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NLCS Game 5: Maddon postgame interview

October 19, 2017

JOE MADDON: Before I take a question, may I just congratulate the Dodgers. I've got a lot of buddies over there, of course, with Andrew, John Forsythe. I hope I don't start missing people. But there are a lot of friends over there, so I want to congratulate them on

JOE MADDON: Before I take a question, may I just congratulate the Dodgers. I've got a lot of buddies over there, of course, with Andrew, John Forsythe. I hope I don't start missing people. But there are a lot of friends over there, so I want to congratulate them on their victory. The better team won over the course of these five games. They played really well. They kind of outpitched us and everything else. So give them credit.
Dave Roberts and their entire staff, I just want to say congratulations. You know what it feels like coming off of last year, we were celebrating versus them in this exact same spot. So they've had themselves a spectacular year, and I want to wish them all well in the World Series.
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Q. Can you share with us as much as you can what you told the team afterwards?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I'd be happy to. It's such a great group. I talked about a couple things. Primarily that this year really illustrates the importance of getting off to a good start. We didn't, and then we had to fight back, which we did. I said you can, but you're understanding when you find out you do that, it really expends a lot of energy when you get back into it, which we did.
But, listen, it's another lesson learned for us. So that was one of the things. So you want to emphasize the importance of a good start going into next season, and whatever that means to you during this off-season to get ready for the next year, I wanted them to be cognizant of that.
I also wanted to congratulate them on how our guys really came together this year. We were missing some really important pieces from last year, guys that had left. So other people had to ascend into those kind of roles, and I thought that we did by the end of the year. So I wanted to congratulate our guys also on their ability to work into a really tightly knit unit by the end of the season. Really supportive of one another. Nobody cared who was playing. Everybody just wanted to win. So I wanted them to understand that too.

There were, of course, a couple guys that it gets a little bit touchy or emotional with that may not be here next year, because we've been here for a bit together. I wanted to make sure that I touched base with them too. But I wanted them to know, listen, three consecutive years, but there's only one other game up on the scoreboard when you're playing right now. I hope that's not lost on anybody. That's not easy to do.
We started out with a target on our back last year, even the year before, actually. But we were able to go through the whole thing. Got the World Series under our belt. Came back this year, and met with some kind of mental adversity is the best way I could describe it. It's baseball adversity. It's not what people have to put up with on a daily basis, the really important things in your normal life. I'm talking about baseball adversity. And I thought we did a great job of overcoming.
So I'm so proud of that. And I'm talking about our players, the organization, the Ricketts family, Theo and Jed, the coaching staff, everybody that's involved. It's really pretty cool.
Last point, I'll shut up and you can ask another question. I looked out at the field, and I looked at the birth certificates that are playing different positions tonight. I loved it. So my point is, heads up, we're going to keep getting better.
Q. You talked often and you touched on it a bit there about the effects the so-called World Series hangover had on you guys early in the season. What effects do you think playing so deep into fall the last three years had this time around?
JOE MADDON: I think, again, the best way I could describe it, this is my take on it, because you have to define everything at some point. My take on it this year was coming off the last two years, and especially having won, the team that won for the first time in 108 years, it was very difficult for the guys to get jump started in April and May.
I think that's legitimate. I don't think it's a stretch. I don't think it's hyperbole in any way, it's true. It's just true. So I think that's what the World Series hangover is.
However, give our guys credit. We were fortunate to play in the division we were in because nobody ran away with it, is my point. And we eventually got our thing together and started playing extremely well post All-Star break and especially in September.
So that's the whole thing. We all got to learn lessons on an annual basis. Normally we learn through negative experience as opposed to positive. So I'm not saying this is necessarily a negative, but I know our guys do not like going home right now. I know that. So when you come to camp next year, you remember what it feels like and you try to do something to prevent that in the following year. You're always looking to learn that lesson.
Q. As you mentioned, the analysis of why the result was what it was in this series and the home runs for your offense, but not much besides that, and the difference maybe in pitching depth that you saw between your club and the Dodgers, how do you evaluate that and say, well, this is one series, but it was a very telling series? How do you compare that versus the body of work in terms of changes that may need to come forward?
JOE MADDON: Every year is different. We went through the same -- look at what Jonathan Lester and Jake and Kyle did last year. Look at the scoreboard every night. We have all these incredible numbers from last year. Every year's different. So the big thing is to make sure our guys get rested. Nobody was overtaxed this year in regards to starting pitchers throwing too many innings, et cetera. Quintana's a great addition. Of course the bullpens are always in a state of flux on an annual basis. But Wade really gave us definition this year too.
It's just one of those things that you address. Our guys are so good at addressing needs in the off-season, so I really believe that will be fulfilled. But you can never expect it to be exactly the same, and that's the other lesson learned. But you also understand how to do this, because we don't get to this point if we didn't know how to do this, based on the way this year broke. I mean, the guys know what it feels like to play right now. They want to play right now. We got over the top when it was necessary, and I think that is experience. Experience is knowing.
So going into next year, and I'm already excited about camp because I know what the message is going to be. And I also know that the guys know it's the correct message and they've learned. So all of that is good stuff.
Q. You mentioned guys that won't be back next year for various reasons. John Lackey likely one of those guys. What's it like from a manager's perspective to watch a guy walk off the mound like that probably for the last time, and what's he meant to this club for you?
JOE MADDON: John and I go way back. John and I were together with the Angels in the 2002 World Series team. At that time I was the bench coach. The bench coach has more liberties as opposed to the manager. So I used to be able to go out drinking with the boys a little bit back then. So John and Donnelly and Weber, and all those guys, Adam Kennedy, great guys. So I got to know them really well.
So it's really special for me with John. I think that might be it. I'm not a hundred percent sure he's not coming back next year. But the competitive component, what you see when he's pitching right now, it's nothing new. When he gets upset or the histrionics or gesticulations or whatever, that's John. But he's always been that dude. And if you're his teammate you absolutely love him. He's got the biggest heart in the world. Hopefully it's not, but if it is, having that chance to be with him in that moment is pretty special for me. Maybe not special for him, but special for me.