I just want to thank everybody. I want to thank the fans. I want to thank everyone for all of the support this season. We had so much fun. How electric this park was and even just going around town and seeing how everyone was responding to what was going on with our team, to me, it was so gratifying. It felt so good. I’m very thankful for that.
I didn’t want to leave without saying thank you to all the fans. Not only the ones at the field, but all over St. Pete and Tampa. Every time you went to a grocery store, a pharmacy, a drive through, or a restaurant, they were always there supporting the Rays. It feels so good to know that this team has such a huge backing.
And the great thing about it is, we came from the bottom to the top, and I know they feel that growth with us. It’s so cool to share this experience that we have been so privileged to have experienced with everyone here — St. Pete, Tampa, the whole state of Florida. Because everywhere I go, I hear nice things about this team. So I just wanted to tell everyone how thankful I am.
I’m devastated. I’ll be honest with all of you. I’m devastated and very sad, I can’t lie.
At the same time, I also am smart enough to know it has been a magical season all the way up to this point. I’m proud that I think, not only myself, but the whole entire team, we had faith — even on that last pitch — that something good was going to happen, that we were still going to find a way to win this series. And because of that unwavering faith we had, I’m extremely proud of this ballclub. But I still can’t believe that this is the end. I thought that this perfect story needed a perfect ending. This is not what I had in mind.
I’m proud because my team thought the same way right up until the last pitch. At the same time, we have to tip our hats. You have to learn how to lose. The good thing is that now we know defeat, but we know defeat in the World Series. And we have tasted victory in the playoffs. So for that, we’re very grateful.
Many great ones that have played this game have never gotten to this point to experience defeat or victory. And we understand that. We treat this with respect. We understand how blessed we are to get to this point. And let’s not forget this has been an incredibly magical season, and one that nobody thought could ever be possible. So in a sense, we are victorious in all aspects, actually, just to get to this point.
It’s been amazing, and I think we have inspired many. And that in itself needs to be a victory for us. So for now, it’s our duty to make sure we look at this situation with good perspective. And that is, looking at the overall picture, we are victorious. We are winners.
I think I must state the obvious, especially after a game like today. Their bats are hot. Or their bats were hot. Our bats have been cold. They’ve also pitched very well. You can add a little bit of anxiety on our part and that’s not a good combination. So I think that’s why this game in particular went that way.
The game before that, I thought it could have gone either way. So today, that was one of those days. To be honest with you, tomorrow we have a game. That’s what we have. We have one ballgame. And we’ve won and we’ve lost the whole entire season, so that’s the way we view it. We don’t waste our time trying to figure what’s going on, what are we doing wrong. You come out and you give it your best. And you win and you lose, and that’s where you leave it. That’s where you leave it. And I think we’ve been able to do that all year.
And I expect the team to come back tomorrow and do the exact same thing — just play our game.
What a fun game tonight. I know we didn’t win, but it was just a great game.
First, I think I’ve got to tip my hat to Jamie Moyer. He’s going to be 46, and just think how awesome what he did tonight was. He has a great story that I think would inspire anybody. He a real example of professionalism, tenacity and hard work.
I have to give Jamie a lot of credit tonight. He’s a great pitcher. He’s unbelievable. He’s out there throwing outside corner, inside corner, and looking back at my game against him, I wondered how many pitches I got in the zone to hit. And I could count just one, and that was the first one I saw. It kind of caught me off guard; as soon as I looked up, it was coming. So I just took it. And that’s the best pitch I got to hit all night. He was going off the corners, inside and outside.
Once Jamie left the game, we managed to come back and tie it, and I was thinking we had a good chance to win it, but then they took it on a swinging bunt. And that’s the cool thing about this game, you can win on a hit like that or a home run. I’m sure the Phillies’ fans had a blast today with that. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t. But we just turn the page and get back after them tomorrow. Good break for them, bad for us.
We were very confident that we were going to come up with a win tonight. We have a lot of confidence, and the good thing about it is we don’t try to force things. It’s not easy to do, because we are in the World Series and there’s all this stuff going on around us, and sometimes it’s like “Ah,” and the first human reaction is to do that. But I’m very glad for us as a team to stay calm.
We aren’t flying tonight after the game; we are leaving tomorrow, so that’s nice. I went to Philadelphia once, a long time ago, but I don’t remember anything about it. It’s just cool to go over there with the series tied. Tonight, winning our first game in World Series history, it is a big moment for us.
I am going to see my mom, my sister — they are all going to be there — so it will be like a little family reunion. So it’s great. The day off tomorrow will be nice — we will get some rest. It’s going to be colder, that’s for sure. Tomorrow we get a little breather when we get there. We’ll just try to use it to our advantage, try to rest a little bit, enjoy today’s win and go back at it.
