Oct. 21: Ned Yost Pregame Interview
Q. Last year obviously you were in the same situation, on the verge of advancing to the World Series. How does the experience of last year help you as a manager, and the rest of the team what's the difference?
NED YOST: I think we've been through it before, the experience of it. You know, last year there was a lot of excitement. We hadn't been through it. This year we do have that experience. We've been through it. We understand what it's like. I think we're more comfortable in this environment now. So just makes it a little bit easier.
You're playing a tough team, against the Toronto Blue Jays, they've won three straight before. You know you've still got a lot of work ahead of you. We're sitting in a pretty good spot so far.
Q. When it's elimination game for them, and you could potentially have five days off after this, do you manage any more aggressively with your bullpen than if it was a standard Game 1 or Game 2?
NED YOST: You manage aggressively every day. I don't think it's any different. Our mindset has been all year long is we're going to do whatever it takes to win today and worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
But we're in great shape. Our bullpen is in great shape. I think Madson threw the most pitches yesterday, that was 15. Hoch threw 12, Herrera threw 11. We didn't even use Wade or Duffy. We'll go Adam full bore.
Q. This is a little more big picture, but when you look at all the young guys on your roster that have come up together, how important do you think it was that they had that shared experience coming up the minors and sort of suffering through some hard times? You were in Atlanta, you've seen it here. How much has that contributed to their growth and ability to thrive on this stage?
NED YOST: A lot. More than anything, what strikes me more is their determination. They came up, the majority of them came up as a core, and they won championships in Double-A together, they won championships in Triple-A together. Their goal from the minute they got here was to win a championship together here at the Major League level. They won an American League Championship last year and that was really, really nice. Their focus since day 1 of Spring Training was to win a world championship.
Having them all together experiencing all of that over the last five or six years, just gives them a certain comfort level when you get into this type of position. They know each other. They know that they all have the same goals and the same dreams and the same values. It just makes for a closer team.
Q. It wound up not mattering yesterday in the grand scheme of things, but the Rios stolen base review play, are you okay with those plays where no umpire is really ever going to make that call, but it gets reversed on review because he's off the bag for a split second. We've seen that plenty of time.
NED YOST: I'm okay with it, as long as we're on defense (laughter). When were on offense you're not.
But that's the way the game is. The technology is so good right now you see things evolve in the game that they haven't been doing, like before last year infielders wouldn't hold the tag on the runner, they'd just tag and get off. And now because of instant replay, you see everybody holding the tag on the runner. And I think you'll see slides evolve a little bit, too, where they'll try to eliminate that little pop-up slide.
But it's kind of hard to draw the line in something like that because if you're on the base and you're tagged you're safe. If you're off the base you're out. And I think instant replay does a good job showing all of that.
Q. It's a little related to the previous question, do you have any sense, either in yourself or your team, as well as you've had it going for a couple of years now, are you still driven in some way by the hard times?
NED YOST: No. The only thing that drives me is I want to win a world championship. The hard times were part of the process. And you kind of go back and celebrate that a little bit, knowing that you knew that that was a road that you'd have to take and endure to get here. But it was all part of the process.
Q. Same with the players, too?
NED YOST: Yeah, yeah. I don't think there's a guy in there that's not driven by wanting to win the World Series.
Q. I know Sal would play unless he was decapitated. Does he feel okay?
NED YOST: He's fine. He was fine yesterday. The reason I took him out was, one, because we had a big lead. And two, when he gets fouls off the mask it comes with Herrera pitching, because he throws so hard. He gets a lot of fouls straight back.
I just didn't want to take a chance of him getting hit again yesterday is exactly why we did it. We didn't do it because he was feeling bad or any other reason outside of that.
Q. Seems like you've been able to win two ways in the Postseason. At first you ground out a couple when you weren't maybe your best, now you've won five out of six and you're clicking. Would you agree that you found a groove here?
NED YOST: Yeah, I think we've really, here, especially lately in this series -- really, since Game 4 of the Division Series, our bats kind of came alive. We weren't really doing anything. I just remember sitting there thinking, you know, Game 4 and we were down, you know, those runs. And I'm thinking, Man, somebody has to get hot. Somebody has to get going. Nobody's doing anything offensively. And sure enough in the eighth inning the bats came alive.
And from that point we've been swinging the bats really, really well.