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AL DIVISION SERIES: RANGERS v RAYS


October 11, 2010


John Jaso


TAMPA, FLORIDA: Workout Day

Q. What would you say are some of the traits that David Price has that you think would lend themselves to him succeeding tomorrow?
JOHN JASO: I think the biggest trait that stands out in David Price is his competitive attitude. You know, when it's not his start, he's all over the dugout bouncing off all the walls, cheering everybody on, on the field.
When it comes to that day, when he gets the ball in his hand, you know, he turns into this competitor, and that's just who he is. That's his personality. You know, he's a winner. He doesn't accept anything less than a win, and you know, that drive him to success.

Q. We know how determined he is typically. Can you kind of quantify what you expect to see tomorrow night given how Game 1 went and the kind of feelings he wants to get back out there?
JOHN JASO: Yeah, you know, I can't tell you the future or anything like that, but what I'd like to see is that David Price that we saw when we clinched our playoff spot. You know, he went out there, he -- it was a big game, and he could have tried to do too much. He could have gotten wild with his fastball basically, like trying to throw too hard, trying to overthrow, all that stuff. But he didn't do that. He basically pounded the strike zone with his fastball, challenged hitters, here, put this pitch in play, let's see if he can hit this. He wasn't throwing out of the strike zone or anything like that.
So that's kind of -- that's the David Price that I would like to see tomorrow and that I hope to see tomorrow.

Q. How badly do you think he wants it?
JOHN JASO: I think he wants it very badly. You know, he's -- I just saw him actually earlier today, and he's not walking around any different than he would be normally during the season, and that's good to see. You know, I hate the attitude of the post-season and guys like really trying to do a whole lot, you know, to kind of make a win happen and stuff like that. You know, we've been winning all season long with the attitudes that we've had, and it's good to see that we're keeping that same attitude here in the post-season.

Q. When Joe was in here talking about your at-bat the other day, he referred to you as Mikey. Can you talk a little bit about that nickname and how widespread it is in the clubhouse?
JOHN JASO: It's pretty widespread. Amongst our team, like guys on the roster and also guys that are everyday people that hang out in the clubhouse. It's a cool thing. It's fun, and it happened a couple years ago, and Carlos PeƱa kind of dropped that on me and the rest of the squad, and it just kind of stuck, and it's a fun thing. I like it. You know, people smile when they say it, and I know Joe gets a kick out of it, so it's a cool thing.

Q. Joe just said going back to Spring Training that you weren't really even being counted on to be part of the picture. Can you take us back to that point in time and what your expectations were?
JOHN JASO: In Spring Training this last year?

Q. Yeah.
JOHN JASO: Well, yeah. You know, I knew what was on everybody's minds, especially like the coaching staff, the manager. And it was kind of -- it was cool the way it happened, the way it happened in Spring Training. Joe basically called me into his office, and I basically had a one-to-one kind of conversation with him, and he told me basically what he didn't like about the way I played or presented myself out on the field and what he would like to see.
And that was kind of one of the -- that was kind of hard to kind of swallow. It was a hard pill to swallow at the time because I did take pride in what I did, and I did feel like I put in a lot of work to get better defensively. So it was hard to hear at the time. I'm not going to lie, it made me upset, you know what I mean? It was kind of nice because he had told me after practice, it gave me a chance to kind of go home and sleep on it, which I did, and I actually -- you know, I kind of feel lucky in the sense I woke up the next morning with a totally changed attitude, like I'm going to put everything out there on the line, like this is it; this is the year that it has to happen. And I'm kind of glad I chose to do that and take the criticism constructively, you know, instead of kind of putting him out of my mind and saying, forget you, all this stuff. I'm glad I took it and kind of ran with it.

Q. In Games 1 and 2, the hits and the base runners weren't there for the offense. What do you attribute the greater offensively productivity to in Games 3 and 4? Was it just contagious when the hits started coming or was there anything that -- a reason for that?
JOHN JASO: You know, I think -- I can't really tell you the reason because it's been like that all year long. You know, it'll come in like waves or whatever. But I think that -- you know, we went over to Texas kind of facing our elimination. They just had to beat us one game and we were done.
I think a lot of us kind of took that as, you know, it could end today, you know what I mean? And that mentality, it could go, I think, one of two ways. I think it could go the one way where it could end today and all of a sudden you're putting all this pressure on yourself saying, we have to win right now, we have to do it. But I think a lot of the players on our team took it the other way and said, this could end today; we should enjoy it right now. You know what I mean? And I think we went out there and played the game fun and loose knowing that it could end today. I'm kind of glad, like, our mentality kind of switched to that direction.

Q. You guys are going to get to see Cliff Lee again; they're going to get to see David Price again. Is there an advantage for the pitcher versus the hitter when you get to see that No. 1 starter going again so soon?
JOHN JASO: I think so, yeah. You know, because a pitcher isn't going to try and reinvent like a different pitch or anything like that to get you out. So I think in a sense the hitter does have the advantage because the pitcher is going to come at you with the same stuff that he came at you with before.
You know, I think it's always in the pitcher's advantage because he's the one holding the ball, you know what I mean, and the hitter kind of has to be able to adjust with whatever the pitcher is doing. So in both cases I think the pitcher always has the advantage.
But it does help out the hitter more to see the pitcher again, yes, I believe that is true.

Q. After BP on Friday in Dallas, I believe you had a players' meeting. Did that really help everybody, this players' meeting?
JOHN JASO: I think it did, yeah. It helped kind of -- basically if everybody is thinking the same thing but nobody wants to say it, it kind of helps to get some things out in the air and help you realize everybody is thinking the same thing, you know. And then after that is being said, to kind of, you know, like make that -- kind of harness it in the sense to bring back team unity. We are thinking the same thing, nobody is like separated in this situation, and we are a team, you know.
I'd like to think that in Texas we played as a team. There was a lot of big hits. I mean, you could say, you know, Longoria getting all those big hits, but if you look back, there was a lot of guys that were -- all through the lineup that were getting big hits. B.J.'s hit, I think, was huge the other day, you know, and then PeƱa's hit, that was big.
You know, that whole sense of playing as a team kind of came about.

End of FastScripts




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