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Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS   2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Oct 11, 2011 8:14 pm

An interview with Tigers manager Jim Leyland | 10/10/11 9:45 PM ET

Tigers manager Jim Leyland spoke with the media following Monday's 7-3 loss to the Rangers in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.

Q. Jim, I know these are a tough two games, but it really seems like they've been so close that this series is really just getting started, don't you think?

Leyland: It's been a great two games. It didn't go the right way, obviously. They earned it, and we didn't quite get it done. We haven't been able to come up with any big hits. That's really hard.

We've had some opportunities, but up to this point, we just haven't been able to do that.

Q. Jim, do you think Austin's pressing a little bit? And you're probably limited in terms of being able to move him down in the order, it looks like, because of ...

Leyland: Well, I don't know. He could be pressing a little bit. But we'll see. We'll look at that and see what we think about it. It's one of those things where if he does get going, he's really a catalyst for us and he really excites our team. That's a thought, obviously. We'll talk about that.

Q. How did Young seem to come through that game?

Leyland: OK, I think. We're going to wait and see tomorrow. I'm not sure if he'll play tomorrow or not, but we're going to wait and see. I think he probably came through it OK, as good as can be expected. But I have to check with the trainers on that.

Q. It looked like you talked to Max when he came in after that inning. Were you telling him one more batter and we're going to go the left-hander?

Leyland: I was going to let him have Cruz, obviously. If Cruz got on, I was going to bring in a lefty. If he got Cruz out, I was going to let him go. I thought he was throwing great. He was throwing tremendous. If he had got on, we would have gone to Benoit. I thought he was throwing outstanding. He tried to elevate one in the strike zone, and he didn't get it there and of course he tied it up. I thought he threw outstanding. He did a tremendous job.

Q. Jim, did Santiago have a chance to score on the double by Kelly?

Leyland: No, the ball came back to him. We were hoping it would kick back, but it didn't. It just came back to him and that's kind of the luck of the draw.

Q. Jim, can you talk about your strategy there in the ninth, with walking Napoli intentionally with Cruz then coming up? What was your thinking there, and how did you feel about that whole inning the way it played out?

Leyland: We knew they weren't going to bunt. We were hoping to get a ground ball and get a play, and maybe get two quick outs to have a better shot to get out of the inning.

As it turned out, we did get out of it and we did get a double-play ball. First to home, double play. We did get out of it.

We just felt like it's kind of a catch 22. They got so many good hitters. But if you can get a ball on the ground, you can get two for the price of one.

So Napoli swung the bat pretty well, obviously. He's been hitting the ball well this series. Good batting average and everything. Ironically, Cruz has been the guy who has been a little quiet, to be honest with you, up to this point. Today, of course, he had two big ones.

Q. Jim, it evolved into a battle of the bullpen. Especially the Rangers having to go to it early. Obviously, you were hoping to find a crack there at some point.

Leyland: I thought all the bullpens did good. Both bullpens did a great job right up 'til the end there. Ryan just looked like he hit a slider. He got in a little trouble there and we had a little miscue there in the inning. That stretched the inning out a little bit. If you don't have that, you're still in the double play situation. Where you can once again get two for the price of one and maybe get out of the inning.

If you keep giving a team like that that many opportunities, they're going to get you eventually, and eventually they got us.

Q. Jim, just to go back to the third inning. You got pretty hot with the umpires. What did you see on that ball with Victor?

Leyland: First of all, I'm going to explain this very carefully. You always risk getting fined when you talk about this kind of stuff. I'm going to explain the only reason I was upset. I knew the ball hit him. OK? But it wasn't called. OK? He checked the ball for polish and it wasn't called.

The reason I was upset is myself, and I believe every manager in the league that goes out on a call like that and asks the umpire to get help, they tell you they can't get help on that if somebody would have seen it, they come in right away to say they saw it, and they call it. Nobody moved. Nobody came in.

So my question to them was, "Who saw it?" And if somebody saw it, why did they not come in right away and call it? I wasn't questioning at all whether or not he got hit. I was questioning the process by which I've been told all year, and I assume every other manager has, that's normally one where they say I can't get help on that one.

If somebody would have seen that, they come right in and call it right away. Yes, definitely it hit him. I saw it. And nobody moved. That's the only reason I was upset about it. I knew the ball hit him.

