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October 10, 2014

Buck Showalter


Q.  Curious, have you made your decision on tomorrow's starter and if not, what will go into that decision?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Yeah, if we don't use Wei‑Yin or Bud tomorrow, we know where we're going.  And hopefully we won't have to use them tonight.
But both those guys and Miguel are in the bullpen tonight and we're going to do everything we can to try to win tonight's game and let the smoke clear and see where we are.  It will be either Wei‑Yin or Bud tomorrow.

Q.  Would you rather play three hours in light rain tonight or play five days in a row?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Yes.  We're pretty excited to be playing.  The big thing is in 2012 we had like a two and a half hour seemed like rain delay with the fans.  And I remember someone saying in the clubhouse, I hope the fans stay.  I remember Jonesey saying, They've been waiting around 13, 14 years, they'll be here.
We're doing everything.  I know MLB and the Orioles are doing everything they can.  Right now it looks like we've got a shot at starting on time and playing.  Those around the Chesapeake Bay knows how that can change.  We have a great ground crew, I know they'll do the job.

Q.  You talked yesterday about Steve Pearce and the decision he made to stick with you guys.  How surprised or not surprised were you about how productive he was once he got playing time?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Well, he didn't have a whole lot ‑‑ say we knew exactly that was going to happen.  You know in Stevie, you know that could happen.  The guy is a professional hitter, that's why teams want him.  That's why they take him.
I think the most, not surprising, the thing that's helped us the most is the job he's done defensively wherever we put him.  He's running better than he ever has.  And been healthy for a longer period of time.  We've had to talk to him some about, You're kind of an everyday guy now, more is not always better.  But it's also who he is.  He wants that edge.
I remember I asked Mattingly years ago, Why do you take all that batting practice, why do you do all that stuff?  He said, When I stand in there in the 8th or 9th inning against a guy, I want to feel I have an edge over him preparation‑wise.
That's part of who Steve is.  But defensively is really where is ‑‑ it's not surprise, it's just the unknown.  And he's really helped us.

Q.  When Dan Duquette was here, how was he able to advance and add to the depth of the roster and put you guys in the position you're in now?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Dan is not afraid to take a chance.  We talk a lot in the offseason, almost probably to a fault.  But he shares a lot of the ‑‑ he's not afraid to ‑‑ he beats the bushes pretty good.  He spends a lot of time, he has a lot of contacts and gets to a point we might be bringing him into camp or whatever, he and I sit down and coaches and just takes in a lot of opinions.  And he's not ‑‑ the roster management thing.
A lot of the ‑‑ I'd be the first to tell you that Dave Trembley and the people before me took a lot of bullets to get some things right.  And I'm sure Dan feels the same way about Andy MacPhail, who did a lot of quality things.  You take what they started and try to advance it forward.
So far so good.  Dan's been solid.  I could go back through a number of things that he brought up initially and what I thought about him and how much sense they made.

Q.  Regarding the annual MVP debate, I guess Trout is seemingly a favorite this year.
BUCK SHOWALTER:  He's leading the American League in strikeouts.  I just saw that the other day.  Is is that still the case?

Q.  Still the case.

Q.  And on that subject, in terms of value to your team, i.e., would your team ‑‑
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Are we doing the pitcher position player debate here?

Q.  No.  Would your team be here without him?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Without Trout?

Q.  No.  I.e., value to the team ‑‑
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Would we be here without Nelson?  You know, easy answer is no, but can you imagine without Wieters, without Manny, without Chris Davis.  So I think we're so quick in the game to say, Oh, my gosh, you can't trade this guy.  Oh, my gosh, you've got to have this guy, you can't let him go.  Oh, my gosh, that coach or manager has got to stay.  Of course not.  The game is going to move on.
But I'm very hesitant about saying, especially with this club, that you can't have something positive happen as a team if X guy wasn't here.  That's one thing we've talked to him.  This game is going to move on with or without you.
But with all that being said, he's been a huge part of what we've been able to do.

Q.  Tillman had that great game against Kansas City in May, that was a while ago.  The approach tonight, does he adjust first or does he wait for the Royals to adjust for him first?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Well, I think guys can make a mistake changing a lot of things.  It's an open book.  I talked to him yesterday about, they just want to know what's coming.  The things that bothers players is what time are the announcements for the pregame.  What time ‑‑ are we starting on time?  I just try to get ahead.
I don't want him to change.  He'll make some tweaks.  He's not going to sit out there and ‑‑ what's the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.  Chris will make an adjustment.  He and Nick, they'll make adjustments.  There's momentum swings.  It's never as bleak as it looks and it's never as good as it may look on a given time of the game.

Q.  How impressed were you by what Bud Norris did this last start, considering his first career playoff start?  And how confident would you be if he's the one taking the ball for you tomorrow?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  Well, you know, what's happened in the past, you can say like what Joe was saying with Tillman, or go back to the outing before that, which wasn't so good.  It's why we play the game.
Just because he pitched well in Detroit, 3:45 game.  I don't think Kansas City cares.  And it's a constant proving ground for all of us.  There's a very short distance between villain and hero, so to speak.  I know how this works.  "What have you done for me lately" world.  And starting again tonight.  And that's okay.  That's okay.  Thank God people are interested in it.

Q.  Obviously you hope that once the game starts you get to play it through, but if it doesn't, what goes into managing whether you keep a pitcher or bring him back from a delay?  I know it depends on how long it is.  What are the factors?
BUCK SHOWALTER:  You wish there was a level playing field everywhere.  For instance, we were at Wrigley Field this year and there was no place during rain delays to throw a pitcher between.  Here we have a great facility with the visiting club with mounds.  We have a facility three or four times this year we took them in there every 15 minutes and kept them loose.  In the Minor Leagues we have a straight limit, 30 minutes or less they don't continue to pitch.  But that will be a little different here.
Basically you're going to continue with whoever you think has got the best chance to get them out.  And whether it's Chris or whether it's somebody else, that's why all our pitchers were on deck tonight, whether the weather was good or bad.
The rules are a little different, whatever you do for those two innings, you're going to be held accountable for.  The biggest issue is when you exchange lineup cards you're in.  You can't go back and go to 12 pitchers.  But if you don't exchange lineup cards, then you can readjust your roster, and probably go with 12 pitchers.
But I'm hearing good things about the weather.  It may have changed since we were here last, everybody that lives around here knows how quick that changes.

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