Pre-game press conference with Hamilton, Posey

Q. Buster, especially last year when you got hurt, to have the fans vote you in and set a record for votes in the National League, does that feel pretty special?

BUSTER POSEY: Yeah, I think any time you're voted in or recognized from the fans, it's special. You know, for me, my goal was to get back on the field this year. So just to be here is icing on the cake. I can't thank the fans enough. They are the ones who make this special for us.

Q. Are you surprised you're the all time leading vote getter in the National League?

BUSTER POSEY: A little bit, yeah, a little bit.

Q. 11 million votes; if you do it for another couple months, you could probably get enough votes to run for president, Josh. Is that a possibility?

JOSH HAMILTON: You don't want to hear my policies.

You know, it's cool. Like Buster said, you enjoy coming to an All-Star Game. But being voted in by the fans is a special deal. Obviously people enjoy, or they are entertained, by watching us play, and really enjoy that and want to see it in the All-Star Game.

It's exciting to come and play in front of the fans. You know, it's just special; you have your own family here, combined with the people who voted you in.

Q. Obviously everyone knows your story by now, but are you still surprised at how much support and that people embrace it still, five, six years later?

JOSH HAMILTON: What story you talking about? Just kidding. (Laughter.)

I think that people understand it's real. I don't make excuses or try to blame anybody else. You know, things I've been through are my choices. You know, and so when I make mistakes, I share them with people, because obviously I want to learn from them. I don't want to make them continuously. Try to adapt and move forward, and I think people can relate with that, and that's why I share my stories. And obviously help people hopefully not make the same mistakes I've made. So that's why I'm so honest about it, and I think they appreciate it and I think that could have had something to do with the voting.

Q. Given that more than 11 million people wanted to see you in this game, is Washington going to give you more than two at bats tonight? And when you get back to the real world Friday, what lies ahead for you in the club?

JOSH HAMILTON: He has said absolutely nothing having to do with how long I'll play.

When we get back Friday, we are starting at Seattle, and I think we have to come out making a statement in the beginning of the second half. You know, hopefully we'll have a lot of guys back healthy soon that went down, especially pitchers, and we can get that rolling.

We really haven't played on all cylinders as a team yet this year. So, excited to see that happen.

Q. You know, everybody remembers the performance you put on in the Home Run Derby in New York. Is that something you would ever consider doing again, another Home Run Derby?

JOSH HAMILTON: Man, I want to do it every year. I want to do it every year. I love to do it. I love hitting home runs. I love entertaining folks. That's what we do; we are entertainers.

But also, I've got to be smart as far as when it comes to not being selfish and staying healthy for my team. That's priority No. 1 right now. It only takes one swing. I proved it the other day, going back on the fly ball, something I do all the time, but my back spasmed.

Doing something as far as swinging like we do every day, it just takes one time, and I'm either out for a while or down and I let my teammates down and the organization and the fans. At some point hopefully I can get back out there and do it, because I really enjoy doing it.

Q. La Russa indicated yesterday that he will probably have a different catcher in by the time R.A. Dickey enters the game, but just in case, is there any precaution you'll take between now and game time to get ready, in case you do catch him?

BUSTER POSEY: Yeah, make sure there's a big glove available.

No, I don't know, I think that if that were to happen, just try to use my instincts as much as I could. Never catching a knuckleball guy, I don't know how much preparation I could do.

Q. Have you talked to him in case you do end up catching him? Have you had a conversation about it?

BUSTER POSEY: I haven't talked to him too much. Probably should.

Q. Have you spoken with Matt about the lineup tendencies of these guys, most of whom he has not faced, to any large --

JOSH HAMILTON: He talking to me?

BUSTER POSEY: No, he's talking to me.

JOSH HAMILTON: I'll close my ears.

Q. Do you plan to go over each hitter or is that that big of a deal?

BUSTER POSEY: I think him throwing one or two innings, I don't know how much of that there will be. We are obviously facing a really good lineup so there's not a ton of holes, either. So I think the main thing for him, just to do what he's been doing and go out there and have fun. I think he'll be all right.

JOSH HAMILTON: That was a good answer.

Q. I see you obviously have your Giants shirt on today. Are you cognizant and aware of how Willie Mays, McCovey, what it means, to represent not only your league but your city?

BUSTER POSEY: We are extremely lucky in the Giants organization to have those guys around, Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, Gaylord Perry. They are around a lot in the spring. They are around a good amount during the season. I haven't had a chance to speak with them specifically about the All-Star Game. But I think that's something that the Giants do really well is as soon as you get there, you learn to appreciate the history of the Giants organization. It's not something that any of us take lightly.

Q. This is for both of you: Both of you last year were involved in significant plays at home plate, and the most famous play in the All-Star Game was a play at home plate. Do you guys think about that, and when you go into what is essentially an exhibition game, about the possibility of something like that occurring?

JOSH HAMILTON: Do you want to reenact something tonight? (Laughter.)

BUSTER POSEY: No, you're a lot bigger than I am.

JOSH HAMILTON: (Smiling) As players, you play the game. You don't necessarily think about it or have it in the back of your mind, that would more than likely cause you to hurt yourself more so than just reacting to playing the game.

For me, it was a weird play, and I wasn't trying to protect the plate or anything like that, or wasn't vulnerable. Just out of the ordinary slide attack. I'll try to avoid that.

I do think I've gotten smarter as a player. Avoid walls. Avoid contact with the ground as much as possible and stay injury free.

BUSTER POSEY: Like Josh said, when you're out there, you're reacting and you're just playing the game. It's definitely not something that's running through your mind.

So, I mean, to answer your question, I guess, no, it's not something that I've thought about before this game.

Q. For both of you this game could have some real significance with home field advantage. Do you agree with that policy, and do you play the game any differently? Do you think it's a good thing?

JOSH HAMILTON: You go first.

BUSTER POSEY: It definitely carries some weight. There's no doubt about it. Obviously he's got to see it firsthand for the past two years now. And it was big for us in 2010 to have those first two games in San Francisco.

I don't know. Honestly, I don't know if I don't think guys will play the game any differently if it wasn't for home field advantage. I think we all have enough pride in what we do that we are going to play the game hard. It definitely makes it more interesting for the fans, I think.

JOSH HAMILTON: Yeah, definitely makes it more interesting for the fans. You know, I really believe the first two games of the World Series are the most important. If you can start off at home and feel comfortable going into that situation as far as some guys feeling pressure as far as starting on the road or not starting at home and things like that, then they think about it.

I'm not saying I personally have, but I just think the first two games, if you can be at home and open up at home, there's a level of relaxing and just being in your comfort zone. And after that, just up in the air.