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September 30, 2011

Kirk Gibson


Q. Could you tell us what you know with Gallardo, and what you think of him as a pitcher and just how to go about playing him?
KIRK GIBSON: He's a great pitcher, we know he has great staff. The rotation is very good. We respect them. I'm sorry, I can't divulge how I might attack them, though. He's had great success against us. It will be up to us to make adjustments.
It will be an interesting series, the way we match up against these guys. They probably have some things they're a little stronger than us. We're a little stronger in some areas. And we'll try and utilize those things to our advantage. And obviously the big thing for us against Gallardo is that Ian throws well. We expect a tight game. If he can match and keep the game close, just like many of these postseason games, we'll have a shot at winning.

Q. What has been the secret to Kennedy's success this year, just an impressive number?
KIRK GIBSON: He's really picked up where we left off last year. He had the injury problem when he was with the Yankees. He came into our organization last year, and just kind of got healthy, kind of made some adjustments, found some things about his mechanics. We were going to cut him off at 180 innings. He was stronger at 180 innings than he was at 150. So he went to 194.
So he came back this year and kind of continued to develop all his pitches, fastball locations, curveball. He can throw any of those pitches in any situations. He has great confidence out there. He controls the running game very well. And he's very much in control.

Q. Have you set your rotation for the rest of the season?
KIRK GIBSON: Well, no. We need to set our roster. We had discussions this morning. We have Ian and Dan for sure.

Q. You've had legendary success as a player in the postseason. I know that doesn't mean anything for the series. How different is it for you preparing as a manager?
KIRK GIBSON: Well, probably spend more time as a manager than as a player. You just have to understand what your role is, I think, regardless of whether you're a player or a manager, and the influence that you could have on the outcome.
And one thing that will be similar is that we'll just compete, continue to compete as a manager, keep our players competing. We've been very good this year coming back. So we know that we have -- as dire as things seem during a game, we know we have the ability to come back. We're probably as good as anybody in the game at that. That's something I saw in myself as a player.
And fortunately, this team is much the same. It gives us a chance. We will play to the end and where we end up, we'll compete. We want to win three out of the next five. And whatever we deal with along the way we'll deal with, and if we feel confident, we'll be able to come out ahead.

Q. Do people still ask you about your most legendary moment? Is that okay with you, do you enjoy reliving that?
KIRK GIBSON: What would be my most legendary moment? In football?

Q. We're talking baseball.
KIRK GIBSON: It comes up fairly frequently, but it's on TV a lot. My wish is that there's a player on my team that will be on topic and be able to celebrate it and I'll be able to celebrate it in a different capacity.

Q. What's your most memorable moment?
KIRK GIBSON: I don't know:

Q. You mentioned your ability to come back. I think you guys led the Major League in comebacks. The Brewers bullpen hasn't blown a lead in the second half after 7 innings, those things seem in direct conflict. Is that a key match-up to this series, your ability to come back against your ability not to let a team come back?
KIRK GIBSON: Their bullpen has been great. Our bullpen has been great. Something is going to have to go. I think that's kind of the magic of the series.

Q. As a follow-up, does that mean that scoring early is going to be huge in the series?
KIRK GIBSON: You can't script it. The way I look at, it you can't script it. You guys that haven't been with us all year. The Navy SEALS came in in Spring Training, we saw things they did. And we thought, wow, how do you deal with it? That's what you do, you deal with it. The situation could change. We may get up by three, so we deal with that situation. We're down by three, we deal with it. If it's a tie game, in the 11th I think, there's all kind of situations, you just have to understand it.
And way back to my mentor, Sparky Anderson, he always taught us the score board will dictate what we'll do. It will tell you where you're at, how many outs you have left, who is coming up, what pitcher is on the mound, let's you know what play to make, how aggressive to be, how conservative to be, and we'll make decisions based on that.

Q. How many guys do you have on the roster?
KIRK GIBSON: Like 55. I think 30. I'm not exactly sure. Do we have 30? I think 30.

Q. I saw Parker.
KIRK GIBSON: Parker is here, Cook is here, Duke is here. Hammock is here. Castillo. I think it's 30.

Q. Is Parker here? Is he a starter or reliever, you brought him here?
KIRK GIBSON: Exactly. Do I have to tell you everything? He hasn't been with me all year.

Q. Do you reset your message to the guys at all, do you refocus it?
KIRK GIBSON: I think they're very focused, they're very excited. It's an honor for us to come here and participate in this postseason. That's been one of my messages since day one. I'm just walking out here and just thinking, it really is, I'm very fortunate to have this -- the colors on today, be able to sit in front of all you guys, and be part of it with the Brewers. It's a great game. It's been great. It's my life. And my players understand that, as well, so we're going to enjoy it.
And all the things that we've endured through this year is going to be magnified. So hopefully we're well conditioned for it.

