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October 12, 2009

Jim Tracy


Philadelphia – 5
Colorado - 4

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jim Tracy.

Q. First of all, congratulations on a great season. And if it wouldn't be intruding too much, could you share with us some of the post-game comments you had with your team?
JIM TRACY: Yeah, I certainly will. But, first of all, I would like to commend the Philadelphia Phillies, obviously, for a job well done. They're a class organization. Their managers are classy, as human being, as coaching staff, their players.
And they did what they had to do to beat us tonight. And I wish them luck moving forward in the League Championship Series.
But basically what I did with my players for the last five minutes, when I was in there with them, was basically say thank you because of the effort that they gave and the distance that we covered, the distance that we had to cover to even get an opportunity to play Game 1 in the National League Division Series. I lauded their efforts. It's painful. There's no doubt about that.
But as I told them, you know, at some point in time it will always be painful unless you play the last game of the year and win. That's the bottom line. But the other thing I talked to them about was the fact of the door of opportunity that's in front of you.
We knocked on it. We stuck our head in there. But the idea of being able to get all the way through it and play that last game of the year and win, you have to keep pounding on that door.
You can't go away. You can't show up three or four years later and have it be real new to you again. You have to continue to push the envelope. Move forward and try to give yourself the opportunity to go back year after year after year, as many times as you can, until you go all the way through there and play that last game of the year and win.
And that was basically the message, along with a debt of gratitude. I told them -- and it is. I've managed some special teams going back to 2001 with some very, very special players. But this is a very, very special group of players I've had the opportunity to manage since the 29th of May, I can tell you that.
It's as unselfish a group of baseball players that I've ever been associated with. And had not that intangible been in our clubhouse, when you look back at a point in time when we were 20-32, as I said to them, Game 1 of the Division Series for us would never have occurred.
We've had a very solid year. There are still things for us to accomplish, as I told them, moving forward. But you're eventually -- when this pain goes away, which at some point in time it will, you look back and say to yourself, you know, you've won more games this year than they have in the history of the franchise, you've won more road games of a winning season on the road in the first time in franchise history.
We know what it's like to win 17 out of 18 games. We've done a lot of very, very special things.
We're very disappointed. Obviously, we were a strike away from making a trip to Philadelphia, and who knows where from there, if we would have been fortunate enough to get through Game 5.
But it didn't happen. We got beat by the defending world champions, and they did it in a fashion that, in my opinion, strongly suggests why they are the defending world champions. Down to a strike and they score three runs and beat us.

Q. Your team faced left-handed starters in all four games in this series, lost three out of those four games. Right now do you consider your lineup as one that needs another right-handed bat or two, maybe a couple of big right-handed bats to get to that next level?
JIM TRACY: That's not something that I want to talk about tonight. That's not really in the forefront of my mind right now. That's somewhere down the road a ways. That's not really something I want to discuss at this point in time.

Q. On some of the pitches to Chase Utley, the third ball, what was your view of that? Did you think it should have been a called third strike?
JIM TRACY: You know, was the ball high enough as far as was it a strike, as far as where the strike zone is top to bottom, the answer is yes. But what I can't tell is where it was in relation to home plate, looking at it from the side. I can't tell if the ball was on the plate or off the plate.
I didn't see an extreme reaction from Torrealba. So my guess would be that the ball was off the plate. Looked like a strike from the location standpoint of Chase's body. But I can't tell ball or strike from the side as to whether it was on the plate or off the plate away.

Q. This is the second year and second time in three years you guys have made the post-season. You touched on it earlier that you always want to be challenged for these post-season spots. Do you like where the franchise is going? What do you see with the future of the franchise?
JIM TRACY: I think the future of this franchise is extremely bright. When you look at the team that just beat us, I am not only -- and have been involved in this game for a long time, but I'm also a tremendous fan of this game.
When I'm not in a dugout involved with a game, I'm probably watching one somewhere. And, you know, the evolution of this team that just beat us, if you go back and look at where they were at prior to winning their world championship last year, they suffered some heartbreak, and they grew from that. And I think that's exactly where we're at.
I personally feel the future of this organization is extremely bright. When you looked around our field tonight, you know, we have a -- we had a young shortstop out there who is a very, very special player (Tulowitzki). Carlos Gonzalez has emerged and in my opinion has a chance to be a star, a Major League player that's a star in the industry. Dexter Fowler, another guy. Our starting pitcher tonight who just gave us seven wonderful innings.
We just have so many young players, when you have a foundation like that to build from, that's definitely a major step in the right direction.
What I'm so very pleased about is the opportunity to grow even further and accomplishing what we did and coming back as far back as we came from to get to this point and have those young kids participate in what we just went through. I don't really personally see this ball club going away for a while, I really don't.

Q. Would you like to come back and manage next year, and have any talks begun about a contract extension?
JIM TRACY: No, that's also something that when I told Danny about the 29th of May that I would do this, we had no discussion, and I didn't want any discussion whatsoever as far as the future was concerned. I think that that's something that there's plenty of time to sit down and talk about something like that and deal with that situation.
But I wanted to no conversation, I wanted no involvement whatsoever to distort the focus from where it should have been or where it should be, I should say, and that is on these players and their accomplishments over the course of this season. There's plenty of time for all that other stuff.

End of FastScripts

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