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October 28, 2007

Clint Hurdle


Q. I'm sure you'd like to be in the position again next year where you have a long layoff going into the World Series because that means you're in the World Series, but if you're in that position again will you do anything different? Have you learned anything about your team and what you need to get ready?
CLINT HURDLE: I'm not sure right now there's anything different we can do. I don't know how you recreate a World Series environment. I don't know how you recreate a playoff environment in practice. There might be some things we talk about. But as far as gearing up to go, keeping focused on what we need to stay focused on, not worrying about what we can't control, I think we handled that very professionally. I think our guys kept focused on the upcoming series Game 1, that only. We didn't talk a lot about time off, historically what happened with time off or what went right or what went wrong.
You know, we just stayed focused on the job at hand. We were in uncharted territory. We handled it, I think, professionally. I'm not sure right now -- I'll give it some thought in the off-season, how many things we could have done differently to create a more different environment, a more challenging environment.

Q. What, if any, words of encouragement did you get from Maddie or anybody else in your family as you left for the ballpark today?
CLINT HURDLE: Maddie told me to say hello to Dinger. I get that every day. But as far as my mother, from the age of six, whenever I've been with her and gone to play games, she's said give it everything you've got. She told me that today. My father said, "Let it fly. Play to win." My wife, everybody, it's been the same mentality we've had for the past seven, eight weeks now. Go play the game, enjoy the game and play to win. Take chances when you need to take chances.

Q. Jeff Francis just told us the guys in the clubhouse right now were a little perturbed or the ones with fantasy football teams that were losing. Does that accurately describe the looseness right now inside the clubhouse?
CLINT HURDLE: It does. They have not changed from beginning until now, and that's one of the trademarks of a club that I think is well-oiled and complements one another. They know the task that's in front of them. We're all about winning Game 4. That's the only thing that's going on as far as baseball talk that's going on in there, but the other stuff, it's just a day-to-day high-jinx that this particular group likes to partake in, and a lot of it revolves around football.

Q. Not that you're looking ahead past tonight, but Josh Beckett, if there is a Game 5, he'll be pitching it. How impressive was he in the first game and how good does he look to you whenever you've seen him in this postseason?
CLINT HURDLE: You know, I hope we face him. As far as preparing, I'm not so sure -- we just need to get ready to hit. He's on top of his game. He's probably pitching as well as any pitcher I've come across, watched or faced or seen pitch in the postseason, command of all his pitches, pounding the strike zone. What's he got, 30 innings, two walks and 32 strikeouts? Come on. He's got Nintendo numbers going off the mound (laughter). But we've also been a team that beat him.
We'd love the opportunity to face him again. We'll prepare for that tomorrow if necessary.

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