JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, I did change the
lineup a little bit, Granderson is still going to lead
off. Monroe is going to hit second, Guillen moved
up to third, Ordonez fourth, Casey fifth, Pudge
sixth, Polanco seventh and Inge eighth.
Can juggling a lineup get things
started or is that superficial?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, to be honest with
you right now, you want to be careful how you say
this, because you don't want to criticize anybody,
and I'm not criticizing anybody, but right now in the
lineup we have three guys that are 0-for-34 in
combination. They're hitting in every third spot;
there's only nine spots. So basically the key is to
get them going.
And I think every once in a while you post
the lineup and it looks different and everybody kind
of looks back and takes it in and once in a while
you hope just something like that maybe shakes
things up. But to the credit of the Cardinal
pitching, I think it's what's caused us a tough time
so far. I don't know, I think they're hitting . 190
something and we're hitting .180 or something in
the series. Pitching has pretty much dominated
the series. And we made a couple of errors in
situations and we're down two games to one.
But it's two games to one. I mean, if we're
fortunate enough to win tonight and all of a sudden
it's 2 and 2 and you're feeling pretty good. The
series goes on and on.
Just looking ahead to another
possible game against Anthony Reyes,
guessing you guys didn't know that much
about him before, how much does it help to
have faced him and what would you change in
JIM LEYLAND: I really don't know what
they're going to do with their rotation, obviously. I
don't worry about that. We take that as it comes.
Obviously if we see Anthony Reyes again, we
would have a little bit better idea how to approach
him. He pitched so well, and I've always felt like
when you've never seen a pitcher before, the
pitcher always has the advantage, obviously.
So we'll just cross that bridge when we
come to it.
Jim, you alluded to the three guys
that have taken the 0-for so far. Was there any
serious consideration or any considering at all
to maybe even letting them sit for a day and
letting them think about things?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, that's a very good
question. I think that to me I think when you've got
a player with the history and career of Pudge
Rodriguez, that if he's healthy and I'm not totally
sure he's going to be a hundred percent tonight, so
that's the one that may not be etched in stone, but
I think you play him. Like I said in a couple of the
other series, it's not like you're pull into your back
pocket and you pull out Sandy Koufax and Don
Drysdale out. This is the team that's taken us to
the World Series and these are the players that are
either going to win the World Series or are not
going to win it, but there's no magic formula now.
But the only question that would involve
Pudge and Vance would be if Pudge's nagging
injuries are enough that wouldn't allow him to
perform at pretty much full strength, then you may
consider that. And I am considering that. I'm
going to go back and talk to him, but I'm not really
sure at this time.
Can you talk about Mike Maroth,
what we meant to this team before he got hurt,
and considering where he came from with the
Tigers, what you think of him being along for
the ride and how that is for him to deal with.
JIM LEYLAND: Well, that's one of those
sad situations, because Mike was pitching very
well for us and he made the decision to get some
bone chips taken out, and so obviously you accept
what it is from there on in. He's a part of our plans,
obviously. But at this time he's not active because
he just didn't get enough pitching in to be activated
for the series, obviously. But we like him very
much and he was pitching very well for us.
I was wondering if you could
address whether the weather will have any
bearing on your starting pitching and whether
you might be more willing to stretch out a
reliever with the forecast the way it is?
JIM LEYLAND: I think we might as well
all be prepared for some tough, ugly conditions
tonight. So far I've been told that we are definitely
going to play and we are probably going to play
through some real tough conditions because, from
what I understand the forecast for the next two
days is probably worse.
So as I speak to you right now, I'm fully
expecting to play tonight. The only thing that you
ever worry about to me is that there's not confusion
before the start of the game so that your starter
doesn't warm up and have to sit down for a half
hour while it rains. That's the thing that both
managers worry about. If you have long delays,
you just use your judgment.
I think we have the best bullpen in baseball
this year. They have a very good bullpen. So I'm
sure Tony and I will make the same adjustments,
whatever we feel we need to do, we'll do it.
You mentioned earlier the lack of
offense on both sides. Are you looking for
ways to try to get things moving, run more, do
more things that you might not do otherwise?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, once again I think
Tony and I are pretty similar. We both like to push
a little bit. Obviously you push a little less in the
American League. He's a master at it, but to be
honest with you, neither side has really had a lot of
opportunities. We've had absolutely no
opportunities to do that. And I think you also have
to be careful with that. You can't say I finally got
someone on, I'm going to do something right away.
You have to be careful with that, too.
Under normal conditions, if we were
getting some people on and maybe moving some
runners or bunt or hit and run or stealing bases,
the same things they do, but when you get two
hits, three hits, you don't have many chances to do
anything. If Sean Casey gets a hit, you know,
(laughter), his steal sign is if I jump in the air and
never come down, he goes.
I know any catcher is going to be
kind up at this time during the year, but you
mentioned nagging injuries with Pudge. Could
you describe which are the ones that concern
you the most, what's ailing him?
JIM LEYLAND: I'm not going to talk about
the one injury (laughter). I think you all saw that,
I'm not going to talk about that one.
