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October 31, 2016

Joe Maddon

Cleveland, Ohio - Workout day

Q. Joe, you've talked the last couple of days about how this World Series is a great advertisement for baseball. I'm just wondering if you're feeling now that this may go down as one of those epic series that people talk about for a long time?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I'm sure the people in Chicago, especially after last night's victory, that was pretty amazing. So even getting to that juncture definitely is going to stand out for many years. Now it's up to us to take it to that 7th game, then you're really going to have a classic that everybody will remember. So having Jake pitching tomorrow, we feel really good about that ball by Kyle.

But overall, I think it's kind of lived up to the billing. You talk about the Fall Classic, two really good teams. Teams that are really playing with a lot of passion nightly and a lot of young players. I love the fact that there are a lot of good young players on both teams. Like I said, it's great for the industry. It's great for baseball, and hopefully we're going to start attracting more youngsters, regardless whether they want to play or not, just growing them up to be baseball fans.

Q. What are your catching plans for the next couple of days?
JOE MADDON: Tomorrow will be Contreras. It's normally been Contreras with Kyle also, but tomorrow you're going to see Willson.

Q. So that leaves Ross to basically pinch-hit duties for the last couple of games?
JOE MADDON: Oh, you never know. You could see how the game plays out. There's also Jonny Lester in the bullpen, and you'd have to make a decision how you want to utilize that if you actually put Jonny in the game, who you want catching Jon in that moment. So there's a lot of little subplots going on.

But for right now, Willson's done a great job. He caught Jake well in Cleveland a couple days ago, and he's done a great job with Kyle all pretty much the second half. So you'll see Willie tomorrow.

Q. How do you feel about the production of your catchers? They're like 2-for-21 in the series. And Ross had the game-deciding RBI last night.
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I don't worry about it, quite frankly. They've been great all year. The postseason our catchers have done a great job. Among the three of them they've been very instrumental in getting us to this point. I think it's a function more of Cleveland pitching as opposed to anything our catchers are lacking. So we'll keep throwing them out there.

The three of them have gotten us here. They've all had their own individual roles in doing so. I think, and don't forget, man, catching and throwing and blocking and calling games is a big part of what they do. But our guys for the most part can play it on both sides of the ball.

Q. A lot of times in the World Series with the DH and no DH thing the National League team can be at a disadvantage in the American League park because the AL lineups are built more for it. But I'm guessing you don't feel that way with Schwarber, and now you get to put him back in there for four at-bats.
JOE MADDON: Agreed. When I managed in the American League I always thought it was somewhat of a disadvantage going to the National League, subtracting one offensive player, and probably even more pronounced for different teams that have really profound legitimate DHs. But going back right now and I mentioned yesterday, I'm a much bigger fan, having had a chance to do it in both leagues. I'm a much bigger fan of the National League game in general, but under these circumstances where we are right now in the year, I'll take that American League game just to get Schwarbs involved; you're absolutely right.

But they're good, too. They'll put an extra guy in there, and like you said, they're used to it. But for right now, at this moment in time, the fact that Kyle cannot play defense but can still play offense and run the bases, it does work out well for us. So I'm very excited about writing his name in tomorrow.

Q. What would be your expectation on the availability of Chapman tomorrow? Does this open the possibility of him having a long stint in Game 6 or Game 7?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I don't know to what extent. I don't know that we could do what we did yesterday, necessarily. But I'll talk to him tomorrow. He's a pretty strong guy. Beyond that I don't think we've overused him to this point. I'm just talking about the latter part of the season as well as the playoffs, he's been in pretty much a little dabs, not the lengthy moment like you saw yesterday.

So I'll check with him tomorrow. I'll definitely listen to what he has to say. I'm betting that he would probably think that he would be good for two innings, I would imagine tomorrow, but if it's not, we'll take what he can give us and then continue to work forward from there.

The plus is Jake's starting and a really rested bullpen because of what he did, that puts us in better shape in the latter part of the game.

Q. You just alluded to Jake being on five days' rest. I'm wondering how much you think it is an advantage to have Jake and Kyle on full rest as opposed to their guys being on short rest?
JOE MADDON: Well, you'd want to believe it should be helpful. Most of these Major League pitchers in today's game are used to normal or even an extra day rest as opposed to one less, and especially this time of the year that there's going to have to be an adrenaline surge, at least for the Cleveland pitchers, that makes them feel up to par.

Beyond that, with them, you know they're not looking for seven innings. They're looking to get a lead and then turn it over because of what they're able to do out of the bullpen. So their thought process going into it isn't necessarily like a team, for lack of a better way of describing it, a normal bullpen. They have abnormal guys out there that are able to do things that I haven't seen and probably most of us haven't seen. Those that have been doing this, maybe you'd have to go back a bit.

But work among the three of those guys has been spectacular, their three relief pitchers. The way they're viewing it, and I'm certain they're looking at it through a different lens than I am, wanting Jake into the 6th, hopefully in the 7th possibly, where they're probably wanting to get a lead after 5.

