Preston Wilson pregame interview
Cardinals outfielder recalls Mookie's '86 World Series at-bat
You've been with several teams,
what was unique about the Cards? What did
you discover was unique about the Cardinals
when you joined them?
PRESTON WILSON:I think what I learned when I got here is how prepared they are. There's nothing that goes unnoticed and they try to do everything they can to get every advantage they can, to learn as much about their opponent, and you feel good that nobody complains about things, without exhausting every opportunity to try to make it better.
Most often when a team comes on
the road the key is to win one game and go
home with a split, you've got that now. Does
that change the approach at all, or is it to
remain aggressive and go up 2-0?
PRESTON WILSON:We're going to still go out there and try to get after them. The fact that we got the first one is nice. We want to come out and play a good game tonight and hopefully get another one.
When you think about great World
Series moments, one of the first ones people
think about is Mookie's ground ball and that
whole at-bat in '86. Where were you when that
happened and did you realize at the time what a
monumental play that was going to turn out to
PRESTON WILSON:I was in the stadium at Shea Stadium sitting behind home plate. Being 12 years old, you don't have a grasp of how big something like that is. To look back at it now, 20 years later, you realize how well remembered it is, and what a big part of baseball history it was. So I'm glad to be in some way associated with it.
There's been sort of a job sharing
going on for a while for you all in left and right
field and down here with the DH, as well. How
do you sort of manage that? Are there any
challenges to that? What's that like as a guy
whose part of that job-sharing arrangement?
PRESTON WILSON:Well, I think the good thing about it is no matter who we put out there we believe in them. It's different when you're used to playing every day, but at the same time you believe that the team isn't missing anything no matter who you put out there. I think it's a great problem for the manager to have. The biggest thing is to come prepared to do whatever you have to do to help. Right now it's not about personal things or personal stats, it's about trying to do whatever it takes for a team to win.
Can you describe where you went
after Mookie, that play in '86. Did you go into
the clubhouse, did you go down in the room?
How much of it do you remember?
PRESTON WILSON:Well, after all the craziness and trying to settle down, and like I said, being 12, I basically just went down to the family room where my mom was, and everybody was just so excited. And I just remember just how everybody was kind of awestruck that the game went the way it did and they ended up winning. It seemed like the next game was a letdown. Even though it was a Game 7, it was a letdown, because Boston really didn't have any more steam left.
What kind of adjustment was it for
you when you hit second and even first,
considering you do like to swing a lot and
those positions are mostly associated with
building counts? Did you have to change
PRESTON WILSON:No, not at all. As a matter of fact, Tony made sure that I didn't. He didn't want me going up there to take pitches. He told me to stay aggressive. He put me there not because he wanted me to be somebody else, because he wanted me to be in that spot. To me that was comforting, feeling like he wasn't trying to get me to be a different player just because I'm hitting somewhere else in the lineup. He knows what I did over my career, and he said, "Just do it."
When things were a struggle this
year in Houston, where did you expect to be at
this time of the year and what do you think of
the way things have turned out for you this
PRESTON WILSON:Well, the team in Houston I thought was a good ballclub. They struggled a little bit off and on in different areas. I still thought it was a good ballclub. Honestly, early on and early in the season I thought that team had a chance to make the playoffs. When everything went down there and I got let go there, I had no idea where I was going to end up. When the phone calls started coming, it felt good to know they were interested. When St. Louis was one of the teams, I took a good look and decided that's where I wanted to be.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.