I don't want to diminish how special it was to win the World Series with the Red Sox last season. It was history.But to be an integral part of a team that I rooted for as a kid has a lot of meaning, too. I have a lot of great childhood memories of the Padres and the old Jack Murphy Stadium, so I'm really looking forward to making my dreams come true by wearing a Padres uniform in the postseason. I remember watching the Padres and the Cubs in the NLCS and the Padres and the Tigers in the World Series in 1984. I was 12 years old and that was the first time the Padres franchise reached the Series. I had an opportunity to go to some of the Padres' postseason games in '96 and '98, too, because I was in the club's Minor League system at the time. Suffice to say, I spent a good portion of my childhood rooting for Tony Gwynn and the Padres, so this is a wonderful opportunity for me. Coming into this series against the Cardinals, we're a huge underdog. But we were 4-3 against St. Louis in head-to-head competition this season, and any time you have a short series like this one and you have a dominant No. 1 starter like Jake Peavy, you have a fighting chance. I'll take Peavy against anyone. With the possibility that he could pitch two times in a short series, I'll take our chances. I don't know what the rotation will be, but our pitching has been very good recently. Having maybe Pedro Astacio and Adam Eaton behind Peavy can make us pretty competitive. Astacio has been lights-out his last seven starts so he's coming into the postseason pitching as well as he has all year for us. So I like our chances. We have nothing to lose. I joined the Red Sox late last season and we won the World Series, but it's difficult to compare that club to the Padres this season. As a team, the Red Sox all got along well and we have a similar situation here with the Padres -- minus the outlandish hairstyles and personalities, of course. But Boston had a roster filled with superstars -- Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. With the Padres, the superstars just aren't there. Aside from Brian Giles and Trevor Hoffman, we don't have those big-time veteran players. We have an up-and-coming star with Peavy but, overall, our roster just doesn't have that same star power. Personally, I feel like an integral part of the Padres. Coming over to the Red Sox at the trade deadline last year, I initially played right field when Trot Nixon was hurt. But when he came back and throughout the postseason, I was limited to pinch-running duties. Things are a lot different for me with the Padres as the starting center fielder and leadoff hitter. As far as my injured left quadriceps goes, I'll be ready to go on Tuesday. I've given it plenty of rest. I always take extra precautions with my legs because they're such a big part of my game. Believe me, I won't miss this for the world. Dave Roberts had a .356 on-base percentage, stole 23 bases and scored 65 runs this season despite a variety of injuries that kept him out of 47 games. The Padres were 58-43 with their leadoff hitter and catalyst in the lineup.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.