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10/05/05 12:53 PM ET
Brian Jordan: A different Braves team
I was in the whirlpool loosening up my body when I got the word that I was on the postseason roster.Manager Bobby Cox had given me some at-bats in the final week of the season to determine if I was ready, sort of a tryout I guess. He didn't come out and tell me I'd be on the roster at that point but he asked me if I had had enough at-bats, so I guess that gave me a hint. This has definitely been a different type of year for the Braves. This club is usually filled with veterans, and this year was probably a little more challenging, especially for Bobby, because of all of the young guys who were coming up. I think 18 rookies came up to the team over the course of the season and a lot of them found their way into the lineup to play important roles. Hopefully the new energy that these young guys brought can help our club reach its goals this year. It's been a frustrating time for me this season, mostly because of the knee injury, which kept me out of the lineup for most of July and all of August. But on the other hand, it's been exciting to watch the young guys come up and perform. They took a lot of pressure off me. I didn't have to rush my rehab to get back before my knee was 90 or 100 percent. It was also fun being sort of a mentor to the young outfielders and pushing those guys along. So it was a frustrating, yet exciting year for me with these young guys coming up and doing so well for us. It was fun to watch them mature into Major Leaguers. Now the young guys and the veterans like myself have a bigger challenge: Trying to win our Division Series against the Houston Astros. The key, I think, will be to try and get to them early and get into their bullpen. They have some great pitchers. Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, they've been there, done that many times in the playoffs. We need to get them in trouble and get to their bullpen. As much as we want to be aggressive, we also need to be patient at the plate against that caliber of pitching. Those guys know how to pitch and make you swing at bad pitches. They know how to get ahead so that you have to swing at their pitches. So we have to be patient and take what they give us. We have to control the urge to do too much, too. In the postseason, there's a tendency for players to get that adrenaline going and get too excited. The next thing you know, you're overswinging. Against guys like Clemens and Pettitte and Roy Oswalt, that's going to get you in trouble because those pitchers will get in a rhythm and dominate. This is my second go-round with the Braves. I was here from 1999 to 2001, I gladly came back and the club won its 14th straight division championship. It's a great record of success and much of the credit has to go to the organization for picking the right people and to Bobby Cox. Bobby is a very patient manager. He allows guys to go through their struggles and bounce back. You can't ask for a better manager. He's definitely a players' manager. A 12-year veteran who was an All-Pro defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons before beginning his baseball career, Brian Jordan is making his fifth appearance in the postseason this year. He has a .283 career batting average along with 181 home runs and 811 RBIs.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.