AARON MILES: Well, for the guys that
don't have multi-year contracts, the World Series
check, it's like another year you played, I guess, a
whole another Big League salary for us. But that's
When Yadi hit that home run, of course the
first thing that pops into your head is we're going to
the World Series. But the next thing is it's really
good money for us guys that aren't making those
multi-million dollar contracts.
And as far as playing in the World Series is
something that -- I mean, go back to when we're
six, seven years old in our backyard throwing it
around. You pretend like you're in the World
Series, hitting the ninth inning, with the chance to
win the game. So pretty much everybody's
dreams are coming true right here.
John, did you feel like this team
relaxed and kind of got a burden off of its
shoulders when it did clinch the division, and
everything went back to 0-0 and you could start
playing playoff games again?
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: I think we were like
that even when we were going through that
stretch. We just had a couple of guys down who
were a little beat up. We always felt confident
within ourselves and we knew what kind of team
we were, especially coming out of Spring Training.
The first couple of months when we were hot, and
it seemed like everybody thought we were winning.
And the last stretch for a month or month and a
half, we had a lot of people questioning us. We
knew from the get-go that we were a good team
and we should be in this situation now. So we're
ready for the battle and ready to win this war.
This question is for both of you
guys: You haven't gone through the NLCS, are
veterans of the rainout here and had to pass
the time. I am wondering, has anything
developed to help you guys pass the time in
the clubhouse or how you guys have done that
here, if there's a hearts tournament going or a
World Series of Poker?
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: Something like that.
Most of the time we're just looking at video.
Seriously, we are. We're looking at video. As for
myself, Miles, Spiezio, guys that are on the bench
who have the opportunity to come up in a key
situation in the game, we live in the cages. We
have guys in there that are throwing to us. We
have hitting machines that we can just do different
But besides that card playing, yeah, we
have a little tournament going on. But there's no
betting involved (laughter.)
AARON MILES: I took BP probably three
times yesterday. So luckily we've got guys that will
throw to us anytime. You might have a start at
8:00, we might have a start at 9:00. So just
shuffling back and forth to the BP cage, going and
watching the film. We watched it so much
yesterday, I don't think we need to watch any
today. If we're waiting around today, it will be
boring for us.
A lot of people thought you should
play or would have played yesterday when it
was misting out. Did you want to get out and
start the game based on the weather conditions
at 7, 8:00?
AARON MILES: We wanted to play. No
doubt about it. The whole thing is, we don't want
to lose one of our pitchers, they don't want to lose
one of their pitchers. Everything is based on that, I
think, that's the bottom line. I know that you've got
to take into consideration the TV and what have
you, but the bottom line is the pitcher and giving
each team the fair chance that they deserve.
John, Aaron was referring to the
dreams you had when you were six or seven
years old, can you take us through what your
baseball was like when you were a kid and
what your specific thoughts of the World Series
was like when you were a kid.
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: I grew up in the
projects in New York City, so everything was a
dream. There was really no realities besides if you
had a family member in your life that took you
away from the bad stuff that was going around,
you were privileged and you were blessed. So I
was blessed to have my uncle in my life and my
mom who kept me away from the drugs or the drug
selling and things like that that was going on
around my neighborhood.
Baseball and football, actually, kept me
away from a lot of the negative. My uncle always
took me away to his house and practiced with me,
did things like that. It was just an amazing feeling
how you go from there to where I'm at now and just
sit back and just think about it. And it's definitely a
dream come true.
When you guys are on the bench
and throughout the game in these weather
conditions, are you doing anything different to
keep yourself warm and make it easier to get
loose? I imagine it's different when you're
going through these weather conditions?
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: During the regular
season when it's a little bit warmer, we start getting
ready around the fifth, sixth or even seventh
inning. With temperatures like this, we keep
moving around, even from the first inning. We just
are doing things that are either walking back to the
video room, walking back to the clubhouse, taking
some swings, stretching in the cages and just
doing things like that.
AARON MILES: I tell you, I wouldn't want
to be at Wrigley Field or Fenway Park, because
there's no place to hit off the tee. There's no
batting tunnels. Luckily here we can come in our
hitting tunnel and warm up and stretch and throw
in the hitting tunnel, take swings, when you're
getting ready to get in there. So you're not
necessarily cold. When you see the guy has been
sitting on the bench and he's cold and frosty.
It's true if you're at Wrigley or Boston or
some of the old parks that don't have some of the
new amenities that some of the new fields have,
but that's one of the lucky things we have with the
new ballparks now. Coming off the bench cold, it's
not like it used to be.
John, just as a follow-up to what
you were saying before, can you take us
through the story of how you were discovered
in New York and how you signed and came up.
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: Right after high
school, it was a summer league that I played in in
the Bronx. And I played there for a little bit and I
had a try-out where my uncle knew a cop who
knew the scout that was holding a try-out in
Yankee Stadium. And I did the try-out, did well.
But he also had invited about 5,200 kids. So I just
felt like I had to go in there and prove my point.
I just left. I went back to playing summer
league in the Bronx and the same scout that ran it
came to one of my games and was like, who is this
kid? Everybody keeps talking about him. Lo and
behold it was me, I went to that try-out and from
there I spent eight years in the Minor Leagues,
signed as a free agent last year with Cleveland,
got traded over here, played one month in
Memphis, got called up and have been here ever
since. It's sort of like a male Cinderella story if you
For both of you guys, when you look at this
team, three weeks ago a lot of people were not
saying that it was going to be the Cardinals and
Detroit here. Were the Cardinals a team that was
maybe built for a short series, and is it fair to say
that? Is it fair to say that for Detroit and why?
AARON MILES: I don't know about you
guys, but I think these are two of the best teams in
baseball. You look at the Tigers, their pitching
staff, they're built for any series with a pitching staff
And the same with us. You go Carp,
Supp, Weaver, these guys have been great down
the stretch of the season. And there's not too
many teams that can throw out those top notch
three pitchers like that.
Everybody was wondering about Weaver
when he came over here, but he's been a top
notch Major League pitcher, No. 1, No. 2 guy for
us. He's struggled on a little bit early, but when we
went down the stretch he picked it up big time.
The postseason is all about pitching. We're here
because of pitching. We've got the big guys that
can swing the bat, but the bottom line is we're here
because we pitch and play good defense.
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: Like Aaron said, it is
all about pitching. You're not seeing games that
are outrageous scores, like 12 to 10 or even 9 to 8.
Everything has been like 2-1, or 3-0 or 5-2 or 5-3.
There might have been that one game we scored
12, but that's about it. It really is pitching.
John, how many balls did you hit
out for home runs in Yankee Stadium that day?
And I also wanted to get the names of the
uncle, the cop and the scout?
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: Three in the upper
deck at 18 years old was definitely a dream come
true for me, in right field.
My uncle's name is Robert Allende,
A-l-l-e-n-d-e; Ralph Morales.
JOHN RODRIGUEZ: Yes. And Cesar
Presbott was the scout.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.