10/23/05 12:56 AM ET
Joe Crede postgame interview
Third baseman talks about his clutch hitting and defense
By / MLB.com
JOE CREDE: I think with the one out. They're in a situation right there where they're just putting the ball up in the air or ground ball gets the run in, but I was fortunate enough to get enough on the ball and make the play.
Were you surprised in that sixth inning that Ozzie played the defense in?
CREDE: No, I mean you knew it was going to be a tight game the whole way. And you just don't play for a blowout; you always play for the close game. We were playing aggressive style defense out there.
Joe, you've taken some flack at times for your unemotional demeanor, how would you say your playoff has spoken to your way?
CREDE: You know, obviously everybody, before the game, a big game like this, World Series, everybody is going to have butterflies and be nervous. But once the game gets started and for me, personally, once it gets started your nerves calm down and you realize you've got a game here and a job to do and that's trying to get a W any way you can.
Joe, a lot of great third basemen have come up big on the big stage; can you talk about coming up big on the biggest stage of them all?
CREDE: I'm just fortunate to be in the right spot at the right time.
And as far as the magnitude of the game, I mean there's no bigger stage. To be able to perform at this stage and to be compared to all those great players, it's definitely an honor.
Beginning with the Cleveland game where you hit, can you talk about that point on, what it's been like for you?
CREDE: It's been an awesome ride, this year is definitely one of the years I'll always remember. When I look back on this year, and it's been so fun, as far as the last stretch of the season, the last month and a half, when I came off the DL, I changed some stuff in my stance and went with it and was having success with it, and saying we're going to stick with it no matter what.
You've been coming through a lot in clutch situations on the plate. What's your mindset coming up to the plate in those situations?
CREDE: You try to control your nerves. Sometimes you don't want to try to do too much in those situations. And that's the biggest part of it, is trying to calm yourself down and realize we don't need a home run right here, just put the ball, a good wood on the ball and hopefully you can do something positive with it.
CREDE: Like I said earlier, anytime you can go out there in a situation with the game of this kind of magnitude and go out and help your team win, it does nothing but help build your confidence for the next game and your teammates' confidence and hopefully you can gain the momentum and ride it into the next game.
How much has your defense affected how you play at the plate. You've been outstanding defensively all year.
CREDE: You know, I've heard somebody tell me one time anytime you struggle in the offensive side you always want to -- if you're not getting hits, you don't want anybody else to get hits, either. So your focus kind of goes up that much more. And I kind of take that mentality whenever I go out on the defense.
Are there guys who you consider to be great defensive third basemen who you consider the standards or you'd like to play like?
CREDE: Coming up in the Minor Leagues with the White Sox I had a couple of players that I played with, Jason Dellaero was one of them, who was with this organization, is a great defensive shortstop. He was a guy I played with I think for about four years in the Minor Leagues. I played with him and he was just an unbelievable shortstop. And I learned a lot from watching him and talking to him about playing defense.
I had the opportunity to play with a couple of other pretty good infielders, throughout the Minor Leagues and picking up stuff here and there from really anybody, there hasn't been one specific person, other than Dellaero who I've really talked a whole lot about defense. He was a guy just from watching him I felt he made me better just by watching him play in the Minor Leagues.
With some of these big hits, Joe, are you ever amazed with yourself?
CREDE: For me, you get a big hit, it's not a situation I sit back and say, "that was a big hit." For me it's -- I'm going to go out and help my team win. If I do, I do; if I don't, I don't. I really just try to stay on an even keel. And once I'm done playing at the end of the season that's the chance I kind of get a chance to look back on the season and think of all the stuff that I was able to accomplish.
There's been times during your career with the White Sox when the fans have been on you. They've been booing. How aware are you of that when that happens, does it affect you at all and how does it differ from where you're at now?
CREDE: I'm definitely aware of it. When the fans are getting on me, they have every right to get on me, because I wasn't playing up to par. To me -- it was obvious to me. I wasn't hitting the way I wanted to hit for the average and stuff. I really couldn't explain why. To me, I just kept getting more and more frustrated. It has been an up and down roller coaster for me in the Big Leagues. I try to get the hits when they count and when they mean the most for the team.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.