Q. Jim, you still have to feel fairly good, going home with the three pitchers that you've got going?

Leyland: I don't feel as good as Texas does right now, obviously. But we're playing. They've got to win two more. We have to win four. It's that simple. That's pretty simple math. We haven't been able to get the big hit. We've had our opportunities.

The first inning in both games so far, in my opinion, has really come back to haunt us a little bit. We didn't score when we had a great opportunity in both games. They did score. They came right back and did score.

So the first inning has really been a little bit of a nemesis for us up to this point. It's been a Jekyll and Hyde inning. Looked real good for us, not so good for them. All of a sudden, it wasn't so good for us and it was good for them. It's been kind of a strange inning so far in this series.

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

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

Location : Too Far From Copa

PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS   2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed Oct 12, 2011 3:07 am

A postgame 3 interview with Jim Leyland | 10/11/11 11:15 PM ET

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jim Leyland.

Q. Jim, what happened to Victor on the home run, please, and what's his condition now?

JIM LEYLAND: He's okay. He felt a little strain, but he's all right. He had that at bat after the walk and he hit a ball good to left center, so I think he's fine.

Q. Are you at all surprised or gratified, Jim, that with all the people you've had out of the lineup here, and now this includes Martinez and his tweak here, that you played that team a team that good shoulder to shoulder in Texas and then won a game here tonight?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, yeah, I mean I'm thrilled the way we played. We're tough. I think you have to mention Adrian Beltre for them. These are two tough teams. He got smoked on the knee. Our guys are playing with pain and some injuries. What he went through tonight, he played the game unbelievable. Both teams. I certainly want to credit mine first of all. But both teams are showing what it's all about. And showing it's playoff time and how tough they are and you have a great appreciation for that as a manager.

Q. Jim, Fister gave up a few hits there early on, and then seemingly settled in. Did you see an adjustment on his part? It looked like the pitches got a little sharper or maybe it was just nerves?

JIM LEYLAND: I think those hits he gave up were three missed hit balls that found holes. I thought he put on a clinic. I thought he put on a pitching clinic, in and out, moving the ball around, moving the ball both sides of the plate. I thought it was a pitching clinic.

Q. Jim, can you talk about the 0 2 pitch Cabrera hit to give you the early lead. They tried to pitch around him and he just got to that ball.

JIM LEYLAND: That's why he's a great hitter. If you were watching he came up big tonight. If you watch baseball right now, it's really interesting for me. Maybe not as much for you guys but for me. If you look at the opening day in Milwaukee, Fielder, Braun, big, big time he came up. If you look at the second game, Pujols. Cabrera, he came up. That's what this is about. The big boys that's why they're the big boys.

Q. Can you talk about the Austin Jackson three hits tonight, getting your team going a little bit? Was there a different approach at the plate?

JIM LEYLAND: I don't know if there was a different approach. I would like to say that I tweaked him a little bit, but I would be lying. But he did hit early with Mac today. I told Mac, have him hit early tomorrow. Don't think things are okay. Have him hit early tomorrow. He makes us go. He makes everybody in the dugout feel good. I was asked a question before the game about dropping him in the lineup which was a very legitimate question. You know what, this is us. We are what we are. We've been doing this for the whole year, and we're going to either win this thing or go down with what we got. That's the way we're going to do it. Pretty simple, really. There's no tricks now. There's no adjustments. I know the lineups are different because of some injuries. A.J. is going to lead off. That's just the way it is.

Q. I know you said Victor is fine. How concerned were you at that time? What was it that he strained?

JIM LEYLAND: Very concerned, to be honest with you. Intercostal muscle. We'll see. Obviously, I think he'll be okay. He got through it tonight, and hopefully he'll be able to get through it. And if he can't, you know what, we'll play somebody else. That's who we are. That's what we are, and that's what you do this time of year. You find a way to -- find a way to win somehow. We did that tonight, because we hit a couple of balls over the fence, obviously, and Fister was like I said I thought he put on a clinic.

Q. Jim, it looked like that Torrealba's ball was probably the first really hard hit ball of the night. Was there any feeling or how gratifying was it for you that Fister didn't get nickeled and dimed tonight and that your guys finally did hit the ball over the fence?

