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NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: CARDINALS v GIANTS


October 19, 2012


Mike Matheny


ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Game Five

Q.テつ What's your lineup and is Beltran in?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ Not finalized yet, as we're still working on him.テつ So it will be dependent on whether or not we can get him in there or not.テつ Right now still getting some treatment to try to get him over the hump.

Q.テつ Does weather have anything to do with your decision with Carlos?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ No, no, completely has to do with how he reacts to these last set of treatments.テつ We're trying to get to him.テつ He was doing better yesterday, but still not quite there unless we can have the medical staff do something good that his knee responds to.

Q.テつ Last night Carlos, besides hitting, he did some jogging and running was the big concern.テつ Has he been able to do anymore today?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ No, he's still in working with the medical staff.テつ It hasn't even progressed to that yet.

Q.テつ You've seen some other organizations.テつ Is it different here the way the organization goes about its business, a different sort of ethos?テつ I imagine a lot of organizations preach professionalism, is this one different?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ This organization has a great, rich tradition and history and I think that helps kind of set the platform for the expectation level for everybody involved.テつ But I've also been a part of some other organizations, San Francisco Giants being one of them, that were very first class and had a high level of expectation of how the players and staff should handle themselves and the caliber of baseball should be played.
There's certainly an affinity here in St. Louis that the fan base has for its players and this team.テつ And it's hard to replicate this anywhere.テつ The support that's there through thick, through thin, is really what kind of sets this organization apart is the fan base.テつ And that starts at the top with our ownership group and right down to the last person involved in this organization, that they take a lot of pride in how they go about their own individual business and how this team is portrayed.

Q.テつ So especially because of this great love affair with the fans ‑‑ between the fans and the players, there's probably extra determination and pressure to clinch it today in front of this crowd.テつ How important is it for the players to stay within themselves?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ Yeah, there's new distractions that we have every day.テつ And these guys have done a great job of putting the distractions aside and playing the game.テつ Without question the guys would love to always celebrate in front of their fan base.テつ But more importantly, the more you focus on something like that the less focused you are on what the task at hand is.
So we'll go out there and try and play good baseball today.テつ I think that's the story you guys will keep hearing from us, is that's what we've been preaching since day 1 in Spring Training.テつ There will be circumstances that you can't control outside.テつ If you put those aside and just continue about your business, you have the best chance of being consistent.テつ And consistency is what plays off in this game.

Q.テつ Could you recount your earliest impressions of Rosenthal, particularly this spring, and what he showed you in camp, and talk about the development he's had these last couple of months here.
MIKE MATHENY:テつ Well, early on I've said it, a lot like what I said about a Matt Carpenter, I don't think you could design a young player coming into Spring Training, doing things any better than what Matt Carpenter and a Trevor Rosenthal did.テつ They came in early, got their work done.テつ Sat around waiting to absorb something and learn.テつ They took advantage of the opportunities.テつ So that's the first thing you see.
And then the talent starts to speak for itself when given the opportunity.テつ And then you start looking for see what kind of ceiling does this guy have, is there a potential for him to continue to improve.
As far as Trevor's case goes, you certainly saw the stuff.テつ You saw the body makeup that would allow him to get stronger.テつ You saw the work ethic that would lead in that direction.テつ And then you saw the aptitude to learn and the willingness to learn.
You put all that together and it's pretty fertile ground for something good to happen.テつ Once he got here he was clinging on to the veteran pitchers, continuing to try and improve and stepped into some pretty tough spots for us and has improved the way that we think about him and how we use him.テつ It's been a very fast route, but a much needed one on our part.テつ And we just hope he continues to do what he's doing.

Q.テつ If Carlos is not in the lineup are you going to have the same order you've had in the past with Carpenter slotting in for him?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ Possibly.

Q.テつ Could you have asked for anymore from Carpenter, to sub in for a guy that's had such a great postseason career?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ Yeah, and Matt's done a great job.テつ He's a ballplayer.テつ He does whatever we need and puts together tough at‑bats, lefties, righties, it doesn't matter.
With adversity comes opportunity and he's taken advantage of it for sure.

