I know a lot has been made of the age thing, but to look at your Major League debut in 1986 and to think that a couple of these Rays players, Evan Longoria was 8 months old at the time, can you wrap your head around that? Like "what am I still doing here?"
I can't. He may have been 8 months old, but he's a professional hitter, and I have to respect that part of it. They're a young ballclub, they're a good ballclub. I saw them in Spring Training and obviously the last two games. I saw them play over the course of the season. They've had a nice year. And I have the utmost respect for the Rays. It's going to be a battle.
The age thing, it's not an issue, but it's been around for a while with me and I think I'm kind of over it, because I've been around a lot of younger players. Some kids haven't even been born yet when I was in the Major Leagues. It's kind of weird to think about it, but back a few years ago when I played in Texas I had two teammates, Nolan Ryan and Charlie Hough that were in their 40s, and I really looked up to them and respected who they were and what they did in their careers. And now I've kind of come full circle with it.
The network I work for actually is based in Souderton, and I was there earlier today. I bumped into one of the many people who graduated with you and she said, that's all we ever heard about, Jamie Moyer was going to make the big leagues. I wonder if you could you talk a little bit about at what point in your career, baseball career, you got like, I really have what it takes and I'm going to make it and I want to get to the Series ultimately?
The dream was always there, but junior high, high school, college, it was always, "you're too small." I was always told the things that I couldn't do. But for me it kind of fueled the fire, not knowing where it would take me. Having the opportunity after playing three years at St. Joe's, having the opportunity to sign a professional contract with the Cubs was very exciting. And two short years after that, being in the big leagues I was actually very surprised at how quickly I moved through the Cubs' organization, but it was somewhat of a pitching thin organization at the time. And I had success and they were moving guys through the system.
Like I said, I got there rather quickly. Maybe a little too soon, but I'm not going to complain. I probably learned a lot of things and had some hard knocks as a younger player. Maybe some of the things that some of these guys are going through, or went through, the Cole Hamels, the Kyle Kendricks, for me it was a little bit more easy to relate to some of those things.
But playing and getting sent back to the minor leagues and being traded, I think those are all character builders. And I just felt that, you know what, I've always had something to offer to this game. I'm not the No. 1 starter. I'm not the guy that's going to carry the staff for four months out of the season, but I can contribute in a lot of ways. And to me I'm very proud of that. And to have the durability that I've been able to have, I hate to talk about myself, but I take pride in coming here and being durable and contributing. And I think that's the responsibility of a teammate to be able to do that. And I think that's one of the big reasons why this team has had so much success, because we have a lot of guys that do that. We feed off of each other. To me that's the exciting part of this whole thing.
Could you please analyze your struggles so far this postseason.
They're behind me. I have no idea. I'm moving forward.
And second part to the question is, how long do you want to keep doing this?
Good question. Right now I'm looking at the World Series. This is the biggest start of my life, which is I'm really excited about. But down the road I'd love to play. I'd love to continue to play. I felt like I had my health this season, and was able to make all my starts. I was able to pitch a fair amount of innings and was the bearer of a lot of good run support and good defense and was on a very good team and was very proud of that.
I love the challenge. I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy walking through that door and seeing my teammates, and coming in and working hard as a team to hopefully beat the team across the field. I haven't lost that desire. That's what really pushes me. That and being in the situation that we're in right now, being in the World Series.
It's been a long wait. I'm trying to enjoy this. I'm trying to take it all in, trying to realize where I am. It's a special time.
Was preparing for this start any more challenging because of the long layoff between starts? And how did you go ahead and kind of tweak your routine?
You know, it is what it is, you know. There's layoffs, days off, whatever the case may be. You do what you think you should do. Rich Dubee, our pitching coach and myself, we communicate back and forth, I threw a simulated game. I threw a bullpen a couple days ago. I may go out and do a flat ground today. You just try to do things that you are accustomed to doing, rather than going out and trying to reinvent the wheel and doing things that you normally don't do. That can more or less get you out of sync rather than staying within your own routine.
As far as preparing, for an opposing team it's pretty much the same. Yeah, it's a World Series, but you still have to prepare the same way.
Jamie, we actually went to your high school a couple of days ago, looked through some yearbook pictures and talked to one of your teachers you used to have. She couldn't remember what kind of a student you were there.
That's good (laughter.)
