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October 22, 2006

Jim Leyland


Q. I don't know how much you saw Rogers previously in postseason, but I'm just wondering if you might have an explanation as to why he's been this kind of a dominant pitcher in this postseason as opposed to a pitcher who couldn't even get into the fifth inning in all the previous postseasons?
JIM LEYLAND: I think he's on a mission. He's pitched good all year, except for a period of time there. So he's been very good for us all year long. I think that he's one of those guys that have that extra adrenaline; it's worked for him. And sometimes you worry about that working against people, but for Kenny Rogers I think probably the big thing was the Yankee game. I think that really got him on a roll. I think he was so pumped up to pitch against the Yankees. He had some past experience there, some past history. Most of it good, I guess some of it not too good. But I think for whatever reason I think that Yankee series got him pumped up like I've never seen a pitcher. In fact, it makes me nervous to see someone that pumped up. I'm not sure a Verlander or Bonderman could have done that.

Q. What was on Kenny's ball and what did you talk to the umpires about?
JIM LEYLAND: I'm not sure. Tony went out and said a couple of his players said the ball was acting funny, and they made Kenny wash his hands, and he washed his hands, and came out the second inning and he was pretty clean the rest of the way.

Q. Have you got any sense what's on the hand, though, because it was pretty visible on television --
JIM LEYLAND: I'm not going to speculate, because I don't go around and see what people do or don't put on their hands. I'm sure Kenny will be in here, and you can speak to him about it. But I'm not going to get involved in that.
I know Tony said, hey, I don't want to make any issue here, but a couple of my players are saying that the ball is acting a little funny. And obviously they were a little suspicious, and I think Tony just wanted to make a point to bring it to the umpires' attention.

Q. Did they ask him to wash his hands before the second or when did that happen?
JIM LEYLAND: I believe the second or third, whenever Tony had the conversation, they talked with Kenny. But like I said, I'm not sure of all the details. People were kind of jumping around and what's going on. To be honest, I wasn't paying that much attention.

Q. Knowing Tony the way you know him, are you surprised that he would say to the umpires, I don't make a big issue out of this?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I don't think -- evidently, I don't want to speak for Tony. He brought it to their attention and evidently, I would have to guess, but I can't answer that for sure, because I wasn't real involved in the situation until afterwards. I wondered what was going on. I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I'm assuming that he wasn't sure or else, you know, I would have to assume that, but I don't really know the answer to that.

Q. In a similar situation, how would you handle that, if you saw their pitcher with something on his hands? Or your batters came back and said Weaver was showing some strange movement?
JIM LEYLAND: I think realistically, Tony and I have both been in the game 40-some years, and so have a lot of other managers and from time to time hitters always talk about the ball is acting a little funny. But whether you do or don't make a big deal about it is, in most cases, not an issue.

Q. Can you talk about pitchers and adrenaline. How does Todd Jones get your heart racing in some of those ninth inning save situations?
JIM LEYLAND: He's going to take a little PFP, that's pitchers fielding practice, before he gets on the bus tonight, I can tell you (laughter.)
That was not good.

Q. Talk about Craig Monroe. The first home run, two at-bats in a row, coming up to really get the offense going.
JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, he's really been swinging the bat good. I was a little concerned about it prior to the game because I think between Craig and Poli, I think they were only about 1 for 1 off Weaver. To see him jump-start us like that, obviously made me feel pretty good.
And Casey, by the way, Casey will play first base in St. Louis. I don't know if that's a big point to anybody, but he will play first base. And I might change the lineup a little bit, I'm not sure, depending on how everybody looks.

Q. Can you give us a comment on Carlos Guillen tonight.
JIM LEYLAND: He quietly has been locked in real good. We haven't and we won't make any excuses, obviously as I said last night. We looked like a team that hadn't played for seven days. That wasn't an excuse, that was just a fact. But for some reason he's been locked in. You know, I'm glad we got a couple of games in, and I'm certainly glad we got a split out of this one tonight. We've seen live pitching for a couple of days in a row. The more we get in sync and start to play a little bit, you feel better about it. You don't know for sure -- when you don't play like that, you don't know how long it takes guys to get their swings going again, how long that could take. Obviously when you're in the World Series and it's a short series, you don't have much time.

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