It was great. He was just what the doctor ordered. This is a tough team to hold down. Knock on wood. Actually, we've done a pretty good job so far. The grand slam last night made it look a little bad, but for the most part we've done a pretty good job. They've done a great job of pitching. I think we've done a great job of pitching too. Both bullpens have done a really good job with the exception of one grand slam. This is two really good teams. They're the defending champs and we're trying to dethrone them.

Both teams are going to keep playing hard. This isn't going to bother them tonight. They're classy. They're professional. Their manager is good. I was worried. I was standing close to home plate tonight when Aretha Franklin was singing the National Anthem. He was moving around. I got nervous because she pumped him up a bit.


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

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

Location : Too Far From Copa

PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS   2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 13, 2011 2:17 am

Bench key to Tigers' ability to overcome injuries
Kelly, Raburn, Dirks make Detroit's situation more manageable
By Tom Singer / | 10/12/11 2:43 PM ET

DETROIT -- Whenever the Tigers' misfortune with incapacitating postseason injuries is mentioned -- Magglio Ordonez is out, while Delmon Young and Victor Martinez are hobbled -- knowledgeable fans clear their throats to offer an addendum:

What about Brennan Boesch, the starting corner outfielder who went down for the year with a thumb injury at the end of August?

A legitimate point, and yet another case that bears out Detroit manager Jim Leyland's philosophy: Use your bench liberally all season, because there's no telling when you'll have to depend on those players.

The Tigers have gotten to that point in the American League Championship Series. Ordonez's fractured right ankle and Young's strained left oblique have turned part-timers Don Kelly, Ryan Raburn and Andy Dirks into starters.

And they have responded, answering the call because they had been getting it all summer.

"Obviously, you would like to have all your big guys out there, but I'm not afraid to play anybody," Leyland said. "I think we've shown that the whole season. When injuries are involved, the fact that some of these guys have had at-bats helps."

More Tigers than is typical have had significant at-bats. Sixteen different Detroit players logged 100-plus plate appearances during the regular season. By comparison, ALCS foe Texas had only a dozen players log that many.

In-season injuries and personnel decisions contributed to the Tigers' distribution of at-bats. For instance, when slumping Brandon Inge was demoted to the Minors in mid-July, Wilson Betemit took over as the regular third baseman for a month.

But a bigger factor was Leyland's commitment to keeping everyone sharp. Perhaps it takes a secure, veteran manager to realize the benefits of not riding the same nine men too hard.

"Some people have the tendency to think that when you play your regulars every day, you win every game," Leyland said. "It doesn't work that way. A lot of people ... when you take somebody out, they get a little nervous about it.

"But this is why you play your entire roster. It doesn't mean they're going to do good necessarily, but at least they have had some action. I think it pays dividends."

The dividend in Game 2 was a three-run homer by Raburn, who was in Ordonez's shoes in right. The dividend in Game 3's 5-2 victory was a single in the middle of a two-run sixth by Dirks, who had taken over in right as Raburn shifted into Young's place in left.

Tom Singer is a national reporter for Follow @Tom_Singer on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

Location : Too Far From Copa

PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS   2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS - Page 2 Icon_minitimeThu Oct 13, 2011 2:29 am

A postgame 4 interview with Jim Leyland | 10/12/11 9:44 PM ET

We're going to get started in the interview room. Jim Leyland is here.

Q. Jim, was Austin going on his own there on the stolen base attempt?

JIM LEYLAND: Absolutely. I agreed with it 100%.

Q. Jim, obviously a big play was the Delmon Young fly out. I want to know about the decision to send Cabrera, and also did you consider pinch hitting Delmon with maybe a Don Kelly a left hander in that situation?

JIM LEYLAND: No, I'm not going to hit for Delmon Young. He's our third hitter. He's a professional hitter. He's one of the better hitters. No, I wouldn't even think about that. And I thought it was a great decision to send him. If the throw is off line, he makes it. If it's not, he's out. Other than Austin Jackson, it might have been closer, obviously, but other than that, I don't know that anybody would have made it if he threw it on the money. That's the second out. You make him throw him out at the plate. It was the right call. Cruz threw it on the money.

Q. Just talk about using Valverde for that second inning, and also is he available tomorrow with all that he's pitched so far?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, we were down two games to one. You have to give it your best shot. That was our best shot. Tomorrow, you know, he and Benoit are both running on fumes and heart right now, to be honest with you. So hopefully the big guy can do it tomorrow for us. It's one of the best baseball games I've ever been involved in. Great plays by both teams. We made some great plays. Santiago, Inge, Delmon Young made a great play, Cruz made a great play. One of the best games I've ever been involved with. Just didn't come out the right way.

