in my career. I went through Cincinnati, Cleveland and Seattle before arriving here with Texas, but I've learned a lot along the journey, and I feel like I'm ready for the challenge of being an everyday player. I feel like I've prepared myself for this.
Everything I've gone through -- good or bad -- has helped prepare me. All of the ups and downs, and the times when you struggle, have given me an edge. Every year, you have to fight at this level, because there are more good players always coming up. You can't ever be satisfied and that's how I feel right now.
This is an opportunity I've been waiting for my whole career. At first you get to the big leagues to get established. I feel like I did that, but I was never established as an everyday guy. I have been waiting for that opportunity, and Texas has been very supportive since I got here.
The people here have simply told me to be myself and to do what I do best. So I don't have to do anything differently; rather I have to do what I've done before. If I do that, I'll get to play every day now instead of having to sit out a couple of days a week.
I have personal goals, but those goals are really about staying healthy and being consistent. I'm not worried about the number of home runs I hit or how high my batting average is. All of that will take care of itself if I stay healthy. If I get my at-bats, I know the numbers will be there.
Having been in Seattle the last couple of years and now with Texas, I know I'm getting this opportunity in a very competitive division. We're going to have a pretty good race in the AL West this season. You have the Mariners and the Angels while we're probably under the radar a bit.
The Angels are probably at the top of most people's minds when they do think about our division. I personally like playing against them because it is always a challenge. Their pitchers are competitive but I think we do match up against them.
Seattle has a lot of pitching depth. They have a good one-two punch with Erik Bedard and Felix Hernandez. The addition of Bedard takes a lot of pressure off of Felix. He can be a No. 2 and keep working on his pitching.
Oakland, meanwhile, is doing what they usually do. They are reloading with young guys. There are going to be a lot of good, young players there who will get opportunities this season. They've traded some guys to get some good young talent, and they'll need to be patient to allow the kids to grow. But I think they too will surprise and be in the middle of this race.
Everybody on my team, though, feels like we are right there with these clubs and that we can compete with them. We've already seen the Mariners and the Angels early this season, and I think we match up well.
Anybody can beat anybody is how I look at it. If we stay healthy and play good baseball, I think we will be OK. We think we can win this division, and that will be our thought every day.
Ben Broussard, who hit his sixth career grand slam on Friday, had three home runs and eight RBIs through his first six games with the Rangers.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.