Q.テつ To kind of follow on a couple of the earlier questions, you were involved in the Minor League side here.テつ What's preached, what's done here that there's been so much success that when guys have arrived here they've been ready and able to contribute?
MIKE MATHENY: テつWell, you have to take your hat off, first, to where it begins, with our scouting department.テつ They've done a terrific job of going and finding the best talent in the country and then bringing them into a development system.テつ And our Minor League development staff is very good.テつ They have a great feel of what the goal is.テつ They understand that it is about development.テつ Yes, they want to teach winning and the concept of excellence, but they also understand along the way you're going to sacrifice some things in order to develop a player the way they should.
It starts, once again at the top, and that's the message that's passed down.テつ They've seen that that's been a recipe for success is going out and making sure the players are at the right level, making sure that they're being pushed without being overexposed.テつ I absolutely have the most respect for our development system and our coaches, our roving instructors, our development staff and our scouts, because they've continued to give us good options.
You look at the field we have out there, we've got quite a few players with less than three years time on a team that are playing pretty well.テつ And some guys putting in some major, major contributions.テつ It's something that is organizational‑wide.

Q.テつ When the MVP race is discussed, two of the big names that come up are Posey and Molina.テつ If somebody asked you to make the case for your guys what would you say?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ I'm 100 percent biased.テつ It's not even fair.テつ And mainly, and I told all of you before, how much of a fan I am of Buster Posey and how he goes about the business.テつ I think he's a great ambassador for the game and certainly for the San Francisco Giants.
What I see from Yadi I get to watch up close here for the last several months, to see what this guy does day in, day out, how selflessly he goes about his business and then how productive he is in situations.テつ And just how tough he is mentally and physically.テつ What a leader he is.テつ The kind of things that don't necessarily go into an MVP vote, but you can't help but notice them and admire them when you see it day‑in and day‑out.
I'll continue to stay on that soap box because this guy is special.テつ And it's been an honor to watch what he's done this season.

Q.テつ Is a lot of the success from the younger players, is it fair to say that the instruction that's taught in the Minors, it's handed down from here and from Johnson City to here and is it a pretty seamless transition, then, for the younger guys?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ We've had a very good set of instructors, and I don't want to elevate ours to a point and insult some of these other organizations who have very, very talented people in their organization, too.テつ But once again, there's an expectation in this organization for the way things are done.テつ And there's a consistency that's been there for a number of years thanks to people like George Kissell and like Dave Ricketts who really set an expectation of work and an expectation of improvement that has really carried on.テつ It's had its own life.
This thing they call the Cardinal way is real in the fact that there's another level there that this organization strives to be at.テつ But you have to have the talent to go along with it.テつ You have to have coaches that buy into the process.テつ But when it's followed, I think it's really spoken for itself.テつ And the young players that we continue to get through this system are the result.
But once again, it's multi‑faceted.テつ It has to start with the scouting, to get the right talent in here.テつ And then you have to try to turn it over into the right hands and our development system has done a terrific job.

Q.テつ There's been so much expansion in baseball in recent seasons, that the team with the best record almost never wins the World Series.テつ Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ I don't even know where to go with that.テつ I do appreciate the format this year, that there's an advantage to the teams that won their division.テつ I think baseball did a great thing there.テつ I don't think enough is said about the team that does end up after 162 with the most wins, because that's such an incredibly difficult task.
Now, being a team that's just barely got in, very grateful for that opportunity, as well, and understand that down the push in September and into postseason is about the team that gets things right at the right time.テつ So there's a balance there.
But being on a team in St. Louis in 2004, which was a team pretty much wire to wire was a pretty dominant team, nobody felt sorry for us at any point when we didn't pull it off in the World Series.テつ But you take your chances, when a team rolls like that.テつ Typically you have enough there to win it all.テつ It's just a matter of the timing and guys taking advantage of the opportunities.

Q.テつ Do you think Yadi will play so long and be so successful here that people will forget who the catcher for the Cardinals was ahead of him (laughter)?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ I hope so.テつ Yeah, that, I think, has already happened.テつ And I'm completely fine with that.テつ I was able to play on some very good teams here and experience October baseball in St. Louis, which is a special atmosphere, as all of you are witnessing right now.
But there's no question, and it was fun to watch Yadi progress.テつ It was fun to watch him take over.テつ I mean, even though he stole my job, I knew it was time.テつ It was his time.テつ And fortunately, I got to go play in a great place like San Francisco and make some friendships over there that will last me a lifetime.テつ But that's the process of the game.
But you don't come across players like a Buster Posey and a Yadi Molina very often.テつ When you do, you need to appreciate it.テつ And I think the fans who have watched the series so far realize that it's pretty special, watching two catchers like this and what they've done this season and what they're capable of doing throughout a long career, very rare.

