Jake Peavy learned as a kid that the most important thing about sports is having fun, but also that winning is directly tied into having fun.
“I watch my father now — he coaches my little boys in football and baseball — and how competitive he is,” Peavy said. “You can never lose sight of how the kids are doing this stuff to have fun. But my dad always said, ‘Winning’s fun.’”
Peavy, who grew up in Alabama, is a low-key and easygoing man when not pitching. A huge Bruce Springsteen fan, the Boston Red Sox right-handed starter often writes music and plays his guitar in his free time. But when he steps on the mound he turns into a different person.
He’s as intense as anyone in baseball, often yelling at himself after allowing just one hit.
Peavy and the Red Sox played their final regular season game yesterday in Baltimore, losing 7-6 to the O’s. The Sox, with 97 wins and the best record in the American League, now are gearing up for the American League Division Series, which begins Friday at Fenway Park.
Peavy said he has thought a lot about it and has concluded that his upbringing, including his father’s comments about the enjoyment of winning, made him the intense competitor he is today.
“I think about us playing in the backyard and how competitive we were with my brother and my cousins,” Peavy said. “Just how we played so hard. As hard as we play on this field, we played (as hard) it seems in the backyard.
“It’s fun to win,” Peavy added. “Both my grandfathers and father and how competitive they were — it’s just kind of a family thing.”
Peavy admitted his intensity hasn’t always been something he has been proud of.