Q. I know with this lineup it is kind of pick your poison, but what went into your decision to walk Beltre there in the 11th?

JIM LEYLAND: Obviously, Napoli is a power hitter. If you can get him on the ground as a double play, you're trying to set up the double play. He didn't want both of those guys it seems, so he blooped one in and Cruz was the big blow. You're just trying to set up a double play. I didn't want Beltre and Napoli both to hit against him. As it turned out, he got a base hit. But to get a double play, you're out of the inning. He's not a fast runner, obviously. He's definitely a double play guy. We just didn't get the ball on the ground. He blooped it into center field for a hit.

Q. 0 2, nobody on base, two out with Ogando. Talk a little about that, please.

JIM LEYLAND: It was a dramatic home run, obviously. To tie the game up like it did. Like I said, this was a great baseball game. I'm certainly sorry we didn't win it, but they did a little bit better than we did. We had our shot. Delmon had a great at bat, I thought. In fact, he just missed one that he fouled back that he had centered pretty good. He just fouled it back. There's not much you can say. Like I say, they did a little bit more than we did.

Q. Jim, you've talked a lot about great players rising to the occasion throughout this postseason. I guess with what's happened in the series, you have to add Cruz to that list.

JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, well. It's been a weird series. They had a couple of home runs late in two of the games to kind of open it up. But it'sbeen an absolutely tremendous series. I can't credit Benoit and Valverde enough for what they've done. They're pitching like I said on fumes and heart. You saw Albuquerque come in a little wild. We got a little nervous about that obviously. And that's shortened up our bullpen a little bit, because we weren't real sure about him because he hasn't got much work. He has struggled since he came back. That shortened up our bullpen a little bit. But that's the way it goes. That's just the way it goes. We actually had our shots. We just didn't come up with a big hit.

Q. Jim, you showed a lot of trust in Porcello going into this game. Can you talk about what you saw from him, especially the first five innings and how much maybe maybe the Rangers' base running put pressure on him.

I thought he pitched a tremendous game for us. I really did. This is an excellent lineup. To do what he did to hold them down like he did, I thought he did a tremendous job. I think he threw the ball exceptionally well. I don't think there's any question about that. He gave us what we wanted and probably a little bit more, to be honest with you. I thought he was tremendous.

Q. You spoke before the game playoffs are truly one game at a time. Can you talk about the hill you have now having to win three to advance to the World Series?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, you know, hopefully we got Verlander, Scherzer and Fister. So obviously we got to win tomorrow. We're sending the guy out there that is obviously pretty good. You win tomorrow and all of a sudden it's 3 2. We can count I know what the situation is. You wouldn't rather have anybody out there other than Justin Verlander. If you win that game, all of a sudden it gets a little hairy again with Scherzer and Fister ready to go. So that's the way it is. Playoff baseball. Real good team. Defending champions. And so far they've gotten the best of them.

Thank you, Jim.


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

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

Location : Too Far From Copa

PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS   2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS - Page 2 Icon_minitimeFri Oct 14, 2011 10:23 am

Postgame interview with Jim Leyland | 10/13/11 9:58 PM ET

MODERATOR: Jim Leyland is here. Who has the first question tonight?

Q. How tense was it for you to have Coke in that situation, Jim, particularly when they started kicking things up there in the ninth?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, it's what we said before the game. So it gave everybody a chance to get all their second guessing ready about it. That's just the way it had to be today. We talked about it before the game and we did exactly what we felt we had to do to give ourselves any chance to win the series.

We had to leave those guys off today. Benoit and Valverde. We did. Cokie came through for us today. A little different situation for him obviously, but he was up to the challenge.

Q. Jim, can you talk about what worked for your guys against Wilson and that hitting for the cycle in order how wild that was? What you guys did well against Wilson and four guys in a row, hit for the cycle in that wild inning?

JIM LEYLAND: I thought we did a good job. He's an excellent pitcher. He comes right at you. He has a lot of late movement on the ball. He's very good.

But we hung in there, and we did enough to get this one, and we're headed back to Texas.

