Todd Helton told us when he saw
Tony Gwynn Sr. at the playoffs he gave
him a big hug. Did you get a chance to do
JEFF FRANCIS: No. I haven't met him
before, but when I do, I will definitely shake his
Hey, several people have noticed
through this late run when you're on the
mound that there seems to be this real
calmness about you. You're not an overly
emotional guy anyway, but where did that
come from? Has that always been the way --
coming up, whenever you're pitching you don't
get ruffled, and there seems to be a calm
JEFF FRANCIS: Well, I think I've watched
a lot of people play baseball, you know, as a kid
and growing up, and you know, I kinda like the way
people play when they go out and do their
business and get off the field.
You know, not that I don't think people
should show emotion on the field, but I think that's
a good way for me to approach it. I need to be
going in and have electric stuff on the mound, so I
think it's key for me to not be going on that roller
coaster during a game, so I think for me that
approach is more effective.
The wedding you missed was last
JEFF FRANCIS: Yeah.
Did you send any kind of message
over, did you find out how it went over there?
JEFF FRANCIS: I got to talk to my brother
on his wedding day, and he was pleased. I
promised him some World Series tickets, so I hope
that makes up for it.
Obviously you're where you want to
be. How disappointing was it, sort of, not to
get there, and maybe talk about the planning.
Obviously a few people didn't think you guys
would make it this far into the playoffs to
schedule the wedding on that date.
JEFF FRANCIS: When he first planned
the wedding, which was before the season started,
he had a plan A and a plan B, which was -- plan A
was having it October 13th, and plan B was
moving it to November. And when those plans got
solidified in April and May, the Rockies weren't
doing so hot, so he solidified it to October 13th,
and the end of September we go on an incredible
run to get into the playoffs.
So, yeah, I missed my brother's wedding,
but this is a once in a lifetime thing, and my brother
wants me to be here.
And you hope his wedding is not
more than a once-in-a-lifetime thing?
JEFF FRANCIS: Exactly, yeah.
Earlier in the season you guys didn't
have the stability in the back end of the rotation
that you have now, the last month or so, guys
being so steady. When guys were coming in
and out, you were the constant. Did you ever
feel like the responsible one, the stopper, as it
was, in the rotation, making sure that things
were steady there and giving your team innings
at that point in time?
JEFF FRANCIS: I think things worked out
for me to the point where I didn't feel any extra
pressure. I go out and watch Ubaldo and Franklin
pitch, and they're dynamite pitchers. They're doing
things already that, you know, a lot of young
players wait to do a long time.
So I think, yeah, it hurt our team when
those guys went down with injuries, but these
young guys like Jimenez and Morales have
stepped up and did more than anyone thought they
would do, and it took the pressure off me being the
only guy left in the beginning starting rotation this
There are a lot of leadership qualities in all
of us; it's not just me. Guys like Fogg, who has
been around a long, long time, we share those
duties among all of us.
With this layoff have you been doing
anything differently, throwing sim games
instead of regular side sessions or trying to be
as normal as you can in your routine?
JEFF FRANCIS: We had an intersquad
scrub game today on the field, and although the
adrenaline isn't there of a full-fledged game, you're
still out there facing hitters, and the competition is
there, and you want to go out and not get
So I think that's a good preparation, and
now I'm on my five-day schedule where I can pitch
on a Wednesday.
How many innings did you throw
today, or how many pitches?
JEFF FRANCIS: Threw 4 innings, 15
pitches an inning, yeah.
I wanted to ask you about this layoff
and how you think it's affecting the team, if at
all, if you would rather be getting back on the
field right away or not?
JEFF FRANCIS: Well, you know, I think
so far it's been nice. I think there is a lot of things
that come along with playing in the World Series,
obviously that's new to every one of us, trying to
arrange for families to get out to watch the games.
If we only had a couple days to do that,
that might get distracting for us, take us away from
what we want to do. But as far as on-the-field
stuff, I think the guys in this clubhouse are
accountable and responsible enough to know what
to do to get ready for Wednesday, and I'm
confident with the guys we have we'll be ready to
I know you're pitching for Colorado
and not Canada, but do you have a sense of
how important this might be to the sports fans
in general, and baseball fans in particular,
when you take the mound? Because it is, as
you know, a rarity to have a Canadian in the
JEFF FRANCIS: Yeah, I mean, playing in
Canada -- or being from Canada and playing here
is definitely something I'm proud of, and I know
every Canadian here is proud of. That's nothing to
speak lightly of. But right now we're representing
the Colorado Rockies and the city of Denver, who
has been waiting for this for a long time, and that
means something to all of us.
I don't speak enough about being from
Canada, and it's something to be proud of, but --
and that's important, means a lot to me as a
person, but I think as a team, we're from a lot of
different places all over the world, and right now
we're representing the Rockies, and it's pretty
special for us.
Have you had an increase in
tangible support? E-mail, letters, anything?
JEFF FRANCIS: Tons. It's great. Not just
making the World Series, but every step along the
way. We beat the Padres, and we heard from
everyone; we beat the Phillies, we heard from
everyone; we beat the Diamondbacks, and now
everyone wants tickets, and they're doing
everything they can to get to those games now.
