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March 13, 2013

Greg Maddux

Joe Torre


Q.  Obviously the Dominican players are players that you're familiar with right off the bat, but with Dickey and Greg, but for scouting reports and the way you attack hitters, having him throw, what's the thinking that goes into that, how much time do you spend with R.A., as far as that goes, and how do you look at tomorrow night's game from the pitching standpoint?
GREG MADDUX:  Well, I think you let Dickey go out there and do his thing.  He's got a very unique pitch and he's had a lot of success with it, and you just kind of support him the best you can and hope he throws it correctly.  The scouting reports are kind of out the window when he pitches.  His knuckle is unpredictable and it does unpredictable things.

Q.  How unique will it be for you to kind of manage against Robby, things like that?
JOE TORRE:  Well, I've done it.  When I was managing the Dodgers, he left his mark on me hitting a home run to win the ballgame.  We had a lead in the ninth inning.  Robby is very special, and there's really no‑‑ there's no weakness in this kid, not to say obviously you can get him out, but he scares you.  He scares you because he's got a great deal of confidence.  I know a lot of people when they see him smile they don't think he cares, but that couldn't be further from the truth.
But he's not the only one in that lineup.  They're pretty impressive.  You knew they would be when you figure out the number of Dominican players we have at the Major League level, and they're all pretty much all elite players.

Q.  They have a certain joy of the game that comes through, and you guys are intense in your own way.  Can you explain how both you guys want to win this game, how it is a great matchup between two great baseball powers?
JOE TORRE:  Well, we expect it to be a good game.  You've got two teams that are talented, and obviously I was here for most of the first game yesterday, and you could just see the passion on that bench over there, especially when they'd fallen behind and they started climbing back.  Confidence.  I mean, they don't lack confidence.  And our ballclub is maybe not as animated but every bit as confident and determined as they are.
It's going to be a good game, but again, like any game, it's going to depend on who pitches better.

Q.  Joe, obviously you know New York and kind of an interesting sidelight for New York in this game coming up is the Yankees' best player against the Mets' best player on two different teams.  Can you talk about that matchup, Cano and Wright?
JOE TORRE:  Well, you know, sometimes I don't think New York realizes how lucky they are to have the players that they have had over the years.  Being a New Yorker myself, you sort of take it for granted.  I grew up with three teams in New York, so you figure everybody watches somebody on TV every day, you know.
But two young players, and of course I think both of them‑‑ which is not easy these days, because we're so anxious to predict somebody is going to be a star, but these two guys have lived up to the advanced billing.  And they're two‑‑ the most impressive thing and the thing that I think the fans obviously embrace is the fact that they both play well under pressure.  And having not been to a World Series my whole playing career and then watching what Mariano did and how guys perform in stress situations, that's pretty impressive to me.

Q.  Greg, a couple of weeks ago in a press conference Joe was saying about you when he called you to be pitching coach on this team that your response was, do you have the right Maddux?
JOE TORRE:  Well, no, I said like it sounded like when he responded to me that's what ‑‑

Q.  Close enough.  How has the experience been here for you doing this?  Is there something you'd like to be doing long‑term in the Major Leagues?
GREG MADDUX:  Well, I'm certainly having a great time doing this, and I'm learning a lot.  I enjoy being around the players.  The pitchers on the staff have been outstanding.  Who knows what's going to happen down the road, but right now I'm having the time of my life.  I enjoy being around these guys, and I like learning from the other coaches, as well, on the staff.  I'm glad I'm here, and I'm glad Joe picked me.

Q.  I know when you were a pitcher, like to this day a guy like Jake Peavy said it's no coincidence that he had his best year when you were on the Padres with him and you could help him work through some things.  As a great pitcher, what are you able to impart to other guys to make them better?
GREG MADDUX:  Well, you know, I just kind of passed on my experiences that I've had.  The biggest thing is you just pitch.  You forget about all the stuff going on outside of pitching.  I think when guys just worry about what do I throw and how do I throw it, they seem to start doing better.  You just kind of get rid of all the eyewash that goes around outside of pitching and just worry about pitching.

Q.  Basically Gio said last night that you gave him the advice to just sort of like tunnel in and just let all the extraneous stuff that was going on in the crowd, just try to block that out.
GREG MADDUX:  Well, he did it.  He went out there and he threw every pitch.  He's the reason that he didn't give up a run.  To his credit, he located his fastball very well.  I thought even threw some good changeups.  I heard a lot about his curveballs, but I thought his changeup was pretty good last night, as well.

