Great season comes to tough end

Although winning the World Series was our main goal, we
were happy with what we were able to accomplish. To win the division, after
being counted out by so many from the start, it was really a personal accomplishment
for every player on that team

Grif (Ken Griffey, Jr.) made that final out (Grant
Balfour strike out to end Game 4), and it was kind of weird for all of us. It
was disappointing to watch them celebrate on our home field because it made us
realize that the season really is over. No matter what we want, we can’t go
play baseball tomorrow.

You could tell our team was mentally and physically
drained, not that it’s an excuse. Every guy on our team gave it all we had. I
think we are all excited about moving on and seeing what we can do next year
after what we accomplished this year.

On a personal note, the highlights for me were just a
couple of home runs in decently big games, and that walk-off hit against
Baltimore (April 26, nightcap of a doubleheader). And of course, that last out
that got us the division title against Minnesota
(diving catch to end the American League Central tiebreaker on Sept. 29) was
big, even though the timed dive was questionable on my part.

Team-wise, celebrating together was cool when we captured
the division title after so many people counted us out.

The biggest disappointment was not advancing as far as we
wanted. But we had a lot of individuals who dealt with adversity and came above
it. We had a lot of guys overcome a lot of different things.

We missed Carlos (Quentin) a lot (out since beginning of
September with a fractured bone in his right wrist). He was a big part of our
team, and we all know what he’s capable of doing. It really stunk when he got
hurt, but we appreciate what he did. Carlos really carried us for a few months.

And you know what if people want to be negative about his
injury (slapping his right hand on the bat after fouling off a pitch from Cliff
Lee), it’s those people who are just looking for a reason to be negative and
have nothing better to do. He’s a great baseball player and a teammate, and
deserving of any recognition and accolades he receives.

Besides Carlos, Alexei (Ramirez) was probably the biggest
surprise for me this season. He went out every day and consistently got big
base hits and hit huge home runs for our team.

Now, I’m just going to start preparing for next season. I’m
going to work out with that same personal trainer, Todd Durkin, who I worked
with last offseason.

I’m going to do the same stuff I did to get ready for
Spring Training and do all I can to make the team. My goal is to play every day
in center field. If that’s with the White Sox, that would be great. But if it
ends up being with some other team, that’s great, too. I will be playing every
day in center field somewhere–that’s my main goal going into next season.

One down and in search of two more

Coming
off the bench and hitting against Chad Bradford (which Anderson
did in the eighth) is one of the toughest at-bats you can have. Honestly,
you’re almost begging for [Grant] Balfour to come out.

Balfour
is a tremendous pitcher and he throws really hard. But I think if any hitter
had to choose, they’d choose a guy who throws hard as opposed to a guy who
looks like he’s dragging his fingers on the ground every time he throws. I
expect to go out there and get a hit every time, but I also understand that
when a guy has had the success that he’s had and pitches from that arm angle -
not so many guys are gonna be able to square up the ball on him.

Yea,
I don’t think anybody in the big
leagues
will come off the bench consistently and square it up
every time. It’s tough. But I cant complain. This is what I’m doing and I don’t
think anyone expects me to go up there and hit a home run or drive the ball
every single time, especially under the circumstances. But my job right now is
to play defense the best I can, do what I can to help the team, and if I can
come up and have a good at bat, then I’m happy.

When
did I think we had a chance to win this one? Well, when we got back on the
board, obviously you gotta score a run to win the game, but that one inning, Dewayne Wise‘s
ball that he hit down the line. It was a good job of hitting and it really gave
us momentum and carried us through the game.

I
hope no one gets offended, because it’s not meant to be offensive, but I really
do call him the black Ross Gload. He’s the African-American Ross
Gload, there you go. Ross Gload is so versatile and he’s such a great hitter.
But a guy like Dewayne Wise, you’re almost in awe, wondering why this guy is
not playing everyday somewhere. This guy was about to go play Independent ball
and he’s helping us win postseason games.

Especially
I the last inning with Bobby [Jenks] throwing, I had a chance to check out the
crowd. I was thinking to myself, ‘I wonder if I can make a request to the
people directly behind the plate in the first 5 or ten rows to not do that
[wave the white towels] so I could see the ball off the bat. But more times
than not, it helps the team.

Starting over, down two

I
think the key for tomorrow is to pretend that the series is 0-0 and go one game
at a time. We take these two games at home and it’s a whole different series. That’s
what makes it good and bad about a five-game set. All we need to do is win one
game and let that carry over to the next.

On
the flight home Friday, guys were quiet for the most part, just playing cards.
Nothing too different from the norm. At this point in the season, it would be phony
for guys to be real [upset], and be down on themselves. That’s not how our team
is. We still got games left. The series definitely isn’t over. We’re not where
we want to be, but our guys have been down two and come back before.

You
definitely see it’s a little different on the Tampa
Bay side because there are so many
guys there who aren’t used to being in a winning organization. For them, this
is really exciting for them, which is great. We’re not so much different over
here. We’re just a lot of veteran guys who try to keep the same mindset and not
get too hyped up about it. I think it’s generally the same feeling, just a
different reaction and expression.