Q. Jim, can you talk about Young and Avila fighting through injuries and doing what they did tonight? JIM

LEYLAND: Well, like I said, we're tough. The Texas team is tough. That's the way it's supposed to be. This is really a great series. I mean, this has been a tremendous, tremendous series in my opinion.

A couple of extra inning games where a home run looked like the score was a little lopsided. That's not true.

We've done a good job against an outstanding team, and we're still playing. And that's pretty good.

Q. Jim, you've now had two elimination games in the Yankees series and the Rangers series where you've gone in saying we're not going to use Verlander in New York, we're not going to use Benoit and Valverde. Both times it worked. How tough is that, though, to stick to that in an elimination setting?

You just have to be ready for the criticism and the second guessing part of that. You have to be ready for that and know you're going to get it. I understand that totally. I don't have any problem with that.

But it's not tough. It wasn't a tough decision for me today to tell you before we ever played that Benoit and Valverde were not going to pitch. People might not like it, but it was not a tough decision. Because you know why? In our heart, in my heart, it was the right decision. No question about it, a no brainer for me.

Regardless of what people think, that's fine. They need it. They get two days off now. We go to Texas with Scherzer and Fister and both of the big guys at the tail end of the bullpen are ready to go.

You lose today, you leave yourself open, but we're used to that. And that's a good part about baseball. Second guessing is good. Vicious is bad. Second guessing is good.

Q. Jim, you managed a lot of years in a lot of teams. Can you describe what you're seeing out of your players the last two weeks?

JIM LEYLAND: You know, we've been good for a while now. You people forget we had to meet Cleveland head up when it was real nip and tuck. We had to meet the White Sox head up. We played Minnesota in the stretch. We won 12 straight games against Cleveland and Chicago. That's pretty good. Most people picked Chicago and Minnesota to win. That's pretty good.

Like I said, we're tough. I think what I like about this the most is I know that the Texas Rangers respect us and we respect the Texas Rangers. I know that they believe we're a good club or really good club. And we know that they're a really good club. That's the way it should be. The guys are going at it.

If you see the injuries and everything around the way these guys are playing, how can you not be satisfied with this? Would I rather be up 3 2, yes. But I have no problems no matter how this turns out. We're going to keep playing. I don't know how what the score is going to be, but we're going to keep playing. We've done that all along.

Q. Jim, just talk about Verlander 133 pitches, a career high. And how worried were you about him early on when that pitch count was climbing?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, you know, he was sailing through there where the pitch count was decent. The fifth inning was a disaster for us from the pitch count standpoint. I was concerned. I wanted 125. That was going to be the limit. We talked in the dugout, Jeff Jones and I, and we were going to 135 pitches. That was it.

He's going to rest now. Obviously, if we don't move on, he's done. And even if we were fortunate to get to the World Series, we can make an adjustment if we need to do give him an extra day.

So he's here now. He makes out the lineup and he tells me what to do anyway. I'll leave now and let you guys talk to Justin Verlander.

Q. Jim, just Cabrera's double hit off the third base bag from your eyes.

JIM LEYLAND: I know. I have that bag in my office right now. And that will be in my memorabilia room at some point in my life. I can promise you. I'm going to let you have Justin. He deserves it.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
Back to top Go down
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

Location : Too Far From Copa

PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS   2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSat Oct 15, 2011 6:55 pm

Practice day interview with Jim Leyland | 10/14/11 10:50 PM ET

Q. Hey, Jim, with the off day today, do you think that really helps your club, or would you like to just play the next day based on how well you guys were hitting yesterday?

Jim Leyland: I'm glad we got an off day to give the wounded a better chance to heal up a little bit better and Benoit and Valverde a couple of days rest. Hopefully that works to our advantage.

Q. Hey, Jim, could you talk a little about Brandon Inge's value to the team and how he has weathered his --

Jim Leyland: He showed me a lot. To go down like he did, he has been a Tiger all his life. He wants to stay a Tiger. To go down and do what he's done is remarkable.

He's swinging the bat as well as he's swinging right now. If he's swinging the bat well, that's a good asset for us. We know what a great defensive third baseman he is.

Right now he'll be in the lineup tomorrow night. You have a left hand pitcher. He'll be in the lineup tomorrow night.

