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October 2, 2011

Ron Roenicke


Q. Was third base tough today after yesterday?
RON ROENICKE: It was tough. It's going to be tough, I think, this whole time in the playoffs. But with Jerry's nice ballgame yesterday, both ways, defensively and offensively, I think that was the right thing to do.

Q. Five at-bats, but you do kind of look at that, and was 5-for-5 and a home run just really hard to ignore?
RON ROENICKE: Yes, it was.

Q. How did you ignore it?
RON ROENICKE: Just going with who I think is hot. You know, sometimes those at-bats, they may be -- they could be last year. Some of it's this year. But more just recently, I guess, what I feel like more than what happened earlier.

Q. Did you have to talk with Casey about this particular one because of that and were you worried about it crushing his spirit or anything like that?
RON ROENICKE: Well, when I talked to him -- let me see, I talked to him Friday and told him what I was going to do for yesterday and told him what I was kind of thinking for today, but I told him things can change. I said it depends on how Jerry plays. So I set it up.
But yesterday after the game I stopped by and talked to him again, and he's fine. He wants to start. He wants to get in there and help us. He's actually really looking forward to, like you guys said yesterday, in kind of starting with a zero batting average now.
If I made a decision to go with Casey I would have felt good with that decision, also. I just think this is a better decision, the right way to go.

Q. Will you have Greinke on a strict pitch count or how will that be injured?
RON ROENICKE: I don't know if it would be on a strict pitch count, but we'll watch him. The fortunate thing with us is we have a really good bullpen. He doesn't need to go 7, 8 innings. If he is cruising and his pitch count is low, and we get to the 7th, okay; but there's no reason that we need to go deep with him. Whether he goes five, six, we'll see how the game goes.

Q. I know you guys are pretty confident with him and he feels good about going into the start. But do you still see it as a little bit of a gamble going in on short rest the second straight time?
RON ROENICKE: No, I don't. I think if I felt that way I would have had a lot more conversation with our coaches and with Zack. But I don't feel that way. I think everything set this up to where this is the right way to go. Whether he pitches well today or not, I still think the decision to do it this way, I think, is the right one.

Q. Someone will have to help me with the correct quote, but Kennedy said something last night with Jonathan Lucroy, about a guy not being able to hit. Is that being talked about, have you heard that?
RON ROENICKE: I haven't heard anything. I didn't see it. Luc had a nice offensive year this year. I think if you watch him and what he's done, Luc's a good offensive catcher.

Q. How big also was just the way Hairston played in the field? Seems to me that was almost as big as what he did at the plate.
RON ROENICKE: Oh, it is, and that's why I like the decision to go with him. I think he's real good there defensively. And like we always talk about even before I got him -- not I got him, before Doug got him (laughter) -- that I think that we heard that he will get that big at-bat for you. Squaring that ball up he hit up the center, if that ball is in the gap anywhere, that's huge, that's three runs.
So I look at those things. I look at outs. I look at sometimes even a strikeout can be a good at-bat. So I'm looking at the whole thing and I like what he's doing.

Q. What do you make of Shaun Marcus' success on the road, and how important has he been for solidifying your rotation, and giving you the guy that's consistent and stable?
RON ROENICKE: Well, I look at the whole picture with him, not just on the road. I saw him a little bit last year, a lot the year before. And this is a quality pitcher. This is a guy that can stop a big-time offense. And he certainly did it a lot of times in American League East. Those lineups there with Boston and New York, you don't get any better than that.
So I have a lot of confidence in what he does. At the start of the season he was good everywhere, home, road. Then he started pitching a lot better on the road and I know those numbers are better on the road. But I feel good with Shaun pitching anywhere. He relies on his command. First couple of innings he needs to make quality pitches so he gets in a groove. Once he gets through that I feel good about him, no matter who we're playing or where we're playing.

Q. Nyjer is coming in here next, which is sort of our "must see TV" for the day. Could you summarize your season-long interactions with him, including the times where you maybe had to rein him in a little bit. Could you tell us, you did have some of those sessions, but sounds like it was way more good than bad. Could you summarize your interaction?
RON ROENICKE: I think the conversations I've had with Nyjer, and I've told you guys in the past, this is really a good young man. I know he's emotional, I know sometimes he does some things that he shouldn't do. He realizes when he does something wrong or something that he should do better.
But his conversations are always trying to do the right things. He's energetic. He plays hard. He's played great for us. He's a big part of, I think, the chemistry of what's going on with this club.
And the conversations I've had have always been good. I enjoy him. I mean, it sounds kind of weird, but I enjoy, even when I get a call from Joe Torre and saying, hey, Ron, incident in San Francisco and you need to talk to him. I bring him in and the conversations are always good. I like him a lot. Not just as a baseball player.
So the conversations that we've had, you know, the -- there's been, I guess, three different maybe little things that have gone on. And they're always really good. He's wanting to do the right things.
You know, whenever you have a guy that's emotional and you're playing a game that's an emotional game and you're playing as hard as you can to win and to perform to whatever capabilities you have, you lose it at times, whether it's out in front of people or whether it's back underneath.
You know, when I hear some bats snapping once in a while back there, you know, he let's it go out there. And sometimes he's got to control it a little bit better, let it out inside. But he's getting better. I enjoy him.

Q. Did you ever ask him even once what's up with the Tony Plush thing, did that pique your curiosity at all?
RON ROENICKE: Well, in the beginning when I heard about it I did.

Q. What sense do you make out of it (laughter)?
RON ROENICKE: Sense? (Laughter.)

Q. That's the best answer?
RON ROENICKE: I'll leave it at that (laughter).

Q. But with what he's done with your clubhouse, especially kind of taking not necessarily the spotlight off Ryan and Prince, but they don't always have to step up and be that vocal guy, how much do you think that has helped this team chemistry?
RON ROENICKE: I think it's good. I think it's good when you have a lot of different personalities on your team. They all draw from each other. They don't feel like the spotlight's just on one guy. I think it's really healthy.
It's an awful boring team if you have guys with no personalities. You know as writers it's the same way. You cover a team that's really boring and it's -- you try to create things. So I love the personalities on this club.

Q. Baseball this time. I was talking to a scout yesterday, and those guys all hang together. And they said everybody turns in the same scouting report on your team, don't let Braun and Fielder beat you. How easy is that to write on paper and how hard is to apply on the field?
RON ROENICKE: It's exactly right. It's easy to say, and you get in situations and it's really difficult to do. You guys know that I don't particularly like walking too many people. I try to, what, a week and a half ago and it backfired again. You make that guy behind that guy you walked, you make him a better hitter. Nobody likes to have somebody walked in front of them to get to them. And if you're a 250 hitter, it may make you a 300 hitter.
But you have a different attitude when people walk to get to your spot. I know it happened to me a couple of times, and it made me a better hitter.

Q. Just because of determination or you take it as a challenge?
RON ROENICKE: You take it as an insult to you. You're walking that guy to get to me. Okay, you want to do that, okay, I'll show you what I can do. And you concentrate better. It's easy to say why don't you have that attitude all the time. It's impossible. You can't have that attitude all the time. But you bear down better when somebody walks somebody in front of you to get to you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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