It's been 100 years since the Cubs have won a World Series. When you were with Boston and trying to end the drought there, what sort of pressure comes with that as a player?
DEREK LOWE: I think that's city driven. What I mean by that is, the players don't necessarily feel it as much. I think especially the way baseball is played nowadays where there's such a turnover, a lot of guys that come here may or may not know just how long it's been. But I think from a player's standpoint, I know in Boston, we were trying to win that year. We weren't trying to make up for the previous 85 years that had come and gone.
Maybe for the veteran players that have been here a little bit longer, they're probably tired of hearing it, but it's not to say that they're not trying to stop the curse.
It does kind of annoy you, I think, after a while, because no matter what they do you're always going to get that question of, when are you going to stop the streak? I know in Boston it did get tiresome to keep hearing those same questions, but I don't think it adds any extra pressure this year for them.
I apologize for another question about the other guys, but you did a few years back what Dempster did this year, going back to starting after some time away. What are the physical challenges in that? How difficult is that? What kind of goes into that, into doing that transition again?
DEREK LOWE: You know, I think it isn't that hard. I really believe that.
I think as long as you know going into the following season that you're going to be a starter, it's no big deal. Clearly if it was something that was done in the middle of the season, it would be a lot harder. But if you can pitch, you can pitch; it doesn't matter what role. And he's clearly stepped in and done a tremendous job, especially here at home.
But as far as making the change, I don't believe it's that big of a deal.
What's it been like playing for Joe?
DEREK LOWE: It's been everything that I would have thought it would have been, having played against him for so many years over in New York. He had a calming -- I don't know what the right word is. Basically there's impact. I think our year has been so up and down, streaks good and bad, that we've always kind of looked to him. He may tell you, he's had more meetings this year than in the history of the years in New York, but he felt they were important.
We have a lot of young guys, and we continue to look to him, and when you see your leader continually being positive, continually being calm, believing in us, telling us that we're going to win the division, again, it had a lot to do with our success.
You've been around these kids for quite some time now, and I'm sure you anticipate what the atmosphere is going to be like over the next couple days. How do you anticipate they'll react to the situation?
DEREK LOWE: You know, I think that's so individually based. I know my first time playing in Yankee Stadium, no one told me what that was going to be like. There was such an excitement level, more than any other stadium. And I think this stadium rivals Yankee Stadium. It's just a matter of how you can calm yourself down. There's nothing wrong with being excited, there's nothing wrong with being nervous. It's just, this is going to be a tremendous baseball atmosphere.
But again, there's no words I can say, there's no words anybody can say how to deal with it. I believe you kind of learn on the job, and we'll find out a lot about these guys in the next week, and I think it's all going to be positive.
The very beginning of your career you played for Lou Piniella obviously with Seattle. I know you were very young, but how was that experience? What is his style like compared to Joe Torre's style?
DEREK LOWE: Well, my name was "son" in Seattle. That's all he ever called me (laughter).
You know, I've heard him speak over the years. I think he has changed a little bit. He was extremely tough, I think, on guys. I was no different. He demanded a lot, and at that part of my career I couldn't really give what he was demanding.
I think he's great for veterans. He kind of lets you do your thing. But he's a tremendous manager. You look at what he's done here in the two years, I believe, he's been here, and just his -- I think he knows how to push people's buttons. He knows how to get the best out of everybody.
I wasn't there long enough in Seattle for him to get the best out of me, and ultimately he traded me, but he's a great manager.
You had a couple good outings against these guys this year. Does that help you have some familiarity with those hitters, or does it help the hitters more, to have some familiarity with you?
DEREK LOWE: You know, I think it goes both ways. I think when you've played maybe the years that I've been fortunate to play, there's no secrets. You can ask any hitter over there what am I going to throw; they can tell you, and vice versa. I know what they're going to do. I think that's the beauty of the playoffs. It comes down to maybe making that adjustment on the fly or kind of seeing something both ways.
But at this stage, there are no secrets. It comes down to execution, and who does it better will ultimately win.
This is a ballpark that pitchers always look up to see where the flags are blowing before they take the mound. Will you do that, and does that matter?
DEREK LOWE: You know, I haven't pitched in this park enough to say. I've been very fortunate to only see this park as a pitcher's park. I've seen it as a hitter's park on TV.
But I think you're setting yourself up for a negative feeling if the first thing I do tomorrow is go outside and see the wind, and if it's blowing out, then I feel like I can't pitch a good game. If it is, it is, then it's going to be both sides.
I've always enjoyed pitching here just from the standpoint of the atmosphere. It's such a baseball town, it's such a baseball atmosphere, and I know tomorrow will be a little bit more intense than the other days.
But on the visiting team, you know it's going to be tough. I think for me personally, this is probably my favorite place to play on the road.
Is it similar to Boston atmosphere wise?
DEREK LOWE: Very similar. Two cities with rich traditions in baseball, and very passionate and knowledgeable. That's the good thing. They know good and bad, and they're not afraid to let you know. But it's just -- again, it's hard to describe with words as far as the atmosphere goes. But it's a place that you know is going to be tough, but you can't wait for the game to start.
Are you mentally preparing yourself to pitch on three days' rest in Game 4 if Joe Torre asks you that?
DEREK LOWE: We've discussed that, but again, to worry about Sunday is probably a little bit too far down the line. But if we do get to that situation, it's not going to be a problem. I've been very fortunate to have been able to do that numerous times in my career and not had any problem. If we get to that a situation, I'd love to be able to pitch Game 4, but clearly your focus is on the first pitch tomorrow.
You talked about how in Boston talk in the street becomes annoying and stuff like that. Say if you guys are able to take a game here. I'm guessing those questions will start coming up. Will the damage be even more possibly than just taking Game 1, that there will be a lot of psychological...
DEREK LOWE: For them?
DEREK LOWE: No. Again, having been on the other side, I think it is so media driven as far as how many years it's been. Inside the clubhouse in '04 we were down 3-0, we never said, We need to come back so we can end the streak. The pressure was on us to win in '04, just like they're trying to win in '08. If they go down one nothing, two nothing or go up one nothing, there's not going to be any added pressure to stop this streak.
Again, a lot of this is -- I know they're probably tired of hearing about it. I know it does get annoying, having gone through that. There's going to be no extra pressure to have to win Game 2 and end the 100 year curse. This is all about this year, and I think those players will tell you the same thing. They're ready to win in '08 and not really worry about the last 100 years.
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