October 12, 2005
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Game Two
Q. When you're playing a running team some pitchers have a philosophy that they don't necessarily have to pay attention to the guy on first base, concentrate more on the batter. What's your philosophy?
SCOT SHIELDS: Well, with our catchers they do a good job of holding them on themselves. They call pickoff moves, step off and everything. Somebody like (Scott) Podsednik you have to hurry up a little bit. But we feel confident with all three of our catchers with our throwing arms to throw them out. I don't change it up too much.
Q. Ozzie called Bengie Molina the best catcher in baseball yesterday. Could you tell us some of the intangibles that you might see as a pitcher that allows him to be called something like that?
SCOT SHIELDS: Well, one is his holding the runners. If a guy wants to steal against us, let him go. We have confidence in him to throw them out. Calling the game, myself, I very rarely shake him off. He pays attention, calls a good game, pays attention to what the hitters are doing every at-bat throughout the game, and stuff like that really helps you out because all you do is just let him throw down the fingers and you throw the ball. In our opinion, too, he's the best defensive catcher in the league.
Q. A lot of people have observed that you could be a closer on a lot of teams, but how much, given the importance of the 8th inning role and the setup role, do you relish the role you're in now and someday would you like to be a closer?
SCOT SHIELDS: I'm happy where I'm at right now, pitching 7th, 8th inning, pitching a situation like last night, I'm very happy with that, doing my job and then watching Francisco (Rodriguez) come in and do his job. I'll be his setup man for the rest of my career, that's fine with me. I'm perfectly fine where I am.
Q. What kind of value could you put on Paul Byrd's performance yesterday as far as giving the rest of the team a break, a much-needed break?
SCOT SHIELDS: That was huge coming in, not getting much sleep, being on a plane all night, coming in and giving the performance he did, especially against a very hot White Sox team. He did a very good job last night and took us into the 7th, I think, and gave our relievers -- like I said, we needed somebody deep in the game, and he did that for us. It gave a lot of our relievers a break.
Q. Just going over old ground again, I don't know if we ever asked about the celebration. Did you guys consciously curtail the celebration the other night knowing that you had a game the next night?
SCOT SHIELDS: We did some celebrating at the clubhouse, but just the champagne and that was it. We knew we had a game the following day, and once we got on the plane, it was go to sleep and get ready for the following day. That's what we did. You celebrate a little bit right now, you've still got games to play, so it's not really a lot of time to celebrate.
Q. Could you talk a little bit about Mike Scioscia and what it's like for the guys to play for a manager like Mike Scioscia?
SCOT SHIELDS: He's an outstanding manager. He goes to bat for you, and I like the style of play he has. Same as Ozzie Guillen on the other side. We're a similar team. We play the small ball, like everybody knows, hits and runs and bunts, and that's exciting baseball to watch. You're down in the bullpen and watching all these things develop, it's an exciting game, and he does a good job all around with the pitching staff, with how he works the bullpen, all around he does a great job.
Q. Are you looking forward to the off day tomorrow, and what are you going to do with yours?
SCOT SHIELDS: Just relax. You know, it's been a pretty tough week on us with the travel schedule, but it's something that we like. We like to travel, especially coming out here, and we're still playing. As far as a much-needed day off, I think most of us are going to just sit around and rest.
Q. You watched John Lackey evolve in the last year or two to what he is today, he's become one of the better pitchers in the league. What in your mind has happened to him that has made him improve so much?
SCOT SHIELDS: I think the main thing is he's calmed his emotions down a little bit. Sometimes in the past, you know, a hit or a run scored, he would kind of lose control a little bit, and I think that's been the big thing is him maturing and learning how to pitch and letting something go. If a guy gets a basehit, basically just let it go and worry about the next guy. I think he's using his change-up a lot more and that's keeping guys off his fastball and his curveball.
Q. How would you describe the atmosphere in your stadium during the playoffs and perhaps what kind of advantage you enjoyed because of that?
SCOT SHIELDS: You know, it's a sea of red out there. They get the thunder sticks going, and it's loud. It's a great place to play. They really get us going for the start of the game, and you can't ask for any better fans than what we have out in Anaheim.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for coming in.
End of FastScripts...