Q. You sent him down to Toledo, was it better than you expected?

Jim Leyland: I didn't know what to expect. I knew that was a real blow. He handled it so well, he did what you're supposed to do. When you go down there, you're supposed to go down and get your nose to the grindstone and work hard. That's what he did. He was rewarded for it and he deserves to be back and he's playing well.

Q. You talked a lot this week about even on nights when it didn't go your way. Was there a point in your career where it was easier to reflect on that even in the middle of the series?

Jim Leyland: I just think it's been a great series. I was talking about it doesn't get any easier. We're playing a great team. We think we're an outstanding team.

We're slugging it out. It never gets easy, but it always gets exciting. We're excited about going down to Texas. We got a shot. Their shot is better than ours. They're one up on us. We think we have a shot.

I could not be prouder of my team. I don't know that I've ever been prouder of a team than this one. The way they're playing hurt and playing so hard. They're playing their hearts out right now. Are they good enough, we'll find out in a few days.

Q. Speaking of those injuries, anybody in the lineup yesterday good to go for tomorrow as well?

Jim Leyland: I think so. Unless they trip on the plane or something I guess they'll be all right. Playing tomorrow, I haven't heard anything. I haven't gotten any negative feedback from our trainers. I assume all systems are a go.

Q. Can you talk about the series that Ryan Raburn has had? A lot of injuries. He's had a real big series for you guys.

Jim Leyland:
He's done a tremendous job for us. He started off slow as he normally does. He's really picked us up, hit an opposite field home run yesterday. He's had another good year. He's a very underrated player. He can do many things.

Every once in a while he looks bad at the plate like everyone else. This is not an easy game to play. We're thrilled to have Ryan Raburn on our club. He's a very versatile player. Hits the ball out of the ballpark. He has an outstanding arm. He'll be in the lineup as well tomorrow night.

Q. Jim, what did Phil Coke show you yesterday in terms of being able to handle a really huge situation in the post season?

Jim Leyland: Well, Coke is always ready to go. He's a little hyper at times. You can't worry about him. He wants it so bad, he's like a bull in a China shop sometimes. You have to be careful of that. I thought he kept his composure pretty good yesterday. He was certainly pumped up afterwards.

I had said earlier in the series he could be a big guy for us in the series. He certainly was yesterday.

Q. Jim, you guys got to reevaluate how you're pitching Nelson Cruz?

Jim Leyland:
I think that would be a good idea. If anybody on this call has any suggestions, I'll be willing to take it. He's a threat. His average hasn't been that good in the series, really, but he's a threat to hit the ball out of the ballpark at any time.

We have not done a very good job of pitching him. We've had him actually set up for some situations where we thought we could make the right pitch and get him out, but we really haven't done that.

To his credit, he's up there to hit the ball out of the ballpark. He's done it five or six times in the postseason, I believe.

Q. And two years in a row, Jim, can you remember a guy that's taken it to such a high level in the postseason like he has?

Jim Leyland:
No, but I got guys doing pretty good too in Delmon Young. He's got a few home runs in the postseason as well.

So it's just exciting. That's what it is. It was obviously as exciting for the Ranger fans and Delmon has been exciting for the Tiger fans. These are the best players in the world. We're in the final four. You're seeing the best of the best. And that's what they do.

Q. Jim, you've seen Ogando six times this year. Three as a starter, three as a reliever. Is his stuff--

Jim Leyland: Do you have to remind me?

Q. Is his stuff the same as a relief or a starter. Is he different coming out of the bullpen?

Jim Leyland: Well, I think really all guys pace themselves a little different when they start than when they come in for two or three innings.

He's a power guy whether he starts or relieves. Certainly he's a real concern when he comes out of that bullpen, as well as he was when he was starting.

When he's starting, you figure if you can if your pitcher can hold Texas down for a few innings, maybe by the sixth or seventh inning you get him a little bit tired, you might be able to get him.

He's been fantastic, particularly against us. He's really a good looking pitcher. We've really been impressed with him. He's done a tremendous, tremendous job in the postseason.

I give Ron Washington, Mike Maddux, whoever's idea it was to put him in the bullpen, I thought that was brilliant. He's come up huge for him in several of these games.

Q. Jim, I'm wondering, Max Scherzer was talking last night about how he found his rhythm late in the season, he thought, and carried it into the postseason. What have you seen from Scherzer in the last week or so?

Jim Leyland: I would agree with that. I would tend to agree with that. Last year he found it right after the break pretty much. Second half he really started pitching the baseball. This year he was a little more inconsistent until late in the season.

All of sudden it looks like he has a good groove. He's pitching with confidence right now. I don't know if he's quite as good as the last half of last season, but he's pretty darn good right now.

Q. Have you guys had a chance to catch up and recap on a daily basis on all the days going, I know there's some overlap. Have you been able to catch up with Tony (LaRussa) a lot?

Jim Leyland: Yes, I watched the game last night. I got to see most of it. It was another good game. Wolf pitched good. Looked like he kept them off balance a little bit. Cardinals didn't pitch bad.

So it was a close game. It was a good ballgame. I've been watching. I talk to Tony on a daily basis. I spoke to him this morning already. It's nice because we'll be in Dallas tonight. We haven't left yet, but we're leaving later this afternoon.

I'll be in Dallas in time to watch that game tonight. It's nice on an off day you can sit around and watch your buddy in a big game as well. That's a great series. We have a great series going. That's what the final four is all about.

Q. Jim, I've got a question on the quality of baseball in this series. I know we're accustomed to very good baseball in the playoffs. It looks like you and the Rangers have crafted and may continue to craft here what could be a classic playoff series. Do you share that view in any respect?

Jim Leyland: I sure do. I hate to say this, because we lost the game. I was very sincere the other night when I said Game 4 I believe it was one of the best games I've ever been involved in.

We were making plays. They were making plays. They were making pitches. Cruz made the great throw. James sent the guy which he actually should have. He made the guy make the play because the catch was the second out and the guy made the play. Santiago, Peralta, Inge, Delmon Young, plays all over the field. This has been a great series. I just hope it doesn't get lost because of the fact that they extended a bigger lead with a couple of late home runs.

These games have been absolutely phenomenal. Major League Baseball at its best.

Q. Follow up: How did Delmon Young hitting home runs when he was that close to being lost for the whole series?

Jim Leyland: Well, obviously they thought that they were a little concerned about it when it first happened. Well, we got to make sure it's right if we can get by this series. The doctors kept working on him. The doctors were on the road with him. Our team doctors travel with us all the time. Working with him and working with him.

Met Delmon in Dallas the other night. He was feeling better. I really don't have a perfect answer for you. It's just that it was one of those things that fortunately didn't turn out to be as serious as we thought, and he is really producing right now.

Q. With the way Scherzer and Fister have been pitching and with your bullpen now with Valverde and Benoit rested, I imagine you like the way your pitching sets up to are this weekend?

Jim Leyland: I couldn't ask for anything more. We were absolutely against the wall as everybody knows down 3 1. And yes, Verlander, Scherzer and Fister, if that's not good enough, you take your hats off to the Texas Rangers.

This is not going to be easy, but at the same time I'm pretty proud of the way we have had our pitchers set up. I think it's been set up right the whole time.

Lost in this whole thing is how good Rick Porcello pitched the other night. Yeah, they're feeling good. Let's face it. They're up 3 2. They're going home to their crowd. They like their pitchers too.

But we feel confident that we have a shot. That's all you can ask for.

Q. Will Porcello be available in the bullpen tomorrow night?

Jim Leyland: Probably not, but he will be available in Game 7 if we take it to 7.

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

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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PostSubject: Re: 2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS   2011 POST SEASON PLAYOFF NEWS - Page 2 Icon_minitimeSun Oct 16, 2011 3:16 am

Postgame 6 interview with Jim Leyland | 10/16/11 12:12 AM ET

The moderator:
Jim, thanks a lot for coming in. Thanks for everything. We'll take a few questions tonight.

Jim Leyland: First of all, let me congratulate the Texas Rangers. The entire organization. They earned it.

They proved in this series that they were the team that should represent the American League in the World Series. And I tip my hat to them. Any questions?

Q. Jim, what did you see from Scherzer the first couple of innings? And then once everything got rolling?

Leyland: He was out of whack for the most part all the way. His control was not good from the get go, really. And he had a tough time. And we just couldn't stop the bleeding.

As the game went on, obviously, it really wasn't fair. I wanted to get Penny in there in the postseason, to be honest with you. One freaky thing that happened -- not freaky, but one thing that really happened to us in the series all the games were conducive to getting late where you were using Benoit, Coke, Valverde -- so it's not fair, Danny came in and actually made a pretty good pitch.

