Oct. 30 Shane Victorino & Dustin Pedroia pregame interview
Q. Shane, just how are you feeling? And how did you progress from the time you came out of the lineup?
SHANE VICTORINO: I feel a lot better. Progressively have gotten better every day. As we talked about, Game 5, I had every intention of being there. I think that John and I discussed before the game the magnitude of the game and what had happened the night before and I totally understand what he was -- his understanding of where I was and maybe giving me that extra day and keeping the lineup the way it was.
So I took it at that. And, yeah, like I said I feel a lot better, physically better today and I'm a go.
Q. Can you talk about just the mood right now and the sense of trying to balance what I assume is human nature, excitement, with the fact that you don't want to be too excited and not get out of your normal game mood?
DUSTIN PEDROIA: Yeah, I mean, it's the same focus that we've had since day one. We've got a game today. We're going to try our best to go out there and execute our pitch and play the game the right way and try to win that game. This is the game on the schedule that we have to play and try to win. That's what we're going to focus on.
SHANE VICTORINO: I agree one hundred percent, we're focused on today. We're not worried about tomorrow. If tomorrow comes, tomorrow comes. But from day one we've all focused on the game that's in fronts of us. What we have tonight, we understand the magnitude. There's a lot of excitement. And there's a gentleman across the way that's been very good this whole postseason. We all understand and we're just going to go out and give it a hundred percent and leave it on the field, it is what it is.
Q. Both of you have won Gold Gloves before, talk about what it means to win another one. And if this means more than some offensive awards?
DUSTIN PEDROIA: Yeah, it's definitely a huge honor. I mean, there's so many great second basemen in the American League. So to win that award it's an honor. We play against them every night. You see them out there and you respect them so much the way they play the game, all of them. It's a huge honor.
SHANE VICTORINO: I agree.
Q. Every player comes to Spring Training hoping to get to the World Series. Given what you guys went through last year and the number of changes that were made go during the offseason, what was your realistic expectations and how obviously it worked out?
DUSTIN PEDROIA: Yeah, my expectations of our team didn't change from last Spring Training to this one. Our goal -- your goal playing for the Red Sox every year is to try to be at this point and win the World Series. At that point we understand how hard it is. And there are tons -- I mean, every team, you go out there and compete against the best every day. So if you don't shoot for the highest goal year in and year out, this is why we play, is to try to be the best team in the game.
But every year -- next year we're going to come in and our goal is to win the World Series, and that's never going to change here.
SHANE VICTORINO: I agree (laughter).
Q. Shane, I'm going to make you actually answer a whole question. You got a Gold Glove in right field after winning some Gold Gloves in center field. What does that mean to you having changed positions and performed at the level you did?
SHANE VICTORINO: I think it means a lot. More than anything I think the magnitude of moving to right field, the magnitude of playing in Fenway Park, this was a big surprise. In regards to not surprise, the fact that I won, a surprise more than anything for me was, everybody talked about I took it as a surprise about how everybody talked about how hard Fenway Park in right field was to play. I've always worked hard on my defense. And I've always taken pride in my defense, just like Dustin has and the rest of this team, collectively. I think there's a lot of other guys that are deserving of a Gold Glove.
To be the two guys standing up here and being the ones that received the award, I feel that much better about -- again not just myself, but my team. Because it's just not myself out there, it's having a good centerfielder, a good second baseman, a good defensive first baseman, to be able to play what they say is the most difficult right field in baseball.
Collectively it wasn't just me. It was the four guys that surrounded me and the rest of the team. The guys that go out there every single night. We worked on this from day one. We take pride in our defense, and it's something that we're going to continue to do and work hard at every single day.
Q. Stephen Drew has struggled at the plate this postseason, but he's continued to play defense at a very high caliber. Can you speak to how difficult that can be sometimes when you're struggling offensively, and how impressed you are by Stephen?
DUSTIN PEDROIA: Yeah, Stephen's been, defensively he's been unbelievable. And then I know the numbers say what they are offensively. But he's had at bats that have changed the games for us. Even the last one, his walk sets up everything.
He's a baseball player. He doesn't take anything out there with him. If he strikes out, he's still out there trying to make a great play to get us back in and score some runs. He does the little things that make our team go. And you guys don't see that as much as we do. But we see it every day. And he's a huge part of this whole thing.
SHANE VICTORINO: Agree.
Q. Shane, everybody knows the Boston fans obviously are very passionate. You've played in a couple of places. How is the Boston fan maybe different than other fans? And what is it like when you succeed here in this ballpark, Fenway Park, what is that like compared to other places?
