Q. I'm curious if you had a chance to talk to Dusty Baker given his recent health scare and how good it is to have him out here managing in the series?
BRUCE BOCHY: We have. Yesterday he was out on the field there, had a chance to talk to him. He looks good. I know he's excited about being back on the field and of course being in the playoffs as we all are.
It's good to see him and he seemed in good spirits and it feels good and it's good to see that he's made a full recovery and he's back in the dugout.
Q. Are you ready to announce what your reserves are going to be?
BRUCE BOCHY: No. We should announce that either after workout or later this evening. We don't have to have this in until tomorrow, but we're going to meet again right after the workout just to finalize what the roster is going to be. Should have something for you here real soon.
Q. 2010 postseason was frustrating for Pablo Sandoval. What's the state of his game right now and how much desire do you think he has to redeem himself?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, he's in a different place right now as far as how he's playing, how he's swinging the bat, playing third base. I know he's more comfortable at the plate. He was a little lost in 2010 there, as we were going down the stretch so that's why we had to tweak our lineup. So I know for Pablo he's excited about where he's at. In fact, he will be starting in these playoffs and, you know, sometimes you've got to make changes according to on you they're playing as I say a lot, players dictate when they play. In 2010 he was just lost at the plate. So that's why we made the change, but he's I like the way he's playing right now and I like the way he's playing third base and the way he's swinging the bat.
Q. Bruce, a two part question about Buster. Tell us why you believe he's a viable M.V.P. candidate? And the personality of this team, how much has this team taken on his personality the last year or two?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I hate to think where we would be without Buster Posey and here is a guy that's handling the pitching staff, playing first base, putting up numbers that he's put up. I can't think of a player more valuable to a ball club than what Buster is to us. Coming back off that devastating injury and the way he's played, how much he's played, we really didn't know how much we could put him out there. We didn't know how his ankle would react to catching every day or playing first base, and he exceeded those expectations. It's really amazing what he's done this year. We know he's a great talent, but to come back off that injury and miss all the time that he's missed and had put together the type of season that he has and to win the batting title, I mean, that's that's amazing for a catcher. I know Mauer's done it in the other league, but coming off that injury and winning the batting championship shows you what a talent this guy is. I think you look at being at a premium position, handling the staff and hitting cleanup and doing what he's been doing is why we feel he's the most valuable player. As far as the team taking on his personality, Buster is so professional about how he goes about his business. There is a calmness about him, about the way he plays, very well prepared. He has the ability to slow down the game, and I think he leads by example on how he prepares and how he plays, and how he handles himself. So he's definitely a leader in this ball club and guys feed off him.
Q. When you look at everything you guys have been through this season and whether it's Melky or Pablo Sandoval and the things that the Dodgers did, would you say it's improbable that you guys are in the postseason with everything you guys have been through?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I couldn't be prouder of this club and how they have reacted to the adversity they have gone through. You go back to losing Wilson and we have had to tweak the bullpen, go by committee and of course what happened there with Melky and this club kept marching. They never dwelled on the distractions or adversity that they have had to go through.
Guys stepped up their game, every one of them at some point, and that's what has to happen. I can't say enough about how unselfish they have been, particularly when you look at the bullpen and guys knew that they could be pitching in the 7th, 8th or 9th, they didn't care who got the save. They wanted to do whatever they could to help the ball club.
The little things, as I mentioned earlier, like Otero who did a great job, and Marco comes in and a great job and Ryan goes to the bench, but there he was pulling for the guys and staying ready and this was a great group to work with. Nobody was complaining about who got playing time, who got the save or who was pitching, or what happened with the big deal that the club made south of us.So they kept their focus and they focused forward and they never stopped. Even when we clinched, I was pleased with how they kept playing and we took the next two series, played good baseball and they have never let up.
Q. Going back to Buster Posey's recovery, we hear about athletes coming back from injuries. You talked about Mauer and doing really well. What was it about this that made you think Buster could only two 110 games? What did you hear that made you this injury would be difficult to return from at this level?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, after seeing the damage from the collision and what he had to go through as far as rehab and how long before he could even do anything, sure, I was concerned, and I think Buster was. To have an injury like this, the question is, is he going to be able to catch again? How is the ankle going to hold up? It's a credit to Buster and our training staff. They were relentless on the rehab part of it to get him ready. As we approached spring training we talked about how much we might be able to play him and like I said, he exceeded those expectations by far. You know, it's amazing what, I guess, modern medicine can do, and also the rehab that these guys can go through to get them ready to play the caliber of ball he's played this year. He was determined to stay behind the plate, because there was talk about maybe he's got to play first base after this injury, but as we got threw spring training it was evident that he was going to be fine. We really treated him with kid gloves there early, and as we got deeper into the spring training I got more and more comfortable with how much he could catch and as the season went o we gave him days off and occasionally put him at first base and it got better and better and he got into the flow of the game. This game is not that easy, especially when you miss as much time as he did last year and yet it didn't take him long to get into the flow of the game, get his timing at the plate and get back to handling the pitching staff. Again, I think it shows you what a great talent this guy is.
