Oct. 12 Buck Showalter workout day interview
Q: How concerned are you or not concerned about the forecast for tomorrow? They're saying 100 percent chance for rain.
BUCK SHOWALTER: There's nothing we can do about it. We had a really good forecast in Baltimore for a while. Our grounds crew, like theirs, did a great job. We just hope that I think your first thought is about the fans. I know it's a big day for our fans in Baltimore, and I'm sure it is here the same. So that's my first concern. We'll see what it brings. 100 percent. If it says 80 percent, then 80 percent of the area gets 100 percent chance of rain. If it says 100 that doesn't look too good. It will change, I hope. We don't have the Chesapeake Bay here, we have the Missouri River. I tell you one thing, Kansas City has the best rainstorm I've ever seen. I've seen the dugout fill up here in about three minutes. The most unbelievable lightning storm I've ever seen. Right? You all know what I've seen. Tornadoes. But you asked me about the weather concern, just means we'll probably lose the off day. Right now we're more concerned about getting there. So when they tell us to play, we play. That's what we do. Hope it's not one of those 11 o'clock specials. We've got the 7:00, a better starting time. We don't have to spend the night at the ballpark.
Q: Yesterday I noticed middle innings you were using multiple signs and there was nobody on base with Norris pitching. I know obviously there's awareness of not wanting anybody to pick up signs, but in that case were you afraid that maybe that disrupted Norris's rhythm and how do you judge in circumstances when you would use multiple signs with nobody on base versus not?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Which one do I answer first?
Q: Did it affect Norris's --
BUCK SHOWALTER: We've been doing that for a while. I think a lot of people in baseball are. Bud's tempo is going to be what it is. We did it in Detroit. So I think what made the tempo was Kansas City was having some good at bats more than anything, fouling off a lot of pitches. And so, no, I don't I think a lot of time I think stuff like that is way overmagnified because nobody can keep a secret in baseball. Can you imagine if team X has got somebody with binoculars and cameras, nobody can keep a secret. Some guy gets traded and the next the last team I thought did it consistent was Milwaukee Brewers, Jim Gantner, Robin Yount, Cecil Cooper, Gorman Thomas, and Ted Simmons, they did, because they played together for ten years together, it seemed like. So there's some paranoia involved there. But there's a difference between being paranoid and overly alert. You eliminate things. But it's not just with Bud against Kansas City. I think the other part, too, when teams have so much time to prepare and scouts have been dissecting every little thing. I know the last week, ten days, I know we would do something I think that the scouts had a field day with that one. They're dying to bring something to the club that is a tidbit, so to speak. But when the game starts and you get going, it's about the game. Why do you use multiple signs with a guy on second? I think some of that, too, is with throwers. I know Perez spends a lot of time hiding signs with a guy on first. Everybody does
Q: You'll probably do that with nobody on base?
BUCK SHOWALTER: I leave that up to the pitchers or the catchers. That's what they feel comfortable doing, we'll do it. If they don't, we won't. I'm not going to do it with a knuckle ball pitcher. I'm not going to do it with Zach.
Q: Chicken and the egg question, having a day without a game today
BUCK SHOWALTER: What?
Q: Having a day without a day, I won't say an off day, but having a day without a game, is that a good thing for you guys mentally or would you have rather been able to kind of get back at it right away?
BUCK SHOWALTER: I don't think I think anytime guys play two games like we played, I don't think it affects you. This time of year things don't get too next starting pitcher, the next I don't think it's good or bad. I know that if we didn't have the media things we needed to do, I don't know if we would have worked out today. But we're here, it doesn't hurt, because we may get rained out tomorrow. They have great facilities here. This is important what we're doing here now, it helps our game and helps people like to, unbelievably, listen to it. Not me, but the players, hopefully. I don't see it one way or another. I haven't spent much time on wishing we had played or wishing we had you won't be a hundred percent until this thing is over. Last time they were a hundred percent was a day or two before Spring Training. I chuckle when somebody says they're a hundred percent. Nobody is a hundred percent. I don't have to play, I keep reminding myself all the time when I'm weary, I don't have to play.
