Playoff games are a little different. During the regular season, the clubhouse is open to the media 3 ½ hours before the game. It?s part of the normal routine. But in the playoffs the clubhouse is closed during the pregame.
So how is that time leading up to the game? In high school, you might have speeches from coaches or teammates screaming and getting fired up. Here?
It?s guys sitting in their underwear watching college football, getting ready to play or listening to music. It?s as relaxed as it gets in there.
Come an hour before the game, you start getting focused, thinking about what you?ve going to do. We always have the opposing pitcher, in this case it?s Phillies left-hander Jamie Moyer, on the TV, a DVD of what he?s done in the past.
I?m relaxed before the game and like to have fun. But there?s a time when the game starts getting close that I really get focused. People don?t realize that there?s always something going on, people wanting to talk to you about something. But there comes a point where you?ve got to be selfish about it and say, ?Hey, I?ve got to focus on the main thing, which is getting ready to play the ballgame.?
Even right before we go out, there are no last words from the manager or teammates. Nothing. We?re just ready to play.