© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
Looking back on what has truly been a magical season, if I can use rock and roll analogy one more time, what Stones is closer to you at this time, "Happy" or "Shattered"?
"Happy," man, absolutely, no question. This has been a remarkable year for us on so many different levels, to get to this point. Very few people in this country or throughout the baseball world would have even guessed that we could get here.
I'm very proud of our guys as a group. Really a truly remarkable job. We made a powerful statement. It's just the beginning. I view it it as just the beginning. We go to Spring Training next year, with all this momentum built up from this season, validating all the concepts that we had put out there, and in order to sell the program. I'm not just talking about the Major Leagues, I'm also talking about the minor side of the program, also, becomes somewhat easier.
So I'm really looking forward to that challenge, also. I'm so proud of our guys' effort level. I talked about nine equaling eight in the beginning of the year and it certainly did. Again, I think we validated and created the Ray way of playing baseball. I'm very proud of that, and we have to make it better.
Before I go any further, I want to say congratulations to the Phillies. A great effort. They are a very, very good ballclub. Look in the mirror and I see us a little bit. They're a lot like us; we're a lot like them. Really like the way that they play. They play hardball the right way. They do things properly and right. And I have a lot of respect for them. So congratulations to Charlie and Mr. Gillick and the whole group. Truly a wonderful team and deserving to win the World Series.
Did you address the club? Would you be able to share any of that?
Yes, I just talked to them and of course trying not to become too emotional. I just wanted them to know, beyond all of the stuff that happened on the baseball field, I am most proud of their growth as people. I really loved the way they handled this entire moment. You look at our guys, really young, and I've read this is one time I have been reading the newspapers and watching TV, and I really liked the way our guys loved the way our guys handled themselves. I thought we presented ourselves really well. And I think all this country now knows who we are, as well as the world, the baseball world.
So I really want them to understand that and thanked them for the effort as well as our coaching staff, who I think did a tremendous job. Again, managers get way too much credit sometimes, but believe me, I delegate really a lot of responsibility to our guys. They did a tremendous job with that. So our coaching staff was fabulous and permitted me to do what I had to do, also. Primarily that was the message and I'm really proud of our guys?
Could you run through the logic of all the pitching and pinch hit moves you made? And were they different at all because it was a three and a half innings to the end instead of a full nine?
First of all, we restarted with Grant. If you look at Grant I was fine with him pitching against any left hander right there. He was going to do that. We were just trying to shorten it up because you don't know if it's going to go 9, 10, 11, 12 innings or whatever.
So Grant was good in that spot. We wanted J.P. ready for the lefties, and they came. And I also liked J.P. all the way through Burrell, and it just didn't work out. But I did. So that's why you saw J.P., once we tied the score, going out there to bunt. I know that was kind of a crazy thing. We almost scored the run despite of the great play by Utley. I wanted him on that guy once we established the tie.
Furthermore, after that Chad Bradford, before the game, I wanted him within that group, Victorino, Feliz, Ruiz, I thought about that specifically, and then we were going to turn it over to David. So all that stuff worked it, they just got two runs, which was the non popular thing that they did.
Offensively speaking I did a double switch with Aybar and Peña, only because if it got to that point we had a tie or go ahead, and I did not want to have to lose David Price at some point. So I had to do that. You don't like to do those things, in the National League game, but that's what we had to do.
Actually all the stuff that happened we had planned out before the game, they just got some very untimely hits.
Any regret not starting Crawford first pitch, after he singled?
That's up to him. He's on his own. He's on his own.
Were you surprised to see Jenkins being the pinch hitter that he chose? And also how uncomfortable is it when you have those two infield in situations, especially with a ground ball pitcher?
Yeah, first of all, I really thought it would be Jenkins. Because we had the lefty warming up, I did not think he wanted to burn Stairs or Dobbs at that point. Jenkins is what we thought would happen. Furthermore, versus Stairs, 0 for 4 with Balfour and four punch out. Two strike ball off the wall, that's very unusual. That happens once in a while, and he got it done and that was unfortunate. The infield in, the pop up, just out of our range, and Feliz, that was a good piece of hitting up the middle against Bradford.
Just put us in very difficult moments. And when you get to those moments you just try to make your best guess and try to do the right thing, and they beat us. They flat beat us tonight and I tip my cap to the entire group.
In the context of the growth of your club which you were describing, what do you take out of the World Series experience from that?
Experience. Just the fact that a mind once stretched has a difficult time going back to its original form. I've always liked that. Our minds have been stretched. Everything about us has been stretched. I don't think our guys are ever going to be satisfied going home in October again.
So this whole experience has permitted us to grow. Like I said, and being around the last couple of years if you had been there to follow us closely and see what the culture was like two years ago and what it's like now, the word is remarkable, to be able to come that far that quickly. So for me, for us, I believe this firmly, our guys are not going to be satisfied without playing in October from now on. And that's a good thing. And that's all because of this group of people this year.
Two things: No. 1, do you have any level of regret now that this is over, looking back that you didn't get to Price until the run that would beat you in the World Series had scored? And the second thing is, did you think at all about walking Feliz with the ground ball pitcher to try to get Ruiz to hit into the double play?
I did think about that, absolutely. Absolutely did, talking about Feliz and Ruiz. I thought he could put the ball anywhere on anybody. And then Ruiz has had such a hot series, all these different things going on. And Chad can put the ball on the ground at somebody. And Feliz was 2 for 2 against him on my sheet prior to that at bat. He just beat them up the middle. I chose to do that and it did not work out.
Other part was what?
Ultimately the World Series winning run scoring
Again, that's the way it turned out. I had it mapped out mentally. And of course David being as young as he is, we have been putting him in a lot of difficult moments, and he has responded well. Just not knowing how that whole thing would turn, just trying to play it as well as we possibly can. Had different match ups presented. And it just didn't work out.
Again, retrospectively, maybe you could have done that, but I really had it mapped out the exact way that it occurred, they did not cooperate with their offense.
Following up on Price, how seriously, if at all, did you consider just starting out of the gate with him in sixth?
Not really, because if you look at our bullpen, all those guys were well rested and those guys have done a great job all year. And again, David has done well, but I didn't want to put all that on him and require him to do all that. We almost built to the point where I had imagined prior to the game, it just didn't want to work out. So J.P. Howell has been wonderful all year. Chad Bradford the same way. He's got a great reputation pitching in the postseason. And Grant, again, had a wonderful year, too. So all those guys have been an integral part of us getting to this point. And David had become a part of that. So I was just trying to construct the whole situation together, and obviously get us out on top, and it just did not work out that way tonight.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.