I was wondering, is there any way to
even describe what you guys have done here in
the last month? Can you even explain how hot
you guys have been here for a month now?
JEFF FRANCIS: I think there's a lot of
words you could use to describe it. I don't know if
it's unprecedented, unbelievable, I've thrown out
ridiculous before. If you tell someone they have to
win 21 out of 22 games to get to the World Series,
you would probably count yourself out right at the
But it's a testament to what we have in the
clubhouse, and we have a group of guys who fight
for each other every day. Not that we expect to
win 21 out of 22 games, but I know when we show
up to the park every day, we expect to win, and
that's a special thing about the guys we have in our
When you guys were in Pittsburgh
after the All-Star break, you talked about a
special bond that you guys have in that
clubhouse. Was that really showing at a time
like this when your backs were against the wall
and you had to win out for the last two weeks
of the season?
JEFF FRANCIS: Yeah, I think it shows on
the field. You know, not that we would win 13 out
of 14 every time if we had to do it to get in, but at
this time we had the right people in the right places
and caught some breaks along the way and found
ourselves in the playoffs.
The guys in this clubhouse haven't just
played together in the major leagues; a lot of us
came up together in the minor leagues and know
each other really well. We have guys who can rip
on other guys in the clubhouse, but I think the most
important thing is the guys can handle being ripped
on and laugh at themselves, as well as laughing at
A moment ago you were talking
about when you were watching baseball
growing up, there were certain -- you said
players you watched and you liked how they
went about their business on the field. Who
would some of those players have been,
JEFF FRANCIS: Well, one of my favorite
pitchers, you know, from when I was a kid was a
guy, Jimmy Key, who pitched for Toronto in the
early '90s. You watch people play, and I don't
know if I identified with him because he was
left-handed, and I would have loved to have had
the pick-off move he had, but I loved watching him
throw, and I think there's some similarities in the
way that I throw with the way he threw.
We're not overpowering guys; we have to
think ourselves through the game, and I don't
remember him getting overly anxious at a lot of
Have you ever had a chance to meet
JEFF FRANCIS: No.
You each have the World Series in
JEFF FRANCIS: Yes, we do, yeah.
Anybody else in that group you
JEFF FRANCIS: Not only pitchers, but I
like -- like I said, I liked the guys who -- you can't
tell if they're having a bad day, John Olerud or
guys to that affect where you can't really tell if
they're 4-for-4 or 0-for-4.
Living in Canada were the Blue Jays
the team you saw the most, then?
JEFF FRANCIS: Yeah, yeah.
You mentioned today's scrub game,
intersquad. Obviously there wasn't the
intensity, but you wanted to be competitive.
Did your team win?
JEFF FRANCIS: We didn't have teams,
per se. I was just out there taking on our lineup
with the infielders behind me, and any ball hit was
probably going to be a home run. It was just for
the hitters to see the ball at full speed and for the
pitchers to see the hitters. That was the main
Who familywise is coming to the
opener in Cleveland or Boston, wherever it's
going to be on Wednesday?
JEFF FRANCIS: My brother and his wife
and my wife will be there.
Mom and dad aren't coming?
JEFF FRANCIS: They will be coming to
Tell us what it's like sitting in the
dugout between innings and what you are
seeing in different hitters on your team, talking
about on the field, someone hitting .300. It
must give you great confidence and take the
pressure off of you.
JEFF FRANCIS: Yeah. Our offense has
carried the team throughout the year, and I don't
win 17 games without those guys behind me. And
the amount of runs we have scored in certain
games have provided our team with more chances
to win than if we didn't have those. The way we
swing the bat is comforting, as a pitcher, going out
and having the bats behind us, no matter who is
And also if you could tell us the
challenge that will be facing you against an
American League team?
JEFF FRANCIS: Yeah, facing an
American League team, you don't see them as
much. Boston we faced this year and Cleveland in
2005, so we've hardly seen either of those teams.
A little more homework to be done, a little
more preparation, but, you know, it's the same on
their side. Again, it will come down to execution
and minimizing mistakes.
For all of those going baseball
crazy, Denver is known for the Broncos, and
now you're getting the headlines above them.
What does that mean to you and for long-term
baseball in the city?
JEFF FRANCIS: You know, I think Denver
fans are sports fans. Obviously the Broncos have
had a lot of success in the past, and this country as
a whole is football crazy as it is. But I think the
fans here are pure sports fans, and they're going to
be coming; they've shown it.
The Rockies as an organization has had a
lot of bad years, and here we are finding ourselves
winning, and they're showing up. I think that's a
testament to them and the kind of sports fans they
I was just wondering, Jeff, with that
intersquad game, was it fun facing your own
guys? Do they like facing, you, not facing you,
anybody hit you particularly hard? How it
JEFF FRANCIS: It's not fun, because you
don't want to be the brunt of a lot of trash talk. You
try to just execute. Jamey Carroll and Troy
Tulowitzki hit me hard a couple of times, and other
than that I was able to get some ground balls and
get some guys out front.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.