Q: Lost a little bit in the postgame shuffle last night, Caleb Joseph snapped a 0 33 streak, had a couple of hits, threw out a nice throw out at second base. How important is that for him, and talk about his performance a little bit?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Caleb, one of the reasons why Bud's a little more susceptible to stolen bases, but I really wanted to get Caleb involved in the series, whether it goes four games, five games, six games, seven games. There's going to be a time, especially with pinch hitting, especially with the catchers late, I wanted him to get his feet wet. Who knows what it means down the road, next year, the rest of the playoffs. And Caleb had as good of at bats as we had last night. Just missed a couple of balls. And had some really, really good pitching. I was proud of him. The confidence you take from that I remember the first time I walked up the runway in playoffs, back in 1947, something like that I think it was 95, the confidence even a young manager in the field knowing that you were in that venue and that cooker, so to speak, and were able to, not necessarily do well, but just knew you weren't going to lock up your biscuits. So I think he gets that from down the road. Regardless of what next year brings, there's a confidence that you get from being in that arena and responding well to it.
Q: After the game yesterday you said something to the effect of this is 100 percent about their success. They're not doing anything wrong in the series, they're just executing I'm just wondering, how hard is that for a team that just lost two tough games at home to buy into that and just stay the course, essentially?
BUCK SHOWALTER: You know, you don't I think you've seen, obviously, you watched a lot of games how razor thin the margin of error is. You stay true to that and realize that it's such a momentum game. When the agent says it's not about the money, it's about the money. When somebody says it's not about the pitching, it's the pitching. They've done a good job. We've done some good things, too, to keep us engaged. So I don't think either starting pitcher none of the four starting pitchers, have been out there in the 7th, 8th or 9th inning, makes you realize what a grind it is. Every out is a grind. Same thing with us, pitch count gets up, and the margin of error is less. But there's not a lot of this means that, and that means this, that happened, so maybe this is going to happen. Guys don't get into that mentality too much. You never assume anything, that something bad is going to happen or something good is going to happen. Just go out there and let your curiosity be satisfied. We have good people and I trust them.
Q: Can you talk about what Chen brings to your team, both with the personality standpoint and from a pitching standpoint?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Personality? Well, he's very engaging. His English is a lot better than he may let on. But he's a great player to have around. Very athletic. Takes care of himself. Good interaction with his teammates. Our guys went out of the way to make his path easier, too. I think we lose sight I made a mistake. I had a kid from Venezuela, a kid from Puerto Rico, and come spring I learned a hard lesson that there's so much difference from everybody, whether it's guys from Taiwan or Japan or guys from somewhere else that we get so many players from Asia. There's a huge difference in each culture. And that's why I challenge all our guys all the time to go to the Caribbean World Series, go to Venezuela, go to Mexico, I don't know about Cuba, are they going to play this year? So it makes you understand some of the greatest things to develop managers, and from the flip side, understanding Wei Yin, some of the challenges he's facing. Can you imagine going over there not knowing the language, the food, the culture. He's done a much better job than we have. Taiwan, big difference. I had a good conversation with him very early on, tried to get a feel for where he was coming from. He's been solid.
Q: It had been so long since you guys faced the Royals, all the way back in May. What are your impressions for seeing them up close and personal, than they were after those games, have they changed at all or anything surprise you about them?
BUCK SHOWALTER: No, they've always been a team, you play them, you realize their potential. And just wondering when in the process they had great leadership with Ned and some of the players. And they have a lot in common. And you knew it was going to really get going. You just hoped it wasn't while you were there. And confidence and trust. Ability plays this time of year. You talk all the time about the stuff guys really play well in the postseason, the finesse guys. But there's so many ebbs and turns to the season, and I think they have really played to their potential. And we all in baseball knew what it was. And Ned and the players should be, of course the front office should be commended for sticking with it and trusting their guys, too. Ability plays.
Q: Is it hard to imagine postseason?
BUCK SHOWALTER: I don't think it's hard for me. Spring Training is hard. September baseball is real hard. That's real hard. That might be the hardest of all. But they're different games. It's one of those things you kind of step back and look at. I don't second guess, but you realize, even more so than some people watching, how many options you had. There's so many things about your club, that's the thing, you never tell truths that hurt innocent people. You protect people with some of your decisions that you don't talk about publically. And sometimes too much knowledge can paralyze you. So you try to stay there's a responsibility thing, too, and instinctual things with your players. But managing it's different, there's a lot of difference to it. There's a real strong sense of urgency every pitch, every inning. Not that you ever let your guard down. You never coast up here, there's too many pitfalls around every corner. You assume Andrew Miller gets somebody out, because he has. Next thing you know it's bang, bang, and now what do you do? You've got to always be grasping the what ifs.
