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20 Q's with Pavvy


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1. Funniest mound conversation you've ever had?

 

'Last year in Boston. I couldn't get anyone out to start the game. Hit after hit after hit. Pudge [Rodriguez] comes out and just stares at me for a little bit and finally says, `I don't know what to say to you. I really don't.' Then he stared at me some more and said, 'I just figured I'd come out here for a second so they stop hitting it. They can't hit it while I'm out here. Can you get someone out? Anyone? Please? Can you miss one bat? Just one?' I had to laugh right there.''

 

2. You don't walk anyone. Percentage of the time you throw a pitch exactly where you want, give or take an inch?

 

``Sixty-five to 70 percent.''

 

3. So many female fans think you are a sex symbol. Your teammates don't see it. Can you explain it to me?

 

``It's got to be the child-bearing hips. Women love that. I don't know what I have, but I thank my mother every day for giving it to me. [Laughter.] I don't feel sexy on the mound, though. That's not part of my game plan. I don't think sexy works. I don't think sexy intimidates Barry Bonds.''

 

4. Three telltale signs that the woman in the bar likes you?

 

'She starts taking her clothes off. That's No. 1. A no-brainer every time. The licking of the lips. I'm not good with body language, but those two even I understand. Eye contact, I guess, but that's not as obvious as when they hold up signs that say, `Go Marlins!' ''

 

5. You have one of the 10 best ERAs in all of baseball. What's different for you this season? What did you figure out?

 

``I'm not making mistakes. I'm not trying to outsmart them. I'm just trusting what's working. I haven't been giving myself enough credit during my career. I had to trust my talent more. I just needed to make it more simple on myself, and more fun. And now I've done it on the biggest stage in the world against the Yankees. I know I can do it. That kind of experience helps.''

 

6. You practice yoga in the equivalent of a steam room. What does that do for you mentally?

 

``Creates focus under extreme conditions. You are literally overheating, and you have to learn how to control your mind. That has to transfer to the mound.''

 

7. Your funniest and strangest teammates?

 

``Funniest is Armando Benitez. Strangest is Josh Beckett.''

 

8. Five adjectives you'd use to describe yourself to a stranger?

 

``Private. Fun. Professional. Athletic. Charming.''

 

9. Any athlete you'd give up a paycheck to have 24 hours with?

 

``Not really. I've been through so much myself, and I know how this life works now. I've had the experiences for myself. You don't learn them from someone else. The best lessons are first-hand. Experience is a good teacher.''

 

10. You somehow hit a home run earlier this season off the league's best pitcher, Jason Schmidt, and you immediately started pointing to the left-field stands. What was that all about?

 

``Child-like enthusiasm. And complete surprise. It was more than a surprise, actually. It was like waking up with a second right arm. It was an out-of-body experience. I got caught up in the moment. I'll probably never hit another one. I'll have to apologize to him next time I run into him, but I think he understands.''

 

11. Something about last year's champions no one knows?

 

``Not one time were we ever intimidated. We were so naive.''

 

12. Strangest thing in your home?

 

``My mom bought me three big monkeys. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. I have them in one corner, but I have to be honest with you: They creep me out a little bit.''

 

13. Your greatest fear?

 

``Getting to the park late. I always get up in a panic, looking at the clock and sweating because I think I've missed stretching or a day game.''

 

14. Most nervous you've ever been?

 

``Rookie career development. I was 20 years old, among all these prospects, and they asked me to introduce myself. That's one of the worst things I've ever had to do. I'm not 100 percent comfortable with public speaking now, but I'm a lot better than I was then.''

 

15. Three hitters you don't want to see with your eternal soul on the line?

 

``Barry Bonds, obviously. Brad Ausmus. I can't get him out. I've tried everything, believe me. And Javy Lopez.''

 

16. Something you do that annoys the people who love you?

 

``I get so focused when I'm doing something -- fishing, whatever -- and everything tunes out. My focus brings me to a different level. I go to a deep place.''

 

17. Your greatest flaw?

 

``I'm too stubborn.''

 

18. One thing you would go back and change about your life?

 

``I probably would have gotten a trainer a lot earlier in my career for the offseasons to stay healthy.''

 

19. You dated Alyssa Milano. Best and worst thing about dating a Hollywood starlet?

 

``The best is that anywhere, anytime, you get front-row seats to all the best shows. The worst thing is what comes with that front row. Too much attention, television, tabloids. The tabloids suck, man.''

 

20. Are you going to be a bachelor forever?

 

[Laughter.] ``I'm working pretty hard at it. I'm good at it, too. Doesn't help that I like it.'

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