The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles acquired the 27-year-old outfielder from the Chicago Cubs before last season for two minor leaguers. A year after hitting just .215 for the Cubs and spending a portion of the season in the minor leagues, Patterson batted .276 for the Orioles with 16 home runs, 53 RBIs and 45 steals. He is a 1998 graduate of Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Ga.

You stole a career-high 45 bases last year. Is there a number you think you can reach if you stay healthy? -- You know what, I really don't set any goals statistically. When I signed, I just wanted to be a good major league player. The only goals I set before every year are most importantly to stay positive, to stay healthy and to work as hard as I can.

Do you feel you are the fastest guy in the league? -- Yeah. There are some guys close, but I think I am the fastest. I think Carl Crawford is fast. He can scoot.

What is the fastest you've ever run the 40-yard dash in? -- 4.27. I was 19 or 20 years old.

Your father, Don, played defensive back in the NFL for the Detroit Lions and the New York Giants, and you were a star wide receiver and defensive back in high school. Why did you choose baseball over football? -- It was a real tough decision for me, but it is one of those things where in my senior year, I looked at how football worked in the system and baseball worked in the system. Eventually for me, it made more sense for me to focus on baseball.

Who is the toughest football player you've ever played against? -- Jamal Lewis. He is from the same area, and I played against him in high school. I was a senior and he was a sophomore, and we played in the state playoffs. I think he rushed for over 200 yards against us.

What is the best part of playing in Baltimore? -- I like the stadium. It's one of the top five stadiums. I enjoy coming to the park. It's peaceful, it's quiet. It's really a nice place to play.

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