Preparing for the postseason
Your mind is going a mile a minute in the postseason. I remember that from 1997 with the Marlins — and I wasn?t even playing then. You?ve got tickets and family to worry about before you get to the park. And now, for me, there?s treatment on my Achilles. And right on the heels of that, we find out about El Duque and his calf inury.
What is it about this team and our legs? Pedro, me, El Duque, Carlos Beltran. You know, there?s enough anxiety without all this other stuff — more anxiety than you need. You?ve got to put it away. You want to be up. But you don?t want to be over-the-top up.
There is so much to think about. You know when you?re a little kid, really the only teams you want to play when you imagine yourself in the World Series are the Yankees and the Dodgers. Now we?re playing one with a chance to play the other later in the playoffs. That?d be cool. But you don?t go there now. All we think about is Derek Lowe and making him get his pitches up.
He likes to work fast and throw ground balls all day. We?ve got to step out — mess up his rhythm — and be patient so we don?t go swinging at pitches early in the count that are out of the strike zone.
I think about the Dodgers, but I wouldn?t have minded playing the Padres with Mike Piazza and Mike Cameron. Cameron?s my boy. When he was here, with the Mets, we were like Frick and Frack. I was Frack. He and Rondell White. They?re both in the postseason. I?d love to play both of them — Cam next round, Rondell and the Twins in the World Series. But first we have to take care of the Dodgers.
That?s a good team they brought here. And we?re banged up a little. We?ll be all right. I don?t know about El Duque, but I?m getting better. I had that cortisone shot last week, and it?s finally started to work, getting some of that pain out of my leg. I feel pretty good. I was worried about chasing down balls in the outfield, but I feel better, so I?m playing and feeling real good about that. I was worried — not about playing or not playing — but about hurting the team if I wasn?t healthy. All want to be is healthy.
And I feel like I am. You know, I might steal a couple of ? nah, no. I?ll be happy just to get on base and trot home when someone else goes deep. I probably shouldn?t push it.