There was a lot of laughing when I walked out. There was a lot of noise and a lot of laughing. So I would say they're pretty loose and ready to go.
Like I said yesterday, those guys in the clubhouse have gone through hell for the last month. And they climbed that mountain and this is kind of, I think, a big relaxing series so to speak, even though obviously we know what's on the line.
But what they've gone through in the last month and especially the last week, there's a big monkey lifted off their back.
I know C.C. doesn't start until tomorrow, but the phenomenon with him pitching so well on three days' rest is a fascinating thing. How do you monitor him as the game progresses? Are you more vigilant asking him how he feels? What is the thought process? And can he keep doing it, do you think?
Well, yeah, I think he can keep doing it, obviously or we wouldn't have him out there on three days' rest again. He's probably had his last two starts on three days' rest has been as good as he threw all year for us. And that's saying a lot because he threw real well on four days' rest.
So the guy is just a special human being that, knock on wood, he never has any other soreness than normal. And obviously he's bounced back. But as far as monitoring him, I mean like the other day, I asked whatever and I basically said today he's probably going to be our seventh inning guy, our setup guy and our closer.
So when you've got a guy like that that just continues to throw 95, 96, 97 miles an hour as the late innings get there, he's a special guy. And obviously helps a little bit that he can swing the bat, too, to leave him in there.
What can you take from your Boston experience and apply it to this situation?
Obviously what we endured in Boston in '04 after being down three games to none against the Yankees is always something. You always have in the back of your mind if anything goes wrong, like what was happening with us the last week of that season, to know there's always tomorrow. And there's the next day. And just win that game today, we'll worry about tomorrow the next day. That's what we did in Boston and obviously things turned out storybook fashion that season.
But that's something you always will have in the back of your mind. And you can always share that with the players you're managing or coaching to let them know that all's you have to do is win one game. You don't look forward and take care of business today and we'll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
Not to compare Boston fans in 2004 with Milwaukee fans now, but what do you hear from Milwaukee fans not having been in a playoff in 26 years? What does this mean to them?
It means everything. And obviously we saw that the other day on Sunday when the fans stuck around and the place was just electric. It was something they've been dying for obviously for 26 years.
And obviously we had to do it in dramatic fashion, but I think that made it whenever you do it like that it's obviously a lot better than winning by six games, even though you'd like to. But if you had a crystal ball, you'd always say no, I like to win it on the last day of the season in a walk off home run or something like that.
The fans were awesome. We drew 3 million people, by far the most we've ever had. It's a tribute to them and it's a great city, a great baseball city, and that's why I wanted to always get back there. I was always a Milwaukee Brewer. I just wanted to get back when the organization was back on track.
How did the conversations go with C.C.? Did he just say, hey, any time you need me on three days' rest just tap me on the shoulder, or do you approach him each time to ask him? How did you get on track with him?
Well, the first time was actually the day I got the job, on Tuesday, I believe. In Chicago we kind of sat down as a staff and said how and what's the best way we can get to the playoffs? We decided with Sheets going down and not being 100 percent, we'll ask C.C. if he's okay going on three days' rest.
We called him in the office and asked him. He said it's funny you asked because I was about ready to come in your office and tell you that I'm ready to go on three days' rest. So that obviously made the decision pretty easy.
But, yeah, it is up to him. There's no question about it. It's his career. It's his team. And obviously things get blown out of proportion a little bit because it's his free agent year and obviously he's got a chance of probably making as much money as anybody ever has in the history of baseball as a pitcher, anyway.
But it's totally up to him. We can throw it out there. But he's been unbelievable. He goes, just give me the ball any time; I'll take it. And obviously he has and has done an unbelievable job.
How much has your life changed in the last three or so weeks? I mean, you've only been a Major League manager for 12 games now and now managing in the post season, gotta be heavy stuff for you?
Obviously it was a life changing experience, no doubt about it, when you go from just worrying about holding a guy or sending a guy home and position the infield and throwing batting practice and hitting a few fungos. So obviously things have changed. It's something that I've prepared for for quite a while now.
It's something I've always wanted to do. And after the first day I've actually felt right at home, actually.
You gathered the team together on the field before BP yesterday. Would you be willing to enlighten us what kind of things you said to them or will say to them today?
That's all personal stuff in the meetings I have with the team is personal to them and personal to me. So I don't think anybody needs to know what I said.
You played on a team in Milwaukee that is still pretty memorable in '87 and even then people were talking about '82 and ever since then they've been talking about '82. With all due respect to that team and the guys that I'm sure you're friends with, is it nice to be able to put 1982 aside and focus now on 2008 and the future?
No doubt about it. I think it's something that has helped the players out. Obviously, they have to hear about the 1982 team quite often. And they respect all those guys. Don't get me wrong. There was some phenomenal players on that team as well as my bench coach, Robin Yount, was on that team, as well as the players respect more than anybody.
But I was fortunate I wasn't on that team, but that was the year I signed and ended up playing with a lot of those guys. So it is a great thing to look back on that. I was fortunate to play with them and learn a lot from them. I learned a lot from Pauly and obviously Robin and Jimmy Gatner and as well as a lot of guys. But it's a burden off a lot of people.
Finally we can talk about another year besides '82 and obviously '87. '87 was a phenomenal year in Brewer history without going to the playoffs. You couldn't have a more fun and better year than we had that year without going to the playoffs.
Can you talk about the decision to bring in Robin as your bench coach? Obviously former teammate of yours, you coached with him a couple of years ago with the Brewers. He was the first person you called when you got the job to try to bring him in. Can you talk about that process?
Well, obviously I was shocked when I got the job. And the first thing that hit me was who am I going to hire as the bench coach, and obviously that took about one second. And as soon as I could get to a phone I called him and asked him.
I told him, are you sitting down? This just happened. And I want you to be the bench coach. And he was very excited and and got on a plane right away and he was there. So obviously he's had the time of his life as well.
What's the difference between the team that's going on the field today and the team that came in here earlier in September and got swept?
Obviously, we're riding a little momentum right now. We weren't riding a whole lot of momentum coming in here last time, especially facing a playoff caliber team, obviously.
So we're a completely different team as far as momentum, as far as now the burden's off our back and these guys are relaxed and ready to go now. At that time, I don't like to use the word pressing, but you guys like to use that word a lot.
But, yeah, we didn't come in with a lot of confidence. When you come into a place like this with four days with not a lot of confidence playing, you're going to get swept like we did. And obviously they didn't have to face C.C. and Yovani Gallardo in that series either.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports