Oct. 8 Jim Leyland workout day interview
Q. Would you talk about what you expect to get out of Sanchez tomorrow?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, he's been pitching very well for us. The first game I think he was getting his feet wet. Unfamiliar with me. Unfamiliar with the teammates. Unfamiliar with the League. But he's picked it up and he's been pitching very, very well.
Q. Do you expect to have the same batting order against Anderson as you had against Milone yesterday?
A.I do. That would be correct.
Q. A lot of things have been made about this thing that Alburquerque did after he fielded the ball. And you've always been sort of a play the game right guy. Do you think that what he did qualifies as not playing the game right and did you feel it necessary in any way to discuss what happened with him?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, everybody always says I'm from the old school, so I'd have probably hugged at first (laughter).
No, I don't think it was the right thing to do. I will sit here today and I will not try to defend it. I will say that I can assure everybody, including the Oakland A's that Alburquerque did nothing intentionally to offend the Oakland A's. He did it, but it was not an intent in any way to offend the Oakland A's. I can assure you of that.
There's certain people in this game that there are a lot of emotion is shown in different ways in the game anymore. You see it a lot. You see a lot of different variations of personal celebrations, as well as team celebrations. It wasn't a smart thing to do, but I can honestly tell you that there was no way that Alburquerque or any members of the Detroit Tigers would ever do anything intentionally to offend another team. It just would not happen.
I don't know if that's acceptable. I hope it is. But we don't try to offend anybody. We try to win baseball games. There's a lot of emotion on all teams during the season as well as this time of year. We make no excuses; it happened. It shouldn't have happened. It did happen. But like I said, in no way, no way, that that was meant to offend an opponent, no way. We have too much respect for the game. Too much respect for baseball and too much respect for Bob Melvin and the Oakland A's. If that's not acceptable, then people have to deal with it the way they want to deal with it.
Q. He said he was just so excited. He said it's getting his first big out. Were you excited when it happened, as well?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I believe that. Like I said, there's no question in my mind that I believe it. But the big thing for me is, you can normally tell if somebody is showboating to offend the other team intentionally, and that certainly was not the case. He's an excitable guy, too excitable sometimes for me, but like I said, we're not trying to hide from it. It happened. It shouldn't have happened. But there was no way that anybody on our team, including Alburquerque, was trying I mean, you know, you're in a tie game in the 9th inning, you're not thinking about stuff like that, believe me.
Q. To go back to a year you fondly remember, Jim, in reading about the Giants today we were reminded that you came out here with a 2 0 lead in '97 in the first round and put it away at Candlestick Park, the three game sweep. What do you remember about what you did then to make sure your team didn't get complacent and think we only have to win one out of three and what will you do now to make sure the team doesn't feel that?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't change. Everybody thinks you have to warn your team about being overconfident. I don't think that at all. Your team is very mature. Just like the Oakland A's. We know we have to win one game. They know they have to win three. You don't have to go around and give speeches to people. We knew we had three games with three to go in Kansas City. And we had to win one game and they had to lose one. There's no big time messages this time of the year. That's the way it is. The fact of the matter is, it's the best out of five. We have two. We've got to win one, they've got to win three, it's very simple.
Q. This question is about Danny Worth. Up and down in the minors, yet he made a huge play for you. Talk about his contributions and how tough it is to ride that shuttle back and forth?
A.I think what you saw yesterday is what we talk about all the time, what Bob Melvin talks about with his team: 25 players doing something to help out. Yesterday it happened to be Danny Worth and Donnie Kelly. I thought it was a great story yesterday because most of the focus is normally not on them. It's not easy doing what he did this year. He's a great defender, and he made a great defensive play in the game yesterday, it kind of went unnoticed. We had a kid out of Double A made a throw from right field, Avisail Garcia. I doubt very much whether anybody that thought the Detroit Tigers would be in the playoffs this year figured Garcia would be making a great throw and Danny Worth would make a great play and Donnie Kelly would be hitting a sacrifice fly to win us a game.
That's the beauty of the game. That's the beauty of it. Everybody pitching in and everybody helping out. And I'm thrilled for Danny Worth and Donnie Kelly. I'm sure they had a wonderful, wonderful day yesterday. And that's good.
Q. Along the lines well, of Tom's question how important everybody knows Cabrera and Prince, but when you get contributions from some of these other guys, how much more easier will your path be? Not that it's ever easy.
JIM LEYLAND: I don't know that, because you don't know how each game is going to play out. The game tomorrow could be the game of the big boys; it could be Cespedes, it could be Reddick, it could be Cabrera, it could be Fielder, it could be Pennington, it could be Danny Worth again. That's the beauty of the game. I don't have any idea. I can't look in a crystal ball and tell you how this is all going to play out. I don't have the answer to that.
But the beauty of it is you have 25 guys on your roster and you feel comfortable using all of them, and if a situation dictates it, and that's what you do. The more help you get obviously from more people the better chance you have to win a game. But that works for both teams.
Q. In a sense with the new playoff format, you had something different this year in that even though some teams had clinched the playoffs, they were trying to avoid that one game wild card situation. So New York and Baltimore are deciding that into the last day and Oakland and Texas obviously, the last day. But you guys Monday. Do you think that teams are more exhausted, less set up? Do you think that they haven't arranged themselves?
A.You know what, I think you could throw us all in the same barrel, and nobody could say anything different about any of the teams. The Oakland A's were playing playoff baseball down the stretch. The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles were playing playoff baseball down the stretch and the Detroit Tigers were playing playoff baseball down the stretch. We were three games out with 15 to go or something. So all those games were playoff games for all the teams involved in the American League.
And I think it's a wonderful thing when you think about it, and I mentioned this in Detroit, I'll mention it here, American League East, American League Central and American League West was won by a total of five games this year by the three teams combined. It doesn't get any better than that. And the playoff system, nothing is ever going to be perfect. Some people were really some of the A's players really it appeared that they really didn't like the format, after winning 94 games. I certainly don't have anything to do with that.
But I like the fact that I kind of like it, and it wouldn't matter whether we started at home or on the road, but I kind of like it because we don't have that extra trip. I guess they are going back to that next year. Last year we opened up in New York, went back to Detroit, the series is even, then you've got to fly back to New York. So I kind of like missing that trip, to be honest with you. But I can understand people saying well, we won 94 games and we didn't get to open up at home. I understand that, but nothing's ever perfect.
But I don't think anybody's had an advantage down the stretch because we've all been playing playoff baseball games now for two or three weeks. The A's, the Yankees, the Orioles and the Tigers, all of us have been playing meaningful games, all the way down the stretch, everybody. So there's no advantage for anyone in that situation, in my opinion.
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