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October 11, 2009

Joe Girardi


THE MODERATOR: Let's get started with Joe Girardi.

Q. Joe, yesterday Ron Gardenhire said obviously the Twins missed a lot of chances to win Game 2, but he also said that he favors a system whereby managers can throw a red flag to challenge an umpire's call. What would be your opinion on that?
JOE GIRARDI: That I might be dangerous with that red flag. I just think it really breaks the rhythm of the game. You know, during the course of the year, everything is usually going to balance out. In the playoffs it's different, and how many red flags would you be allowed to throw? The rhythm is important to your pitchers, and I just think it would -- I think it with really hurt that.

Q. Joe, is there any one way to prepare your players or for your players to combat the noise and just the total craziness of this place?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, there is really no place that we can go to simulate that noise. We don't have an indoor practice facility where we could go to and turn the speakers up like they do in football so many times, but we play in so many pretty hostile environments, and we have a lot of veteran players that I believe will be prepared for it.
And it's going to be loud. We know that. And there is probably going to be towels waiving everywhere, but our guys have been through it before.

Q. Did you see the end of the Red Sox-Angels game and do you have a reaction to the Red Sox getting eliminated and the Angels advancing?
JOE GIRARDI: Two very good teams, close game today. The Angels got it done late in the game being down 5 to 1, yeah, we watched it, we are baseball fans, and the Angels played extremely well, and see what happens. Our concern is here tonight.

Q. Joe, in boxing they always talk about when you get a guy on the ropes, knock him out quick. Can you just talk about your mind-set in trying to close this thing out tonight.
JOE GIRARDI: You like to keep the momentum, and you win an emotional game on Friday, you would like to keep that emotion on your side, and that can change in one game, that's for sure.
And a lot of people always talk about the third game being the most important in this series.
For us, obviously, you want to try to close it out as soon as you can. And the way you do that is you play very good baseball because we know the Twins, they are very tough.

Q. Joe, when you see guys like Nathan and Papelbon, two of the top closers in the league, blowing saves in big spots in October, does it make you sort of appreciate even more what you have in Mo and what he has within able to do in October?
JOE GIRARDI: It has been amazing. And Papelbon, from what I had seen, hadn't given up a run in 27 innings in the postseason, and today he gives up three. That's pretty unusual. Nathan has been a great, great closer for a long time and we were fortunate enough to get a couple off of him.
These are very good teams playing at this time of year where the lineups are usually pretty complete, and there are no breaks. Guys put tough at-bats on them and those are the things that can happen, and what Mo has done in his career has been absolutely incredible.

Q. Joe, I wonder if you could tell us, how much better do you think your defense is this year than last year, and how much you think that that is a factor in where you are right now.
JOE GIRARDI: I think we have improved a lot, actually. I mean, you look around the infield, how well our infielders have played. Tex had a great year over there for us, our outfield has been good, and I think it has a lot to do with it because when get in close games, your defense becomes very important.
Heads-up play the other day may have won us that ball game against Minnesota on Friday, the plays Swish and Jeet made, and those are type of things that you need to be able to do in tight games. You can't make mistakes defensively or give extra outs, or it could be the end of your season.

Q. Joe, they are supposed to get one or two inches of snow overnight. Can you imagine if this was next year, it will be Target Field playing here and compare that possible cold element to the noise element. Would you rather have it be inside with this crowd or outside with those elements?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think with one to two inches of snow we probably wouldn't play, so you would have another day off.
Obviously, I think players prefer playing in a little bit warmer conditions than 32 and a couple inches of snow. Be tough to pick up ground balls, as well.
But, you know, to us, you want to know that you are going to play. Players love to know that they are going to play and there won't be delays, so I think if we were outside, we had our choice to be outside or inside today, I think we would pick inside.

Q. Joe, you got a lineup?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah. Jeet, Johnny, Tex, A-Rod, Matsui, Posada, Cano Swish, Cabrera.

Q. Any others? Okay. Joe, thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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