Q. I know you haven't seen the Brewers since July in person, but your thoughts on their lineup?
KIRK GIBSON: We know that Braun and Fielder are the two most -- the people we need to deal with there. They've had a great year. I have known Prince Fielder since he was a very young kid. He used to live two blocks from me when I played with the Tigers with his father. He used to come in and hit balls in 8th or 9th grade. Ryan Braun I respect. I watched that kid come up. I got to spend some time with him over the All-Star break this year. I have a ton of respect for that team and their manager and what they've done.
Milwaukee has always been an interesting place for me. I'm from Michigan, so we came in and landed last night and I saw the lake, it's a little bit of home for me. I'm very close. And kind of legendary memories playing the Brewers way back in the early '80s. In 1981 they beat us in the last game of the short season for the second half win. So I couldn't be happier.

Q. Justin Upton obviously didn't have the greatest week. And his last few haven't been that good. What have you seen from him this season, I guess in terms of maturity that he can get a little bit of refocus here?
KIRK GIBSON: I think just overall this whole year he's been great. You're going to have things that happen. I look at it as it can't get worse. Because he was tested big time. He's played more games this year than he has. I understand and remember how it was. We maybe just think, well, it's not a big deal.
But big kid, plays hard, swings hard, runs hard, wears the burden of being the guy on this team. Got hit in the head twice in a week. And now it's going to be, you know, everybody will reload and nobody will be tired now. I just have confidence in him. He's matured. He's ready for it. He's been to the postseason before, his first year.
At the same time it's not all on him. We don't want it to be that way. I take 1-for-15 with a series game winner, I think I did that in '88 with the Mets when I was 2-for-16, two home runs. We're just trying to win the games. We're trying to win the series. There should be no additional burden on any player on our team. If we could script it out, you know, if I could script it out, it wouldn't be that it's just, you know, an easy thing. The tougher the better. That team will be ready for it.

Q. In large sectors of this country you are better known than some of the players. Is that any concern of yours, with them being experienced and how do you know about getting them ready?
KIRK GIBSON: No problem at all. You can cover us if you want, you don't have to cover us. We play hard every day. My staff, we played a lot of games and we have a lot of postseason experience. And there's a lot of history there. And we try and make that a positive towards our players, towards our team. We've tried to -- early in the year I think one of the ways I termed it was we wanted to change some of their comfort zones. And you need to -- people, we get comfortable in our own selves and it's hard to do.
So I think that experience and our dedication and our standing, I guess, in the game has helped us to change some of their comfort zones to make them better players. Most of all, better team players.

Q. In what sense do you change the comfort zone?
KIRK GIBSON: Well, keep doing something the same way and it doesn't work, you just have to convince them that there's a different way. And once they have success and it validates it and it opens their heart and soul up for many more comfort changes. And, you know, as you develop along the year and the season, you can kind of map out how you'd like to do things, but then you have to understand the personnel.
So everybody has to identify within their strengths how can they contribute to a team's success. And then within their weaknesses how can we load that. Overall we want to come together, stay together, and collectively accomplish something together.

Q. What do you anticipate about the immediate energy level in the series, given that neither team had any kind of down period, both had to just keep grinding?
KIRK GIBSON: I know it's going to be crazy here. The fan support in Milwaukee when we were here, it's outstanding, it always has been. I know they had a pep rally yesterday, it's beautiful. It's going to be noisy. All the things that we work on on communication, understanding each others' body languages. This is when it all comes into play. So as far as -- we've had two days off, and that's more days off than we've had in a long time. We're excited and ready to go.

Q. Is that an intimidation factor with the way they've played here at home?
KIRK GIBSON: We played good at home. We beat them here at home. We respect them. We certainly respect them and what they're capable of doing. It's a great competitive respect. And I'm sure they respect us, as well. It's what it is. They have home field advantage on us, and we'll have to overcome it.

Q. How about them playing here at home, a certain manager within their division, their big arch, this funny business going on here for them being up so good, messing with the lighting?
KIRK GIBSON: It will be up to us to catch them.

Q. You don't think there's any funny business going on here?
KIRK GIBSON: That's certainly not something I'm focusing on. We're going to try to take care of what we can take care of and deal with what they do. And it's the game of baseball. It's great competition. And we'll all do what we have to do to try to win that series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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