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October 8, 2010

Ron Gardenhire


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ron Gardenhire.

Q. Could you please clarify what exactly did you to do your jersey after Game 1? Did you actually burn it or not?
RON GARDENHIRE: What are you talking about?

Q. There was a report you burned your jersey after Game 1 to change your luck.
RON GARDENHIRE: You believe your sources. You shouldn't believe yourself. You believe in yourself. I wouldn't burn a jersey. I never wear one. I don't even know where my jerseys are.

Q. With everything that your club has done to prove its worth over the years and the six division titles in nine years, does this continuing difficulty with the Yankees just tick you off at some level?
RON GARDENHIRE: That's a good way to put it, continuing difficulty. It's not fun. We know what's out there. You have to understand that it's not the same group of players. It's different players. And we have had a lot of pieces change, but the results have been the same. We're in almost every ballgame. We have had leads in most of them. We haven't been able to finish them off. We have to figure out a way to finish these guys off.
They are a great team. They find out ways to win. We have to figure that out.

Q. What is it about Duensing that just doesn't seem to get overhyped for him? Is it his personality and how much does that personality help you guys going into a game like this?
RON GARDENHIRE: He's one of these guys that will do anything for you, and when we put him in the rotation, he was going along pretty good. Winning a lot of games. At one point when Baker was getting healthy and coming back, Duensing said the same thing he always does say. If you want me to go back to the bullpen, I'll do that too. He's a team guy.
He takes the ball and he'll do whatever you ask. And what we've been giving him the ball now since those injuries. You don't want to take it away from them. He rose with it. He acts like he's really not an emotional guy. He has some giddy up. When he gets out there he's very competitive. He hides it well and handles it well. That's what we like about him. His make-up is unbelievable.

Q. In games that have been as even as this, does getting hits in big situations just go in cycles or do you see a couple of keys to it?
RON GARDENHIRE: Well, the first game, we had tons of chances. Yesterday a couple. Pettitte threw pretty good yesterday and shut us down pretty good. We didn't get -- what did we get, five or six hits the whole ballgame? We didn't have that many opportunities. The first game we had plenty of opportunities. That's what it's all about this time of year. You have to get those hits.
When you get the guys out there, somebody has to step up and bang one in in the gap and open the game up. We haven't been able to do that in this series. And yet, the last couple of years, we need that.
We need the big hit. We make a big pitch, and you have to come back and get the big hit. That's where we're misfiring right now. We have the hitters to do it. We've done it all year. Now we have to do it here in Yankee Stadium. Or we'll be going home.

Q. I'm sure at one time or another over the years the organization has taken serious looks at Phil Hughes, potential trades and such. I'm just wondering what your perception of him is, how you have evaluated him over the years.
RON GARDENHIRE: I think all the trades you are probably talking about with Santana, a lot of names coming flying out there. His name is always out there. Top prospect. A guy that can be one of your top of the rotation guys as projected. You know what, he's got good stuff. He has a great arm and good stuff. Those guys are always valued, pitching in general. Any guy that can go out and compete like he does in this level in this division that he's in says a little bit about him.
He's got great stuff. Sure when there's trades out there, everybody is going to mention names like that. Pitching normally goes along with trades.

Q. When you rebounding from losses, who are the guys in your clubhouse who help turn the page and what types of things do they say and do?
RON GARDENHIRE: We have a bunch of guys out there. Your leaders, Thome is pretty good at it. Thome steps up. I think the one good thing about these guys, they forget pretty good. Last night we got on the airplane, it was a little quiet, but as it went along, guys landed and there was a lot of laughing. They are ready to go. We know what's in front of us. Like I said, Thome is a big one. Michael Cuddyer is always there. Always. A couple of our pitchers. Pavano was irritated last night, which always makes us laugh. Gives us a good chuckle to see him mad.
We've got quite a few guys out there that we rely on. For the motivational part. Like I said, I don't think it's going to be a problem. This time of year if you can't get up for these games and know what's at stake you're probably in another world.

Q. Ron, did you give any thought to giving the guys a day off today?
RON GARDENHIRE: No. We have had a couple once the season ended. Just get them out, get them around. Basically, we have to be here, because of you guys. If I have to come, so do they.

Q. Gardy, have you thought about anything to tweak the lineup? The other day you mentioned maybe moving a left-hander behind Mauer.
RON GARDENHIRE: Yeah, we'll talk about that. I'll look at that tomorrow when we get in here. Go about it. I've been running a lot of thoughts through, whether we go with speed. Maybe Alexi Casilla in the lineup against a right-hander. Who knows? I'm going to look at it tomorrow, see some numbers and see if we need to move somebody around or not. Absolutely.

Q. This might be a bit of a stretch, but does the fact that you've played in Game 163 a couple of times in a row help at all going into this weekend?
RON GARDENHIRE: Most of our guys are battle-tested in that respect. We have had it on the line. And not all of them. Not all of them were here. But there have been a lot of pressure situations. This is no different. We know if we lose we go home. So throw it out there and let it roll as Shane Mack used to say. That's what we have to do. Get after it. Win a ballgame and try to flip the pressure right back on them.

Q. Brian was talking about learning from the experience of pitching in Game 1 last year here. How important was that for him, do you think, in going into tomorrow's game? Are you more confident in him?
RON GARDENHIRE: Yes, I think that was huge being able to step up like he had to last year, and did well. He did fine. He threw the ball good. We're pretty comfortable with him. I don't worry about the kid too much anymore. He's got the pitches. He seems to remain really calm out on the mound no matter what's going on. If you get in a big situation out there and you go out to talk to him, he's under control. He handles it really well. We have a lot of confidence in him. He's done very well for us.
I think last year definitely helped him. He's been there, done it. He's been on the mound here in Yankee Stadium. We'll see what happens.

Q. Ron, a lot of your players describe you as calm. Do you see yourself that way? And where does that come from?
RON GARDENHIRE: I'm calm on the outside, maybe. I'm a little fired up on the inside. I was a little fired up yesterday. I can be emotional at times. But I think I learned this -- TK taught me a lot about baseball. Your emotions carry over your team. If I'm screaming and ranting and raving about hitting and pitching and everything in the dugout, pretty much puts more pressure on the guys. So I try to remain as calm as I possibly can and not show my emotions, at least in front of them. If I have to go to a back room and kick the toilet, maybe I'll do that.
Try to. Because the emotions of the manager do play out on your team. If you're ranting and raving and screaming all the time, it puts more pressure on them. I try not to do that.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Ron.

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