home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 7, 2010

Joe Maddon


Q. Your lineup today, have you decided on it and can you tell us?
JOE MADDON: We're waiting on the computer right yet. We've got a couple more things to think about. We'll get it out there, I promise you, hopefully by the time we get back to the clubhouse. We're very close.

Q. How is the mood of the team today?
JOE MADDON: As always, it's very good. The boys are good. They're having breakfast right now. Like I said yesterday, we've been through some tough moments in the past during the course of this season. That's just one game yesterday, and come out and play our game today, we'll be just fine.

Q. Yesterday after the post game, you said that you felt very good about the fact that we hit the ball hard and I thought we had some good licks at him, the ball that Cruz caught and so forth. Today does your approach change from Cliff Lee, who throws a lot of strikes, and hard that is with C.J. Wilson, who's had some control issues the last month or month and a half?
JOE MADDON: You're right. Lee is definitely going to pound the zone. You possibly can see more pitches versus Wilson, you're absolutely right. Wilson is also statistically a little bit more difficult on left-handers than Lee is, so you might see that lineup change. We've been talking about with that as we've been talking about this whole thing. You're right, Wilson presents different looks than Lee does, and with our lineup today the guys are definitely aware of that, and we'll see how it all works out.

Q. What went behind putting Shields over Garza in this No. 2 game?
JOE MADDON: Well, there's a lot of things to look at. I mean, obviously on the surface you might think to go Garza here, but part of it is just the home and road kind of a situation. We feel Shields in this ballpark, we like him here, possibly a little bit more than in Texas, and vice versa with Garza.
And furthermore, I know everybody is looking at Shields on the surface numbers, but if you dig below the surface a bit, I mean, actually it comes down to the fact that this guy has been slightly unlucky this year regarding balls put in play. His walk-to-strikeout ratio is very good. Of course he's given up the home run, and you have to consider that, also.
Although they hit some homers here yesterday, Texas possibly a little bit more homer friendly ballpark than ours. So there's a lot of under the surface kind of things. It's kind of like a freakonomics look at how we're doing things here with having Shieldsy pitching today versus Garza.
Again, surface stuff, you would definitely look at it in another direction. We tend to look below the surface sometimes and so we chose to go with Shields today.

Q. Zobrist hit some balls really hard yesterday. From the way he ended the season is that kind of an encouraging sign to see from him and especially confidence wise going in the rest of the --
JOE MADDON: The thing I've seen about from Zo, and I think I've mentioned to you guys who are with us all the time, I think his right-handed bats had been getting better lately and you saw that yesterday versus Lee, because that's not necessarily a great matchup but he had great ABs yesterday right-handed, then he skulls the ball left-handed later in the game, which is kind of nice, too.
So overall Zo has been looking better as of late and particularly from the right-handed side of the plate, so we'll see if the trend continues.

Q. Have you checked in with Longo this morning? Any effects from playing a full nine?
JOE MADDON: Longo felt good post. I talked to him post, and there's been no negative reports this morning.

Q. Just overall yesterday the guys said they felt they had good at-bats. The adversity this team has been through, the approach they say -- none of the guys plan to panic, change their approach at all. What about this team overall gives you confidence today?
JOE MADDON: Well, again, the fact that we play in this division all year and you saw this past month we had some difficult moments and rebounded from those. So quite frankly I take a lot of strength from our guys. I know the same group is going to show up today. I think we're going to work the good at-bats. Of course we have to score more runs than we did yesterday. But it's going to come down to Shieldsy pitching well, keeping it over the top, hopefully turning it over to the bullpen with the lead, but they're pretty good about their approach on a daily basis.

Q. Can you talk about trying to get the offense going early, getting that first hit and maybe that gets the ball rolling?
JOE MADDON: Yesterday we had three hits in the first inning, and you have bases loaded with one out and then you get strike out, strike out, and that's a big moment. And again, you can look back at the potential hit batter and what that could have done for the game, too, and that did not happen for us.
I do definitely like the idea of scoring first. I do like the idea of getting on top and staying on top. That's part of how we set up our lineup. And it was almost there for us yesterday, but it just didn't want to show up based on the call. But believe me, on a daily basis that is our intent.

