The weekend series with the Yankees obviously was a tough one. There was a lot happening — extra media in the clubhouse, an entirely different atmosphere that comes with the Yankees. To lose a game like Sunday night’s, with a four-run lead in the ninth with your closer coming in and you think it’s locked up, it was going to be really interesting to see how we responded. You can respond two ways — you can have a hangover from the loss or go back out and continue to fight. I liked what I saw in our first game against the Giants. Now we’re playing teams back in our division where we’ve had a lot of success. We can gain serious ground going head to head with the teams we need to beat. The guys are excited for Interleague Play to be over. We obviously didn’t play well, but that’s over and it’s good to get back in the National League and games in our division. – Reed
Now that Manny is back in the lineup, I know I’ll be seeing less playing time. But I knew the role when I signed, I knew this outfield had Manny and Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp and if they’re all healthy, they are going to play. They are game changers. That said, I’ve been in all but about five games so far, so I’m pretty happy as far as how much I’ve gotten into games. You can ask just about any of us on the bench, we’re all guys that know we can be called on at any time and you have to be prepared and ready. Look at Jamey Carroll, with Rafael Furcal going down, Jamey was prepared to step in and he’s done really well, offensively and defensively. This bench has a lot of veterans who know what the deal is. – Reed
We got through our first homestand in pretty good shape at 4-2 and there were definitely some positives we can take, not only from the homestand, but from the first two weeks of the season. Our offense is definitely putting up some runs, and once our pitching gets settled in and gets more defined roles, we’ll be playing better all around, we’ll be pretty dangerous in this division like the club was the past two years. There are a lot of good signs and we’re excited as we get this long trip started. – Reed
From the get-go this spring, our team didn’t have a lot of open spots. The roster was pretty much set, and when you have a veteran club like this or a club that’s been to the playoffs and won a division two years in row, Spring Training is more of an opportunity for guys to get ready and keep themselves healthy. If you do that, you consider it a successful Spring Training. I know the fans enjoy the Freeway Series before the season starts, but for the players it’s still a Spring Training atmosphere. The players, in the back of your mind, it’s more a game to get ready.
I think when Opening Day comes and the bell rings, it definitely has a different feel. There’s a little more adrenaline and more focus. It’s not that you just flip the switch and go from off to on, but there is definitely a different intensity. And it’s not really different when you open on the road. Opening Day is Opening Day. It doesn’t matter, the stadium will be full. Their fans will come out and get behind those guys early in a season. And this is a good, young Pirates team and these guys play hard and well. This will be a good challenge for us. – Reed
Thanks to everyone who checked out my blog. Hope to be back next year.
Sunday could be my last game with the Cubs, but that’s how you have to approach every day, even if it’s not the last day of the season. You never know — you might go out on the field and run into a wall or have a bad injury and never play the game again. That’s the approach you should take every time you go on the field — that it’s your last game. Sometimes you forget that.
When you have injuries like I had this year, it reminds you of how much you enjoy playing the game and especially how much you enjoy being in a city like this. Hopefully, there’s something they can do to get me back here.
I know there’s some priorities on the team above me, and I understand that. They’re going to try to make this team better, whichever way they can. If it’s me they talk to first or I’m one of the last free agent acquisitions in the offseason, we’ll just wait and see. This has been the best two years of my career. After coming from Toronto and coming to an organization that has so much tradition and so much fan support, it’s been a relief. Like the other guys who have played here before, if you’re a free agent looking in, this is a great place to play. There have been multiple players who have made the same comment that if you play a 15-year career, you should play at least one year at Wrigley. Fortunately, I’ve been able to get two under my belt so far.
It’s a tough goodbye but at the same time, hopefully there’s more memories for myself and the fans. Hopefully, I can be a part of something special, which would, I’m sure, please the whole city for a long, long time.
As for Font, they should look for some type of medicine in the offseason to help him grow. It’s going to be tough for him. I don’t know if they have machines to hook him up to and stretch him out or whatever. Maybe he’s only 12. Maybe he has a fake birth certificate. Maybe he could hit a growth spurt in the offseason. We’ll see.
I really had no opportunity to rehab anywhere with all the Minor League seasons being wrapped up. With the different pitchers on our staff being pushed back, and Teddy and Harden missing turns, we had to dip into the bullpen more, so there was no way for me to get a sim game in. I stood in against Jeff Stevens and saw 10 pitches in a bullpen when we were in St. Louis, so that’s all I’ve seen as far as pitching goes. I’ve just been hitting and taking BP. Sometimes it’s better if you try to keep it simple and don’t over-think things.
The Brewers knew I hadn’t played in a long time, so they came after me with a fastball in my first at-bat, and I was able to keep it fair down the line.
There’s going to be pain in my foot until the season’s over. Sometimes you need to out-milligram the other team. At this time of year, the jars of anti-inflammatory start emptying out to try to survive the last couple weeks of the season. I’m sure if you went to any team, it’d be the same.
It’s September, and there are a lot of guys here. We had very few September callups when I was in Toronto. We had a really small roster in Spring Training, and usually a lot of September callups were the same guys you would see early in spring — guys who are on the 40-man roster. In this organization, you get to see a lot of guys in Spring Training, and now you see the same faces around. There are some good opportunities, not only for the players out there but the organization as well.
Look at K-Rod. He came up for the Angels in September  and helped them in the playoffs. You get a first look at guys who are possibly going to be in the organization for a long time. It’s exciting to see those guys in this atmosphere as opposed to the Spring Training atmosphere. I think Lou and everyone in the front office can get a good look at how guys handle Chicago in general. Going to play in a big league organization somewhere else is one thing, but when you come here and you’re playing on this field in front of an electric crowd — not everybody can play under those circumstances. It’s a good opportunity to see which guys you think are going to be the future of the club and which guys will be best suited to play somewhere else.
You see some other organizations rebuilding or going the young route and trying to cut salary. With those teams, you’ll see a lot of older, veteran players moving out. Financially, it makes more sense. Here, I think they’ll continue to spend money to put the best team on the field.