There's a lot of excitement when you win that final game. We were just happy to win it yesterday. We definitely didn't want to go to a Game 7 and provide a window of hope for a team as good as the Cardinals.We got a big reception at the airport even though we didn't get into Houston until 4 a.m. People were celebrating. They brought signs, posters and cameras, waiting for us to arrive. It was gratifying to see everyone so happy. The baseball fans in Houston have been yearning for a championship season for a long time. It's a good feeling to be part of a team that accomplished that for them. A lot of things have been going through my mind since winning the NLCS. I felt particularly good for guys like Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell who have been playing so long without getting a chance to play in a World Series. Those guys have played on some clubs that were very good and very close to getting there, but, for whatever reason, they never quite got there. Everyone on the club is happy to get those guys to a World Series and now we want to get them a championship, too. I'm proud of what our entire team accomplished, though. A lot of our guys came up through the Minors together, so we have very close bonds because we've played together so long. Guys like Jason Lane, Willie Taveras and Chris Burke really blossomed this season. Then you have a guy like Lance Berkman who has come back from a pretty banged up knee and keeps hitting the ball as hard as anyone in the game. Jason Lane and I went to school together at USC and we're good friends. We really encourage each other. We have so much history together that we instinctively know what each other needs to get back on track or to make the proper adjustments. Jason has made incredible strides this season. He's going to be an incredible Major League player. We also had a big setback with Baggy having surgery this year. Consequently, a lot of guys were asked to do things that they weren't used to doing and everyone stepped up. That's probably the first thing that came to my mind when we finally got the last out of the NLCS last night. Everyone on the club contributed to this pennant. It felt good to contribute again, personally. I did well in the Division Series. I just didn't hit well, overall, in the Championship Series. I felt like I was hitting the ball well but I wasn't getting much in terms of results. In those cases you need to remind yourself that you're hitting the ball hard and that good things will eventually happen. Then, last night I was able to get an important RBI, so it felt good. On Friday morning we'll fly to Chicago and we'll have a workout and media session in the afternoon. I don't know what kind of pressure the World Series will bring. I'd be shocked if there wasn't some type of pressure, but I don't think it will affect me. I'm very even-keeled when it comes to that. I never really feel pressure per se. We started 15-30 this season, getting our tails kicked, and it's a long season, so you get conditioned to pressure. We've been under constant pressure since May. Situations that may seem tense to people watching or at the game don't seem that way to me. At moments like that I find it's almost easier to put aside my emotions and focus better on the task at hand. I can't wait to find out what it's like to play in a World Series. Morgan Ensberg had the best of his three full seasons in the Majors in 2005, achieving career highs with 36 home runs and 101 RBIs. His .945 OPS was eighth-best in the NL.
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