Q. What you did yesterday with Chapman is obviously an emergency situation with a long, long outing there. But in the regular season maybe you would have Strop or Rondon or those guys to get to him. I know it's tough in the regular season, but do you think maybe in the future, looking at what the Indians have done with Miller, what you did with Chapman, in certain series some managers would start to use this system in the regular season?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, it's possible, of course it's possible. You just have to have the right guy. I mean, it's not as easy as it looks what they've been doing and especially what Miller's been doing. That's absolutely an anomaly. If you just go through everybody's roster when you get a chance and try to pinpoint, I don't know, even one, maybe two relievers out of everybody's bullpen that you think can handle that kind of a load with that kind of effectiveness all season long, it's really difficult to do because the point of diminishing returns I think would set in if you try to push it from day one.

Maybe what you think may be an important series going into a series during the middle of the season or maybe going into August, you might want to extract more out of somebody like that. But you have to be mindful of so many different things, and in order to get to this point, you have to be able to utilize, I think, an entire roster, and guys coming up from Triple-A.

So right now it's really being glamorized a bit. This isn't Fantasy Baseball. These guys are human. They only have so many abilities to throw a baseball within the year. So right now in a micro situation, it absolutely is possible with these guys, especially like a Miller. But I think during the course of the season, you'd be hard pressed to find a handful, maybe a dozen guys maybe that would be able to carry this off during a regular season.

Q. Last night in the 7th inning along the lines of younger players, you had a battery of two guys, Carl Edwards Jr. and Willson Contreras who began the season in Triple-A. I'm wondering if you took mental note of that, and how remarkable was that?
JOE MADDON: I didn't really focus on that, but you're absolutely right. I think when you put them out there often enough, and maybe that's just me, but regardless of the situation, I just saw CJ out there and I saw Willson and had a lot of confidence in both guys.

So, you're right, but at that moment I wasn't focused on that at all. I think you've seen CJ do some outstanding work. The game against the Angels really stands out. I think that was in August. And then beyond that you've seen Willson really grow during the course of the season.

And I keep trying to make the point or the topic that these guys getting this experience right now absolutely bodes well for the future, too. I think when you demonstrate the confidence in these kids and they succeed, obviously they come back the next year and they're a little bit better just for the experience itself.

So you're right, but I did not focus on that at all.

Q. I was wondering what the reaction has been like since last night? Have you gotten an opportunity to experience the pulse of the city and what the first World Series victory at Wrigley Field in 71 years, just the reaction to that from the fanbase or Chicagoans?
JOE MADDON: I was searching for my own pulse, actually. I didn't even leave the apartment until I came here. It's been one of those days where that game last night is probably as mentally draining as you're going to get - the survival situation, the angst of the latter part of the game. I was pretty tired.

I haven't. Listen, I know it's there. My kids are here. People have been checking in. I've had my son talking about having his son at that game and the significance of that moment, which Joey brought to my attention, and I had not even thought about. I know everybody's wound up. We all really appreciate it. We know how our fans are and how supportive they have been and they are today. So I'll do that when we get back home. But I'm certain there is a lot of buzz going on about it all. But it was a spectacular evening and our fans never disappoint.

Q. Wondering about your right field situation tomorrow, if you've made any decisions yet? I know Soler against Tomlin last time struck out and then singled. And secondly, just your thoughts on the strategy of your travel plans today, going tonight to Cleveland instead of last night or early this morning? Just kind of your thoughts there, and while you're at it there, the Halloween costumes around the park. Who is the best dressed player?
JOE MADDON: I've just gotten to my office. As of right now I am, until I see everybody else.

Beyond that traveling, we had made this up in advance. Our guys have families, so we wanted them to have the opportunity to be with their kids today during the Halloween moment. Again, after that game last night, believe me, man, I was in no mood to get up and travel today. I think it actually is working out pretty well. We're going to get in at a really good hour, grab stuff to eat and go to bed. The fact that the next day is a night game makes it all workable. If not, you'd have to change your plans.

I kind of liked it. We talked about it in advance a couple days ago, if it got to this point. So, yeah, I'm good with the plans. I like it, I do like it. I'm still working on my costume. I sent Danny out to get me a wig and some other stuff. I just couldn't get out of the apartment today to try to dress it up a little bit more. But it's going be to a lot of fun. I want to keep the guys as focused and loose at the same time as possible. I want us to go out there tomorrow night and just free wheel it, play our game, let 'er fly, all those kind of things. I don't want us to be concerned about anything but playing a good game of baseball.

Q. Given that you've experienced a couple of home and road games, and maybe a couple of the young guys struggled at home, and the fact that you have to win two games, is there any benefit to playing the next two on the road? I guess you could add Schwarber into the mix as well. Could this be a good thing?
JOE MADDON: I honestly have not thought about it, but I can't dispute that. There's so much going on at home, even just getting to the ballpark. I know just family situations here, just taking care of everybody and just the inundated feeling that you get here, possibly it could loosen them up a little bit. Going from the hotel, bus ride to the ballpark is a lot easier, quicker.

The thing I do dig, I don't know if it's working in our favor or not, I like the idea of the weather report, and the one thing that I think hitters can actually feel their hands, and number two, Schwarber. Absolutely. Kyle makes the lineup longer. I've already said it on this phone conversation that I'm not a really big fan of the DH as much as I am right now. And I've never wanted to play Game 7 of a World Series as much as I want to right now either.

So I kind of like the way all this is trending. I think our kids are going to react well on the road, like you said. I totally agree with that. Beyond that, Schwarber, and the weather has given us somewhat of a break.

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