Print and Go Back 2008 [Print without images]

Monday, September 22, 2008
Updated: September 26, 12:48 PM ET

By Joe Beimel, Dodgers setup specialist (as told to Molly Knight)

1. WE WANT TO MAKE EVERY DAY THE SAME. "You have to be ready to pitch every day, even though you may not get into the game. You don't want to get the call and be unprepared, so routines are important. I put in my contacts in the third inning, visualize the guys I may face in the fourth, stretch, and have an energy drink in the fifth. After that, I just try to stay loose."

2. WE KNOW WE'RE FANTASY IRRELEVANT "We don't rack up the stats that help fantasy teams, and that doesn't bother me. But it does make it funny when fans shout, 'You're on my fantasy team! Throw me a ball!' " It's like, c'mon. We both know I'm not on your team."

3. YES, WE HAVE FANS. ODD ONES. "Some season ticket-holders know us, and they'll talk to us, but because we're stashed in the leftfield corner at Dodger Stadium, most fans don't waste their time. A guy did once post a video called 'The Legend of Joe Beimel' on YouTube, and people—including a friend and me—filmed responses. That was a little crazy, but it's cool to have fans."

4. THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO GET TO THE PEN. "Some guys are seen as closers when they're drafted, but most relief pitchers are failed starters like me. I was on the Pirates when they moved me to the pen. It turned out that was a lot better than failing as a starter every other time out. I don't know if closing is in my future. That's okay—being a reliever isn't about glory. If you're after awards, you're in the wrong profession."

5. THE LOWS ARE REAL LOW … "Our job is to keep the lead, but we don't keep track of our holds. We don't care about personal wins, either; the guy who went six, seven innings should get the W. That's why we're upset when we lose a lead. It doesn't really get tense between us and the starters when we blow it, though. They realize we have a tough job."

6. … AND THE HIGHS ARE STILL PRETTY LOW. "We know we're the lowest guys on the totem pole. Reporters want to interview us only if we blow a lead. When no one is talking to—or about—us, we know we're doing our job."