He has a little problem with his hip and his
back's been bothering him. It's just little nagging
things that happen to a lot of players this time of
year. I think if you're 7-for-12 they're easier to live
through. If you're 0-for-12, they hurt a little more. I
don't mean that sarcastically, that's just the way it
is. He's fighting and trying to do too much. He's
down on himself. And we're going to try to perk
him up tonight to get him to relax and hopefully
have a good performance. By no means was I
being sarcastic about it. That's the way it is. It's
easier to come to the clubhouse when you're
hitting .320 than it is when you're hitting .220, and
that's the way it is for all players.
With Justin Verlander's diminished
velocity the last start, has he shown
improvement in his bullpen?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't go to the bullpen, I
let Chuck handle that. But I think Justin will be
fine. I would expect he'll be fine for tomorrow, and
it's like I said, he's one of our four starters, and I
think basically other than Justin's performance,
we've pitched pretty well. We've made a couple of
mistakes. We had the errant throw last night, but
overall I don't think we've pitched too bad. The
way we've hit, we're probably fortunate we won a
game so far.
What's your take on the World
Series being played maybe at a warm weather
JIM LEYLAND: I would never go for that.
I love this. I don't care how miserable it is. I think
it would be a crying shame to take something like
this away from the fans of St. Louis or the fans of
Detroit. I would never go for that at all.
I think what you're looking at now is from
years past, obviously the schedule, there's more
games during the regular season than there was
years ago, and now you're talking about two tiers
of playoffs before the World Series, and you expect
there's a good possibility that you could run into
this kind of weather. I was cold last night but I bet I
was a lot colder than Tony. I bet he was pretty
warm, I was pretty cold. If we win tonight I'll be
pretty warm, and I bet he'll be cold as hell.
When you don't have history to look
on when Joel Zumaya has the eighth inning he
does, he talked about he was not good last
night. The idea that you don't have a resume to
fall back on. You as a manager, do you have a
sense back of what a guy's bounce-back ability
might be, when you're with him during the
course of the season, give him the ball, find out
what he's going to do, what he's thinking
before he does something?
JIM LEYLAND: He'll be fine tonight.
There will be no problem with him tonight. That's
why I obviously got him out, that's why I got
Rodney out, I was hoping they could have quick
innings. Joel probably made a young mistake, but
I don't have any problem with that. I really believe
we could have hit for two more hours last night, if
Carpenter was pitching we weren't going to score.
I don't have any problem with that. He can bounce
back, he'll be fine.
I think one of his problems last night, you
know, everybody talks about the errant throw, but
the biggest key to that I think is the fact that we
walked two guys prior to Albert coming up. We got
the double play ball from Albert, but really the killer
in that I think was the two walks. And I won't
attribute any of our failure to hit so far to the layoff,
but I will defend Joel Zumaya. He's been out a
little while because of the injury he had and he was
rusty. But he's one of the best we've got, and he'll
be in there.
Going back to Polanco, No. 1, do
you see anything different in these World
Series games? Is he different than what he
was in the ALCS or is it just going pitching?
No. 2, when you say that you want to get him
going and you move him down in the order,
psychologically what does that do for him?
How does that help?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think No. 1, we're
talking about a guy who was the MVP of the
American League Championship Series just a few
days ago. I think that this is his former team. He's
got a little impatient, he swung at some bad
pitches. They probably have a little better feel how
to pitch him than maybe some of the other teams
did, being that he was one of their players. And I
don't worry about anybody on my team as far as
where they're hitting or complaining about or
psychologically what they will do to them. I can
honestly say that -- they may something to you
guys, but to me they've been a team all year and
they've done whatever I've asked them to do. This
is not a punishment, I'm hoping this is something
that gets him going. I'm not trying to hide him in
the lineup. This guy is probably, Guillen and him
are probably our most pure hitters, and Ordonez.
So it's a matter of you try to change things
up and maybe a little bit of a different look and it
might work. But there's no rocket scientist stuff
here, it's all just kind of a feel for it. So we're
hoping that maybe this will get us going a little bit.
A lot was made last night or enough
was made in the Cardinals clubhouse about
good at-bats and having good at-bats, and you
mentioned the walks before, for your team. Is
that an offshoot of a long layoff or are you
happy with the at-bats that your team has given
you in the three games so far?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I'm not happy with
our results, obviously. But I mean, there's one guy
sitting here for sure you're not going to hear any
excuses from, and hopefully there won't be
anybody in a Tiger uniform making excuses.
Do I think the layoff is part of it? I guess it
could be. But I think mostly the Cardinals have
pitched real good, and I think that we just haven't
had the kind of at-bats we need to have. But I
think the layoff for Zumaya had some effect. But
there's no excuses and the series is only two
games to one. People have a tendency to go with
the flow each day, well, it's over -- somebody was
going to be 2-1 after last night. Obviously I wish it
would have been us. It wasn't.
So the point of no return is when you lose
four, when somebody else wins four. That's when
it's over. But when it's 2-1, it's hardly a time to
panic. We're certainly not going to panic. We're
going to play as hard as we can. We're going to
hopefully try to even it up tonight and you guys will
all be writing, well, maybe the Tigers have an edge
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