Oct. 4 Joe Maddon pregame interview
Q. John Farrell said that you guys were maybe the model for drafting and developing starting pitchers, and David came in here and talked about sticking to a process organizationally. Can you talk about in a little bit more detail what that process is and why it works?
JOE MADDON: I think a lot of it has to do with patience. Most of the guys by the time they get here have plenty of Minor League innings involved. It's nothing really complicated. It's not any big secret. I just think we're patient with our guys. I think a lot of it has to do with the original scouting concept, who you sign to begin with, whether it's a good delivery. Character and makeup kind of things are very important to us, also.
So again, I don't see it as being this big secret. I really don't. But I think a bigger component would be just being patient and letting them develop.
A lot of them come, they all have their fastballs or whatever, I think we've been able to do a good job with change up and curveballs. I'm a big believer in the change up and curveball. I think the slider and cutter are nice pitches when you can't throw a change up or curveball. I think a lot of our guys are able to throw pitches that are more difficult for hitters to work with.
And then beyond that is fastball command. Everything is about fastball command to me. When your pitchers have that, then everything kind of works off of that. And those are the kind of things we nurture in the Minor Leagues.
Again, there are no big secrets. It's kind of nice, it's always complimentary when people say that about you, your group. I know R.J. and the boys do a great job of finding these guys, and I know what we do in the Minor Leagues regarding development. But a lot of it has to do with patience, and I think it has to do with the internal makeup of the player.
Q. With the success low payroll teams have been having this year, is the impression that you have to spend a lot of money to be successful just basically out the window now?
JOE MADDON: Well, I think that concept was tried and sure at one particular moment when there were more PEDs in the game. I really believe that. I believe with the better drug testing policy that money is not as important. It still is. To me the money is important for the middle range guy, not necessarily like the guy that's going to get the 200 or 300 million bucks. Those are a couple of guys on an annual basis. I'm not worried about those guys. It's the guys that get lost in between, maybe the guy that makes 12 million over three years or 15 over three. That's where you can lose some really good players or we can lose some really good players, by not being able to afford that guy. And that guy is still going to be available or performing even without the PED.
So that's the group to me that the small market team or the guys with the less money, that's the guy that you have to be concerned with because that's the guy that can beat you. Again, I believe this, and again, I've been preaching this since 2006 since I first began here, I was never concerned about money being spent. I was concerned about us being able to play the better team on a nightly basis. How do you do that? Philosophically thinking, how you get your guys to play, the methods employed. But if this other group is still able to spend money for the guy that hits 60 home runs, there's not a lot you can do about that. That's why I thought the drug testing policy was important for the Rays and the A's and all these other groups to be successful. And it's kind of bearing its way out right now.
Q. Physically and mentally, you guys have had a lot of do or die games, and they've been on the road. And some experts are like, the travel is eventually going to catch up with them. But we know that you rest guys, even young guys, during the season to be ready now in crunch time. How are the players feeling?
JOE MADDON: I think they're pretty good, honestly. It's just been an extraordinarily different with the Toronto, Texas, Cleveland trilogy we just went through. But there's also energy to be derived from that, too. As you're physically tired, I mean, mentally if you could find some energy, that's a good thing to counteract that. When you win games like that the group benefit is incredible. As a group you feel like you could do anything. You could beat anybody.
So you have to balance all that out. Yeah, it would be nice not to be on the road this long, but it is kind of cool we did. And I think that we should gain some strength from that. We'll how it plays out today. I think everybody got a good night's rest last night, had a good meal in. The clubhouse they seem to be in good order right now. I understand why people would say these things, but there's energy to be derived from these moments, too.
Q. Does David Price normally take his bike to work or ride his bike to the office? Are you surprised at all that he did it?
JOE MADDON: It doesn't surprise me anything that he does. As an example, did you see him throw his bullpen with his Vanderbilt football uniform on? Outstanding.
Riding the bike has never been my thing. It doesn't surprise me anything that David does. I love his ways. He's a young man that's he's Peter Pan. He's going to be that way forever, and I love that about him. I wish more of our guys could be that way. So anything David does, understand, should not surprise you. If you're around him more, it would not surprise you.
Q. What you were saying before about the relationship with the PEDs and the testing and big payroll, so does that mean that prior to the strict testing that the big payroll teams are heavily laden with PED guys?
