10/16/11 12:46 AM ET
Postgame interview with Ron Washington
By / MLB.com
Ron Washington: I want to congratulate the Detroit Tigers for the spirit and the way they fought out there and the fun that they gave to the fans through this series.
Jim Leyland is one heck of a baseball man and he has one heck of a baseball team. It's just unfortunate that someone had to win and someone had to lose. But I just want to say congratulations to them.
Q. Ron, sincere congratulations. Just how does this year feel compared to last year? Was it tougher this year?
Washington: It was very tough, but when you got a group of guys that's committed to each other and committed to a purpose, usually good things happen. I have to give a lot of credit to our pitching staff. You have to give a lot of credit to the guys that showed up every day and strapped it on and grind.
I have to give a lot of credit to the organization for getting us pieces when we need it and just trusting us with all that talent that they gave to us. More than anything else, the players deserve a heck of a lot of credit because it took a lot behind the scenes to get to this point. And more than anything else, we defended our American League Championship.
Q. Two-part question: Your pitcher tonight, Holland, he almost got the win for tonight, came down to a no-decision. Then also, Michael Young, last catch of the game, you talked when he first started with this team. Can you talk about his career being with the Texas Rangers?
Washington: It's obvious. He's the spirit of this club, and you know I know earlier in the playoffs he wasn't producing. But he showed the quality professional and the quality person that he is.
He came through when we needed it. And it seemed as if he saved his best for last. As far as I was concerned tonight he put us on his back.
Q. Hey, Wash, congratulations. Going back the disappointment of losing to the Giants and then trying to recreate this all over again as hard as this is, and now you get to the World Series and you really still have the toughest part of it in front of you, don't you?
Washington: Oh, without a doubt. We wanted to get to the World Series. But the bottom line is getting to the World Series and winning it. We feel pretty confident about ourselves.
We're very versatile ballclub. And you know more than anything else, the commitment they made in November after San Francisco sent us home, they held true to it.
As I said, it's not easy to get back here. It was a lot going on through the course of 162-game season, but they committed themselves. They brought the proper attitude every single day, and it was never a time where they didn't give the effort that it took to be where we are right now and have this opportunity to play for the World Series again.
Q. Wash, along those same lines, I don't think people understand how difficult with the American League it is to get back to back to the World Series. How hard is it to get the back to back?
Washington: Well, it's extremely difficult. Everything have to more or less fall into place, but more than anything else, you have to weather the storms. There were quite a bit of storms.
The schedule -- you had to weather the schedule. You had to stay healthy. And we lost quite a few of our pieces at some point during the course of the year.
But the depth we had held us together. And that was the key right there. And our young kids that took on the workload of going out there every five days with no experience and proving that they can battle through a Major League tested season. All of that came into play. It wasn't easy.
Once again, they stayed committed. Every day they showed up. They just tried to go out there and be the very best they possibly could be. They played for each other. And that's what it's all about.
Q. Did you think about perhaps switching your lineup a little bit with David Murphy scuffling a little bit, and plus you had a lefty to lefty match up there in the third inning. Did you have a lot of faith in him in that at bat?
Washington: I sent him up to the plate. He got a two-run single. I pinch-hit for the next guy. But, you know, there's times where there's a tough lefty that may come up that I may take David out.
But crucial situations David has been crucial for us in Texas. So he came through right there. I never at any point thought about pinch-hitting for David Murphy.
Q. Wash, you scored seven runs a couple of times in this series. A lot of those runs came late in extra innings. I was curious if you were sitting there wondering when that end to end offense we saw a lot of during the regular season was going to come. I know the pitching is better, but were you thinking, come on, where is that rhythm?
Washington: I can tell you this: Even after they hit the first two home runs we kept putting ourselves in positions from the first inning until we finally bust out of having an opportunity to throw some runs on the board, and then finally we did it.
Everyone stepped up, and everyone contributed. And that's what it took tonight. That's why I say we saved our best for last, because we certainly, as a group, are capable of busting out the way we bust out tonight.
And it couldn't have come at a better time, especially in front of these great fans here in Texas.
Q. Can you talk about what it's like to clinch here at home?
Washington: It's awesome. Our fans supported us all year. It's nice to see all that red in the stands. And we had one of the worst summers in Texas history, I would imagine. I've only been here five years, but all the years I came here as a player and as a coach. I've never experienced that type of heat before.
And they came out in all of that. They certainly enjoyed us, and we certainly enjoyed them. So it was special.
Q. Ron, can you talk about the commitment you guys made in November? Whose idea was that? What went into that?
Washington: It was a group commitment. We weren't very happy with the results, and we certainly knew that we were a better team than we showed.
But also you had to tip your hats to the San Francisco Giants. They beat us. And the one thing that Michael Young made a statement about in that meeting was enjoy your winter, but don't turn it off mentally.
We're capable of getting back. We come into from Spring Training, and day one from Spring Training they committed themselves to doing just that.
And behold, here we are with another opportunity. They deserve a ton of credit. They got so much character in that clubhouse, so much drive. And as I said, we are a team, and that's the way they handle their business, as a team.
The moderator: Thank you, Ron. Thanks for coming in. Thanks for everything. That concludes the interview room for tonight.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.