10/23/07 4:32 PM ET
Workout day interview with Josh Beckett
Pitcher says the team that executes the best game plan will win
By / MLB.com
JOSH BECKETT: I don't know, I think I've been doing the same thing in October that I was doing during the season. Just comes down to executing pitches. They always say it's easy when you've got all your stuff going for you.
Is it because of more attention focused that people seem to notice more than they do during the season?
JOSH BECKETT: Yeah, I'd say that's probably a good explanation for it.
You've had a chance to face Colorado earlier in the season. I know it was only June, but what do you recall from that start maybe having a chance to have seen some of their hitters?
JOSH BECKETT: They've always had a good lineup. I think now they've got some pitchers that know how to pitch because they were always just kind of mixing and matching when I was in the National League, but they've always been able to hit. There was never a question about any of their ability to spit out hitters, Todd Helton being a guy from quite a long time ago, but they've always been able to put a good team out there.
When a team has hitters who haven't faced major league pitching for eight or nine days, is there anything that you will try to exploit to take advantage of that in any way?
JOSH BECKETT: They're going to be locked in. That's the way it is in October. I keep saying that. They're not worried about that. It was a good chance for them to rest, and I don't think that any of them are going to be using that as an excuse, and I don't think that that's something that we should use as an excuse, either. They've been hitting. They've been taking BP, whether it be in a cage or on the field. Their guys are going to be locked in. That's the way October is.
Baseball holds a special plays for guys who dominate repeatedly in October. You already have one World Series MVP trophy award and another dominant October so far. Do you allow that to motivate you or do you block that out, the whole history aspect?
JOSH BECKETT: I'm not too worried about it, just trying to execute pitches. I'm not worried about any of the other stuff. It's great if you win those awards. There's about five other guys that could have won that award in the ALCS. We had one guy hit .500 and hit three home runs, and somehow I came out with it. I feel very blessed and very lucky to have won it. But there's a lot of guys that could have won that award.
You were on the Florida team that won the World Series, and you've talked about it, how you guys were just kind of kids and going through what have you. You look now at this team, the Red Sox team, that has all that experience, with both sides of that equation does experience mean anything at this time of year in a World Series, and if so, what, and is there any advantage to it?
JOSH BECKETT: I don't really think that there's any advantage at all. You know, everybody has experience at playing baseball, and that's what we're going to do, and the best team of people who execute the most amount of pitches, get the best timely hitting and make the least amount of mistakes is the team that's going to win the World Series. It doesn't matter -- fortunately that we're one of the two teams that has that opportunity, but whoever does those things the best is going to win.
Regarding your opponent tomorrow night, do you know Mr. Francis, and what do you know about him and what do you admire about him?
JOSH BECKETT: I mean, I don't know a lot about him personally. You know, I've obviously watched him this October and he pitched against me here during the season. He competes, throws all his pitches for strikes. Like you said, he just competes.
The thing that really impressed me about Jeff, watching him in October, was that he never changes his moods, they always stay the same. I guess he's still a little bit younger than me. I know once you get to the big leagues as early as I did, so I guess I can still call him younger, but it was really impressive to watch him pitch in both of those playoff games and be the No. 1 guy in both series. It didn't matter what happened in the first inning, second inning was the second inning, third inning was the third inning. It impressed me how even keel he was.
Your teammates use the term locked in with you on the mound. Is that something that starts the morning of a game? Are you already getting into that locked in phase? What do you actually get locked in?
JOSH BECKETT: I don't know what that means.
Just being so focused that nothing else around you even comes into play. Is that something that the morning you wake up all you're thinking about is that start?
JOSH BECKETT: No. I mean, I think I'm a normal guy the way I pitch. I think that's probably more what people say. Like I said, I don't know. I think I'm pretty much a normal guy on the day I pitch. I come in, having fun, talking to guys. I don't think I do anything differently. I try not to alienate the people that are going to help me win ballgames.
Last week you said Grady Sizemore was the guy who made the Indians' lineup go. Is there someone who makes this Rockies' lineup go in the same way?
JOSH BECKETT: A lot of guys. They've got some speed at the top, they've got their thumpers in the middle. I mean, I don't know who to really compare them to. They kind of remind me a little bit of an American League team the way that they're set up. They've got some really good bats at the bottom of their lineup. Obviously they have a guy that ended up filling in for somebody that was hurt for most of the season who was probably going to end up being their DH. Like I said, they remind me a lot of an American League team. They can hit.
If you had been needed in Game 7 a few days ago, could you have physically pitched? And how are you feeling right now at this point in the season physically?
JOSH BECKETT: I feel fine. Yes, I could have pitched.
You keep mentioning this is October, and this is kind of the way that things go. I mean, isn't there still a sense of -- I don't know what the emotion is, you tell me, you're getting the ball, Game 1, you've been there before, your teammates have been there before, it is October, this is it for you guys? Is there a special emotion that comes into play for that?
JOSH BECKETT: Special emotion?
JOSH BECKETT: No. Whoever executes the best game plan is the team that's going to win. Whoever does that the best is going to win four games before the other team does. That's what we have to do.
You said a moment ago, you said that the Rockies are going to be locked in. It's October. What do you mean by that, it's October?
JOSH BECKETT: There's not too many people out there that are not executing game plans to get to the World Series. That's what I'm saying. You don't get this far. When you're at home eating popcorn watching the World Series.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.