Could you enlighten us on what kind of a student you were and walk us through when you skipped a day of high school to go to the World Series and what that time was like for you, and maybe walk us through that.
I'll make it pretty simple, I was an average student. I was a jock. I probably didn't put forth the effort I should have put forth, didn't realize the value of education until I went to college. When I got to college I came to realize that an education was very important.
My parents pushed me, it wasn't for lack of their effort. But it was lack of my effort. It was sports, sports, sports, sports, sports. I have two boys like that, but they're pretty good students, so I think we've hit home with that.
Souderton was a good town to grow up in. Everybody knew each other. Athletics were very competitive. I have a lot of great memories of little league, and junior high baseball, high school baseball, guys I played with, people I've competed against, I've seen here at the ballpark, coming to St. Joe's. I've seen a lot of people at the ballpark over the course of the last two and a half years here. So it's been exciting.
What was the second part?
The second part was walk us through the day you decided to
I don't remember exactly who had the idea, but I know it was our catcher, I think it was his girlfriend and a couple of other buddies, we just decided that we're going to bump school, I don't like to use the word "skip," because it's probably not a good idea, hop on a train and come to Philly. I can remember coming here, it's kind of a blur, but coming up from the subway station here on Broad Street, I do remember. And it was wall to wall people. It was just excitement. We went over to JFK, we were the hicks coming from out in the suburbs. We didn't know what was going on, so we thought it was best to go hang out in JFK. So we went over and found some seats and waited for the parade to come to us.
There were people all over the place, in the trees, climbing in the lights. Everybody was happy and everybody was excited. And rightfully so. It was a celebration of a team that had a great year. Again, it was something for this city to wrap their arms around. If you watch video clips or TV, there's still a lot of highlights of those clubs or that club. Winning the World Series is a special thing, regardless of who wins. In sport it's one of the top things.
How would you describe the differences between your style and the guy you're going up against, Matt Garza?
I've only seen Matt on TV. In my book he's a power pitcher. He's a young kid. He's brings a lot of energy to himself and to his ballclub. He seems like he's quite aggressive. As a pitcher he has confidence. He had a heck of a year this year and it's going to be a battle.
My style obviously is far different. It's more finesse, changing speeds, changing location, speeding up the hitter's bat to slow it down and relying on my defense. And I don't think anything I do is a secret and I don't think anything he does is a secret. It's a matter of getting into a tempo, getting into a rhythm of the game and trying to control that and keep a hold of that and get your defense into the dugout so they can swing their bats.
A few minutes ago you said something along the lines of after your first starts you kind of forgot about them. When did you get to that point in your career, where you can not let it get you down and move forward? A lot of young pitchers in that situation probably would let it get them down?
I'm not going to say that it how can I say this? It affects me, but I've learned to be able to let it go. I've come to realize that, you know, this is a great game and this is a great opportunity and I love playing. I want to win with everybody else. But, you know what, I've had the experience in this game that I've had a lot of good outings and I've had a lot of poor outings. The sooner you can let that poor outing go and turn it into a positive, find a positive and pull something positive out of it and become a better person or better pitcher from it, I think it allows you to become a better pitcher in the long run. It's not fun to go out and pitch an inning or two innings, especially in a playoff format, but it is what it is. My teammates pick me up.
If I'm going to sit and dwell on it, the chances of having another bad outing are great. I really felt that after the Milwaukee game I didn't dwell on things. There was a lot of excitement. We won that series. You go back to work. After the Dodgers series, we won that series, as well. Yeah, I feel there's a little emptiness because I didn't feel like I contributed to the best of my ability, but that's part of the game. And I think learning to deal and I tell a lot of these younger guys, learning to deal with failure is big. And I think when you start to learn to deal with it, not necessarily accept it, but deal with it, it allows you to move forward quicker, because there are going to be a lot of ups and downs in this game. If you're in it long enough you're going to have your share of ups and downs. Sometimes there's an injury involved. And that's an awfully tough side to deal with, as well.
To me you have to be a person. And like I said, it's a great game, but also I realize, too, that life goes on. Baseball is an important game and our country loves this game and as players we love this game, but, you know what, I have a family at home and I really enjoy spending time with my family. I enjoy giving back to the community. The opportunities I've had as a player has been very gratifying, but also being able to work in the community has been very gratifying, as well.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.