Don’t give up

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There?s no holding back now. You play this game, Game 3 of the NLDS, with everything you?ve got. You hold nothing back. You play with abandon, but you?re smart about it, too. Play hard, play smart, leave it all on the field. It?s the only way to approach a challenge like this.

I?ve always believed we?re at our best when we?re playing aggressive baseball, running the bases hard, playing with heart and passion. That?s what I?m looking for when we face Jeff Suppan, on Saturday at Busch Stadium. We?ve had some success against him, and while that means nothing on the scoreboard when the game starts, it can always help a player to have a positive history to draw on.

I?ve been asked a lot about the 2004 Red Sox, how that team was able to come back after being down three games to none against the Yankees and go on to win that ALCS and then the World Series against these Cardinals. Again, there are things you can draw on from your life experience, and I think what we can learn from those Red Sox is that it really never is over until it?s over. That team never stopped believing.

Being affiliated with that team, having people remember my stolen base and talk about it all the time ?- its historical significance in New England -? that?s one of the great moments of my life. I was part of something special with those ?Idiots? in Boston, something I?ll never forget.

There?s so much truth in that old expression ?- You gotta believe. Without that, you have no chance in a situation like this. I like the chemistry on this team, how guys really and truly care about each other. There are no ego issues here; it?s all about playing together and winning together.

We want to keep this season going. I know I don?t want it to end, and I?m sure all the fellas feel the same way. Nobody ever wants a good thing to end, and this has been a real good thing all season long.

I?ve said this all season, and I believe it now more than ever -? this is a special bunch of athletes with the ability to accomplish great things. You look around this clubhouse, and you see proven great players all over the place ?- players with great character, too. That?s why I have such a good feeling about this. I?m confident we?ll rise to the occasion and get back in this series.

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I feel confident with all of our starting pitchers ?- it?s been one of our strengths all year — and Chris Young has been as dominant as anybody in the league down the stretch. Chris is a fascinating guy. Obviously, he?s extremely bright, having gone to Princeton. He?s also the nicest guy in the world. But on days he pitches he?s a different character. I mean, he really gets his game face on. The guy loves to compete.

Being a great basketball player at Princeton, good enough to play in the NBA before deciding to pitch for a living, that gives you some insight into C.Y. He?s an athlete; he brings an athlete?s mentality to the mound. I love that. It?s kind of like some of us, Brian Giles and myself, Ben Johnson, with our high school football backgrounds.

An athlete lives for moments like these. It?s the challenge, putting it all on the line. Saturday is one of those days. Cheer for us, if you love the Padres, and don?t give up. Because you know we?re going to play it with everything we?ve got, heart and soul.

This team has come back all year, and I?m confident we?ve got at least one more big comeback in us.

13 Comments

Hey Dave,

I really appreciate your spirit of coming back. You were the sole reason that the Sox came back and swept the Yankees. With you, the Padres have a very good chance of getting back into this series. The Cards may have done good in the first two games, but as you said, “It’s not over until its over.” I truly think that with you, the Pads are sure to come back and even this series up.

Dave, I know you and the rest of the Padres can do it! Like you said, you have come back all year…and how exciting it was! As a lifelong fan, I will always be rooting and supporting you guys, and it makes me so proud to know not only does San Diego have a great team success-wise, we have probably one of the best groups of guys character-wise, and it shows! You all are awesome, thanks for the great memories! Good luck, play hard, and have fun! We’re all behind you!

I forgot to say, by the way…that was an AWESOME throw you made to home plate last game…honestly I thought the Cards had that one. Sorry for underestimating you! Keep it up! I’m so proud of you guys!

Dear Dave,
My boyfriend is a big fan of yours – he’s been following baseball for years and says that you and Mickey Mantle are his alltime favorites. I hadn’t really been into watching sports, but YOU have made me a huge fan of baseball – I think you are the MVP of the Padres this year.

I hope you guys come back tomorrow…I think you will. Good luck!

I believe in you, too, Dave. I know we’re all keeping the faith! Thanks for the great season and for all the Padres do for San Diego. I recently read a great article about you and a lot of the guys in Good News, Etc. Thanks for being so open with your faith. I’ll pray that God helps you all to do your best tomorrow so you can leave the field feeling happy with the effort you gave. And hopefully that will mean another fun Padres comeback victory!

DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. It?s so easy to look at this and say, ?Well, I think that?s it.? Then as I was reading your Blog I was reminded of the 2004 Red Sox comeback. That?s right this has been done, the impossible, the improbable, ?Yes it is absolutely possible to pull this off.? This Team Rocks, Great Character, Great Heart and Inspiration. THIS IS THE DREAM TEAM! GO PADS!!!

I?ve got a gig in Orange County and will be listening and cheering in the car…

Dave, having lived in SD for 49 years until 1996 when I left the US to teach ESL, I still keep up with the Padres from Saudi Arabia. To you I rephrase what a Catholic priest told our congregation 2 weeks ago: I believe in the Padres, I hope in the Padres, and I love the Padres!

Hey Dave,
Thanks for playing hard for us all year. I got the privelage of going to my first 2 post-season games this season and had fun. Even though we didnt win i was still cheering all nine innings with all my friends in right field. I brought a sign the other day that said “Keep The Faith” You all have always been the underdogs all year and no one even expected you guys to make it this far… so go out there and suprise some people. And if this is your last season in a pads uniform thanks for the last couple years it has been fun watching you. GO PADS!!!

Mike

Playing with “heart and passion” is something I haven’t seen too much with other ball clubs this season. No team in ’06 has approached every game as if it were October like the San Diego Padres have. Some first place teams this season had the tendency to just brush off a single loss if they already had a pretty generous lead in the division. With you guys, it didn’t seem to matter if you were a .5 game or 5 games up in first, each defeat was a critical blow for the team. I believe that it was that acute sensitivity which brought us a second consecutive NL West title to the good name of San Diego. As far as I am concerned, the team has already done what was asked of them this season but, like they say, it ain’t over ’til it?s over.

Keep the faith.

Hey Dave,
I’m a Red Sox fan, and I wish you and the Padres luck against the Cardinals. Obviously, you remember what happened the last time you beat the Cards on the road. Anything is possible.

I am yet another one of those fans who will never forget that stolen base. I had tickets to Game 5, so I was praying, sitting in my lucky seat, pacing, crossing every finger and toe that you guys would win Game 4. When you stole that base, I swear my heart stopped. It was like, hey, maybe they CAN do it. If anyone will do the impossible, it will be the Sox. I’ll never, ever forget those three weeks, October 21st, or October 27th.

Hopefully, this year you can give the Padres fans some of those special moments you gave us here in Boston in October. It is the best month of the year.

Remember: If 25 men think they can, they will. It’s never over until the third out in that ninth inning. Keep the Faith.

-A

http://catchingredsox.mlblogs.com

David,that’s the winning attitude we need to permeate the locker room….especially at this time of year. I communicate with a lot of other Padre fans on a regular basis discussing anything and all things. I am always required to refer them to the 1984 series with the Cubs and the attitude the club had and what it meant to the players when they returned from Chitown down 0-2 in the 5 game series and they saw the loyal fans at the gates there to cheer them on and urge them on to stay the course.
They wonder why I keep cheering when so many of them have given up the season. I have to tell them it’s because weirder things have happened…and I have witnessed them.

Rally up Padre fans…there’s a reason we’re here !!

As of this writing, the Friars have just wrapped up game 3 at Busch Stadium and the series stands at 2-1 in favor of the Redbirds.

Let’s win one more and go home !!

We Friar faithful never lose the faith! It was great to see a San Diego boy come back and have the success you’ve had, plus the experience and, as reached on error said, the winning attitude. We’re looking forward to the winning attitude to last through October and know this is a team that can do that.

My sister lives and dies by the Sox, I live and die by the Pads. She misses you a lot but guess who’s happier right now! (sorry sis)

Keep it up and bring the game home!

Dave, this Red Soxer wants to wish you, your team and fans the best of luck. I’ve been watching the games and still get sentimental when I see you on the screen. Again, THANK YOU, and I know you’ll keep working for the Padres. We had our turn in 2004 and now it is the Padres time.

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