Q. Your thoughts on Roy Halladay's performance last night if you saw it?
JOE MADDON: I didn't see it.

Q. People are comparing him with Cliff Lee. Can you compare and contrast those two?
JOE MADDON: Well, I just said that among our writers, if you had told me or asked who threw 25 out of 28 first pitch strikes in a playoff game, I would have said either Halladay or Cliff Lee, so it was Halladay yesterday. Facing that man right there, he's so well prepared. I got to know him a little bit in the All-Star Game last year, so well prepared, and the fact that he's got such a wide array, variety of pitches that he commands and the ball moves both ways to righties and lefties. He's truly unique.
So does it surprise you? No. The fact that it was his first playoff game, I can understand him being even more psyched possibly, and it showed. So it's really not surprising. The guy is really that good.

Q. Usually you're very aggressive in sending runners. What was the thought holding the runner at third base in the first inning that I thought had a chance to score?
JOE MADDON: Well, honestly, I thought he could have also in the beginning, but they were playing their outfielders really tight. Cruz was in there very tight and he got to the ball in good stead. Normally if you're a third base coach, what you're looking for is as the fielder bends down to pick up the ball, you look to see where your runner's foot is, and if your runner is prior to the bag as the fielder is picking up the ball, it's normally a good indication to not send him.
I didn't look at the video, but that's kind of what it looked like to me, that his foot had not hit the bag by the time Cruz got to the ball which is surprising because normally he'd be playing a little bit deeper in that moment with Longo hitting but he wasn't. So their whole outfield yesterday was kind of tight, and they took advantage of that. We hit their targets pretty well.
So when you have the bases loaded, one out and five, six coming up in the first inning, it's not a bad moment, as opposed to say send the runner, he gets thrown out, then you might have first and second, two outs, and all of a sudden you're upset about that moment. So I thought that under the circumstances Phil did a good job.

Q. After looking at tape, what do you think about Carlos getting hit or not getting hit and the aftermath and what it says about an umpire judging a reaction rather than a play?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, obviously these kind of calls seem to have gone against us lately. I do believe this: I believe it speaks to the point of the fact that you're going to see more discussion and eventually the implementation of more instant replay in our game.
Furthermore, saying that, I had heard things regarding the point that maybe just have these replays considered later in the game. But as you could see in that moment, possibly the seminal moment occurred in the first inning of that game yesterday, and it's not a superfluous moment. It happens in the first inning, it can have a tremendous impact on the game, so you don't have to wait for the seventh eighth or ninth inning to utilize or implement more instant replay. I think it opens up this discussion.
And furthermore, I'm watching the Yankee game in the ninth inning last night on that catch, Golson, I believe, and all of a sudden if Thome walks up and hits a two-run homer, oh my goodness, all hell is going to break loose at that point.
I just think, again, those two plays yesterday in particular, I think are going to speed up, expedite the discussion. I think you're going to see something in the near future, possibly even in the next season. I'm sure it's going to be well thought out. I don't know exactly about the implementation, but I do believe that moment yesterday with thoughts of what happened to the Yankees yesterday kind of speaks to the point where we have to take advantage of technology in a little bit more detailed manner.

Q. The ball hit him?
JOE MADDON: It did. It did hit Carlos, yeah.

Q. You've looked at the video?
JOE MADDON: I haven't looked at the video. Carlos told me it did. Carlos had no reason to lie to me at that point. He told me on the field; he told me afterward. He's wearing those gloves.
You remember last year he was hit by a pitch by Sabathia later in the season that broke his finger, so he's been wearing these protective gloves that are a little bit more padded, and it did hit off the padding on that glove.

Q. Speaking of Carlos, this late in the season is there anything else that you can suggest to him to try to get him going again at the bat?
JOE MADDON: You know, Carlos -- we do talk on a daily basis, and you don't want to get any more confusing, I'm talking about from a coach's perspective. This is a time of the year to truly keep things more simple.
Over the last, whatever, week to ten days of the season he and I talked a lot. Shelty and him talk every day, and then of course there's a big hit versus Soria the other day in Kansas City on an 0-2 pitch versus a closer that has not given it up in a long time, and that's a pretty big moment.
Yesterday, even though he did strike out several times, I thought overall the approach at the plate was good. Again, who knows what would have happened had that first at-bat been called a hit batter as opposed to a strike, what it does for your confidence, how the game plays, the world changed at the point where it's called a strike as opposed to hit batter.
So with Carlos, continue to support him, continue to throw him out there. He's a big part of what we do, and I do anticipate he's going to walk into a pitch over the next couple days that makes a huge difference in our season.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297