Everybody
gets along over here, but I could hang out with my best friend back home for
seven-plus months and we would butt heads. You’re going to butt heads during
the season. It’s just the way it is. You put people together for that much time,
and families butt heads, friends butt heads. But right now, we’re just playing
and trying to win baseball games. We’re all on the same page.

My
mom’s in town, so those are my plans for tonight. Hopefully, she’s taking it
easy on my credit card. She’s down somewhere on Michigan
Avenue.

I
don’t get to see my mom that much during the season because she works, but the
times that she does come out, I like to let her enjoy herself. Take the card
out, and surprisingly, she doesn’t do too much damage. I just tell her to have
fun, but I think like any mom, they do like to spoil themselves, but at the
same time, it’s their son and they don’t want to take advantage of their son.
Whatever she gets, hopefully she keeps it within reason.

Injuries
have definitely taken their toll. Would Carlos [Quentin] and Joe [Crede] and [Jose] Contreras have
helped us? Absolutely. But at the same time, I think there are some other guys
on the team who have stepped up and blossomed and done some really amazing
things this year. I don’t know if that could have happened under different
circumstances. 

Back against the wall, but going home

You have to go out there and make smart decisions, myself
included, and I know I tried to do too much at the plate tonight. Instead of
accepting the single or trying to square one up, I probably was trying to drive
the ball or swing too hard.

The game itself doesn’t really change from being inactive
during 2005. The atmosphere does. Actually going out there, the atmosphere is a
lot different. But I still have to go out there and play the game.

My mom is in town. So, after the workout on Saturday, I’ll
catch up with her and probably just have dinner.

We’ve been like this all year. We’ve been up and down, although
it’s hard to say we’ve had our backs up against the wall when we’ve been in first
pace. We put ourselves in this situation, but we have played well under
pressure. So hopefully we can come out on top.

Tampa Bay
is a good team, very Minnesota-like
in that they have scrappy hitters and good pitching. They also have guys who
can hit the ball out of the ballpark.

But I think all us believe in our team. If someone here
didn’t, it would really surprise me. It’s three wins, and we’ve put together
three in a row a bunch of times.

Now, here are a couple of responses to questions asked of
Anderson:

Q: Any thoughts about playing ball in a dome? How does
the dome in Tampa compare with the
Metrodome?

ANDERSON: I don’t
think the dome has anything to do with that. At the same time, these guys play
here every day and they know how to play in this stadium. It’s not an excuse. But
you can tell they use their atmosphere in this stadium to their advantage.

Q: Hey Brian, can you grow back your long curly locks of
magical gold? You are the Greatest American Hero!

ANDERSON: My
hair is the least of my concerns right now. I’ll worry about that in the
offseason. I’ll change it up from time to time.

A quiet Game 1 loss

I don’t know what happened in the seventh inning (with
Orlando Cabrera and Grant Balfour exchanging words). I wasn’t paying attention to
the swings and stuff. I was getting ready in case I had to pinch-hit, so I didn’t
see much of it.

Some guys just get caught up in the emotions, and I think
that got the best of Balfour. Stuff happens with him. He just got caught up. He’s
an emotional guy. He throws hard. He’s probably a great guy but just got caught
up a little bit.

As for my at-bat (leading off the eighth against J.P.
Howell as a pinch-hitter), I tried to put myself in a great hitting situation,
and I don’t know, man. I got myself in the best situation I could to hit and I got
out. It was a good call, strike three. It was a good pitch (on 3-2).

I don’t know where we go from here. I guess you have to
ask Ozzie. He’s the manager. But really, it’s a five-game series, so we just
need to put it behind us and get back going tomorrow.

Wednesday’s Workout Day

In 2005, I had the best of both words. I got to sit back
and enjoy and reap all the benefits. This year is a little different. Hopefully,
I’ll be participating and doing stuff to put runs on the board or make plays in
the field. This year, I can partake first-hand instead of sitting back and
watching.

It’s weird. I think that after you celebrate with all the
excitement we had last night, you tend to get carried away congratulating
everyone. It’s crazy how quick it goes. But I think everyone was emotionally
drained.

Guys were sitting around talking on the plane, and it was
a lot of fun. Usually our flights consist of guys playing cards or listening to
their Ipods or listening to music.

I got a bunch of text messages from my family and
friends. I won’t throw out the number because I don’t want to brag and make
anybody feel bad. But it was awesome. The ones I enjoyed best were from my friends
back home and the guys I played with in the past. They gave me a hard time and
said I didn’t need to dive to catch that final out. All the guys I played with
at the University of Arizona
who know the game, they were saying things like, ‘Quit timing it, Edmonds.’

When I caught it, I knew we had two outs and either me or
Jermaine Dye, one of us was going to lay out for that ball. I’m glad I got the opportunity
to make the catch.

They are all supporting us, and it shows us a lot.
Through the ups and downs we had, and it was a frustrating season, at times, for
them to come together, it really helped us pull through.

Tampa Bay
is going to play their game and we will play ours. It’s going to be a competitive
series, but it should be fun to watch.

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