Q.  Joe and Greg, how much did you know about Cishek coming into this thing?  And how many side armers have you seen throw as hard as he does?
JOE TORRE:  Well, I don't think Greg and I knew a great deal about him.  But when we asked, it was easy to get response from people who had seen him.  Joe G. actually brought his name up first to me, and then I ran it by Greg, and then we‑‑ and both of us inquired and we had good results.
GREG MADDUX:  Yeah, I mean, I heard nothing but good things about him, and then when I had a chance to see him, he was kind of underrated.  He was even better than what people had talked about.

Q.  You kind of go with the Game 1 lineup tomorrow night with Dickey and Arencibia catching again?
JOE TORRE:  Yes, Arencibia will catch and Mauer will DH.  As far as how we're putting them in order, you know, the top is not going to change.  1 to 5 is not going to change, and then we sort of figure it out after that.

Q.  This kind of came to mind last night when Wright was talking and he kept referring to you as Mr.Torre, and I couldn't help but think of another guy who did that, as well, in Derek Jeter.  I know in Spring Training the people made that connection, the captain things, but do you see some things in Wright that remind you of Derek?
JOE TORRE:  I do.  The focus, I think.  The focus and the look in their eye when something important is happening.  I mean, Derek, I just felt very fortunate to have started managing the Yankees when he got to the Big Leagues to stay.  He was special right from the beginning.  That first year in '96, with all the veterans we had on our club, they pretty much looked to him in August and September to do something.  That's something that you have to be around to really appreciate.
And David, yeah, you always knew he was special.  He played the Interleague Series and you'd see him, he was just a nice young man.  Of course, the relative I was talking about the other night when I said he's my favorite player was my daughter.  That's the relative I was talking about.  And that's a pretty good reach for her to go away from the Yankees on that.
But she asked what kind of‑‑ I said he's everything that you hoped he would be, and that's the way I feel about him.  And plus‑‑ I mean, it gets to the point where it's sort of unfair, you expect him to do something special in key situations.  And again, he's the same guy, one way or the other, because he's just going to play hard.  And if it's good enough, so be it.  If it's not, he'll be there next time.

Q.  When you put him in the fifth spot, do you expect so many bases loaded opportunities for him?
JOE TORRE:  Well, I felt that the key, really the key to our success offensively was going to be the top two guys, and they've ham and egged it pretty good, both of them, sometimes one, but they'd always do something.  And then of course Braunie is such a good hitter.  And Mauer, that at‑bat he had last night against a left‑handed pitcher, he's cool as a cucumber.  And that on top of the fact that he catches Gio for the first time, and it's like he's been back there for five years with him.  He's one of your quiet leaders, too.  He's very special.  I've admired him from afar being a former catcher myself.  But he is just really special in the way he goes about his business.

Q.  Greg, just a two‑part question.  Joe has been talking about how you had to interface with all the pitching coaches to get guys on their schedule, which is a little different than what you'd be doing under regular circumstances as a pitching coach.  How tough has that been to get everybody on the same page and then slotting them in to pitch when they needed to pitch here?
GREG MADDUX:  Well, it's been really simple.  I mean, you just had to figure out which guys you wanted to pitch what day, and then their pitching coaches really had to do all the work.  All the pitching coaches were great about that.  They were on board, and I can't thank them enough.
I mean, all of our starters were set up to pitch on their first day two weeks before Spring Training started.  All the pitching coaches that did that were kind of on our team, as well.  You know what I mean?

Q.  So basically you're saying you gave them your rotation, what you wanted to do, and then they fit everybody in accordingly?
GREG MADDUX:  Correct.

Q.  How did that change when you had a few guys drop out and Detwiler was thrown in late?
GREG MADDUX:  Nobody really dropped out.  As far as the starters go, they were all on board right away.

Q.  So now you go to this sequence here, which is the first time in the whole tournament that you really don't know what's going to happen because there has to be contingencies.  If you win tomorrow, you won't play until Saturday.  If you win Saturday, then you won't play until Tuesday.  But if you lose tomorrow then you play three games in a row.  What's the plan for the pitching under those circumstances the next couple of days?
GREG MADDUX:  Well, I think we have our plan tomorrow.  And depending on the outcome of that game, then we'll have our plan for the next game.  I think it's just going to be a constant adjustment that we're going to have to make, and a lot can happen after the game tomorrow night, and we'll have our decisions made based on the result of the game.

Q.  So it'll depend on the slotting and the way the games fall out, that's when you'll make your decisions on who pitches when and where?
GREG MADDUX:  Absolutely.  I mean, Dickey was prepared to pitch tonight, but that's not going to happen so he's going to pitch tomorrow.

Q.  Right.  And you obviously have probably Gio set for a semifinal game, whether it's Sunday or Monday, right?
GREG MADDUX:  Well, nothing is set yet.  The only thing that's set is that Dickey is going to pitch tomorrow, and then depending on the game and everything, we'll go from there.

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