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October 26, 2014

Gregor Blanco


Q.  Could you just talk about or give your feelings on what Hunter Pence is like as an individual, especially off the field.  How would you describe his uniqueness?
GREGOR BLANCO:¬† I would describe Hunter as a kid that he's growing up wishing to be a Major League Baseball player one day.¬† That's how I describe Hunter.¬† He's a guy that his passion for baseball is unbelievable.¬† He's a guy that he gives everything for his teammates to win a ballgame, and he does whatever it takes to do it.¬† Every run and every hit he gets or every at‑bat, he's so passionate about it.
So he's a guy that's a great teammate and a great human being.

Q.¬† You went through the 2012 postseason, how much is that helping you, do you think, this year?¬† How much do you think it helps all the guys who have been through it before, in games like last night where you're down 4‑1?
GREGOR BLANCO:  I think what is most important is to be playing with a crowd like we have every single day.  I think that's how we see postseason games, regular games, pretty much it's all the same.
The difference about being here before, I don't see any difference, to tell you the truth.  Just because always you feel that intensity.  Even in 2012 and this year, that intensity of the game, a playoff game.  But it's awesome, for sure.  It's always awesome to be a part of this and to play, especially in the World Series.  It's a dream come true for everybody.

Q.  How well did you know Joe Panik before he got called up?  And are you surprised or not surprised about how comfortable he seems to be in the Big Leagues and the postseason?
GREGOR BLANCO:  I didn't know him that well, but I remember my first year with the Giants I was number 7 and he was number 12.  He's sitting next to me in the clubhouse in Spring Training and I said, okay, who is this kid?  And all of a sudden I started seeing him swing, and I was oh, my God, this kid has potential.  He seems like a great kid, and he loves everything about baseball.
I just gave him one advice that I told him like, hey, I think you're a great ball player.¬† You just need to put it together and be more consistent on your defense.¬† I think your bat is great.¬† And all of a sudden we saw him here this year.¬† And I was like, well, okay, he's a guy.¬† But he's amazed everybody here.¬† What he's done so far, man, is unbelievable.¬† And I'm telling you, I've got him next to me here, too, and he's a guy that he wanted to win.¬† He doesn't take failure‑‑ he doesn't like to lose or something like that.¬† He just wants to win, and success every single time.

Q.  As an outfielder, can you just talk about what you see in each of the three Kansas City outfielders, with Dyson, Cain, and Gordon?
GREGOR BLANCO:  That's a good question.  I think perfection.  They're really good, all three.  Last night I was at first base, and somebody hit a ball in the gap, and it was like really in the gap.  I knew nobody could have caught it.  But at the same time I said to myself, just wait a minute.  You've got to wait for that ball to really land, so you can keep running because they seem to get to everything.  That's how they made it this far, because I think they've got great defense and good pitching and timely hitting, just like us.  I guess that's why we're tied right now.  I think both teams are similar.  It's good to watch.

Q.  Pablo Sandoval seems to be in the right spot every single time, and every single time he seems to do something.  What do you think is so special for him that he's able to do that?
GREGOR BLANCO:¬† Well, I guess to be in the right situation.¬† But at the same time he's a guy that he likes the attention.¬† He likes to be the guy always.¬† Sometimes he gets a little down, and ourselves we know what he's got, what he's capable of.¬† In myself, I always tell him that, "You're the guy here.¬† If you go, we are all going to go, you know?¬† You're always going to have those big at‑bats.¬† And trust in yourself."¬† And stuff like that, and he loves that.¬† He's a guy that he wants everything for him, and that's good.¬† That's how it should be.¬† He's a guy that in big situations we should come around him, Buster and Hunter.
So it's good to see him playing this good in the postseason and in the World Series.

Q.  We don't talk a whole lot about different styles in defense.  We talk about styles in hitting, styles in pitching.  But tell me about your style.  What type of style do you have defensively?
GREGOR BLANCO:  I'm really smooth, I think (laughter).  I would say myself, yeah.  I always try to let everybody know that once the ball is in the air, I want to do the right thing to catch the ball, you know?  And I do it with normal instead of just trying to put a flair on it, no.  I'm just trying to do the right thing always in the game.  I think in the past I've been learning that for all the years that I've played baseball.
Yeah, I would say I do it smooth.

Q.  You had a role in the 2012 team, a big role with the 2012 team.  But you're the leadoff hitter on this team throughout postseason and the World Series.  How much more enjoyable is that, just being in the mix all the time?  Is there a responsibility to that, too, of leading things off?
GREGOR BLANCO:  Oh, definitely it is.  It's different.  2012 I was hitting 7th, and now I'm hitting leadoff.  It's a big difference.  Being a leadoff, everybody is aware of that.  All you guys and all the world is aware of, okay, let's see what a leadoff hitter does.
At first it was kind of I was putting pressure on myself a little bit in that series against the Nationals, but then I said to myself, "You've been doing this your whole life.  Since you were growing up, you were a leadoff hitter.  And this is your dream and finally it's come true."  After that I just said, "Okay, just play your game and be the guy.  Be the headache for the pitcher, for the defense."  And since then I've been doing it.  I'm really having fun, and it's enjoyable, and why not?  This is the World Series, so I should have fun.

Q.  What was the impact of your career of your time with the Royals?
GREGOR BLANCO:  Great.  I think when I played with the Royals, they taught me a lot.  They taught me how to really become the player that I am right now.  They taught me how to prepare myself and to have success.  In that situation, I really thank the Royals organization.  And right now to play with them is a blessing, against them.  It's a blessing for me.  I played with most of the guys over there, and I wish them all the best and their front office and everybody.  It's awesome to play a World Series against them and to be part of this team, and hopefully we win.

Q.  Bruce Bochy doesn't really like to bunt all that much, but you guys got some pretty good bunts down last night, and consistently throughout this postseason you've gotten the bunts down that you need to.  Why do you think you're such a good bunting team?  How much do you guys work on it?  Who is the best bunter?
GREGOR BLANCO:  That's difficult to say because like you said, we don't bunt too much.  But it seems that every time we came into the situation, especially in the postseason, we've always done it, and we worked on that the whole year.  Even the coaches always tell me, like, "You should bunt more in the regular season.  You are a great bunter."  And I think I should do it, I just really like to hit, to tell you the truth (laughing).
But I think I should put that in my career from now on.  I did it yesterday, and even with a sacrifice, I did a great bunt and I was able to beat.  Everybody knew that I was going to bunt and stuff like that.  Just imagine if it's going to be for a surprise, I can do more damage.
I think we'll work on it and we should keep working.  I know it's going to be a part of this World Series, and we've just got to continue to have success with it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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