Q.テつ You touched on the Cardinal way and certainly a lot of Hall of Famers have been around lately, but almost on a daily basis Red (Schoendienst) has been here.テつ He said he hasn't given you a lot of advice, but talked a lot about baseball.テつ Can you talk about your relationship this year as a manager, manager sort of thing?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ That's complete humility, which shouldn't surprise you about Red in that he's giving me advice all the time.テつ Every time we talk I'm getting advice.テつ He is a sharp, sharp baseball man.テつ And so we'll have short conversations and he'll give me something really quick where he thinks it's just conversation in passing, but it's something I take and I put down and remember, because this guy knows what he's doing.
It's incredible what jumps out to him and the things that he sees, because he's been in that chair before and knows what it takes.テつ But I treasure Red Schoendienst.
And going back to this whole Cardinal thing, seems to be kind of the topic today.テつ That's another very special aspect of this organization.テつ They understand the people like a Red Schoendienst, a Stan Musial and a Gibson and a Brock and a Herzog and an Ozzie Smith that make a huge difference in this community.テつ And they keep tied into them and they keep coming around because they know that the fan base loves that.
But also there's huge value to us.テつ Every time those guys step in there they're investing into our players, either by how they just carry themselves and go about their business as professionals or some of the tips and information that they have to share.テつ But that is extremely rare and that's something that this organization has certainly done right.

Q.テつ When your players were in here before they described you as very positive.テつ Has that always been part of you or is that a trait that you've worked on, you've developed?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ Man, I don't know.テつ It's a pretty good gig we have around here.テつ There's not a whole lot not to be positive about.テつ And that's really the way that I've seen it.テつ I believe it's an honor and a privilege and a blessing every day we get to strap on this jersey.テつ And we have a quote as we're going down the tunnel, right before we get out on the field, one of Stan Musial's quote, is:テつ Every day you put this jersey on it's a privilege.
And so I think that's where you start.テつ And life happens and there's guys that have gone through some tough stuff this season.テつ And you can take anything in life, it's all the perspective you have.テつ And to me, through our highs and lows during the season we've got a lot to be thankful for.テつ We've got a lot of ability and talent to go out there and we have an opportunity to maximize it.テつ To me, focusing on the negative seldom helps us get to where we're going.
But these guys are positive people, too.テつ They realize that life, just like this game, deals you a lot of tough things.テつ But if you just keep your head up and keep going, it's amazing what's right around the corner.

Q.テつ When Adam was a young pitcher he openly said he wanted to mimic Chris Carpenter and try to learn as much as he could and emulate him.テつ What similarities do those two share?テつ And also what you make of the bond that they've forged just as mutual respect pitchers?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ Yeah, I think all of these pitchers have benefited from one, Chris Carpenter, and now also Adam Wainwright, and the balance between the two.テつ The similarities are the competitive nature that you just can't teach and you can't fake.テつ We've seen that in big situations with these guys.テつ Their work ethic is very similar.テつ Their intensity.テつ Carp's borderline crazy sometimes and that's really where their differences start to go.テつ He's unbridled most of the time.テつ And Waino is a little more under control, for the most part.
But in general they share a lot of the same traits in that they know what it takes to be successful at this level.テつ And it's about discipline.テつ It's about consistency and it's about mental toughness.テつ And those are things that, one, I believe is something that's just part, it's innate to them.テつ And the other are things that they try to hone and make better.
But the combination of the two and having these guys as co‑aces, along with a Kyle Lohse that needs to be thrown into that discussion, and watching the way they go about their business every day, that's why they were ‑‑ we were so excited in Spring Training to have our up and coming arms to mix in in their groups and watch these guys on a daily basis.テつ And I believe doing something like that helped with the development of a Trevor Rosenthal and a Joe Kelly, and a Shelby Miller and a list of young arms we have coming up through the system.
But they know ‑‑ and the best thing about them, my last point, is they get the idea that it's not about them.テつ And they want to share what they got, because somebody did that with them.

Q.テつ Staying within the subject about the Cardinal way, So Taguchi was your championship teammate, he's our color commentator broadcasting.テつ The Cardinal ways he learned hasn't changed since?
MIKE MATHENY:テつ He had that down before he ever got here.テつ My best wishes to So, a great teammate.テつ A very good teammate.テつ And I know he'll do whatever he wants to in this game when he decides to.テつ But a true professional.テつ Amazing how he adapted so quickly into the culture and into the American baseball culture and earned the respect of his teammates instantly.テつ But it's neat to be able to spend some time with him and look forward to see what he does next.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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