Results tagged ‘ Francisco Rodriguez ’

On to Boston — and stayin alive

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What can you say after a game like that? It was intense, start to finish. We went at it toe to toe with the Red Sox and came back strong after they dropped the hammer on us early with that Jason Bay three-run bomb in the first. I think our guys showed a lot of heart, and we’re going to need everything we’ve got in Boston to get back in this series.

So much happened in this second game, I don’t even know where to start. Bottom line, the big bombs killed us — Bay first, and then J.D. Drew. Bay, I guess he’s the new Manny. He’s swinging the bat like Manny Ramirez in this series. Frankie Rodriguez had 62 saves for us this year, and I’ll take my chances with him out there any time. But Drew hits a two-run bomb off K-Rod, and what can you do? Baseball’s a crazy game.

Hey, as long as we have a breath, we’ve got a shot. They haven’t won anything yet. It takes three games to win this thing, and they’re going to have to earn it. I think we showed tonight the kind of character we have. We’re going to keep fighting, I can tell you that much.

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You probably want to know about my knee, the left one. We’ll be treating it, and even though it’s sore now, I’ll be out there. I’m old school. This is October, and this is what you live for as a baseball player.

It was all adrenaline when I reacted the way I did on that call at first base in the third inning. We were making a comeback, we had two guys on, and I thought I beat the throw from the shortstop, Alex Cora. The call went against me, and I got excited and jumped up and came down on the knee wrong. I was being intense, going all out — and in the heat of the moment, sometimes you get upset like that. I’m not going to apologize or call it a stupid thing to do. Man, when you’re out there competing, you’re throwing everything you’ve got into it. That’s all I was doing.

We were taking care of business, being patient with Daisuke Matsuzaka, getting guys on base, stirring things up. I got an RBI single in the first inning after Mark Teixeira and Vladimir Guerrero singled, and I was trying to do that again in the third when I got thrown out on that call. In the fifth inning, I hit a bullet to left field for another RBI after Tex and Vladdy walked.

Those two guys were great tonight, getting on base all night long, trying to get us started. It’s a pleasure to play with guys like that who really know how to play the game right. This team is loaded with talent, and it’d be a crying shame for it to end too soon.

In my last at-bat in the ninth against Papelbon, I was trying to get on base to get it started. That’s why I dropped the bunt. It didn’t work out, but in that situation, down two runs, we needed a baserunner. Papelbon’s good. You’ve got to give credit where it’s due.

Some of our guys are trying a little too hard, trying to do too much. They need to relax when we get to Boston. I’ll have a talk with Howie Kendrick, like always. He’s a great kid, with a tremendous future in this game. He had a rough night, but he’ll bounce back. He’s strong. I know how that is — when you’re young, you want it so bad, controlling all that adrenaline isn’t easy.

Right now, I’m exhausted. This was intense baseball, all night long. But we’ll be ready to roll on Sunday night. We’ve played some great baseball in Fenway Park this year, and I don’t see why we can’t do it again. We’ve still got a heartbeat. We’re still a dangerous team.

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On to Boston — and stayin’ alive

toriiswing550x250.jpg

What can you say after a game like that? It was intense, start to finish. We went at it toe to toe with the Red Sox and came back strong after they dropped the hammer on us early with that Jason Bay three-run bomb in the first. I think our guys showed a lot of heart, and we’re going to need everything we’ve got in Boston to get back in this series.

So much happened in this second game, I don’t even know where to start. Bottom line, the big bombs killed us — Bay first, and then J.D. Drew. Bay, I guess he’s the new Manny. He’s swinging the bat like Manny Ramirez in this series. Frankie Rodriguez had 62 saves for us this year, and I’ll take my chances with him out there any time. But Drew hits a two-run bomb off K-Rod, and what can you do? Baseball’s a crazy game.

Hey, as long as we have a breath, we’ve got a shot. They haven’t won anything yet. It takes three games to win this thing, and they’re going to have to earn it. I think we showed tonight the kind of character we have. We’re going to keep fighting, I can tell you that much.

toriihopping275x375.jpg

You probably want to know about my knee, the left one. We’ll be treating it, and even though it’s sore now, I’ll be out there. I’m old school. This is October, and this is what you live for as a baseball player.

