Oct. 27 Kelly Johnson pregame interview
Q. There was so much made about the experience level of some of you guys coming into the Postseason, it wasn't much team-wide. It seems you've gotten past that. Why do you think that is?
KELLY JOHNSON: Honestly, it's a group that does have a lot of experience with playoffs. And I think some of us that were added kind of late were most of those guys. But the guys that have been here before, I think they've won at all levels. Some of it's been made out of Conforto. Even winning in the Minor Leagues or winning in college or thing like that are big.
At the same time, I think we're all pulling in the same direction. We're here to win. We compete. We have the same ideals on how to go about it and we're in it as a team.
Q. Apologize for not having the research on this. How much DHing have you done? As a player, any thoughts on having the rules different in both leagues and the way it affects the World Series?
KELLY JOHNSON: Two years ago with Tampa, 2013 is when I've done the most DHing. So not a ton, but I have done it before, familiar with it a little bit.
It can be a little bit of a disadvantage for a National League team coming over. They have a DH position filled, whereas we have to plug somebody in that usually isn't in the starting lineup.
I think in this atmosphere, with what's on the line, it's about getting on base, any way possible. You get on in an error, it's just as exciting for us as it is to get a hit. You just need to get runners on and go 90 feet.
We're trying to score runs and prevent runs. We've got the same defense out there. We've been playing great. We're just going to try to do the best we can as a lineup to give it to the next guy and get on there.
Q. What is it like to be thrust into a pennant race after a tough year in Atlanta?
KELLY JOHNSON: Well, I was nervous, you know. It's always weird to get traded, get traded into a Division team. We were only a couple games back of the Mets at the time, so it was a little confusing. But it was for the best. It was meant to be.
The first day in I knew it was going to be a good thing. I was not familiar with a lot of the guys, just playing against them little bit. But you could tell right away what kind of guys we had, like I said, the first day in.
It's been just an unbelievable experience. I've been humbled to play with some of the players that are here. We've done nothing but gel. The chemistry has been great. And to be able to go and go from a team that didn't make the playoffs to a team that did, it's two years in a row for me, so it makes your season a lot more fun.
Q. Did you take a moment to soak in the fact that you're in the World Series?
KELLY JOHNSON: Of course. Every second of the day, I think every step I've taken since we officially beat the Cubs. That's all I think about. I think that's the case for all of us.
And at some point we're going to have to be able to get past that a little bit and play baseball. But it's that excitement and it's what everyone that's ever been to a World Series tells you to enjoy it. Soak it in. There's nothing like it.
There's guys I've gotten text messages from a lot of players that haven't made it. Enjoy this one for all of us that haven't been. It's things like that that put it in perspective and really make you understand. Just so happy and blessed to be here.
Q. Watching Daniel Murphy every day after the trade, could you see any hints down the stretch that he had a stretch in him like that? What's it like to watch a teammate go on a tear like this?
KELLY JOHNSON: It's a lot of fun. You get a chance to see guys get hot. We got to see Cespy get hot, I got to play with Andruw Jones, got hot, like that my rookie year in 2005. You see it throughout baseball every once in a while. Everyone talks about Beltran and Manny Ramirez had his time.
With Murph, when I got there, for one, I was really surprised in his batting practice how much power he has. The ball jumps off his bat as much as anybody. And it's in there. When it's in there like that you can tell. It's not a huge shock for us to get to see that every day in BP. And then when it happens, I think anybody does it, no matter if it's Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds, going to hitting six, seven home runs in a row, you're going to be amazed.
Certainly you think there's power potential in there, just seeing him in BP. He was very hot in August. He really turned his season around for that month. So this isn't just something that popped up exactly to me. He turned his season around halfway through and really finished strong. The power, obviously you can't predict that, but you could definitely see he had that in him.
Q. Considering your path here. You've played in practically the whole AL Leagues, and now you're making it through the NL Leagues. You did the Diamondbacks for a while. How gratifying is that for you?
KELLY JOHNSON: Personal level it's extremely gratifying. You get to play into my 11th season, and you get to finally taste what a World Series is like as a player. Like I said, there are guys that haven't done it and never did. It's something you're going to be telling your kids and grandkids about, and I think that's the best part about all this is just the memories that you're going to have.
But you never can predict it. I was told a long time ago, you're never going to get traded when you expect it. And that's been right all four or five times that it's happened. And it's something that, like I said, it's hard to put into words, but you can imagine, it's a special feeling for us.
Q. As far as the DH goes, you do realize that Michael Morse won the World Series here for the Giants as the DH, with the game-winning RBI last year in Game 7?
KELLY JOHNSON: You never know. That's the beauty about this game. It's fun to talk about. Baseball is one of the best sports ever to talk about and predict. I think the hot stove in the offseason is just as exciting as the season for some sometimes.
But you never can really tell. You can't predict a Daniel Murphy, you can't predict things, it's impossible. I think we just prepare. I've done preparation. I've done everything I can, and now I've just got to trust in the process and trust in that ability and I'm there for a reason.
So hopefully something happens, I get a chance to drive in a big run or score a big run, we might even be, like I said, just getting on base any way possible.
Q. The Royals have talked a little bit about unfinished business from last year's World Series. Did you watch that World Series? And if you were watching Game 7 did you ever think that Gordon might get sent home on that last play?
KELLY JOHNSON: I did watch. I was still a little bit, had my feelings hurt a little bit by them sweeping us when I was with Baltimore. To get to see those guys play at this level, in this environment already, I know what they're capable of.
As far as the play, it's not fresh on my memory, but these guys do just about everything right. They've proven it time and time again. Win the series, that last game in Toronto on a very heads up. And just aggressive play. Just a great play. So their defense is second to none.
We will have our hands full, there's no doubt about it. But this isn't just one team's World Series; there's two teams here. So we'll just come and play our game and they'll play theirs, and see what happens.