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Chris Duncan, Jim Edmonds pregame interview

Chris Duncan, Jim Edmonds pregame interview

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Chris, as a guy who's usually hitting in front of those guys, how much different does this lineup look and how much better does it work when Jimmy is going and when Scott is going the way they are now? It's been a while since you had both those guys going the way they are. How different does the lineup work when you've got both of them going right?

CHRIS DUNCAN: It's a lot different, because without those two in the lineup, it's all up to Albert when we get on base sometimes. But it's nice when Albert doesn't drive the runs and to have guys behind him that can do it. It definitely helps out a lot.

Jim, if a potential free agent called you and said, what's it like to play for La Russa, what are the do's and don'ts playing for La Russa --

JIM EDMONDS: No comment.

What would you tell him?

JIM EDMONDS: I mean, I think it's a great experience. I think it's made all the difference in my game as far as teaching me how to play the game the right way and growing up a lot, respect the game. I learned a lot of things when I was in Anaheim but I think I was too young at the time to understand everything. So it's just kind of been the right time for me, the right place, right time for me. But I think he's a genuine person as far as he really stays consistent with his approach to the game. And most of you all know, you guys say it's intensity, but I think it's consistency. He's just concentrating on what he does every day and he stays in that same mood every day. His most important thing is to help us get to a situation where we can win. So what you see is what you get, basically. He doesn't like all the hoopla and all that stuff going on, he just wants to concentrate on his job so the rest of us can be free to do what we do best.

This is for both of you guys, if you could. If the Cardinals win the World Series, do you think it would change the perception at all of the National League compared to the American League?

JIM EDMONDS: I'll be brief. That's not my -- I don't care what anybody thinks about anything. I'm just happy to be here as far as playing in the World Series. It's a great experience for anybody. That's what you guys do. You guys compare and critique and do stuff like that. That's what you guys make of it is how it will be perceived. We're just trying to get a spot in history.

CHRIS DUNCAN: I agree with Jim on that. It's something that we really don't think about. We're just trying to stay focused on our main goal, and we're not really thinking about what league is better. That's something that you guys can talk about, for sure.

Jim, we're a couple of hours before the first pitch. You've been playing many years, you're very close to achieving, I guess, the ultimate goal for you. Can you just talk about your mood right now? I know you're always an even-keeled person, but are you excited right now, do you feel something inside right now?

JIM EDMONDS: I'm trying not to think about it, to tell you the truth. I think about all the teams that have lost 3-1 leads. I think about the Yankees getting beat four in a row when they were up three games. I've been thinking about that a lot, so that's pretty much kept me from trying to get too excited. I have a lot of family and friends and phone calls and I'm trying to ignore everybody right now. A lot of the guys that cover our team all year long ask those questions, about how you're in a hitting streak and how things are going great, and I always tell them we'll talk about at the end of the year. I'm going to keep saying it, we'll talk about this when it's all over with. I'm trying to do the best I can to focus in on playing the game than worry about all the other things that have gone wrong for teams in the past.

Chris, we asked your dad a lot about you, I'd like to ask you about your dad. If you could put into perspective for us or just kind of discuss for us what kind of preparation he does, and how consumed he is by trying to find an edge any way possible, either for the pitchers or even for you or for the defense, just everything he does.

CHRIS DUNCAN: He works really hard. And he puts a lot of time into preparation and developing a game plan to attack the opposing team. He takes a lot of pride in it. He's definitely one of the hardest working coaches in baseball. I know that because as his son, I've seen him ever since I was a kid and I see all the work he puts into it. We know when our pitchers go out there that they're ready to pitch and they're prepared and they're going to have a solid game plan. If they execute, we're going to have a chance to win.

You've been with Tony, as you were saying, for a long time, with all the injuries you guys have had this year and the losing streaks during the season, to get to this point how important has Tony been, and in some ways has it been his best managing job you've seen?

JIM EDMONDS: I think it's the toughest managing job, obviously. We have a lot of different personalities this year. We've got a few guys from other teams, we've gotten a lot of help from our Minor League system. I think it's been tough on him. I don't know if it's his best, but it's definitely been his toughest, I think. There's so many different personalities this year, and the team has drastically changed over the last couple of years. I think managing a bunch of different guys he's not used to has been tougher for him. He's always been the same. I don't think there's been a year where I said, wow, Tony did a great job this year or he didn't do a great job this year. I think he does the same thing every year. And I think when you have a core group of guys, that just kind of carries over to each new player that comes in and they just go out there and just do what's been taught. And I think, like I said, it's so even-keeled it's hard to rate each year from year to year.

