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October 4, 2011

Josh Hamilton


THE MODERATOR: Up next, Josh Hamilton.

Q. Josh, you could tell even walking in the room you are pretty loose, you are pretty happy, you are in a great mood. Can you explain the mood and the mindset of your team and yourself heading into this game?
JOSH HAMILTON: Honestly, I'm deliriously tired right now. No, it's cool. You know, we've already forgot about yesterday's win. I mean, we don't think about it.
Postseason is -- you're not playing for a division title. You know it's a one-game series every day. You go out, you give what you've got, you try to do what you can to win that game that day. And whether you win or lose, that's it, it's over with. You can't do anything to get it back, so you go to the next game.
And that's what helped us so well last year in the playoffs, is Wash talked about that one-out, one-inning, one-game-at-a-time mentality. And so it doesn't matter who we're facing or who we're going up against or who we have tomorrow. What matters is today.
So that's what keeps us loose, that's what keeps us just relaxed out there and wanting to show everybody what we are capable of that one day.

Q. Yeah, when Guerrero left this year, there seemed to be a void there, and I know you were very high on what he did.

Q. Have Beltre and Napoli together sort of filled that void for you?
JOSH HAMILTON: I believe they have done a great job at filling it. I think we're going to look at who we can get from the Angels next year to really (laughter) -- they have done a great job. Napoli, obviously, when you catch, it's difficult to perform offensively. As you know, you're tired. He has done a great job of getting it done on both sides of the ball.
Beltre, you know, I'd like to have seen what -- I mean he puts up over 100 RBIs, 30-some home runs, close to .300 batting average, missed six weeks. You know, I'd like to see him healthy for the full year.
So, I mean, you can't ask any more than what these guys have given us. They have given us big hits at big times and come through and carried us at times.
So it says a lot about them as players and the character and the determination they have to not only fit into the team, but help produce and help us get to where our ultimate goal is, which is the World Series.

Q. Josh, you were able to play with Hellickson a little bit in the Minors. How well did you get to know him during that time and what stood out to you?
JOSH HAMILTON: Did I? Seriously? '06? Was he on the Hudson Valley team?

Q. For about 20 games.
JOSH HAMILTON: Really. I had no clue. I was still coming back, guys. I was still getting everything figured out (laughter).
Honestly, I can't answer the question because I have no clue or remember him being there at all. But that's pretty cool. I might talk to him about it.

Q. I guess not his teammates, but what are your impressions of Hellickson as a pitcher, just from facing him this year? I know you did that.
JOSH HAMILTON: He has good stuff. He has confidence when he is on the mound, and obviously as an athlete and as a competitor that's what you want to have.
He mixes his pitches up well. He is a lot like James. You know, I think James has done it a little longer and a little better over the years. He has kind of honed in a little better.
The key is with guys like that is see the ball up. You know, they are going to try to get to you chase out of the zone until you lay off, and then you kind of rattle them a little bit or make them throw pitches they don't want to throw.
So fastball, curveball, change, that's what he throws. And his change-up is his go-to pitch. And he is like some other guys you face, which he is 92, 93. He will not blow it by you. You have to have the approach of letting the ball get deep, seeing it up and putting an aggressive swing on it.

Q. Josh, you've had some injuries, including this year, that stem from playing the game with a certain style and abandon. Are you going to get to the point where you're going to sort of play with a little more caution or conservatism?
JOSH HAMILTON: I think when my body tells me you're at the point where you don't need to be doing that anymore, then that's the point when I will start -- I played smarter over the last two years. Last year I played smarter. When the game situation called for it and I had to go into the wall, I did. You know, we're up five or six runs and the play doesn't need to be made, take it off the wall and throw it in. You know, so I felt like I did a better job last year.
And this year just another play, trying to make something happen. And it was unfortunate, but it happened. It's not like, I always say this, I'm breaking bones, breaking ribs, those sorts of things, I am not pulling hammies and groins and all of those things that are keeping me out of the game, but actual things that I cannot play with.
So in answer to your question, when my body and my mind tell me maybe I shouldn't do that anymore, then I will probably slow down a little bit. I have no clue when that will be. Definitely not in the playoffs.

Q. You surprised how this team has done so well this year and back where you are even after losing Cliff?
JOSH HAMILTON: No, because I always say we were in first before Cliff came anyway. You know, he helped us in the postseason tremendously; I'll give him that credit. But our pitching staff last year, Cliff made them better when he got here. They were already good before he got here, but he made them better. Just the fact of seeing him go about his business, his work ethic, how he approached the game.
And guys don't forget that when they run into players like that, when players make an impact on their careers by either coming through or just, like I said, watching them do his work.
So this year it always comes down to pitching. It always comes down to pitching. You know, there's a lot of good teams that can hit the ball well, but, you know, a lot of times good pitching will shut good hitting down. They know what's coming. If they are really good at what they do, it makes our job harder.
Our guys did a good job stepping up. Lexi did a good job of stepping up and getting us wins, and it's carried over into the playoffs and we have a lot of confidence in our guys.

Q. Who do you give credit for developing that pitching as good as it is?
JOSH HAMILTON: You have to give credit to Nolan Ryan for bringing Mike Maddux over. Mike has done great job with the pitchers. I think there are some relationships there. He understands his pitchers. And he lets them just go out and doesn't put pressure on them, just lets them play their game and pitch their game.
Just the whole front office and J.D. for getting with Nolan and bringing Mike Maddux over has been a great help, Andy Hawkins, a great combo.

Q. Josh, ever since you were drafted, people imagined you patrolling the outfield here at Tropicana Field. Is there a certain sense of irony for you that you can wrap up a Division Series again here?
JOSH HAMILTON: I was thinking about it in the outfield last night. With all of the stress and everything of that game yesterday, you know, thinking about -- and actually made some amends with trainers and with staff from the other side, from the Rays' side, because I don't think I ever had, as far as what I did and when I was here and my time. And they put a lot of time and effort into me, so just made an apology, a few yesterday.
But thinking about it for the fans' aspect of it yesterday, they were all expecting to see me with the Rays in Tropicana, like you said, in the outfield. But it doesn't work out that way all the time.
So you know what? Would I have liked to have done it? Absolutely. Did it happen? No. But I just have to do what I can with my team I am with now.
But I enjoy coming back, and the whole newness and weird feeling is over with. You know, now it just feels like another stadium. But I enjoyed seeing familiar faces in the stands.

Q. Josh, early in the season you were struggling in day games. You made some adjustments. Talk about your mindset in day games now versus night games and how you are doing in day games versus how you were doing earlier on.
JOSH HAMILTON: A quick recap. Just having trouble in general seeing it in the daytime earlier in the year. I went to a doctor and -- it sounds crazy, folks. You have -- what do they call it? -- oil glands up here in the top of your eyelid, and mine are clogged. So every time you blink your eyes you are supposed to have a film oil that clears everything, wipes it clean, I guess you say, like a windshield wiper.
And so he gave me some drops to put in, because he said during night games when I am out there sweating and it is 110 degrees I am wiping my eyes, I go to sleep and the sweat drys on my eye, on my cornea, and when I wake up the next day instead of the light in the daytime going straight through like it needs to, it hits those little dry spots and disperses and makes everything even more brighter.
He gave me some eyedrops and they have been working good. I actually am using them at nighttime, during night games and day games, and seeing a huge difference.
So just have to get my little oil glands opened up in the offseason. I was like, All right. But it's been a noticeable difference for me. Even in Tropicana I had trouble in the past, it being AC, dry, all of those things. So it was a lot better.
Do I make any sense? Whoo. Good. Because I am not a doctor, guys.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Josh.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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