The guy didn't hit it but he got a base hit. Rick came in and got the ground ball. We didn't get the out.

But it wasn't fair to some of our relievers, because they just weren't used in this series because the situation didn't present itself. So that's unfair too, you know, obviously be upset about that. That would not be fair to them. Next question, please?

Q. In a 10-run game, is there any looking back at close calls, and have you seen any replays of the two calls you were upset about?

Leyland: No, I think you would look awful foolish to be complaining about a call or so when the score ended up like that. I do think -- I'll be honest with you, the play at second base, I looked at it a couple of times, I really can't tell to this point it was so close, it looked like to me.

I do and still will always question the check swing on Cruz. I thought that was definitely a strike. I thought he definitely swung.

Q. Pretty tremendous series and you've been saying all series what a great series it's been. Not the way you wanted it to end in a Game 6. Did you have a chance to talk to your team? And what did you tell them?

Leyland: I did. I spoke with them, obviously. This is really not the time the guys hear much because they're so disappointed. They were all together and they were all paying attention. I managed a team that won a World Series.

And I don't think I've ever been prouder of a team than I am of this team. And I mean that sincerely. They gave everything they had. They gave everything they had. And it was kind of stacked against us a little bit.

We have had some tough travel. We've had some rain. We've had some days off. But I learned a long time ago you don't sit up here and wonder about stuff like that. You give credit where it's due.

The Texas Rangers beat us and they are definitely the team that should represent the American League in the World Series. It's too bad. It breaks my heart to say it, but I'm never one to not give somebody else credit. I don't think that's the way you go.

We're a class organization. They are a class organization. They beat us and I tip my hat to them.

Q. You started to put it into perspective there. Can you put into perspective what your team did this year, and do you go to the offseason more encouraged than disappointed or anything like that? Or is it too early to figure it out?

People talk about stuff like this all the time. I would have probably gone into the offseason more disappointed if we would have gotten beat by one run. I'm not going to go into the offseason disappointed at all.

This team gave every single thing they had, every ounce of energy. I just couldn't be prouder of them, and we got beat by the team that was the defending champion, and they defended their championship. They should be going, and they are.

Q. Jim, you've already mentioned pride a couple of times. Before Game 5 in New York, you said you would either move on with pride or you go home with pride. Tonight is it with pride that you're going home?

Leyland: Yeah, the only thing that really bothers me a little bit about this game, because, you know, I'm sure some people are going to make fun of us now because of the way this game ended, so that hurts a little bit.

I hope that doesn't happen. But I can understand it if it does, because it was a great series, and this was just not a great game. It was for the Rangers. It wasn't for us.

I hope people don't start making light of the Tigers or the series, because it really was a tremendous series. I'll be honest with you, I felt great going into the game tonight with Scherzer and Fister waiting in the wings, I felt absolutely great. That's why baseball is a great game. It just didn't work out.

Q. Can you talk about any of the injuries in more detail now than you might have been able to before because of the competitive things that you didn't want to give away to the Rangers, Jim?

Leyland: Well, like I said before, both teams are banged up at this time of the year. I might reflect back on that a little bit later on, but I don't think tonight is the night to do that. I think tonight is the night to give the Texas Rangers credit.

It's just like I said, I think too many people nationally were criticizing the Yankees instead of giving the Tigers enough credit for beating them, and I certainly don't want to do that tonight.

I don't want to say we didn't do something, because that takes away from what the Rangers did. I just don't think that's the route to take.

Q. That really wasn't the question.

Leyland: I thought you were talking about injuries.

Q. What I was -- I think more concerned about was Avila, for instance. Was he playing with a more serious situation than you can really talk about?

Leyland: Well, no. I can talk about it. He was hurting, but he's tough as nails, and he got through it.

Victor certainly had three or four things going on. And of course we know about Delmon. Hey, that's baseball. Beltre was playing with a bum knee. I'm sure they have some other fellows. They only mentioned about Hamilton, strained -- he had strains in the legs.

So we don't -- it was tough and we had a long grind. We really did. We had a lot of tough travel in this series and a long grind.

Unfortunately, we have a long time to rest up, about 10 days or so more than I would have liked. But we'll come back to Spring Training and get back to work.

The moderator: Thank you, Jim, for everything.

Thank you, Phyllis, for everything. Appreciate it.

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

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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