So the one thing that Daniel has never fallen prey to is that he can't do something. If someone has challenged him, whether it's learning a new position or improving from the right side of the plate, he's handled those challenges in a positive way.
Q. A little bit about the mood of your team the last 24, 48 hours as it gets an opportunity to play in a clinching game tonight.
JOHN FARRELL: Eager. Kind of chomping at the bit, even with the off days, whether it was prior to the series opening up or even on the off day yesterday. Guys are eager to get back on the field. And their focus is about the one game. It's not about the end result of a series. It's about tonight, and certainly not getting far ahead of ourselves in any way.
Q. How do you look at your particular contribution to the success of this team this year? What do you think you brought into the mix?
JOHN FARRELL: One of many that have contributed to this team. Whether a lot of people have written or talked about the turnaround or the transformation this team has gone through. When I say one of many, it started with Ben and reshaping this roster. It's been the attitude of the players that we've brought in.
So whether you set a tone in Spring Training with how we want to go about playing, that might be where it starts. But I've always said the success of a team, and particularly in this sport, it's about the players first and foremost. And in my mind it will always be about the players.
Q. Did you have a good feeling about the team coming out of Spring Training?
JOHN FARRELL: Yes. A good feeling, not a complete one. Felt like we would have an offense that would score runs, an above average offensive team. Back on April 1st, did I think we would lead the American League in runs scored? I couldn't tell you that. But I felt like this was a team that was deep and we had flexibility and versatility to it.
And I think in Spring Training we showed the ability to be diverse in our offense. We could attack pitchers in different styles with different ways about it, whether it was the running game, whether it was power, whether it was a deep lineup, that was the constant we felt was there. It was a deep lineup that grinded at bats, saw number of pitches, had the ability to drive up pitch counts on opposing starters. That was probably the root of what we felt.
But to the extent that we've been able to produce and amass wins, those are things you really don't know until it gets rolling.
Q. A couple of days ago Joe Maddon sounded almost incredulous that you had a starter like Jake Peavy in Game 4 of a series. Talk about the luxury he's given you and what he's meant to the team since you got him in July.
JOHN FARRELL: A proven winner, a guy with postseason experience. We knew that four starters had postseason experience from their past which they could draw from.
But Jake's competitive nature, his attitude and his approach toward the game. He's an accountable guy, whether he performs well or doesn't, he stands up and he's there to answer the questions. I think that's an overarching characteristic of this group. We don't make excuses and Jake, in addition to being a proven Big League winner, he brings that same attitude that a lot of our guys share.
Q. Clay has had a lot of success against the Rays, he's tough against a lot of teams. Is there one thing that makes him a good matchup against these guys?
JOHN FARRELL: I don't know that I can just single out the Rays. I can talk more about Clay's abilities and his approach. And that's one to never be predictable in a given at bat or a given count. He has got such good feel for his secondary pitches, that he can attack guys differently from one at bat to the next. The one thing we've seen over time is his maturity as a pitcher on the mound. His ability to read swings has become much more honed in and responsive. So when he sees certain things happen on a previous pitch, that gives him all the information he needs to make the next pitch selection. He's been able to do that this year maybe more consistently than years past.
Q. Talk a little bit about the intangibles, the things that don't show up in the box score in terms of the chemistry in the clubhouse. Joe talked about the gritty guys that you've brought in, what they bring, beyond the box score.
JOHN FARRELL: Well, the one thing that they bring is a thought that the game tonight is the most important thing. And that's their priority. It's not about what they do individually, but what we set out to accomplish as a group. And they've all bought into a team concept.
I think that's the one thing that my conversations with Ben that were maybe we're more proud of is how we're doing it as opposed to not just what we're doing. And we're doing it with a bunch of guys that buy into this team concept. They support one another. They have a lot of fun here, as well. It's evident by the beards. So there's room to have an individual personality, but at the same time they're bound by a team concept that is trying to do something special.
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