I think we go through a lot of things during the year, but this is the time of year you love. You want to play in October. I was talking to Melvin Mora when we were playing Baltimore, and he told me, “You guys look like you’re ready go to go the playoffs.” He told me he would like to have that feeling.
It’s just a different feeling you have this time of year. You can feel the cool breeze, and you know October is on the way. A lot of people at this time of year, they’re worn out, they’re ready for vacation. I’ve been in the postseason tons of times, and it’s fun. This time, I’m thinking about postseason. I’m planning my vacation for the end of November or December. Deep down inside, I don’t want my vacation to start before that.
I remember in 2006, we didn’t make it to the playoffs, and I felt like I had too much time off. It was like, “Jeez, what should I do now? I’m supposed to be playing now.” Then, I watched the games on TV, and it wasn’t a good feeling. Not everybody gets prepared to be playing in October, but this ballclub gets prepared to be playing in October.
We’ve made some moves the last couple of months that are going to help us get where we want to go. Alex Gonzalez played here before; he knows what our goals are. Victor Martinez, this is his first time playing here, but he faced us in 2007 in the playoffs. He knows what this team is capable of doing. Their mentalityis just easy for them to make the adjustment here. They have an idea of what’s up.
Those guys, they bring a lot of energy and that hunger. They’re ready to play. Victor said to me, “I was so close to getting a ring, and you guys just kicked my butt. But now, when you can’t beat the enemy, you join them, so that’s why I’m here.”
Victor keeps me going during the game. Oh, yeah. He’ll be screaming at me, he will punch me. He’ll do whatever it takes.
By the way, everyone should check out my new restaurant in Framingham, Mass., Big Papi’s Grille. I go there when I can, and it seems like people have fun, people like the food. Man, I’m telling you, it’s really good. We have everything over there: seafood, steaks, all kinds of salads and appetizers. We’re adding things every couple of weeks, and people love it. Stop by!
Last time I was there, I hung out with some friends for three or four hours, and it was a good time. You might bump into me and my friends any time.