Q. Matt Cain was just saying his 2010 postseason helped him learn to enjoy this time of year and pitch well, sure, but also have a lot of fun. Have you noticed that in this guy?
BRUCE BOCHY: I have. He's so consistent and not just his pitching but, you know, his attitude because he's been through a lot. We have talked about the tough games that he's lost and he's handled that very well. You want these guys to enjoy this time of year. They have worked hard, done most of the work, really. You play 162 games you talk about you want to get to the postseason. So when you get there you should enjoy it, to be playing at this time of the year. Sure, these games are going to be intense and there is going to be pressure but it's a fun pressure. You've worked hard to get here so enjoy is, savor it. And Matt is right on when he mentioned, you know, he's learned to enjoy this. They had a great time in 2010, and that's the way I want them to go into this series. Appreciate what you've done to get here and have fun with it. Sure you're going to be playing a great team, but you're going to have fun playing this game and realizing how hard it is to get here, and I think these guys will play like that.
Q. In 2010 you kinda rushed into the postseason, caught lightning in a bottle before you knew it you were clinching on the last day, you were in the playoffs. This time you have had a long time to prepare. It seems like you clinched a month ago. Which approach do you prefer? What are the benefits? Are you more comfortable with it this way?
BRUCE BOCHY: I'll be honest, I like this clinching early thing. It does give you a chance to relax a little bit and set things up, give guys days if you need it. There is talk about well, you want to keep the momentum going. It's better to clinch the last couple of days because you have to keep going hard, but I tell you what, anything can happen when you do that.
It went down to the last game against San Diego, and really if we lost that game we had to go to San Diego or Atlanta, or a bad hop, a call that doesn't go your way, you're out of it. So it's nice to do it this way, to be honest.
At the same time, we had to keep playing hard and would he reminded these guys, we want to keep the momentum going, stay sharp and we got to keep trying to win ballgames and that was the focus after we clinched, and as I mentioned earlier, that's why I'm proud of 'em, because they came out and won the next two series. We played tough in LA, almost took that series there, so they didn't let up, which you can't. They played the last three games in LA. We knew we had these two days off. They wanted to play. They wanted to stay sharp out there. But, again, my preference is to get it done early. Like I said, anything can happen, as we saw in the Oakland series, when you keep it close.
Q. On the last trip you were leaning toward Blanco starting in left field. Nady has good numbers off of Cueto, might that affect your decision?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, you look at numbers, that can play a part but Blanco is going to be in left field, we'll start with him, we will have Nady on the bench. That's a tough call, it really is. You can look at splits, lefty, righty, against Cueto, I decide to go with Blanco and bring Nady in off the bench.
Q. It's been a few months since you played the Reds. Can you take away something from those games or is it a whole new world?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think you can take something away from it, the experience you get and the knowledge you get when you play a team. They played us well. We were lucky to win one game in Cincinnati. Pagan hit a home run and we had to come back here to win that one. They're solid, great starting rotation, great bullpen and outstanding lineup. It's a great match up, I think, and should be a good series. I know both teams are looking forward to it, again, you've worked hard to get to this and we're excited about being here.
Q. A lot of contributions from a lot of people this year but in the two months that he was here, can you give me your impressions of what Marco scoot row has done for this team on all kinds of levels?
BRUCE BOCHY: Hard to measure that one because of how well he's played. He made this really a different club, you saw the numbers that he's had since he has been here but his experience similar to Buster, the calmness that he brings, how he plays, and he was so consistent. He was the guy that kept the line moving, Pagan, since he assumed that lead off spot what a job he did, and we had Scutaro behind him playing the type of ball that he has since he's been here so they have done a great job of setting the table and setting up for our big guys and he's been great on defense, offense, and really at his age it's been amazing. He goes out there every day and you don't see him slowing down. He's just a great thing to bring him here and help this ball club. I knew he was a good player but to see him day in and day out you appreciate how good he is.
Q. Are you going to go with your standard against right handers lineup, Belt, Blanco and --
BRUCE BOCHY:Right, no changes 1 through 5 that's going to be the lineup.