EDITOR'S NOTE: Brian Schneider, a catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies and a graduate of Northampton High School, will be sharing his thoughts about various items over the final weeks of the 2010 season. His diary, as told to Jeff Moeller, will run periodically in the TIMES NEWS.
This is an exciting time for me...everybody really. We have had a lot of injuries and there have been many people who have written us off. But we have a group of guys who really want to fight. There is no screwing around now. We can have fun, but we know when to be serious. You are more careful with what you do because you really don't want to get hurt. Every game is so, so important and every series is vital. We got Ryan (Howard) back and now we can start to roll.
We faced some teams like the Giants, who are also in the playoff hunt, and we played well against them. That was important. But we have a lot of games left to play in September.
It's fun right now because I haven't been in a situation like this. The postseason is near and I want to be a part of it. Who would have thought I would have been with the Phillies and have a shot at the playoffs? Boy, you never know.
We play well at home. This has been a good stretch for us because we have a lot of home games. Yet, this won't be an easy stretch for us because we're in the stretch of 22 straight games. This is a time when I and the rest of the guys really have to concentrate.
This year has been different. I'm not getting as many at bats. I can go for a while and maybe get a pinch-hit and a start now and then. Now, I have to do a lot more running and I have to be out there earlier with my hitting. I know I can't get lazy, so I have to lift and work with the strength coach more.
It was great to get out there Saturday, and I know my role here. It's different, but I always have to be ready. This isn't like the last few years, but I want to contribute with these guys.
It has been a great year especially with Chooch (Carlos Ruiz). I didn't know what to expect because when I played against him, he never said much. I'm glad we hit it off from day one. We get along great and we're learning off each other. He'll come to me and ask me a number of things. We're always hanging out. It's good that we're tight because it's important to have that relationship with both catchers.
My family is gone and down in Florida. The kids are getting ready to start school. Boy, this can be a real Catch-22 because I want them around, but I can stay later at the game and not feel guilty. It's good in a way because I can keep my mind on baseball.
Still, I wouldn't trade this for the world. I'm playing for the team that I rooted for as a kid and I have a shot at getting to the playoffs. I just have to remember to stay serious and not focus so much on the BS stuff.