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How do you prepare for a game that you might not have to pitch?
You've just got to stay focused. Just concentrate and pay attention to the rest of the game today and see what happens. You've still got to be ready, no matter what.
Both managers knew ahead of time that Game 5 was going to go nine innings no matter what. Both managers chose not tell their players at any point. And allowing you guys to draw conclusions or not in what those runs might mean. I'm curious how you felt about that not being told and how you had to wriggle through that?
I guess it's probably better. I think if we knew about it, that would have taken away from what we really had to go out and accomplish. You can't be told it's going to be nine innings, regardless. I think we needed to play the game like it was going to be nine innings regardless and play hard. I don't think by them telling us or not telling us it was going to affect how we were going to play, but then again, if they were to have told us about that, it might have affected how we would have played.
Charlie Manuel has obviously had some success here the last couple of years. What makes him, I assume, the right fit for this group of players?
Well, I just think he takes the time to understand each person's personality. And I think that he's very good at handling us as individuals as well as a team. So I think that's what makes it good for him to be there for us.
He's kind of like a father figure to us, and we always look up to him and respect him for whatever he has to say, and he's been around this game a long time and he's seen a lot of things happen and he's seen a lot of things go right and a lot of things go wrong. And I think his positive outlook on how he treats us after a loss or after a win is pretty much the same thing.
So he keeps us up in the clubhouse and let's us be individuals, and that's a pretty good guy to play for.
Victorino has been miked for some of these games. And I wondered whether you guys have listened on a replay to some of the stuff he said? And what's been the reaction in the clubhouse?
We don't know. We're usually in the dugout. Whatever they're hearing, I'm not accountable for.
We don't pay attention to that kind of stuff. If we worry about if he's miked or not, that's something taking away from the focus the game. We just try to be ourselves in the clubhouse and talk to him, and whatever he says he says.
What is it like in the dugout usually during games is kind of what I'm getting at?
I don't know, I try to stay the heck away from him. He's got to concentrate on what he's got to do out there. My job is just to put the pom poms on and start cheering for him. He has a job to do and he's pretty focused on what he has to do.
Obviously everyone, the players, I assume, the pitcher is going out there and clinching in a complete game in front of the home crowd. Do you think at all about whatever happens, the rain will be part of the story of the Series, or do you kind of have to not let yourself think that way?
I don't think we're too much focused on it. We still have three and a half innings to play. It's kind of weird and it's kind of odd that the game's going to start with the seventh inning stretch and everything. But I think we've got to take it as we're going out for the seventh inning, and not that it's the start of a game and try to feel out your opponent type of thing. I think we need to go out and start playing like we're in the seventh inning.
So it's going to be tough. I'm sure nobody in the clubhouse has ever done this before. I know I haven't. So it's going to be kind of tough to see how we adjust to it.
Such a crazy couple of days and probably frustrating, too. How do you spend an off day like yesterday after all that that went on with the anticipation of today? How do you spend the day like that, how did you?
Just relax. Just hang out with the family. Go do some extracurricular activities that please me, I guess. But other than that, just kind of try not to worry too much about the game and everything. The time to worry about the game is when you get here to prepare for it.
You touched on this a little bit the other day, but obviously you guys want to wrap this up as soon as possible. But at the same time if you don't get to wrap it up tonight, you get to do it. Are you torn that you'd like to win as soon as possible?
I'm not selfish, but I'd like to pitch again. I feel like I'm the only guy that's got the loss in this series. But as for the team and the city, yeah, I want to finish it here. But if I get that opportunity then, yeah, I'm going to cherish or whatever. But I definitely want to finish it here, because I'm not going to be selfish about it. Everybody wants to pitch again and wants to play again, but I'm not going to be selfish. I want to do it here for this city and for the team.
You spoke about the extracurricular activities. Are you concerned about your image, or how people might perceive you, given that story?
No, most people like shooting guns, most people hunt. I do it in a controlled area, you know. I don't walk around with a gun. It's always in the trunk or something like that, when I'm heading that way. But other than that it's something that I like doing. It's fun to do. I have one buddy that's a former Navy Seal that's taught me how to use weapons, and I kind of take interest in that stuff and the stuff he's done in the past.
Getting back to the series, what did you learn about Tampa Bay in Game 2 that you're going to be able to use if you pitch again?
Well, you know, it's more or less what I learned about myself, how to make an adjustment in the mid part of the game. They'll maybe have the same approach or a different approach, you never know until you get out there. They're definitely a scrappy team, and they're going to try to put runs together, you know, either with their legs or with their bats.
So they're a tough team. They're a fast team. You have to try to make your pitches and keep their speed off the bases.
What was the change?
Just pitching wise. I just had to make different pitches and maybe kind of go away from my game plan that I had to start the game, because they made me have to make an adjustment.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.