“There's no question, I have never had a bigger hit. But if you look at what Mark Teixeira and I have done in this World Series, it’s not much, and it just tells you what a great balanced team we've had all year, and we're getting contributions from all our guys. It just feels to go out and help the team win.”
--Alex Rodriguez, Yankee thirdbaseman, acknowledging the teamwork needed to compete and win as New York takes a 3-1 lead over the Phillies.
Rodriguez is hitting .143 (2-for-14) in the World Series, combining with Mark Teixeira (1-for-14, .071) to form a slumping 3-4 punch. Neverthless, Rodriguez' two hits were clutch hits that have propelled the Yankees to two wins over the Phillies. The hit also was the 15th RBI of the postseason for Rodriguez.
"He's the reason why we're sitting here in Philadelphia right now," Johnny Damon said of A-Rod, who tied Bernie Williams and Scott Brosius for the most RBIs in a postseason by a Yankee. "Without him, who knows where our road may have stopped at. He has the RBI numbers and he's been driving us through the playoffs."
VISIONS, DREAMS, AND PRIDE
"It's always been all about trying to win a World Series," general manager Brian Cashman said. "It's very special in that we just opened up a brand new ballpark, and considering all the history we left behind in the old place, it's nice to open this one with a trip to the World Series. Hopefully we can finish it off with a championship."
"A lot of great players have never had the honor of going to the World Series," Rodriguez said. "It's been a dream of mine since I was a 5-year-old boy to play in the World Series. It's been a long wait."
"When you put that uniform on with these guys, for this organization, it's about winning," said A. J. Burnett, who was a member of the 2003 World Series Champion Florida Marlins, but missed the entire postseason due to injury. "Somebody in spring training, I don't remember who it was, said if we don't win the World Series it's a failure. And I agree."
"When you think about Yankees you think about the word ‘winners'. To be able to be a part of this team, and to be able to be a part of this organization, it's an amazing feeling. This is a great team, and there's great camaraderie with all these guys. I couldn't be more happy, more proud. I'm really excited to put those pinstripes on for the World Series."
--Nick Swisher, New York Yankees.
"We haven't accomplished anything yet. We've won three games, but that's not what we set out to do. We want the fourth."
--Johnny Damon, New York Yankees outfielder, after the Yankees have taken the 3-1 lead over the Phillies.
"We've been down this road before," Rodriguez said. "We have to stay very focused. These guys are the world champs, so they're going to come out fighting. So are we."
Excerpts from ESPN.com, sports.Yahoo.com, and New York Post.com (November 2, 2009)
For more on mental conditioning, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.