Damon: Final preparations for Game 1
Yanks outfielder discusses club's mind-set before ALDS begins
A veteran of eight postseason series, Johnny Damon got his first taste of what they are like in a Yankees uniform in 2006, as New York went down in four games to the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series.
It wasn't the outcome he was expecting, and the 33-year-old outfielder is hoping for better stories to tell after the Yankees complete their run in October 2007. The Yankees worked out at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday before embarking on the first step of that journey, which takes them to Cleveland for Games 1 and 2 of the ALDS.
Throughout the 2007 postseason, Damon will take part in an exclusive Q&A with MLB.com, sharing his thoughts after every Yankees game. On Tuesday, Damon gave a few insights into the club's sense of optimism but also an understanding of its purpose as it sets up for the Tribe.
MLB.com: With an off-day behind you heading into the trip to Cleveland, how would you sum up the general mind-set of the players in the room?
Johnny Damon: We're just preparing to head into the playoffs. We're expecting to go in and do well, but we also know there are a number of teams out there that are hot and capable of winning it all. We just need to go in with the confidence that we've had over the past couple of months and get the job done. There are a lot of guys in this room that have never experienced the playoffs before, but I think we all just need to be one part of the puzzle.
MLB.com: What's your sense of the series that lies ahead?
JD: Well, our record against them is favorable, but we didn't face C.C. Sabathia, and we caught some breaks against them. But it's always going to be a lot of work cut out for us, because it's the playoffs. These games are all very important at every time. If we go out and play baseball, we shouldn't have to worry about it.
MLB.com: Do you have a feeling for the Chien-Ming Wang vs. C.C. Sabathia matchup?
We feel very confident every time [Wang] takes the mound. Hopefully he's on and hopefully he gets a lot of ground balls, and we can score some runs for him.
MLB.com: What do the workouts like the one today here in New York, or the one in Cleveland tomorrow, do for a team?
JD: That's what we're all trying to do now, just to get ready. They're important. We're trying to jump in the weight room or trying to jump into the batting cages before we take the field, and I think it's good. It really gets you back into the swing of things, and I think we actually had some time off. When you have a day off this late in the season, it's real tough. We'll get back in the swing of things and go from there.
MLB.com: Do you think this postseason will mean any more to you because of how far the Yankees have had to come back to get to this point?
JD: Every postseason is meaningful, just because you never know if it's going to be your last one. You have to savor them all when they come to you. Hopefully you can go out there and perform and produce, and hopefully win the whole thing.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.