Question: What are your thoughts on the new one-game wild-card playoff?
Answer: I thought it was great up until Friday when I saw teams that had great years, couple of bad plays and they're gone. Like Atlanta, they played so well all year and now their season is over. Texas played so well and now their season is over.
I thought it was really good for the last two weeks. The teams and cities were all in to it.
It's hard to picture teams like Atlanta and Texas having good years, and some team like the Cardinals sneaks in and wins and you're gone.
They're going to have people who don't like the new wild card. But there's only room for so many.
Question: How do you think you're thought of or remembered?
Answer: I would probably say longevity. The guy who went out there and took the ball, and never really shied away from anything. A good teammate, played hard, played the game right, respected the game. I think that's my main thing with people. My teammates always told me, 'I want you in my fox hole with me.' So that's good.
But I wish I had a couple of rings I could hang around my neck to show people, but those things are hard to come by.
Question: How were you able to last so long?
Answer: I had a friend ask me: how can you play for 17 years and never have one surgery? I told him, I have [horrible] insurance. I wanted to have a couple of surgeries, but I couldn't find the right doctor.
But to be serious I just grew up doing manual labor my whole life. I had a pitching coach who taught me the proper mechanics. Obviously my size helps because it gives me a lot of leverage. I always kept in shape. I always stayed in attention of being ready. I knew I didn't have the best stuff, but I knew when I stepped on the mound I was better prepared than the guy I was going against.
I was probably scared of failure. I worked so hard that I didn't want to lose my job. Sometimes they would say, 'Someone is there behind you, trying to take your job.' I would say, 'Where is he? I don't see him.' They would say, 'He'll be there one day.' I would say, 'one day, that's fine, but not today.'
Answer: That's a very special reward right there.
Just winning the batting title is something. Then you throw in the home runs and the RBIs. When was the last time that happened?
That's special. That's an MVP.
I don't think [Mike] Trout is going to have enough to win it.
How do you not give it to the guy who won the Triple Crown and got his team into the playoffs?
You can't look away from it. He's got my vote.