09/15/2008 1:47 PM ET
Rodriguez: Next goal is championship
Angels closer looking toward playoffs after setting record
I don't really have the words to describe how happy and excited I am about setting the new Major League Baseball record for saves in a season. I knew the record was coming now for a couple of weeks, so it was good to finally get it over with. It is a relief. I had been waiting for this moment for quite some time. Finally it came true.
It was very important to me that I got the record at home. We were a day away from a 10-game road trip and I wanted to do it in front of my daughters in the stands. I knew it would be a special moment, but it was extra special the way the fans cheered me when I entered the game. It was something that was amazing. The last time I had that level of emotion was when we won the World Series. It was a tremendous feeling out on the mound.
When I was warming up, I wanted to come into the game so bad. I was sort of rooting for our guys not to get any more hits in the eighth inning. I was looking for some quick outs because I was ready and I was so excited to come in. I am a competitor.
After the final out, I pointed to the heavens in honor of my grandfather who passed 10 years ago. He was with me on Saturday night, though, and he's with me every day. He was such a huge part of my life growing up. I would have given up the record to have my grandfather next to me now. But I have to deal with that and I know he's happy for me and proud of me.
A big part of this record also goes to my teammates. We have a very deep bullpen. Guys like Scot Shields and Jose Arredondo this year have been keys as bridges to get the ball to me in the ninth. I thank them for their support and I'm thankful to my manager, Mike Scioscia. "Sciosc" has given me the opportunity to go out there every single night.
During the on-field celebration, Mike hugged me and whispered something in my ear. He told me, "Ten more saves this year." He congratulated me and that made me feel special. He has shown a lot of confidence in me over the years, and I'm happy to not let him down.
Despite getting to the 58-save record, I still feel fresh. I look forward to the games that are ahead of us and, more importantly, the playoff games that are ahead of us. I want to remain sharp because there are more important saves to get now.
The next target for me is to simply win another championship. That is the goal right now. I really want the ring.
On Saturday against Seattle, Francisco Rodriguez set a new MLB record with his 58th save of the season, breaking Bobby Thigpen's 18-year-old record. After the game, Rodriguez's game jersey and a ball from the receord-breaking game were sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.