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Playoffs will be 'awesome'10/04/2004 6:35 PM ET
By Jose Lima
Jose Lima, the Dodgers' candidate for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, which honors service to the community and actions on the field, won 21 games for the Astros in 1999, but came to Spring Training this season as a non-roster invitee and battled his way onto the team. An inspirational leader, both on and off the field, Lima was 13-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 36 games for the Dodgers, who went 17-7 in games he started. His .722 winning percentage was third-best in the National League. The 2004 NLDS will be Lima's third; he pitched for Houston in the 1997 and 1999 playoffs. It's Lima Time! With the atmosphere year-round, the way we played all year, everything is because of all you fans. You guys showed up, and you encouraged us to win and to play the game the way it's supposed to be played. We would love to see you guys show up for the playoffs the way you showed up in the regular season. It's going to be awesome. You guys are the reason we come back and won so many ballgames. You guys never left the ballpark and you stayed behind us 100 percent for nine innings and really helped us. You guys deserve the playoffs and a world championship. You've waited for so long, so patiently. I think this is the time we've got to do it for you guys. On my behalf, I want all the best for you. So stay tight, don't move out of your seat and come out for the playoffs because it's going to be pretty special. Most people didn't believe we were going to do this when we left Spring Training, but we believed in ourselves. Winning became a habit with this ballclub. Now, it's my time. We've got to go to the playoffs and do the same thing we've done all year. We got into first place and we never lost the pace, even when we went through a tough time. We accomplished something this year that's special. It means a lot to a lot of guys, but especially to me. We're looking forward to ramping it up and just doing it. We've got to do it. This is our year. I don't want to wait until 2005 to win the division again and have to go back through the first round again. I want to do it this year. We've got special guys here. They want it. They're hungry for it. This is the year.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.