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October 6, 2006

Ron Gardenhire


Q. Gardy, when the team plays so well for so long (inaudible)?
RON GARDENHIRE: It's just very unlike our ball club. Everybody has bad ball games. We picked a bad time to have some bad ball games. We didn't catch the ball. We missed a lot of opportunities to drive in runs through the whole series.
The Oakland A's won this series. They played good baseball. They made all the plays, they hit the ball, they came up with the big at-bats, and they won this series. The only part that we're disappointed about is we didn't give them our best effort all the time. I guess "effort" is the wrong way to put it. We didn't give our best performance. Effort is always there with this baseball team. Performance is the word I am looking for there.
And that's the disappointing part. There is a lot of not too happy guys in that clubhouse that have worked very, very hard to get here, and it's a little disappointing for us right now, but after we sit back and reflect on this thing, it's been one heck of a year for our baseball team.
And just because we had a bad series here doesn't take away from what we accomplished, it's just disappointing because we felt we could carry this thing on a little farther.

Q. (Inaudible)?
RON GARDENHIRE: Well, he had 80-plus pitches. We are talking in the 70s. He had 80-plus pitches. That was enough. That's as far as he needed to go. He probably threw everything out there that he could throw out there.

Q. What has Brad Radke meant to this team over his career and this year in particular?
RON GARDENHIRE: Well, they have a lot of good names to describe him in the clubhouse, and for this organization, the guy wanted to stay here, turned down more money from other places. His character, he, you know, kind of exemplifies what we are all about, handles himself very, very well. He has been a quiet leader, he has taken the ball for 12 years and given us everything he has had.
And I think this year probably said it all when he went out there when not too many pitchers would go out there and try to do what he did, and he even got back into it after a broken arm.
So I think Brad Radke is -- he will go down in a lot of our players' minds as one of the best they have ever been around, for the courage and the performance and the effort that he has given, and I thank him.

Q. Can you talk about the play at the plate?
RON GARDENHIRE: I think if you looked at replays, you still can't tell. It's just one -- it was so doggone close. Torii didn't know if he tagged him or not, and that's what he was asking Mike and Mike thought he saw him get him.
It's just one of those plays. It was, shoot, you know, we saw -- I didn't see any replays, but everybody told me you couldn't tell, and we had about 10 different angles, so it's just one of those plays where we got called out, he tagged us out, and Mike did a good job with it. Umpires are normally right.
I have learned that a long time ago and if you argue with them you lose anyway, but it was such a close play.

Q. (Inaudible)?
RON GARDENHIRE: Well, you looked at the other side over there, the pitching staff, too, they made a lot of good pitches, and we obviously didn't swing the bats as well as we had during the course of the year, and you know what, we have went through a lot to get here, and I don't know whether guys were worn down, they sure didn't feel like it, they felt good coming in.
It just didn't happen for us. We just couldn't come up with the big hits. Their defense made some spectacular plays on us, but their pitching staff pitched their tails off and, you know what, they pitched, and their pitching staff has been built up as being one of the best in the playoffs, and they went out and proved it in this series. They pitched very well.

Q. You had to grind so hard to get in the playoffs and so much emotion. Did that carry over to the result of the series?
RON GARDENHIRE: It's hard to say. I wish I could answer that. The guys were ready. They were ready to play in the playoffs, and we just didn't get it done. And the biggest part of it is the Oakland A's, they played great baseball, and we obviously didn't play as well as we could, but they played great.
They didn't make any mistakes, they got the big hits, they made all the plays, and rather than knocking our team all over the place, I tip my hat to the Oakland A's. They won this series by going out and getting it done and making a lot of great plays and playing their tails off, and we tip our hat.
It's just frustrating to us because we feel we are a pretty good baseball team that didn't play as well as we could, but the Oakland A's played well.

Q. Did that surprise you, the level of play they brought?
RON GARDENHIRE: Never. We have played against these guys, these guys are gamers. They are an image of us. We feel like we kind of mirror them. They play the game right. We play the game the right way, and we don't make too many mistakes ourselves, and every time we play these guys during the course of the summer, we always laugh about we know it's going to be a hell of a series, and you never know what's going to happen, and that's because two teams get after each other pretty good.

End of FastScripts...

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