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October 16, 2010

Ron Washington


Q. What do you see out of Darren Oliver the last month? He doesn't seem to be as sharp as he was early on.
RON WASHINGTON: You know, I think the last time he pitched against Tampa Bay, he was sharp. Last night was one of those times when he wasn't able to put the ball where he wanted to. And at this time of the year, we got no excuses. Just didn't get it done.
I thought I had the right guy in the right spot.

Q. How do you cope with a loss as difficult as last night? Do you sit up for a while? How do you deal with it?
RON WASHINGTON: I addressed my team after the game, and of course, it was positive. We did a lot of positive things last night. The only one thing we didn't do was win the ballgame.
But you know, after I addressed those guys and I talked with my staff, took a shower, got something to eat, went home, got up and came to the ballpark ready to do it again.
It's a 7-game series. We probably let one get away. My guys are resilient. They will show up today and they will go out and fight as hard as they did last night. I would like to be in the same position again and see what happens. I would like to get in the position of just having to get six more outs, and next time, we'll probably get it done. We didn't get it done last night, and we all take credit for that.

Q. Regarding Elvis Andrus, a lot of teams have talked about how he likes to joke around in the clubhouse; are you surprised that at his age how comfortable he is in his own skin and with the veteran teammates that he has?
RON WASHINGTON: I think Elvis is able to act the way he act simply because, we are a very comfortable team. We are serious about our baseball, but we also want you to be who you are.
And you know, when you perform, you can do what you want to do. And he's performing. And so since he's performing, he's relaxed, and that's Elvis. If he wasn't performing, and he was doing things like that, I think the veterans will call him on it. But they will allow him to be who he is, and we just move on.

Q. It's kind of a two-parter here. The first part, you've been around the game for a long time. Why do you think that the last few outs seem to always be the hardest to get?
RON WASHINGTON: I think, and I don't have the total answer for that, and I think what happens sometimes is very few Riveras and I think the guy just knowing that we have to get these last three of these last six and they are forgetting about what will get you to that point, and that's executing your pitches. So you see it a lot in the game, and there's very few guys that go out there and are able to make it look easy each time they go out there.
You know, you think you've got Rivera on the ropes, but you never do. And there's very few Riveras out there.
So to give you an answer is very tough. Because I think as many people as you ask, they will all be different.

Q. And the second part of the question is, New York seems to have this track record of making those -- like not letting teams get those last outs. Do you think it has something to do with the makeup of their lineup, or do you think that there's a psychological component to it?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, their mentality is tough. And if you go up-and-down their lineup, it's tough. We went through their lineup yesterday for about five or six innings, and you know, it looked like those guys were sleepwalking.
But you know, the game is played for 27 outs, and they have a mentality in New York of playing 27 outs. And we are developing that mentality in Texas of playing 27 outs. And that's what they have always done. That's why they are champions. And you look at the personnel that they have in there as to the way they go about their business; they never seem concerned. And that's only because, look at the championships they have. That's what they expect in New York.
But there's some tough characters in that lineup. They are very tough. You know, Cano last night was the one that was toughest to me. You try to make pitches to that kid, you make one mistake on that kid, and he hurts you. I see his name Cano, but I say it Cano. I see it corrected last night on MLB. We bring in Rapada to get him and this guy sails away on a pitch, and that's what those type of hitters do in that Yankees lineup.
You definitely have to fight them for 27. And when you get those 27 outs on those guys, you've earned it, and I'm hoping and wishing and praying that -- and I know this year, we have become that type of team, also. But we just don't have the 20-something championships.

Q. Of the nine American League post-season games played so far, the home team has lost eight. Is this just a weird aberration, a fluke?
RON WASHINGTON: In our case, there's two games we played against Tampa -- well, one game against Tampa that we let get away that we could have had a win. I thought last night, we let one get away that we could have had a win. But it's 27 outs, and we didn't get it.
I think you have to give credit to the teams that are winning. You know, in the case last night, the Yankees played and beat us. In the case of Tampa when we played them here, they played and beat us. When we went to Tampa, we played and beat them. I don't really have a reason why, but it's certainly been happening. So, I don't know. I know we would love to win the at home, we really would. Get a monkey off our back.

Q. Going off the question about psychological affect, how much is your team aware of the past of the Yankees, especially after last night?
RON WASHINGTON: They are very aware because it's always in print. Someone is always sticking a mic in somebody's face, and they are very aware of it. This is a team that plays baseball totally different than any team that's been in Texas. We compete. We can play a lot of ways. This team, we are trying to make our own history and everything that we do well from this point on, it just adds to the history of the franchise.

Q. There's no feeling that the elephant got even larger last night?
RON WASHINGTON: No. That's panic. We don't panic. Don't feel like that. We got beat in a very legitimate way because we didn't do what we were supposed to do. It wasn't like we gave a ballgame away to him out there throwing balls all over the place, missing stuff. We got beat in a legitimate way.
Infield hit, two walks, part of the game. A few base hits, part of the game. Happened. But we are not putting any more to it than that. Because if you do, it would be hard to come back around and play. We are not those kind of guys. We are coming to play baseball today. I can't sit here and predict what's going to happen, but we are coming to play baseball today.

Q. Can you talk about what Molina has meant to the club?
RON WASHINGTON: He's been a tremendous -- he's been a tremendous addition and once he got to the point where he began to feel like he was a part of things around here, his experience began to show up. At this time of the year, having guys with his type of experience, come into play, tremendously. So he's been a big acquisition and we are very happy that we have him because at the beginning of the year we had two young kids and for whatever reason things didn't go right in that situation and we were very fortunate to pick up a guy of Molina's stature.

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