10/02/08 6:14 PM ET
Prince Fielder pregame interview
Teammate wants to enjoy the postseason experience
By FastScripts by ASAP Sports / Special to MLB.com
PRINCE FIELDER: I don't know, I don't think there's any pressure. But we just want to do it anyway just to kind of get things started, just because whenever we score first we usually have a better shot of winning the game.
So when we score first, I think that just makes everybody relax a little more.
For so many of the guys on the Brewers, yesterday was the first taste of playoff baseball. What do you think you guys have collectively learned from this new experience?
PRINCE FIELDER: I don't know. This is the first game, so I'm not really sure I know. It was a lot of fun. But it was also we were a little nervous at first, but after the first at-bat we kind of relaxed and just went out and we just tried to have fun.
But like I said, it's just -- especially when you're at the visiting team's stadium, it's a little tougher because the crowd is in it. But other than that it's still baseball.
Seems as though you have a special connection with today's starting pitcher, CC Sabathia. Can you talk about your relationship with him since he came over on July 7th?
PRINCE FIELDER: Yeah, he's cool. As a veteran, he's helped me with the mental part of the game kind of knowing how to -- once the game is over, you've got to let it be over. Because usually I'm the kind of guy I used to take it home, whatever, think about it after it's over. He kind of helped me with just letting it go and getting ready for the next day.
You've been a big part of turning the team from a rebuilding team to a playoff team now. And other than the obvious answer of better talent, what do you think has helped the team grow into that? And Charlie Manuel was saying he can see you guys are close. He suggested chemistry might be a big part of it.
PRINCE FIELDER: Yeah. I think since everybody played with each other in the minor leagues and kind of came up together. And then we've got some more veterans that also fit well with us on the team. And I think it's just like he said it's a good chemistry and we have a lot of fun as well as we have a lot of talent. So I think those two things really turned us around.
Dale obviously talked yesterday about the bats coming around and waking up and stuff like that. Sometimes can you almost get into a false sense of security because CC has pitched so well?
PRINCE FIELDER: No. I mean, I don't think so. Because he's the man. So you expect him to pitch well, but usually he does. A bad game for him is like three runs. I don't know. You always feel good when he's on the mound, though.
But you guys still have to hit?
PRINCE FIELDER: Right. We have to score more than they do or more than zero. But we always have a good shot when he's out there.
Given the rebuilding, the Brewers rebuilding is now focused here on going back to Milwaukee and playing the first playoff game in the first 26 years, was it at one time hard to imagine being in the playoffs and can you imagine what it's going to be like there with the excitement? Are you looking forward to that?
PRINCE FIELDER: Yeah. I'm sure it's going to be exciting there. Because it hasn't -- they haven't had playoffs there since '82, I guess. So it's going to be exciting just because it's kind of -- it's finally come around. But right now I'm still in Philly right now. I'm just trying to see if we can win this game first.
Since the managerial change, what would you say is the biggest difference in this team? Is it more a sense of urgency or is it more a change of strategy from the manager?
PRINCE FIELDER: I would say neither, really. I don't think it's neither.
Is there a change?
PRINCE FIELDER: No. If anything, he's just helped us relax a little more, just because he told us that the game was hard for him, so he understands how hard the game is. And he didn't care whether we made errors or swing at balls at the dirt or strike out, he just wants us to play hard. If you don't get it the first time, get it the next time.
You just mentioned '82 and I know in your five years or whatever in Milwaukee you've probably heard that number a million times. Do you guys get tired of hearing about that and do you think now getting in will kind of start the slate clean and you don't have to hear about that team so much anymore?
PRINCE FIELDER: You would think so. Because, yeah, we get a little tired of it every now and then. We like the throw back uniforms, but we don't like wearing them all the time. But they were a good team. So we respect that. But we just want to -- hopefully people will start talking about the new Brewers now.
Both you guys and the Phillies have a lot of guys who hit quite a few home runs as well as strike out quite a bit. When you go in the playoffs and you're facing like the other team's best pitchers and all, do you change your approach at all to try to cut down the strikeouts?
PRINCE FIELDER: No. Because I don't -- unless you can tell me how to do that, no. I just try to see the ball and hit it. I wish I could -- I don't know. I wish I could strike out only 20 times a year, but I don't know how to do that. So I just -- I think we all try to see the ball and hit it. And whatever happens happens.
Getting back to the building the team and to the contender thing, you were one of the draft picks and you saw what Jack Zduriencik was doing with that and then you saw Doug (Melvin) start to pick up the veterans. Could you guys see it coming together? Is this exactly where you expected to be when you looked at how they were building that club?
PRINCE FIELDER: Yeah, I never expected to be here right now. But I knew eventually it would come true just because the kind of talent that was drafted and everything. We've got Ryan. We've got J.J. (Hardy) and Corey (Hart) and Tony (Gwynn) and Rickie (Weeks). The guys we're getting were very good.
So I knew one day we'd be able to get here. So that finally came true, I guess.
It's just the first game, just one loss, but it is a short series. Is there a sense of urgency not to go home 0-2?
PRINCE FIELDER: Yeah, I mean, I would say it's like an urgency, you don't want to do that, but if that's what it's going to be, that's what we'll have to deal with. But we're not trying to look too far in the future. We're trying to go out today and hopefully we get a win. But if not, like you said, we'll be 0-2 and we'll just have to win two in our place.
In talking about the difference with Dale, you and other players have all said he said that he understood the game was tough and just relax. The inference is that wasn't the case with Ned or that his approach was different than that. Is that accurate or are you just saying that's what Dale said?
PRINCE FIELDER: No, I'm just saying that's what Dale said.
With Citizens Bank Park known as a hitter's park, how surprised are you by the offensive struggle you guys have had here?
PRINCE FIELDER: They have good pitchers, so we're not too surprised, not too surprised, I guess, because good pitching, it always stops good hitting most of the time. Unfortunately, so far we just haven't ran into too many mistakes. But hopefully it will start coming soon.
Talk about Brett Myers today. Obviously two hitter last time against you guys. What problems does he pose for you as a team?
PRINCE FIELDER: I don't know. Hopefully we lay off his pitches and try to hit the mistakes, that's all I got.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.