DANNY PICARD: The last month-and-a-half, I’ve been like, just get me to October, get me to the Postseason. We knew the Red Sox were going to be in the tournament. I knew they were going to win the division. I think a lot of us knew they were going to win the division. You probably knew you were going to win the division too. It was just a matter of time until they clinched it. But I mean, 108 wins. What are you thinking as you watched this season progress?
SAM KENNEDY: Honestly, what I think is that, the more you think you know about baseball, the less you really do. It is so confounding to come into a season where you think your team is hopefully going to do well, if you stay healthy, and you think you can win 93 to 95 games, and you think that should be enough to win the division, definitely a Wild Card, maybe 96, 97 games. And then, all of a sudden, you’re looking at a team that’s won 108 games. It’s remarkable . . . It’s been great, but now we throw it all out the window. And David Price said it well, right? He can go 35-0 [in the regular season], who cares? It’s about October. This group, they know that. They’re ready to go.
DP: My biggest concern, and I think it’s a concern with a good amount of people here in Boston, is Chris Sale. We saw the velocity down in his last outing. I’ve been going back and forth with my concern level with Chris Sale . . . Game 1 of the ALDS is Friday night, right here at Fenway, and I’ll be honest, I don’t know what we’re going to get out of Chris Sale. I don’t know what he’s going to look like. Is he going to have the velocity? I don’t know. Do you have concerns about that as well? And is there an update on his status? Is he going to be restricted in any way? What are we looking at with Chris Sale, heading into Game 1?
SK: Look, he is a guy — just to go back in time a little bit — last year when we showed some life at the end of that Houston series, and unfortunately it was too little too late. We didn’t show up in Games 1 and 2. We come back and all of a sudden there’s some energy, there’s some life. Chis Sale, about an hour-and-a-half after [Game 4], we were down just thanking everybody for a great season; John Henry, Tom Werner, some of my colleagues, just thanking everybody for everything they did. Chris Sale was sitting in the clubhouse, on the ground, off to the side, full uniform. He had not changed out of his uniform. He was pissed off. He was looking straight ahead. And I had never seen a look that intense in my 17 years here. This is a guy who lives for Friday night and that moment. He wants it so bad . . . And obviously he’s had the inflammation a little bit in the shoulder, and he’s been managing it and working back up. Where I’m optimistic is, Alex Cora has done a brilliant job of sitting guys when they needed to sit. We’ve been building Chris Sale back up. He’s had a little bit of mechanical issues as he’s said, trying to sort of find that strength when you come back. My prediction is, you’re going to see the Chris Sale we all know and love.
DP: And then we’re going to see how David Price looks in Game 2 on Saturday night. And he said it, which you referenced a few minutes ago, it’s about October, especially for him. Because there are these Postseason demons that lurk over him in the rotation. He’s not running from it and he shouldn’t because it’s a real thing. We saw what he did in the Postseason out of the bullpen last year, but now, this team needs to see that from him out of the rotation. Is there any concern level there that maybe those demons show up again, now that he’s in the rotation?
SK: I’d love to say we exercised all of our demons back in 2004. Something about being from Boston and being from New England, it doesn’t matter how many championships we win — and I say “we” as in the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, Revolution, Red Sox — we do have this cloud that’s out there over our heads, thinking, “Geez, what could possibly go wrong here?” So, I will tell you, from being around David Price all year long, from getting to know him, I think one of the most difficult things for him was dealing with not feeling 100 percent and dealing with an injury . . . He is feeling good, and like Chris Sale, he wants success in the Postseason. He is relishing this moment. He wants it. You don’t want to put too much pressure on these guys, but you can’t hide from it. This is a huge night for both guys, a great opportunity for those guys.