I’m extremely happy today. I have my brothers, Omar and Pedro, in town. I also have my brothers-in-law in town. So they are hanging out together, they are good friends — it’s a lot of fun. It’s cool to have them here, especially my brothers, because all the stuff we went through when we were younger. We’ve been reminiscing about all those times when we were kids and coming to this country together.
So it’s special to be sharing this moment with them, because obviously we’ve seen way more difficult times than we’ve seen right there tonight.
The funny thing is when we were younger and maybe we were going through tough times, we were always as happy as could possibly be. So it’s just nice to see how we have grown to men now. And everybody has taken a different direction. Omar is still going to school and also playing baseball, and Pedro is actually finishing up his PhD in molecular biology. So he’s a genius. And we are all so proud of him. He’s done some incredible things.
So I was just happy to have them here in the stands tonight. I’m having a blast.
I’ve had a day to digest the fact we’re going to the World Series and I’m still extremely excited. I feel like I’ve had a lot of sleep, when in reality, I haven’t. I think it’s because of how excited I am and how happy I am to have this opportunity. I’m so proud of this ballclub, and so proud to be a part of it, and the way we’ve done it. So, to me, my No. 1 intent is to make sure I take it all in.
Going through Boston, my hometown, made it a lot more special for me. And I think everyone was excited about how we got here. We earned it. We had to keep coming until the end to finally come away with that victory in Game 7. You can’t understand how joyful I was after that game. I was the last one out of this clubhouse. After everybody left, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, everyone’s gone, I have to go home.”
No matter how happy we are to be in the World Series, we are far from content. Don’t get me wrong, we’re extremely happy where we’re at right now, we’re loving it. We’re enjoying it. We know we have to keep it going and prepare for the next series, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with realizing what we’ve accomplished to this point.
We proved a lot to ourselves by winning the American League pennant. All of this wasn’t easy. Boston wasn’t easy. Being able to recover from a difficult game at Fenway and to be victorious says a lot about this ballclub. Now we move on to the World Series and we’ve got to keep it going.
What a special night. This team is a family, and what we have done is a family accomplishment. I can’t say enough about the way this team has responded to adversity all year. Every time we have something go wrong, this team seems to pull closer together. The Red Sox are a great team — we respect them a great deal — so to win a Game 7 against them is a real accomplishment. But we are a team that has been counted out a lot this season. Every time that happens, watch out.
We still have work to do in the World Series, so we’ll celebrate this together, because we are a family. We’ll rest a little bit on Monday, spend time with our families, then get back after it Tuesday.
What a thrill it was to be down on that field tonight after the game with all of our fans cheering us on. All of our fans really mean a lot to us. They are great and we respond to them being there. The World Series is right there in front of us, and it should be fun. This is what you dream about as a kid. Don’t wake me up.
You know what, tonight was one of those games where you just have to shut it off afterward and recognize that we just got beat.
Yes, we lost, but I thought we did a good job. We did the best we could with our at-bats. We just couldn’t get it going, which has happened before to us. So if anything, we just have to stay hopeful and optimistic — especially after these last two games we’ve played haven’t gone our way. So I’m hopeful the tide is about to turn. You know it’s due.
The object for us will be to try to make all of this — the playoffs and all the hype — feel normal. And sometimes that’s hard to do. But that’s exactly what the beauty of it is — to be able to stay within, focus within, you don’t let everything outside pollute you. That’s the beauty of sports. Because sometimes, what may seem like a defeat on the physical level is a victory on the mental level — just because of how you were pressing or how you made it seem the same even though it’s a big situation in everybody’s eyes, but to you it’s the same. So you gave yourself the best shot to be successful, but it just didn’t happen.
We just feel like we should shrug off Game 6, because we came out and had good at-bats and locked ourselves in there. We kept things simple and we got beat. It’s a lot easier just to shrug your shoulders and tip your hat and just play another game tomorrow.
I had to come here to talk to the media. Otherwise, I would have gone to the beach, it’s such a gorgeous day out. I think today I’m going to take the time to be with the family, go to the beach later on, relax and come back full throttle.
That’s the plan — just kind of lay low and relax, just enjoy the day. And I said this when I woke up, “Wow, today’s going to be so chill; it’s going to be such a great day.” So I’m going to do what I like to do, maybe read a little bit.
You should see everybody around here has got a little smirk or a smile on their face, which is a great thing. It’s just great, because our overall sense is, “Man, it’s just good to be here right now.” To be able to get to this point, we are ecstatic that we are still talking baseball on Oct. 18!
So we are never going to lose sight of that.
I am just so happy that I can sit here and talk to you about, “Oh, we got a game next Saturday” or “Oh, this happened.” I’m just glad I’m not home in Orlando watching somebody else do it. I’m actually part of it right now.
So we are all very grateful to be in this position, and I think that’s where our focus is — just going along for the ride.
We are confident and we want to go all the way, so we are enjoying every moment as it comes, trying to be very present and not let all this breeze by us.
Everybody’s really, really taking the time to enjoy every second that we spend in October. And hopefully we can be the last team standing.