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October 15, 2015

Ned Yost

Kansas City, Missouri - Workout Day

Q. The Blue Jays seem to object to being pitched inside. Is that a key to you guys in this series?
NED YOST: Absolutely.

Q. Is that going to be an issue?
NED YOST: I'm not a mind reader, I'm not a fortune teller, I don't know if it's going to be an issue. We'll pitch inside aggressively. That's a power-laden club over there. We're going to formulate a really good game plan and try to go out and execute.

Q. Do you also think some of that bad blood that happened before is going to spill over into the series?
NED YOST: No, I do not.

Q. For all the talk about Toronto's lineup, the kind of production you're getting from Rios in the nine spot. Do you feel you're somewhat undervalued?
NED YOST: No, I don't think it's undervalued. I think it's a strong offense from one to nine. We've got run producers in the middle anywhere. You can start a rally -- the thing I like about our lineup is you can start a lineup anywhere. There's no real dead spots. And you can sustain a rally anywhere in that lineup. So we're in pretty good shape.

Q. Zobrist and Edinson are great additions, talk about the last series.
NED YOST: They were huge. You could see the determination in his face the day before that start. When I saw him walk through the clubhouse door yesterday he kind of looked at me and gave me a wink, like I've got this. From the first pitch on he was on the attack, with his best stuff. He was going to go out for as long as he could. That was for eight strong innings. And he threw one pitch out of the stretch yesterday. So that's how great he was.

Zobrist has been, you know, a key addition, on-base guy, setting up runs for our big guys, our 3, 4, 5 guys, 6 guys, with Mous hitting 6th. With Omar going down, he's filled in on second base great. And his offense has been key from both sides of the plate for us.

Q. Kind of sticking with additions to this year's team, talk about Alex Rios and the big hit last night.
NED YOST: Yeah, that was a huge hit last night. You know, we felt like, from the beginning of the series on Alex was going to do something big for us. All the coaches felt like that. I was so proud to see him get that hit, not only did it give us the lead, but after everything Alex has been through this year with the broken hand and the chicken pox and having to fight through all that, missing six weeks and having to fight to get his timing back, and late in the year finally get hot a little bit.

But his first postseason appearance, you know, to get a key hit and actually the game-winning hit in Game 5 was special. I think it was special for anybody and everybody.

That's the cool thing about our team is that our guys all realize that. And they were all extremely happy, not only did it give us the lead but that Alex did it.

Q. There was a lot of chatter and discussion yesterday when Bautista flipped his bat. Just curious as a manager, who is an old-school type manager, is there a balance you strike between your guys with, quote, unquote, "respecting the game," how do you review that debate that seems to be raging?
NED YOST: Again, I think for me, I've had the advantage of having these kids from day one in the big leagues and kind of teaching them how to respect the game and how to use your emotions and not get too crazy with it. And our guys, they do a great job.

But it is an emotional game and the stakes are very, very high. You saw Alex Rios last night after he got his hit. We haven't seen emotion like that out of Alex, he's generally a reserved guy. But the magnitude of the moment was huge. And you kind of like to see that emotion, but you like to sit and respect the way, too.

Q. The crowd last night was just crazy, enthusiastic, very, very loud. Maybe during the World Series they were louder, but I think last night they really were pumped up. Your thoughts in the crowd being involved in this game from the beginning to end?
NED YOST: Again, that's why we fought so hard for home field advantage. We feel like our crowd is special. I don't know if they spent more time on their feet or sitting down. Every time I looked everybody in the stadium was standing up cheering.

It's just a fantastic atmosphere to play in. Our players love it. They love our fans, they love rejoicing with our fans, and celebrating with our fans. But games like yesterday, you feel the vibration from the cheering more than you hear it. You've got to kind of stop and make yourself hear it and take a look around. But it's fantastic.

Q. How would you characterize the series that you had with them at Rogers Centre in August?
NED YOST: It was a tough series. It was a hard-fought series. They had just gotten Price and Tulowitzki and they were just starting to make their move. Again, we know that they're a dynamic team. They've got tremendous power, their offensive guys really study hitting. They don't miss mistakes. And they're a dangerous offense unit. They can put some runs on the board in a hurry. We knew it was going to be a tough series.

Now, we just got through facing Houston and it's kind of a different club from Houston. So it's going to be a different type series. But it's going to be an exciting series.

Q. Going off of Jerry's question, you talked about showing emotion in a respectful way. How do you draw the line between what is respectful and what is over the line in that respect?
NED YOST: Well, again, you kind of start from the beginning. And if you see something that you deem as a manager is unrespectful, then you talk to that player about it. Our guys do a great job of respecting the game and understanding the line between emotion and the line between disrespect. And our guys are really, really good at that.

But again, the magnitude of the game is huge, and at times, you know, it does get emotional.

Q. Do you anticipate any changes to the roster?
NED YOST: No, not right now.

Q. An old baseball phrase is that defense doesn't go into slumps. Did you feel like your defense had slacked a little bit? You played sharp defense in Game 5. Do you feel like that propels you forward?
NED YOST: I don't think our defense slacked a bit. I think we played great defense in Game 5. I think we play solid defense every day. I don't think where our defense slacked a bit. Did I miss a question? Did I answer that right?

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