10/27/06 6:36 PM ET
Ivan Rodriguez pregame interview
Tigers catcher happy to be in Series with many '03 teammates
By / MLB.com
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, Yadier, I know him since he was little. I played with his brother in Little League. He's great. He loves the game of baseball and yesterday he threw a baseball to second base that was unbelievable. Everybody looked at each other in the dugout and said wow. He's got a tremendous vision of this game. I'm very happy that he's doing a good job for the Cardinals and he's going to be very good.
In your career, have you ever had a
pitcher have three straight games as good as
Kenny has been the last three games?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, Kenny, he is a great guy, great pitcher. Kenny and I, we've been working out together, six or seven years together, I know him very well. But, no, I've never seen a pitcher like that, that can pitch three games like that. When he's on, he's on. Kenny is a guy that he locates the pitches down and in and uses all his pitches and when he looks that good, he's very tough to hit.
The way you catch a hundred out of
a hundred, with the passed ball, did the
weather affect you? You get those balls all the
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, it happens. Nobody is perfect. It was a wild pitch, not a passed ball. (Laughter).
Did the weather have anything to do
with that, realistically?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:No, no, nothing, just put my body in front of the ball and the ball went through my legs. I can't do anything about it. I just try to do my best to block it but I didn't do it.
It looked like you guys were going
to win last night. How much harder is it to go
out tonight being down 3-1 instead of tied at
2-2? How do you get over that?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:First of all, we've got to put the game, last night's game behind and concentrate on today's game. And I think my guys and our clubhouse looks very positive today. We look forward to tonight's game, and we've got to do what we've been doing all year, take one game at a time, just go out there and have fun and try to do the things we need to do to win the game.
On the rainout day you were pretty
adamant that you would be fine at the plate and
you were asked about your slump, and a lot of
times that can be just bravado from a player
that's in an 0-for, but last night it did look like
you were fine. What was the difference? Did
you do any major thing mechanically different
at the plate?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, I was a little bit more selective last night at the plate. I take two or three, four pitches in an at-bat and just make a small adjustment in my batting style, that's all. Just wait for a good pitch to hit and I did that very well last night and I look forward to do it same thing tonight.
I was just wondering, are you
surprised to be down three games to one?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, you know, yeah, it is, because I think we have a great team. I think our team is very solid, it's a complete team. But that's baseball. That is the beauty of baseball, and being in the World Series anything can happen. St. Louis is a great team. They've been pitching great, they've been playing good baseball, but we can't think about 3-1, we have to think about today's game and try to win today.
What do you want Justin to do
tonight that he didn't do in the first game?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, I just want him to be more relaxed and just to get ahead. And last time he got himself in trouble getting behind in the count right away. But what we've got to do is set up a good game plan tonight and just make him be Justin. Just keep the ball down, throw strikes and make them put the ball in play.
Have you seen anything like this
streak of pitchers' errors that's been going on,
the errors by your pitchers?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, you know, but I think they're doing a great job. They've been doing a great job all year and that's part of baseball. And that's the way it goes. We've got to keep our pitchers very positive. It's not easy when you have so many young pitchers in the World Series. It's not easy. But I think the concentration is there and tonight is a big game for us.
The Marlins team that you were on
that won the World Series was considered an
underdog and the Cardinals were kind of
considered that this time, do you see any
advantage to being labeled an underdog?
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:Well, we was underdog all year long, and in the playoff and guess what, when we win the World Series, we become favorites. But, no, you know, we feel like we got to go out there and play. And it happens to us, to me, when I played in Florida in 2003. They never expected us to win the World Series and beat the Yankees. But again, we cannot think about that, we've got to just go out there and do the things that we need to do and try to win the game.
Money aside, I know when you
signed with the Tigers, I'll admit, I was one of
those guys that said I can't understand it. I
know the series isn't going your way, but how
much pride do you take in turning a franchise
IVAN RODRIGUEZ:I feel very happy, because when I came here three years ago, Mr. Ilitch was telling me he was going to put a winning team together. I was the first one to sign here as a free agent and then others came, like Magglio, Carlos Guillen, now Kenny, Todd Jones, and all those guys. Now I'm sure there are a lot of players on the market that want to come to Detroit and play. And that for me makes myself very happy because I started and they tell me what they want to do. They tell me, come over here because we want to put a winning team, it's going to take a few years. But this is a few years after, being in the World Series. But the thing that made me more happy is that I'm in the same clubhouse with a lot of guys, a lot of players that was here in 2003 when they lost 119 games. To see the guys playing in the World Series and in the same club and the same dugout, that made me more proud because that wasn't easy. I just feel very happy to be here and being with those teammates that really deserve where they are right now.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.