Playoff baseball, baby. So important that it warrants its own blog!
So why did it seem that every guy in a uniform was trying to convince
everyone with a notepad or a microphone that this was just another
sunny day in San Diego?
Padres manager Bruce Bochy, on managing in the postseason: "I don’t
think you approach it too much different, to be honest, because you’re
trying to win every game. That’s the only way you’re going to get here
is if you have a winning season. So in that respect, you know, we’re
going to pretty much be doing the same thing hopefully that we have
been doing all season, and I think we’ll be all right."
Cardinals Game 1 starter Chris Caprenter, on whether there is more
pressure: "No. And the reason is that it’s a team effort, a team game.
I could easily go out and do my job and still lose. Or the offense and
defense could go out and do their job and I don’t do mine and lose.
It’s one game at a time. I’m going out to do the best to give my team a
chance to win tomorrow. Hopefully that will be good enough."
OK, we can buy that. But no matter how normal Monday
felt — outside of the Padres fan rally next to the ballpark and the
Division Series logos along the baselines — everyone will be singing a
slightly different tune on Tuesday. It’s true that Division Series tend
not to have the same feel as League Championship Series and certainly
not the World Series. Four series spread across the country, all
playing at once. Fewer media in each spot. No celebrity National Anthem
singers. Empty seats here and there. But the best-of-five set-up makes
every game even more critical, and Bochy, Carpenter and everybody else
is aware of that.
A band performed "I Will Survive" in that fan rally. A week from now,
only the Cardinals or the Padres will be singing that tune.
Stay with us throughout the series and we’ll try to come up with some interesting topics you won’t find in the regular coverage.