The last two days here, you really have to struggle to bang through the long days. I think you can smell the end. You treat the New York trip almost like it’s Opening Day. I think it’s a good thing we play these exhibitions. The travel will be tough for us but we’ll probably go through worse travel trips in the middle of the year. It’ll be good to play in front of a packed house for two days. It’ll be nice to see the stadium — we’ve heard so many things about it.
Now, you see everybody dress up nice. Font got his new outfit from “Gap for Kids” and Theriot’s suit is from “Men’s Wearhouse.” When you see those things, you know it’s time to go. Guys are excited and ready to get out of here. The new luggage tags are good, Otis yelling at everybody is another good sign. Like I said before, guys are excited and they want it to count. This trip will help us regain our focus. You have those Opening Day jitters and hopefully we get them out of the way and roll into Houston and start playing good baseball.
I love watching Patton pitch. He’s 24 years old and attacking the strike zone. The only problem Lou has with guys from a pitching standpoint is when they’re not throwing strikes and that’s not what Patton is all about. He’s about pounding the strike zone. I can see why any manager or any pitching coach could fall in love with a guy like that.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s with us the whole year. He’s not your typical Rule 5 guy. I think he can have a big impact on our team. You listen to his attitude and talking to him, he was so excited about spring. He was talking to me about how in Spring Training he does what he has to do physically in the weight room and out on the mound to prepare himself for the season and once the bell rings, it’s time to get after it. To hear that kind of attitude from a young kid — he has a lot of confidence in his stuff and that’s what you need to pitch up here.
He’ll be a good addition if he’s on our team. I think he’s going to have a long successful career. You can just tell. It’s not just a guy’s stuff, because there are guys with great stuff, but they don’t have the right attitude. He’s got the right combination and it’s exciting to see a player like that.