10/24/06 5:37 PM ET
Jeff Suppan pregame interview
Cards hurler says there are advantages for pitchers in both leagues
By / MLB.com
JEFF SUPPAN:Well, I mean, any start I have prior to a start I'm getting ready for, you know, I'm trying to take the positives out of them, good or bad. I try to take the positives out of them. With that being said, I've done that with every start I've made. It would be no different if it was another game. Basically I thought I was able to focus on what I needed to focus on and that was a positive that I would take out of those two games.
With no DH in your park, you
already have a postseason homer, do you think
there will be a big disadvantage with the
pitchers having to hit?
JEFF SUPPAN:It would be easier for me to answer that question if we had played them in our park, but we played them in their park. You've still got to make pitches to them. I'm sure they can swing it. If they take good at-bats that might be different, so you don't know. You kind of just try to -- facing them, just make your pitches and see how they take, see how they swing, see how they bunt and you'll get an idea. Playing in the National League this year, there were a lot of pitchers that could swing the bat very good -- very well, I mean.
What can an extra off day do, or an
extra day's rest do for you at this time of year?
JEFF SUPPAN:You know, I'll be honest with you, I think you lose track of days during this time of year. And I don't know throwing with an extra day or short rest, I don't know if that really matters. I think you just go out and pitch when they tell you to pitch. I guess, like I said, I think you lose track of the days and how things are going and especially with travel and everything. You go out there with what you've got and you pitch the best you can.
If you guys win the World Series I
think you would have, I'm not sure if it's the
worst or one of the worst regular season
records of any team that won the World Series.
Have you guys thought about that? Do you
guys know about that and if you did win it,
would that matter at all, would that mean any
more or any less?
JEFF SUPPAN:Well, no, I have not thought about it. And we're playing Game 3 tonight, so I'll just leave it at that.
When a bunch of us approached
you Sunday in Detroit when news of the labor
deal leaked out, you weren't able to say a lot.
Given the fact that in about an hour, it looks
like the announcement is finally coming. What
reaction do you have about the state of the
game and the fact that it looks like there's
long-term labor peace?
JEFF SUPPAN:I guess I'll have a comment for you in about an hour. There's really no -- I still haven't heard anything officially, so I really don't have a comment on it.
Going back to the rest issue, if you
had an extra week or so at this time of year
between starts, how would that affect you and
what adjustments would you have to make?
JEFF SUPPAN:Well, I would say that in 2004 I think I had 11 days' rest and I threw Game 4 in that series at Dodger Stadium. And basically I think you make adjustments by throwing more bullpens. I think you make adjustments mentally by putting yourself in situations in games when you're watching them so you feel that adrenaline rush. And I think that you kind of just go out there and pitch your game. But when I was going through that time where I had 11 days off, I never thought, this is nine days off, this is ten days off, I was just preparing for when I was going to get my start.
Can you talk a little bit about the job
that Adam Wainwright has done, going from
Minor League starter to closer here?
JEFF SUPPAN:Absolutely. I think I said it before, but that's big, for Adam, how he handled it. I think he came into Spring Training with an opportunity to be a starter and then quickly became the role of we want you out of the bullpen, and he handled it very well, very professionally. And I think he's a very mature guy for his age and he's able to basically make adjustments when he needs to. And he did a tremendous job for us this year throwing out of the bullpen. Unfortunately Izzy went down and had to have surgery and we kind of didn't know who was going to be in the role. I think it was going to be Braden and Wayno, and then it seemed to be Wayno getting the opportunity. But I think he took the same approach he did in Spring Training as he's doing now, just going out and making his pitches. So he's done a tremendous job for us.
I guess they're going to announce
the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in a
few hours, can you explain how sort of the
relationship that you see between players and
management has changed over the years now
that this is going to be unprecedented 16
straight years of no labor stoppage, when
before it was every time they lost a World
Series. Can you explain it from your career,
how you've seen it change the relationship?
JEFF SUPPAN:Well, I'd really like to make a comment once it's official. I don't really have a comment right now until it's official. But it would be a great thing for the fans of baseball.
When you look back to Spring
Training, that first start against the Mets to
everything you guys went through during the
season and now you're an MVP of a series and
whatnot, how did you handle the season?
What were some of the ups and downs, and
how did you deal with those?
JEFF SUPPAN:I was waiting for somebody to ask me that question, so thank you, I appreciate that. I'm surprised it didn't come up in the series before. There's ups and downs in every season and our goal as a professional athlete is to be as consistent as possible throughout the whole year. And frankly, that's hard to do when you're playing against the best in the world. And I think that when you're keeping a frame of mind, a focus on really what you have to do, it takes away from the whole season, because when you think of the big picture you can get lost sometimes over the whole season. I try not to do that. I'm not saying I'm perfect and I do it every time, but I'd prefer to look back on the season once the season is over. And while I'm in the season I'm trying to focus on what I have to do and that would go right into the postseason the same way.
Just to follow up, first of all, I was
going to ask you that very question (laughter).
JEFF SUPPAN:I thought so.
Follow-up on the DH, the non-DH, as
someone who's pitched in both leagues, is
there one that you prefer? Do you prefer the
National League type of ball better than the
American League ball?
JEFF SUPPAN:They're definitely both enjoyable. I enjoyed both leagues. There's advantages to both. As a pitcher in the American League you don't have to run the bases, you can just concentrate on going out and pitching. In the National League you have to be able to handle the bat. You have to be able to bunt. So whatever league I was in, I enjoyed that league. With interleague play you start to see that now where pitchers in the American League, they're starting to handle the bat a lot better, because now they're getting at-bats, they're preparing for it. I remember I pitched against the Mets in interleague play in '96 or '95, whatever year, and that was like a whole new world to me; I was actually getting an at-bat. And I think that continuing to play, because of interleague play, it wasn't as "wow" to me, getting an at-bat. So I think it definitely creates an enjoyable game in both leagues, and then as far as American League pitchers getting to the World Series, I think they're better able to handle the at-bats than probably previously.
Besides starting tomorrow night,
what has been the most enjoyable part of this
whole experience for you?
JEFF SUPPAN:I'll let you know when it's all over. I think the enjoyable thing is to watch my family and my friends enjoy the moment. This is my job. This is my profession. So I know that I need to concentrate and focus. I know I've said it a thousand times, I apologize, but that's what I need to do. What's enjoyable for me is to watch my family and friends enjoy the moments. I'll have time when everything is over to look back and enjoy it then, but right now I'm just trying to do my job.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.