Q: What do you think about opposing players making strong statements like Jarrod Dyson, saying this series isn't coming back to Baltimore?
BUCK SHOWALTER: I hadn't read anything.
Q: Say one of your players said that, would you be bothered by making such a strong statement?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Somebody would have to make me aware of it first. You're asking me.
Q: Jarrod said this series is not going back to Baltimore yesterday.
BUCK SHOWALTER: Why would he feel that way? If I played the way they played the last couple of games I might feel the same way.
Q: I've noticed with a man on first base, particularly when it's been Dyson or Cain, Pearce has been off the base a few steps as opposed to be right on the base holding the runner in the traditional fashion. Is that something he's done a lot of times over the year, and why does that give you a better advantage?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Trying to get a little more range on a ground ball getting out there. That's not being completely true. We've got a couple of things. Just it doesn't really there's not much advantage. You're just trying to what's the thing, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. It's pretty obvious that the percentages are high in their favor, seems like with all their guys, but five or six of them. It doesn't preclude them from stealing a base. There's some things you do a little differently when teams have a real strength. But it doesn't really take that away.
Q: I wanted to know if it gave you a better chance to make them out at first base.
BUCK SHOWALTER: I hope if you guys can get Cal or somebody to do it, I'm sure they'd do it. I'm trying to keep him from it. They do some things, too, that I know they're trying to counteract some things. But you're robbing Peter to pay Paul. It just depends on you're picking your poison there. And like most times it's like defense is adjusting to the triple option. That's the reason people don't run the wishbone anymore. It's fascinating to talk about why they don't run the option anymore. In pro ball you need four quarterbacks if you did it. I think usually offense is just a defense, and defenses adjust to offense. Pretty fascinating in the future to see how offense adjusted to the shifts. Saw it a little bit more this year. You see hitters trying to do different things. I know some of our tendencies on other players change during the course of the season with some things they'll adjust to everything in sports.
Q: When it comes to starting pitching one of the things you're looking at is how a pitcher does in a certain ballpark. And Wei Yin has done much better here, it's only been two starts, much better here against the Royals than he has at Camden Yards. What is the reason? How much did you look at that?
BUCK SHOWALTER: You look at all those things. It's more or less tie breakers, you don't become a prisoner to it. If you had four guys, none of them pitched well here, what would you do? Just forfeit? It's just the same thing Ned and everybody does. We came out of the All Star break, we made some adjustments with the roster, some send downs we thought was important for us coming out of the break to really put our best foot forward. In Anaheim there was some real strong tendencies there. And pitchers do there are certain variables I found through my career that pitchers do deviate from, but not too often.
Q: Is there something specific with Wei Yin here, fly ball pitcher --
BUCK SHOWALTER: He's not 364 left center, but the way they've been hitting the ball doesn't matter what ballpark it is. No, that's kind of where he fell. And the tie breaker, same way with Miggy. It's part of it. But it's not the do all. The only reason why you make those decisions.
Q: When you're setting a lineup, how much do you look at a guy's numbers versus someone maybe eyeballing, how much you think he looks today or tomorrow? Does that change in the postseason?
BUCK SHOWALTER: It does. Once again, it's kind of a tie breaker thing. I don't become a prisoner to it. Okay, Delmon needs to play, he needs to get a couple of days it's what the player needs first. That's the difference between the regular season or the postseason. We need to get you out there, it's been five or six days. When we start the season, I want to get everybody into a game so they can get that. It's tough because in the stats that you get they don't include the postseason. We try to get updates and things, it's tie breakers. I can say you can make yourself nuts, there's so much information. After a while you can get paralyzed with information. And you can make it slant any way you want to, after a game. It's not gotcha. Everybody has got that information. There's no secrets to it. And I think you try to have your gut verified by that stuff instead of having your gut developed by it. That's what I try. It's hard sometimes. Some guy's 10 14, and he's 0 32. Which one is it, and that's kind of where coaching and managing comes in, knowing some things that are going on in a guy's head. I see Zach in there looking at baby pictures. I didn't find out until after the fact that first day that he was slipping out there and didn't want to use it as an excuse. I didn't know that until he was telling somebody. That's the way Zach is. He doesn't want to look for an excuse.