SHANE VICTORINO: First off, I'll say people call this the cathedral of baseball, and I absolutely one hundred percent agree, this place is a special place to play. You talked a little bit about, yes, I have been able to play in a place like Philadelphia, LA, playing in some big markets. This is right up there with them. It's been great. It's been fun.
We all understand the magnitude of tonight's game. The fact that since we haven't won a championship in Fenway since 1918. I mean, I don't think there's even that many people who could say they remember that or even could say that they were around when that happened. So all these kind of things. And playing in front of these fans every single night, it doesn't get any better. I'm excited to see what happens. And as I said, we've still got a long, tough task ahead of us.
Q. Dustin, I'm sure Shane's reference tonight to 1918 wasn't the first one you heard. As you were getting ready, driving in, did you see anything on the streets, did you see people wearing things, did you hear different things on the radio, TV, to let you notice there's a little greater sense of anticipation today?
DUSTIN PEDROIA: I kind of have a pretty simple life. I walked to the field. I didn't really see anything. I don't really watch that much on TV. You kind of have blinders on right now. We've got a busy schedule and you want to spend time with your family. You've got to try to put all that stuff aside and focus on what we're trying to do, because they analyze every little thing in the playoffs and especially in the World Series.
So I haven't seen anything. I mean, that's basically it. I'm getting ready to try to help us win today and all the other stuff is not for us.
SHANE VICTORINO: Agree.
Q. Can you talk about going into tonight's game against Michael Wacha and how you prepare for him, and what does he do that makes him so effective?
SHANE VICTORINO: He's good. The bottom line, no way about it. There's no reason to sit here and think any differently. He's good. He's a 22 year old kid that's having fun, I think most importantly. And that's what it's all about when you play this game. You've got to have fun doing it. He pitches out of the same arm slot with an effective change up, fastball combination. He mixes that curveball in there just to give you that extra thought.
So again, these are all things that you've got to grind, we've done it all year long. Why change now? Like I said, we know the task is not easy. We know we're up against a tough pitcher, a tough challenge, but I'm walking out on the field looking at I'm looking at him no different than I'm going to get him. Again, not in a negative way, but just that I've got to walk out there with that kind of mindset.
Q. Similar topic, did Wacha show you anything that surprised you? And are there adjustments to be made tonight?
DUSTIN PEDROIA: No, I mean I think we all knew going into his last start that he had great stuff. We watched video and seen what he's done so far in the playoffs and since he's been called up. So I don't think any of us were surprised that it's great stuff. We're trying to make adjustments, pitch by pitch, because we haven't seen him. And that part can be hard when he has overpowering stuff.
Hopefully this time around we have better at bats than last time and try to make our adjustments quicker.
Q. I know you guys have become a tight knit group this year. You have four everyday players that are free agents at the end of the year. Do you look at this as a big opportunity to finish this off and really achieve something as this group, knowing that it might not be together the same way again?
DUSTIN PEDROIA: Yeah, I mean, that's the business side. I don't think anybody in there is thinking about that. We're just focused on another game. And then that's how we've taken it all year. Heck, I don't know if I'll be here tomorrow. That's the way everyone thinks about it.
We'll worry about that stuff when it gets here. Every single guy has worked extremely hard at their certain role on the team and that's why we've been so successful.
SHANE VICTORINO: Agree.
Q. Shane, you took a chance with a last place team last year and you signed this year. And obviously they paid you well to make that decision. Now that you've been part of this on the inside and see how this organization works and how the team was put together and how they've played, what sense does it give you that they know what to do to put winning teams out there and will continue to do so?
SHANE VICTORINO: Honestly, in my opinion to that, I've been a fan of the game. I watch the game from afar. When it's all said and done with, I am when I put on at that time what was Philadelphia Phillies uniform, next was an LA Dodgers uniform. I'm a fan of the game. I watch what is going on. This organization, there's reason why these two teams are here. Not too many teams have won two World Series in this century. That tells me what it's all about. I should've just said in the last ten years.
And that's why I think most importantly for me, when I signed here, I knew what this was about. It wasn't just a bump in the road the last couple of years. And I didn't look at it any differently. Even though they were in last place, I knew this was a first class organization. They're about winning. They want to be at the top. I know it's a tough division. And this is one of the divisions that -- hey, I learned myself a lot this year how tough this really was in the AL East.
But that in itself, I said, I'm a fan of the game, I paid attention to them from afar. I played them every year in interleague. I know what's that like. Red Sox Nation, they've got a big following. That's another thing that lured me to sign here in Boston.