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October 2, 2014

Buck Showalter


Q.  Buck, could you explain some of your roster decisions, keeping Ubaldo, getting rid of T.J.
BUCK SHOWALTER:  No, I'm not going to explain.  Let's see, Cassie was too far removed.  We were hoping that physically he had some issues, not enough time.  The good thing is they're going to be games through the 7th, so I know he and Quintin, there was like four of them are going down there, play some games.  If we're fortunate enough to advance, they would be an option in the future.
Tough when guys that have been with you all year, Mac and Matusz, and we hope that we can advance.  There will be more option as we go forward with the team that they kinda play against a little bit more.
Quintin was a tough one, too, but we know with Jimmy Paredes and David Lough and really Kelly Johnson, not a base clogger either, we have wanted to err on the side of a couple of positions.  But it's 25, not 27 or 28, unfortunately.
And Ubaldo had three good outings in a row.  If you look at his track record against Detroit and you think about the what if's of potential innings and whether you play extra innings or whether there is some spot there you might could use him, he seemed to be more of a fit for us than those two guys, Brad, same way with Brock.  It's more of who we're playing.

Q.  Buck, in 2012 it was a bit of a whirlwind.  You were in Tampa, three itineraries, not knowing where you were going to play and quick here to start the series.  This time it was different.  You clinched.  You have the home field, different preparation.  Are you seeing a difference in the demeanor of your team from 2012 to this year?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  I'm 58, that's, what, a year and a half ago?  Sometimes that can be good, too, Jim, just to go do it and not overthink it.  I think that's one of the challenges right now is to not overthink it.  Remember who you are and what you do and, you know, this time of year.  There's some luck involved in everything‑‑ not during the season.  You play too many games, all strengths and weaknesses show up.
But I think our guys, just like Detroit, have confidence in what they've done to get here.  You want the only challenge to be the competition itself.  Not the peripheral things that go on that are different for their environment.  That's why you're so protective of the routine and the environment.
But there is obviously a different environment.  You're basically turning the volume up, like turning the volume up on a stereo, a little more louder, a little different emphasis on everything.  Our curiosity will be satisfied.  We will find out, if the weather cooperates.

Q.  Speaking of volume, last time you guys were here, you talked about how you were telling some of the guys in the dugout, Just wait till the playoffs start, you'll get a taste of what this place is like, Camden Yards, the fans, that kind of thing.  What do you expect different from 2012?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  I don't know.  We're going to find out.  They've been extremely supportive.  It's not like this is the‑‑ we have had great crowds this year.  I can't tell you how many times we came off of tough travel and we got a lift emotionally that night, because we were dragging.
You come out of the spring rated the top schedule, most challenging schedule in baseball, you need some of that when you come back.  They've been here through thick and thin.  And since I've been here, I can't imagine a more supportive fan base.  That sounds impersonal.  There is a closeness and identification with this club.  It fits our city.  It's not fits 'the' city, it fits 'our' city.  And our guys will be at the Ravens games.  They pull for them.  There is a real closeness there with the city.

Q.  Do you believe there is a common denominator that makes certain players successful in the postseason?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  I don't know.  We got so many things that we want to say this time of year, and rightfully so.  You're looking at match‑ups, and this guy did this against the Tigers, and he was bad or good.  This is going to continue, and with one swing of the bat or one pitch or one throw, that dynamic all changes.
I don't know.  I really don't.  If it was, then would you go get somebody from Bowie that fits that mode and activate them.  There is so much trust involved this time of year, and you don't want to say, Well, we did that because that's just the way we did it all year.
There are some things that change and there are dynamics that you have to, like I'd said many times, there are four seasons and this is a different season.  This is a different challenge because the environment is different.  And some guys handle it well and some don't.  And if you can sit there and predict who will‑‑ the postseason has a strange way of making strange heros, as well as strange that a guy that's been that good over 162 games, wasn't.  That's why it's so intriguing and interesting to watch.

Q.  On the strategic side of the Ubaldo decision, his one start against the Tigers was very good early in the season, seven innings, three hits, no runs.  How much is that a factor and how much is this about the heavy right‑handed hitting bias of the Tigers' offense?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Peter, it's really both, and a few other equations, too.  His last three outings were solid.  We know what his track record has been the second half of the season and we'll see if it plays, if there is an opportunity to use him.
It feels good having that potential in your pocket in case there is an extra inning game.  This is different.  Darren O'Day might pitch in the third inning, Tommy Hunter may pitch earlier than where he normally is.  We certainly aren't going to pitch Jim Hunter, I can tell you that (Laughter.) Even though he has a good change‑up, he's confused with his fastball.
But we intentionally brought him in with a quick phone call down in Toronto and brought him in to face Reyes, Bautista, Encarnacion, with a 1‑0 game.  Actually his velocity and his stuff last time out was probably as good as we've seen all year, so we'll see.
Just the dynamics of the team we're playing plays into it, too, but some of the things you're talking about, too, the track record.

Q.  Perhaps I missed it, but have you announced your rotation?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Chen is scheduled to pitch tomorrow.  I think he's coming down at some point to talk to y'all.  I was told I had to.

Q.  And you were not told that you had to tell us about Game 3?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  I'm not going to ask, because then they'll make me.  You guys can figure it out.  I'll tell you if you want to know when we get through here.  Norris and Gonzalez are listed in the bullpen today, as is Chen.  And then we'll tell you what tomorrow brings, very quickly tomorrow.
Really?  We've played earlier this year.  How many early games have we played?  Three?  Something like that.  I'm not going to explain about it.  Even though‑‑ what is the reason?  Is it a West Coast thing?

Q.  Kelly Johnson and Jimmy Paredes, are they bench guys or can you see them getting a start?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Obviously tonight they are, but it's kind of like the pitching, you know.  I hate to be kind of vague about it, but smoke clears, what did you get out of that game.  There is no we're planning for August.  We're not planning for July.  You're planning for today, and, you know, I think both of them bring some versatility.
I like the idea of having a switch‑hitter, not a big split between the left and right and create some problems for them.  You know, Kelly has played in the postseason before and can play multiple positions, but that doesn't mean they can't start at some point during the playoffs.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, Buck. 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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