JOE MADDON: All I'm saying is they could afford big numbers, so you can draw your own conclusions from that.
Q. I was just curious from your perspective, what you've seen from Jon Lester and Lackey and kind of the resurgence of them from this year to last?
JOE MADDON: Well, I know Lack for a long time. John Lackey, we were teammates back with the Angels. And he helped pay for my daughter's wedding in 2002. So I was always grateful to John. Great teammate, great competitor. He and I used to go out for beers after the games. The biggest difference I see is obviously was hurt. I knew something was wrong when he wasn't pitching well. He was definitely better than that.
Now you're seeing him at full force, where he's well, because he's got all the weapons, plus the makeup to be as good as you're seeing right now. So it does not surprise me in the least that he's well, pitching this good.
Lester on the other hand, the biggest thing I'm seeing differently with him is his command of the fastball. When he was not going as well, the fastball just wasn't where he wanted it to be, thus the other pitches weren't as effective. So I think what you're seeing now, I don't know what they've done, if something John or the pitching coach Juan has said to him, it's different. The whole pitching world revolves around fastball command normally. And I'm seeing that with Lester right now.
Q. You typically post motivational and/or philosophical quotes in the clubhouse before games.
JOE MADDON: Right.
Q. What is today's and why?
JOE MADDON: I didn't do it. I used to do that all the time. That's up to Stan. And what we've done now this year, we've indoctrinated or adopted the #FriendORays T shirt. You are eligible to win one, if you Tweet the winning phrase for the day. On a daily basis our fans write into my account and we choose one on a daily basis, the motivational quote for the day, and then they get a #FriendORays T shirt.
So I haven't looked at it. I apologize, I've been kind of busy. But that's what we've been working with. We've been working through Twitter to get the fans more involved with it. Its a very cool T shirt that we've designed, #FriendORays, and actually my motivation was Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David, he's always Friend O this, Friend O that. We adopted the Friend O T shirt. Check with Stachie O (Stan Borowski), he'll let you notice what that is.
Q. Over the last month while Price and Cobb have been very good, some of your other starters have struggled to get by the 4th or 5th. How concerned are you about that in a short series, and is there a reason for it?
JOE MADDON: You know, primarily like you said I think David and Cobb have nailed it down. Matt Moore has also been pretty good. Hellie has been struggling a bit and I think Archie had been. I think Archie, primarily because the guy has never been to this part of the year before, and having to pitch this kind of meaningful game. He's a wonderful young man with a great makeup and tremendous arm. I think it might be more of a taxing situation, number of innings, the mental adjustments of having to pitch this time of the year. I think may have gotten him a little bit, but I still think he has some meaningful innings, whether it's a starter or reliever as the rest of the postseason.
Hellickson, on the other hand, we normally give him a break during the season. We weren't able to do that this year. He went wall to wall and then I thought ran out of gas. We set this moment to catch his breath and arm also. The last game wasn't as good, but we brought him back after giving him some rest, he pitched well, based on the fact his velocity came back. When the velocity is there, the discrepancy between that and his change up is much greater and that's a good thing.
So moving forward, I think in this series with the rest that he's had, I think you're going to see a different Hellie, but it's unchartered waters for Archie, and I think Hellie just might have ran out of gas a little bit.
Q. The familiarity you guys have with the Red Sox and they have with you, do you find it easier or more difficult to prepare for this series, knowing that the two teams know each other so well?
JOE MADDON: Take this the right way, easier in a sense, only because you know them. I hate playing teams that you don't know, where you don't really know the guy. You read that, look at video, that's all good stuff. But I like to combine that with what I actually see in order to make up my mind about things. Obviously they have their tons of data and so do we. But now you have the advantage of knowing them personally what they're about and what they look like, and I think that helps also.
So there's no advantage here. They do the same things that we do. And they're excellent at it as we are. The preparation is somewhat easier, I guess that's the right way to put it, but the actual game is very difficult because they're good. And you've got to be on your toes with everything with these guys. John does a great job on the other side on the dugout. And there is a lot of versatility with their bench, the matchups coming later in the game. And their bullpen is outstanding. You know that, but the prep is easier in that regard, but the game itself is more difficult.
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