DAVID ECKSTEIN: Very frustrating. We
had an up-and-down season this year, but we've
got a veteran-type club that understands how to go
about playing the game. There was a lot of things
that did not go right with us this year, but we were
still able to right the ship enough to get into the
playoffs, and that's what this is all about is trying to
find a way to get into the playoffs, because once
you get there, anything can happen.
You know, we got Chris Carpenter, who
does a great job in our bullpen, stepped it up. And
Ronnie Belliard made so many great plays that
helped change the course of the series.
What's it like playing for Tony La
Russa and maybe some contrast between him
and playing for Mike Scioscia?
DAVID ECKSTEIN: Actually, they are both
pretty similar, especially with this style of game that
I play. They will call anything at any time.
You know, I remember watching when I
was in Anaheim with Mike Scioscia, he put three
straight hit-and-runs with Bengie Molina 0-1, 0-2
and on 0-2 he got a base hit. That's the same
thing that Tony will do, you just don't know what's
going to happen, especially with putting guys in
motion and trying to make things happen from an
offensive side of things. Scioscia will show a little
bit more emotion. Tony is pretty straight laced and
especially on the bench, I don't think he will crack a
smile at all. But he's very focused on what's going
to happen and he plans the game and how to go
You've been through this before,
you've been successful. The Mets talk a lot
about chemistry, do you believe in that, does
chemistry help, or do the two teams have
chemistry because they are playing well, which
DAVID ECKSTEIN: I think chemistry is a
major factor in a club. If guys get along inside the
clubhouse and like each other, they are going to
go out and play harder on the field. I think it's
huge. You know, you watch, like you said, you're
talking about the Mets, you watch them play, they
look like they are having just loads of fun out there.
You've got a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of guys
On our club, we have a good veteran
leadership-type of deal in which we know how to
go about it and we have a good time suiting up and
playing hard. I think that's a huge factor in
becoming a championship club.
Albert Pujols might be the biggest
game-changer in baseball. What's it like
having him on your side and are you
flabbergasted how many teams pitch to him?
DAVID ECKSTEIN: Definitely. I think he's
probably, if not, he's right there, one, two, with the
best guys in the game today. He has the ability up
there and he knows the strike zone. I think that's
what makes him an even better hitter than some of
the other guys. He's not willing to force the issue,
he's willing to take the walk. But he has the ability,
like you said with one swing of the bat to change
That's why it's really important for us to
have Jim Edmonds back in the lineup, backing him
up, so that at least you're kind of, well, do we pitch
to him and if we pitch to Edmonds worrying about
runners on base. It's one of those things, we need
him and hopefully Scottie is going to be healthy
here soon. If we have those two guys backing him
up, he'll get more pitches to hit and if not, the guys
behind him will be facing the pitching.
You have a better eye for this than
we do, as a shortstop, as a fellow professional,
what is it that sets Reyes apart? Just from
your practiced eye, what makes Reyes special?
DAVID ECKSTEIN: I mean, I think
anybody that's watched him play loves his
enthusiasm, his love for the game. It just shows
through. His raw talent is unbelievable. He gets to
balls, makes the good throws. His ability from the
offensive side of things, switch-hitting, can lay
down bunts, can hit for power. He has pretty much
the total package out there, and being so young,
just his eyes are so wide, he's just fun to watch.
When I was talking about chemistry, I think
he brings a lot to the club. I think he gets the club
going, and he adds to it, just his young,
enthusiastic style of play.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.