I honestly don?t think I?m going to be able to effectively communicate the emotions of this moment very well. It?s unprecedented, this feeling. I?ve never been here. How can I quantify it in any way?
I guess I?ll just start with how great it is to get this out of the way. It?s not just about me and Eric Chavez. It?s about Mark Ellis and Adam Melhuse, who were on the team in 2003. It?s about Ken Macha and Ron Washington and Brad Fischer, who have been on the coaching staff since we started going to the playoffs in 2000. It?s about Billy Beane. It?s just unbelievable that we can finally move forward past all that negative energy associated with not getting past the first round. We?ve broken that curse of being the great team that can?t get over the hump, all that b.s. everyone talks about. It?s over.
Now we go to go into this new territory, this place we?ve never been. I mean, it just hit me that we?re going to be playing a seven-game series now. That?s a trip all by itself. It?s a totally different animal than a five-game series, and we get to see what that beast is all about.
The emotions today, until we got that big lead late in the game, were crappy. I was clammy, I was anxious ? I was not enjoying myself in any way. I was like Justin Duchscherer right before he has to pitch. Just sweating rockets and dealing with clammy hands. Especially with my boy Dan Haren out there on the mound. That was hard. He?s been like my protιgι since he got here, or whatever you want to call it, and we have a bond that I can?t really describe. I remember the two of us talking in the dugout in Tampa early last season, when both of us were really having a tough time, and we were both thinking about how the heck we?re going to each win five games in a row just to get back to .500 for the year. So to go from there to here with him, and see him pitching in the game that finally got us over the top, I was a mess.
When Jay Payton caught that last out and everyone went to the pile, I don?t know if anyone noticed, but I just kind of hung out on the fringe of the pile, walking around it. It was a pretty cool vantage point, but I hope I get to be in that pile in a couple weeks or so. I can?t be in it now because I?ve heard too many stories about guys getting hurt in there, and right now I have to think about that kind of stuff. Unless it?s a World Series situation and I have a couple of months to recover from a broken finger or two or whatever, I have to stay out of there.
Let me say this about Chavvy: Today was almost like poetic justice. The guy has taken a lot of heat, and to have him be the guy who comes out and sets the tone today was so cool to see. He gave us the momentum we never lost, and I?m so happy for him right now. I?m happy for my family right now, too. They?ve had to sit through a lot of nerve-wracking baseball over the years, so to be able to share this with them is really special.
My mind?s starting to settle down a little bit now, and while the celebration in the clubhouse was winding down I started to think about Tim [Hudson] and Mark [Mulder] a little bit. It?s a little bit bittersweet in a sense, getting to this point without them, because they were such a huge part of this team and the A?s legacy. Both of them got in touch with me after I won the first game of the series, and that meant a lot to me, so I?m looking forward to getting in touch with them again. I know they?re happy for me right now, and it?d be nice to share it with them in some small way.
I really don?t know what else to say at this point. I?d love to be able to get all deep and philosophical for you, but I don?t really have that in me right now. I?m spent. I feel like I just finished a triathlon, physically and emotionally, and I?m spent.
The good news is I can make it up to you. The Oakland A?s are going to one of two teams left in the American League by the time we get going again Tuesday, and I?ll be checking in with you on a regular basis the rest of the way.
Thanks for all your love and support. It?s definitely feeding the fire.