Fukudome featured in Sports Illustrated

Fukudome featured in Sports Illustrated

CHICAGO -- Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome is the cover boy on this week's issue of Sports Illustrated.

Fukudome, who has been featured on Japanese magazines before, wasn't exactly sure how important the attention was but did acknowledge he appreciated it.

Of course, there's the issue of the SI cover jinx.

"There are a lot of people who are not on the cover saying it's a jinx," Fukudome said through interpreter Ryuji Araki, "But it's me playing, so I'll try my best not to follow the footsteps of the other people who were on the cover."

Cubs manager Lou Piniella wasn't worried.

"I don't think that's a jinx at all," Piniella said Tuesday. "You've got to go out and play on the field."

After one month of play in the Major Leagues, Fukudome said it's been what he's expected. He entered Tuesday's game batting .326, but was hitting .422 at Wrigley Field compared to .227 on the road.

"I do have an ally in the outfield -- I should say the fans -- who support each play I do on the field, so maybe that gives me a little more comfort playing at Wrigley Field," Fukudome said.

What has he learned about the Cubs so far?

"It seems that this team, once they get momentum going, they're a great team and can do a lot of things on the field," Fukudome said. "It might be other players on other teams as well, but it seems the players, even if they have a bad game, they don't carry that into the next game, and everybody seems to get focused to do what they can on that particular day."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.