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October 4, 2006

Ron Gardenhire


Q. Gardy, can you tell us what your lineup is, and if Tyner is in your lineup, can you tell us what he brings to the lineup?
RON GARDENHIRE: Tyner is in the lineup, he is DH, I think that's the only difference we have is Tyner is slotted in the eighth spot. Everything else remains the same. I think what we would like, we have our two lead-off guys at the top, and two at the bottom, and when the lineup rolls around, those guys, Tyner, Bartlett, Castillo, Punto, which makes things happen, run around the bases with speed, force the issue.
It works out good for us, it has, and you can do a lot of different things, so that's probably our best lineup. Hopefully it will work out today.

Q. Gardy, can you talk about Jason Bartlett and how he handled things yesterday, from not making a play on the ground, coming back, making a double, just being in his first post-season game?
RON GARDENHIRE: He has handled a lot of things that we have thrown at him since he has been back up here, he has played very aggressive baseball. He made a mistake, but I thought what was really good is after that he ran to the mound after that and said "Jo" (pronounced Yo), "let's go. Give me a ground ball. We will get out of this thing." You forget what's happened and you keep playing a game.
And he did, he went right to the mound. That's important. That's being a baseball player. And going up to the plate and hitting a big double for us. Wish we could have gotten over all those things, see what happened, but he was focused, he didn't let things bother him, and that's what he has been doing since he got back up here.

Q. After Rondell struggled early in the season, what's changed over this last month? It seemed like he maybe settled into left field a little bit better and seems to be hitting the ball a lot better?
RON GARDENHIRE: It was a strike situation. We brought him over and he talked about wanting to DH something, and obviously that was a hard situation for him, he had never done it, sitting around between innings trying to figure out what you can do with yourself, you get ready for your next at-bat. Didn't work for him.
He had some shoulder problems, and we found out that he needed to get some exercises done, stretch it out. He is just doing -- he feels more into the game out in left field. His legs are bothering him which scares us.
Early in the season he had a lot of bad luck, too, let's not forget that, he hit line drives at people and he got tired of hearing us say "Way to swing the bat."
Fortunately for us, we haven't had to say that in a while. He has been fine. Good for him. As we have said all along, he is probably one of the classier guys you will ever meet in the game, and very good to me.

Q. What was the mood yesterday in your clubhouse right after the game? You did lose with Johan on the mound. Did the guys get down at all?
RON GARDENHIRE: Well, it's always a bummer when you lose. With Johan on the mound, you want to win for him because he gives everything he has, and it's always a bummer. You figure out you could have done this, done that, if we would have done this, if this ball would have fallen.
We hit some balls pretty hard at people, and after it's all said and done, you think about it and you say, "We are going to come back out here and play today," and that's what this club has been able to do all year. Every time you get down everybody says "You are done," we have been able to bounce back.
Whether we can do that today or not, it all depends on our starting pitcher. If Boof goes out and attacks and gives us a chance, it's going to be good. It's all going to go to a certain pitcher and we know that.
So if we get some big hits for Boof, that would be nice, we'll see how Boof does. It's playoff baseball, two good teams getting after each other, but our team, they were ready to play, they come in today and they are game-on. They got smiles on their faces, and this is where we want to be. We are still involved in it, we still have a chance.

Q. Are you going to be cautious at all with Radke on Friday, or is it just kind of let him do as much as he possibly can?
RON GARDENHIRE: That's a hard question. The guy is coming back from a broken shoulder, he threw the heck out of the ball his last time out, and we are going to let him go out there and he will let us know how he is feeling, that's a given. He is ready to go. He says he feels good playing catch and all those things, so cautious, always with our pitchers we are cautious. We will see how Radke is doing.
If it looks like it's not there, we will have to make a move early, but we expect Brad to go out there and give us a very good effort. That's where he is at mentally and physically, and he did it the last time and hopefully he can do it again.

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