I want to ask about your health: Is this the best you've felt in several months? Are you still getting that injection, and what's it like to run around with a foot that's numb?

JIM EDMONDS: It's been a pretty weird experience. Yeah, I'm still getting injections every game. I feel good, other than that. Just getting to the point where the end of the year is coming and your body is -- we've had a couple of days off and I think when you have a couple of days off at this time of the year your body is thinking maybe we're at home and maybe I'm supposed to shut down. You have to keep telling yourself a couple more games, a couple more games. As far as the foot is concerned, it's just something that we pretty much perfected as far as for me, being able to really localize the area and they put an injection right into the joint and just keeping that area numb for just long enough to get through the game. We've had a couple of rough ones where it's worn off too early. I had one where my whole foot stayed numb for about 13 hours. It's taken me a couple of trials, but we've gotten it down pretty good.

Chris, how familiar were you with the landscape here? Before you became a professional and how much did you and Shelly hang around in the clubhouse when you were growing up and if so, who were some of the players that kind of took an interest in you and teased you and you had kind of a banter with at that time?

CHRIS DUNCAN: We tried to spend as much time out here as we could. But we definitely had stuff going on back home with summer baseball. But I was pretty familiar with St. Louis before I came here to play. A lot of the guys that helped us out were mostly pitchers, just because my dad was the pitching coach and we kind of run around with them and they took care of us. But definitely spent as much time as I could out here and would take BP in the old Busch Stadium and shag around and stuff like that.

Jim, with all the adversity of all the injuries this team has had during the regular season, how does it feel knowing that you're only a game away from winning a championship?

JIM EDMONDS: Feels pretty plain right now. I'm trying to keep it on that even keel. I mean, I love the postseason. I think it's a blast. I think playing in the postseason and to lose is better than ever getting a chance to not play in it at all, because it's just such a special time. Right now we've had two good series, and like you said we're one win away. I'm not going to allow myself to get in that frame of mind. I'm too concerned with all the history. So like I said, we'll talk about it tomorrow or whenever the series is over.

Jim, you look at the team the way they played in September, struggled a little bit because you were out and David Eckstein was out. David only played eight games and you were reduced in at-bats. You guys started every game in the postseason. Is this the team we would have seen all season if you had been healthy?

JIM EDMONDS: I like to think our opening day roster was a pretty good team. But our opening roster only played about five games total together. Who knew that this was going to happen? We obviously didn't know. It didn't look so good at certain points in the season. So we have a talented group, I think, as far as athletic ability goes, where a lot of guys can do a lot of different things. We've got good base runners, we've got good defense and we've got some guys that have some guts. We've got some guys that can hit, some guys that just battle. And we've got some pitchers that just go out and do their job. Chris points out that Dave does a great job of putting a game plan together and they execute it. They give us a chance to win. I don't think we ever saw this coming, but when you put a group of guys like we have together and they go out and battle, anything can happen. We just kind of proved that right now.

Conditions are the same for both teams and it's been wet and cold, with what happened to Granderson last night, is that something that could happen on any given play in the outfield? How dicey is it in the outfield?

JIM EDMONDS: I think you guys have seen that all year long with the troubles that Scott has had at third. Guys have been slipping in the outfield all year long, and some balls have been taking some bad hops on infielders and outfielders. Sorry, Scott. But I think we've had a lot of problems with the new field. The infielders and outfielders, our third basemen, both Scotts have gotten hit in the chest and face. I've seen Eckstein take balls off the face. With the turf and it not really sticking well this year, it's been tough. So hopefully it doesn't happen too many more times on a big stage like this, but it's been a tough field to play on at times.

So it's not necessarily the wetness?

JIM EDMONDS: That adds to it, but for some reason it stayed wet in the outfield all year long. He's slipped a couple of times. So it's been -- the new surface has been really tough to adapt to, the grass is having a tough time taking to the sand underneath. The wet conditions have added to it, but it's been pretty slippery most of the year. It's a tough spot to be in, I'm glad it didn't happen to me last night.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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