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10/28/08 12:11 AM ET

An interview with Joe Maddon

Rays manager meets the media after Game 5 was suspended

Do you have any idea when they'll resume play?

JOE MADDON: We don't yet. The Commissioner was very clear on that. He wanted to make sure that the weather would be appropriate for the next time we get after it. So we'll know more tomorrow.

Who is starting your next game? And does it depend who when you resume who will start it?

JOE MADDON: Well, Balfour is still in the game. The game still has Grant on the lineup card. So as of right now Grant will be pitching.

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JOE MADDON: You mean as relief pitchers?

Sixth and seventh?

JOE MADDON: Are you talking about the starters? Well, see, we don't have to do that. This game we're picking up at the point where it was left off. So we'll probably utilize our bullpen. I still want to use Shields in six and Garza in seven. Sol we don't want to utilize those pitchers tomorrow or the next day. We have a pretty rested bullpen, based on today's events. Grant is in the game as of right now.

The Commissioner said that had the Phillies had been leading, he would have made it a rain delay and finished the game tonight, tomorrow, Thanksgiving, whenever. In the dugout were you under the impression that if they called the game in the sixth inning with the Phillies leading, they win the World Series? What was your understanding?

JOE MADDON: I want after it. I didn't know exactly how that was going to be handled, that rule. I know the Commissioner has flexibility I believe under those circumstances. That was not my concern. My concern was just that we score a run or two. I was not really worried about the ramifications at that point, I couldn't be. We're just trying to tie the game or get ahead. Whatever would have been decided post that, I have no control over that, thus I'm not going to worry about it.

For me, I was very aware of all the potential ramifications, but for me, for us, believe me, man, we're trying to live in the moment.

I just want to clarify, so you guys weren't specifically aware that there would be no game of less than nine innings, as the Commissioner has just told us?

JOE MADDON: I was not aware that to be specific

The Commissioner just told us they decided with team management, both teams, no games would be less than nine innings, even if you had to wait three days to finish them. Were you aware of that?

JOE MADDON: Andrew had come in to talk to me prior, because that conversation is between Andrew and the Commissioner, and I think Mr. Gillick. So I was not in the room for that particular conversation. So Andrew had spoken to me briefly about that prior to the game.

I was kind of confident that the game would not end in a six and a half inning game or whatever, that we would lose it. I was pretty confident about that. Again, from what I was aware was that the Commissioner has leeway in regard to this situation, and I was very confident that he would make the right decision.

A lot of people have said this is just like a magical season for the Rays. Do you feel that you have new life now? The way that this has turned out, now it's tied. And is there a chance that you could change your mind, knowing there's no tomorrow, and maybe go with Big Game James?

JOE MADDON: No, he's not going to pitch in that, he's not. I'm going to tell you right now, I don't want to do that. We still have two games after that. We have a rested bullpen. I have a lot of confidence in our bullpen. We're talking the bottom of the sixth right now. There's different things we can do to finish this game off. So we have to win this game to get to James and to get to Garza.

So as of right now my thoughts are to conclude it with our bullpen.

How difficult were those conditions from where you were looking at them and Carlos Peña's hit in those conditions?

JOE MADDON: I thought it was back in Beaumont, Texas, 1985. We played a game like that when I was with the Midland Angels. The last out was made on a rooster tail to the shortstop. So I really thought it was going to end that same way tonight, somehow.

It happens. You know what, we're not going to complain about it. We're not crying about it. We talked about it before the game. That's how it played out. That's exactly how it played out. I was not concerned, quite frankly. I mean, these are the rules, this is what's going on. This is the game. You play it and you see what happens at the end. So for me, for us, our guys are fantastic in the dugout the whole time. We really enjoyed the challenge, and once again we rose to it and I'm proud of the way our guys handled the whole moment.

I'm guessing it really isn't going to affect one way or another Grant's availability if it's one day or two days, but does whether or not it resumes in a day or two days, does it impact what you do at all? And can you also talk about the significance of Longoria and Peña getting some big hits tonight?

JOE MADDON: Right. You know, I'm really not anticipating so many days into the future. Of course it can. If this were to go a little bit longer, we may rethink some things. I'm anticipating either tomorrow or the next day that this is going to happen.

In regard to Evan and Carlos, really good at bats tonight. We were talking about that, just getting back into their zone. I know they feel better about themselves right now and confidence is really a wondrous thing in regards to us humans. Now that they have it back, there's no telling what they're going to do.

So I'm really pleased for them and for us. But even at that last out by Longo, line drive to center field, a little bit to the gap and we're in good shape. I liked the at bats. I thought they had a better look about them today. It's something to look forward to for us.

I'm trying to understand, were your players under the impression that they had to score to keep this season alive?

JOE MADDON: No, we weren't. We were just trying to score. It was not we didn't feel like that dire moment. We knew we wanted to tie. I really had a lot of confidence that this was going to continue to go on in some fashion. And I did not think that our season was going to end under those circumstances. I did not. I never thought that. But from the players' perspective it was not like that we really have to do this right or the season is over. We did not have that feeling among us. I did not promote that kind of feeling within the group. It's just, let's play the sixth inning, let's get a run, period.

Based on all your years in baseball, you mentioned the big game in Beaumont, Texas. Would you have called this game or put the tarp out earlier if the decision was yours?

JOE MADDON: You know, I'm not going to go there, quite frankly. I really respect the umpires and the entire mechanics of the game. My game is to manage the Rays, period. And I really look at it from that perspective. Believe me, one way or another, I wouldn't be sitting here crying tonight. Everybody has a job to do. Everybody's done their job, that's how I see it.

With the footing getting as bad as it was there at the end, did you hesitate at all about calling a steal with B.J. there?

JOE MADDON: B.J. is on his own, and I was very proud of him right there. The way that Hamels was working him, getting back to bag, back to the bag, he did a great job of that. I saw the slide on replay, it kind of looked like some kind of a finish of a horse race, with the hooves kicking up the dirt and the mud at the same time. And I was really watching him gingerly making his turn at third base to come home.

It was a great moment for him and for us. Once again, playing our game, not being concerned about making a mistake. I love the growth within this young man right now as a baseball player.

Can you just comment on Kaz's performance tonight.

JOE MADDON: I thought he threw the ball really well. I thought he was very good. There were some pitches that were close. I thought he had a better slider, once again. I thought his velocity I thought his delivery was better, better tempo, better finish. If you want to speak to the mechanics, I thought all that stuff was better tonight. And of course, I would like to have seen him pitch deeper. When it got to Victorino at that moment, I wanted to do something different about it. And again, I know four plus innings or whatever it was, did not appear to be good. But I thought overall he threw the ball well tonight.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.