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October 23, 2018

Dave Roberts

Boston, Massachusetts - pregame 1

Q. Hyun-Jin's numbers favor him pitching in Dodger Stadium yet you're starting him tomorrow night, what went into that decision?
DAVE ROBERTS: Just to kind of keep him on turn. He didn't throw a whole lot his last start in Milwaukee. Yeah, he's thrown considerably better at home, but just the way he's throwing the baseball, we feel confident he can go out there and put up a quality start for us tomorrow.

Q. As I hope the Red Sox have made you aware by now, the 2014 team is throwing out the first pitch tomorrow collectively. Do you plan to be out there?
DAVE ROBERTS: I got wind of it today. And I don't plan on partaking. But I'll be there to watch and see those guys throw out the first pitch.

Q. Why not?
DAVE ROBERTS: No, I mean, I'm going to be getting ready for a game. So I'll have fun with those guys but, yeah, I won't be a part of it.

Q. Could you talk us a little about those days back in Puerto Rico when you played with Alex Cora in Caguas, and also at the Dodgers. And secondly, at any time did you see anything in Alex that told you he could be a manager in the future?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, Alex is one of my -- the most intelligent teammates I had and the most caring. He's always played the game the way you're supposed to play. For me to play with him in three years in Los Angeles, and we spent a winter together in his hometown of Caguas. That was a lot of fun to be around his home and his native country.

A lot of his leadership skills and just knowledge of baseball, it doesn't surprise me that he's in this role right now.

Q. When we saw Brian Dozier get into the NLCS, he responded and had a pretty good game. What was the thought process behind getting him into that one? And is there a similar feeling that you have going into putting him in the leadoff spot today?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think a lot of it is I think over the last few weeks he's swung the bat considerably better, albeit he hasn't had a ton of live at-bats but his work has been consistent and has been good. The history with Sale and just having history in this ballpark. So I think that for him to get him involved quickly and hit him at the top of the order and get a couple two, three cracks at Sale is a good thing for us.

Q. How did Hyun-Jin and Austin got on the same page during the course of a game?
DAVE ROBERTS: You know, Austin's very good at following a game plan. And Ryu has got a very good ability of an arsenal of weapons that he can attack a certain hitter's weakness. And so the way that their rapport as friends, teammates, Austin's ability to follow a game plan and Ryu's ability to execute, it's a pretty easy marriage. And we have two really good ones in Yasmani and Austin. So either guy, whoever we decide to go about it, I feel confident with the battery.

Q. I'm curious when you have a starting rotation like you do that's so talented, so deep, the balance between internal competition and supporting each other, what have you seen from that and how has it helped?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I think that with any rotation I've been around, whether as a player or a coach, there's that support across the board, but there is that competition. And guys want to outdo one another, and I think that's a good thing. It raises the level of competition. When one guy throws well, that next guy wants to follow up. Or if he doesn't, then that guy wants to pick the other guy up.

Our guys do a very good job as far as being on the bench and watching the game. So like for a young player like a Walker Buehler, to see Clayton or Rich or Hyun-Jin being on the bench and watching the game, I think that's very good for Walker and now you talk about the competition they have with one another, it's good stuff.

Q. If you've been here, I know it's a team effort in your front office, but specifically to Andrew Friedman, what would you say are the strengths has in building this organization, this team and what's impressed you?
DAVE ROBERTS: Gosh, there's a lot of things that impress me with Andrew. His intelligence on, gosh, essentially every facet of the game. And that's hard when you're talking about scouting and development. You're talking about the advance (scouts), having feel with Big League coaches and players and training staff and kind of getting that kind of understanding that and putting it all together, that's very, very difficult. And to really have a grasp.

He's probably the most relentless as far as time into his job than I've ever witnessed. He's very passionate, very relentless in everything he does, and just collaborative. So I think that it's that front office implementation or vision. But to be able to have the trust of coaches, players, to be around the clubhouse and to be accountable to his vision, that's rare. And so anyone that's been around Andrew speaks very highly of him. So it just goes to the person he is but also, man, the work ethic is second to none.

Q. You were on the Padres' coaching staff in 2015 when Kimbrel was your guys' closer. It's been a few years, but is there anything you can glean from that experience managing him or coaching him that you think can benefit you or help you at all?
DAVE ROBERTS: That can help me? Certainly not. I do know that -- I do know Craig and he's just a very simple guy, low kind of pulse. And obviously the closer role suits him really well. And just a fierce competitor.

And for the time that I did have him, it was great. I'm happy for that time. But unfortunately there's nothing I can get out of that that can give our club an advantage.

Q. Have you bumped into any Red Sox fans the last couple of days? And have they mentioned the steal or do they consider you the enemy now?
DAVE ROBERTS: I have. I haven't done a whole lot since I've been here back in Boston. I've kind of tried to lay low. But some of the fans that I did see, they're still more on the supportive side. So the series hadn't started yet, so they're still supporting me and thanking me. We'll see if that changes.

Q. You mentioned your confidence in Yasmani, how do you envision using him this series? And do you see him getting starts behind the plate?
DAVE ROBERTS: I see it happening. I don't know which game. Obviously it's going to be predicated on how Austin is playing. That's one part of it. Seeing if there's a spot that makes sense to get Yasmani back in there. There's opportunities to hit for Austin with Yasmani, so you don't use three players for one spot, for like the matchup with Yasmani. There certainly are opportunities and I expect him, like everyone that's not playing right now, starting right now, to still impact us in some way. And that's why we have some good players. We have some good players on the bench, and I expect to use them all.

Q. In football I've heard players talk about they want to get hit to kind of settle into the game. Is there an equivalency in baseball, in a World Series, where you want a moment where you can kind of settle in and the hype is kind of diminished?
DAVE ROBERTS: Obviously I can't speak to the pitcher, but obviously that first pitch of the game I'm sure kind of is very much similar to that getting hit in a big game. But for me it's the at-bat, just kind of getting in the box. You can go out there and play defense, and that's great. But once you get in the box and you see that first pitch, then you can sort of exhale and it's just like another baseball game.

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