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.