I’m pretty excited to go ahead and get this season started. I’ve been wanting to get my body out of Florida for the last few weeks. That happens every spring at this time.
We’re looking good as a team, I can tell you that. We’re looking forward to having a good season. We have a lot of new players. We have good defense. We have a lot of talented players. We have a few veterans that have come back in and joined us.
I think, you know, our team is focused on pitching and defense this year after what we did in the offseason. I think they did well picking up the players they picked up. I’m pretty sure that in the long run, they’re going to help us out a lot. Oh man, we have Beltre, Scutaro, Bill Hall, Mike Cameron. Lackey, oh man, he makes the game look so easy. I love having him over here. It’s crazy after facing him all those years.
I’m not going to lie to you, this was one of the best springs I’ve had in a while just because of my body. In ’08, I was coming off knee surgery. Last year, I was coming off the wrist problem. This year, there’s been nothing. I’m not going to lie to you, I think it’s just one of those things where you come in pain-free and you feel good. I haven’t been had any pain or anything. It feels great. It’s a good feeling.
How do I feel about my swing right now? Well, you really don’t know until you get there. You can feel great in Spring Training and when the season starts, you could start struggling and you’d be like, ‘what happened? I said a week ago I was where I wanted to be’. And then other times, you’re not feeling right and you walk into the season and start banging and something pops for you, something clicks. I feel good right now. I feel like I’m ready for the season and I’m ready to go out there and do some damage.
Some people have asked me how I feel going into the season because of my contract situation. Right now, I’m just focusing on the season and getting prepared for that. That other stuff will get taken care of. This will be my eighth year here and I love it here and I’ve never even thought about being anywhere else. But you know how things go, you never know. Hopefully I’ll never have to leave.
It’s going to be fun to start it up on Sunday night against the Yankees. I remember when we did that in ’05. We just want to get started.
And to the fans, I just want to ask you all to just come support us like always and enjoy the season that’s about to start.
We came out here in the past and were able to take Game 1 from these guys, but that’s not how it’s going to be this time. They had a great pitching performance this time. John Lackey was on. He made good pitches. What can you do?
You play to win, especially in a short series, so we’re not going to change our mindset just because of one loss. Just because you lose a game, you can’t change anything. You want to come the next day with the same mentality, ready to go, and let it happen.
When you have pitching like Jon Lester and Lackey going against each other, you know that it’s usually just going to be one mistake that’s going to be the difference and change the whole game. Too bad that the mistake from Lester was against one of their best hitters. I know Torii Hunter, I know him well. We’re close friends, and we played together in Minnesota and I know how he is. He was fired up and when he’s fired up, look out.
We had a little bit of a layoff coming into Game 1. There were no games in three days. I’m not going to make excuses, but I hate layoffs. That’s how it goes sometimes this time of year. You’ve got to get used to it.
I didn’t have a good night at the plate, but Lackey was making nasty pitches. They don’t want to make a mistake to me, you know that. They pitched me real carefully. That’s how it is. When good pitchers pitch in that kind of game, they want to make sure they stay on top of their game.
We’re excited to get out there again for Game 2. We have Josh Beckett. You can’t ask for much more than that. Everyone knows what he’s done in October. He’s been pitching great and we need a quality start out there.