It was all adrenaline when I reacted the way I did on that call at first base in the third inning. We were making a comeback, we had two guys on, and I thought I beat the throw from the shortstop, Alex Cora. The call went against me, and I got excited and jumped up and came down on the knee wrong. I was being intense, going all out — and in the heat of the moment, sometimes you get upset like that. I’m not going to apologize or call it a stupid thing to do. Man, when you’re out there competing, you’re throwing everything you’ve got into it. That’s all I was doing.

We were taking care of business, being patient with Daisuke Matsuzaka, getting guys on base, stirring things up. I got an RBI single in the first inning after Mark Teixeira and Vladimir Guerrero singled, and I was trying to do that again in the third when I got thrown out on that call. In the fifth inning, I hit a bullet to left field for another RBI after Tex and Vladdy walked.

Those two guys were great tonight, getting on base all night long, trying to get us started. It’s a pleasure to play with guys like that who really know how to play the game right. This team is loaded with talent, and it’d be a crying shame for it to end too soon.

In my last at-bat in the ninth against Papelbon, I was trying to get on base to get it started. That’s why I dropped the bunt. It didn’t work out, but in that situation, down two runs, we needed a baserunner. Papelbon’s good. You’ve got to give credit where it’s due.

Some of our guys are trying a little too hard, trying to do too much. They need to relax when we get to Boston. I’ll have a talk with Howie Kendrick, like always. He’s a great kid, with a tremendous future in this game. He had a rough night, but he’ll bounce back. He’s strong. I know how that is — when you’re young, you want it so bad, controlling all that adrenaline isn’t easy.

Right now, I’m exhausted. This was intense baseball, all night long. But we’ll be ready to roll on Sunday night. We’ve played some great baseball in Fenway Park this year, and I don’t see why we can’t do it again. We’ve still got a heartbeat. We’re still a dangerous team.

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Let the dogs out!

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We’re down a game in this series, but we’re not out by a long shot. I know what a team can do when it comes together and plays the game with something to prove. I’ve seen it firsthand.

My first exposure to the postseason was in 2002 with the Twins. In ’01, we were in first place the whole season until Cleveland came back and beat us. We were up by five games in July. We were a young team, with guys like David Ortiz, Jacque Jones and Corey Koskie. We would up in second place, and it was devastating.

That winter, there was all that talk about contraction, how they were going to contract the Twins and the Expos. I was getting calls all winter, people asking me what was going to happen. I thought I was going to be somewhere else. But we got everything worked out, and we came into the 2002 season determined to show everyone what we could do with our $40 million payroll.

Ron Gardenhire was in his first season as the manager. Nobody had us winning the American League Central, but we ended up taking the division with 94 wins and going to the AL Championship Series. That’s when we ran into the Angels, and you know how that turned out.

We went up against Oakland in the AL Division Series, and they had that rotation that was the best in baseball — Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. We had to beat the best rotation in baseball. Johan Santana was in our bullpen. Our starters were Joe Mays, Eric Milton, Brad Radke and Kyle Lohse.

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They were up on us, 2-1, but we came back and won the fourth and fifth games. When Eddie Guardado threw that last out at Oakland, and Ray Durham popped it up to Denny Hocking, there was this incredible feeling of joy and accomplishment we all had. I mean, think about it. The winter before they were talking about contracting us, and here we were beating the best rotation in baseball and going on to the ALCS.

We didn’t know John Lackey was waiting for us with his 97 mph gas, and Frankie Rodriguez was coming after us. And the Rally Monkey, making everybody go crazy. And, oh yeah, Adam Kennedy with his three home runs in Game 5 after he hit seven all season.

The Angels beat us at our game. That’s when I really began to admire the Anaheim Angels. I saw similarities with us — and nice weather with a great stadium. When they went on and won the World Series against the Giants, it gave me hope. If we’d beaten that team, it probably would have been us winning the World Series.

You can do great things in this game with talent and the right attitude. The Twins that year showed how far you could take it, and so did the Angels. Play the game right, play together, with everything you’ve got, and you can move mountains.

What we have to do now is come out and play with emotion, not play scared. But we also have to play smart. Be patient, take the walk if it’s there. Let somebody else drive you in. We’ve got weapons all through out lineup. Move the runner over, hit the cutoff man, run the bases aggressively, but be smart about it, too.

Hey, we know what we can do. You don’t have the best record in the Major Leagues and win 50 games on the road without having some mental toughness to go with the talent.

The Red Sox are the champions. We’re trying to take the crown off their heads. To do that, you’ve got to get that dog in you. That dog means being a little more aggressive, not being too timid. It’s time to let the dogs out. Woof-woof.

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