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October 14, 2015

Jeff Banister

Toronto, Ontario - Postgame five

Blue Jays - 6 Rangers - 3

MODERATOR: We're going to get started in the interview room. Thanks for coming in, Jeff.

JEFF BANISTER: You got it.

Q. What goes through your mind when you see your defense go through something like that?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, I think about a group of players in a tough situation, the sequence of events that happened prior to that inning of not being able to slow the heart rate down, we talked about that, and make a baseball play. It's a challenge, it's tough, I feel for them. And look, one inning won't define who this ballclub is and who they've been all year long. Challenging and I hurt for them. Cole did what he needed to do. We failed to make a couple plays behind him. We talked about it, the team that makes mistakes is going to be in trouble, bottom line.

Q. Jeff, in the 7th, did any of your fielders have trouble with the lights, particularly Odor on the Donaldson ball?
JEFF BANISTER: No, I don't think he had trouble with the lights. Kind of a situation where big swing came off his bat. I think where he got in trouble is he started back-pedaling instead of getting his feet in position to turn sideways and run the ball down.

Q. Jeff, you guys kept Edwin pretty much in check throughout the series until that swing. What happened? Was that just a poorly located pitch?
JEFF BANISTER: Yeah, it looked like they were trying to go away with the fastball, and pulled it back over the middle of the plate.

Q. Jeff, you've seen a lot of ball games, been in a lot of ball games. Have you ever seen anything like this?
JEFF BANISTER: Tough played ball games?

Q. With everything that took place, with the fans throwing beer on to the field, the play at home plate with Russell Martin.
JEFF BANISTER: Well, the play --

Q. Just everything.
JEFF BANISTER: The play at the plate with the throw going off of the --

Q. Yeah.
JEFF BANISTER: -- of the hand really was a situation that initially was called that kind of a no-call situation, but yet Choo's standing in the batters' box doing what he always does, the play's not dead, the ball was thrown, went off of Choo's hand. It's still a live baseball. That's the rule. So how about my guy being heads-up and scoring on that play and not keeping his head down, because that's who we are. We continue to play aggressively, we keep our heads up and we stayed focused. And with everything that transpired after that, I'm really not going to comment. I'll say this: I have no comment on that.

Q. Jeff, can you take us through just from your perspective what you saw in the bottom of the inning when Bautista homered. After that, when the benches cleared, what was going on from your team's perspective?
JEFF BANISTER: My team's perspective is that we play the game right, hard, all 27 outs. We respect everybody.

Q. (No microphone.)
JEFF BANISTER: I have no comment on that.

Q. You got ahead of Stroman pretty early, and in the third inning, a little momentum was lost when Elvis was thrown out at third for the last out.
JEFF BANISTER: Is that a question or a statement?

Q. Did that take some of the momentum away from your team?
JEFF BANISTER: I don't think it took any momentum away from us. It was a bang-bang play at third base. We've played aggressively all year long. That's typical, Martin made a great throw to throw us out. It's not right there on the bag. We're trying to get two guys in scoring position. We know that it's going to be tough to score off the Stroman so I don't feel like it took any momentum away from us. I didn't feel like it gave them any momentum. That's how we play the game of baseball, aggressively. We got thrown out.

Q. The play where you watched Odor score, you came out of the dugout very quickly. Have you seen that play before or is that just your knowledge of the rule book that got you out there so quickly?
JEFF BANISTER: I've been involved in that play before, I've done that before. I've done that exact play as a catcher where I've actually thrown it off of the hitter's hand, bat before, so I was aware of the rule.

Q. Is it tough to keep these three losses from impacting how you view your season overall, or how do you look at what happened.?
JEFF BANISTER: Here's the thing, TR, and that's a great question. And here's what I told our guys: Where we started in Spring Training, the entire baseball world had us, I think, picked 27th, I believe. We lost our ace, we lost our Number 2, we lost our left-fielder, our third baseman has been playing hurt all year long. We had three players coming back from significant injuries. We had a starting staff that we pieced together early. We have had so many contributors this year that one inning in a set of three games will not define our season. We are not -- we don't get to go where we believe we can go. I've been around a lot of baseball players, groups of baseball players for a long time. I don't know that I've ever been around a group of guys that are grittier, have more resilience, love to play the game and show up every single day to play this great game and to play it the way that they have played it all year long. We are not a perfect ballclub, by any stretch of the imagination, but what we do is we go out and play hard every single day. We show up for each other and we play the game of baseball. We won the American League West when nobody thought we would do anything in the game of baseball. I'm most proud of how those guys played all year long, and how they showed up. One game, one inning, a set of three will not define what these group of guys were capable of doing this year.

MODERATOR: Thank you for coming in, Jeff, and thank you for everything.


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