Oct. 17 Jack Morris pregame interview

Oct. 17 Jack Morris pregame interview

Q. Watching these guys do what they've done in the starting rotation for the Tigers, does it make you want to be part of that starting rotation, do you think about what that might be like if you were a part of the starting rotation?

JACK MORRIS: I thought we were pretty good in the teams I played. These guys are great. I don't mean to do anything that doesn't put them in the light, because this is what it's about; those guys, not me.

I had a good run, I don't regret anything that I did and the teams that I played on were great teams. And continuing on, the legacy is here right now, it's in the palms of their hands, and it's up to them to finish it off.

Q. We hear all season about hitters looking to hit pitcher's mistakes. How does the approach change during the postseason and what have you seen from pitchers during these playoffs, not just here, but even in the other series, as far as how they're executing pitches or making sure they're not putting themselves in a position to get hurt?

JACK MORRIS: I think it's harder to be a hitter in postseason than a pitcher. I think pitchers have the ability the adrenaline rush and the focus becomes a little easier for pitchers. Hitters, you know, let's face it, the good ones capitalize all year long on pitcher's mistakes. They rarely hit the good pitchers when the good pitchers are on. And it seems in postseason they're all on.

The one change that I really notice over my generation and today's generation is because the pitch count, guys have become max effort guys, and velocity is up there. Whether the radar gun is completely accurate compared to our generation, I don't know, but it seems as though you see a lot more fastballs. And fastballs typically are the easiest pitch to hit, until they get to about 95 and then something takes over, that blink of the eye, that quick, split second difference. Hitters have a tough time catching up or making good contact.

And you see so much of that now. The National League series with Wacha and Kershaw, and the series with Scherzer and Verlander and some of the guys in the pen, it just seems that it's a power game again.

Q. Lou Whitaker proudly told us before yesterday's first pitch that he was 2 0 throwing out first pitches to the Tigers, now he's 3 0. Do you know what you're at?

JACK MORRIS: I know I threw one out and the Tigers did not win the World Series, so it must not have been very good.

Q. In a cold weather game, what does a pitcher have to do to be successful in cold weather and how tough is it to throw the breaking ball in these conditions?

JACK MORRIS: The pitcher is the warmest guy in the field, he's the only one moving. The catcher is close, he has a bunch of gear on and the umpire is breathing down his neck.

The fact that you're able to blow on your hand on the mound, most guys need to do that to get that grip, get that tacky feel. You've got to make sure you're loose in between innings. Today they've got heaters and all sorts of nice things to keep guys warm.

But you stiffen up as the game goes on, in between innings more so than on the mound, and your hands are going to be cold. You've got to accept the fact that Mother Nature is more powerful than anybody. And both teams deal with the same environment, you hope you get that grip and get that good arm slot and hope for the best.

Q. With all the success the Tiger starters are having, are you surprised they haven't been going deeper into the games?

JACK MORRIS: I think that's a question for Jim Leyland. I'm old school, I haven't bought into it at all, I never will. My prayer and hope is that I live long enough for see pitch counts thrown out again. I think for 90 years of baseball it worked out just fine.

Q. You were pretty well known for being a big game, pressure pitcher. Is that a skill that you can develop over time or is that something you either just have or you don't, not just pitching but just performing?

JACK MORRIS: I don't know really as though you can train for it. It's God given, it's the will. And also about the ability to focus under situations where there's high stress.

The good players, both offensively and defensively have the ability to block out all the distractions. And their focus becomes sharper in those big moments when the rest of the world is watching. Their colleagues and other teams, and let's face it, baseball has friends everywhere. There's nothing better than to shine and call your buddy on the team that's sitting at home right now, and tell him, how did I do? They love that.

Q. I'm hoping to tap into some nostalgia here. When you come back, do you miss old Tiger Stadium, and could you just speak also about what made that place special for you, in particular?

JACK MORRIS: I was the guy that wanted to push the plunger. I'm not sure I'm going to answer that the way you want me to do. But they built the dugout for Ty Cobb and he's about 4'6", every time I went in there I hit my head, and I've been a wreck ever since.

This field is much more enjoyable for everybody. Tiger Stadium was unique. The first time I walked into it I thought it was pretty cool, because of what it was. It was a historical ballpark where some of the greatest players of all time played. And that in itself is kind of cool, because I think as we get older as players, we appreciate history more than we did as current players.

But I had to learn how to pitch there. Centerfield was the only place you could survive with fly balls. That's why Sparky let the grass grow six inches longer, because we needed ground balls to get out. It was not an easy place to pitch.

Q. Are you disappointed or do you think there should be something more than what currently exists there to commemorate the site?

JACK MORRIS: I'm not running for governor, mayor, I don't know what people want out of it. It's documented, all the pitchers and historic what it was. There's video of players playing there and baseball games being played there. I would say the beautiful things in the world are created by God. Manmade things come and go. We're going to see more of that as weather changes. And so it's time. It was time. And Comerica is a great place. Who doesn't like this place?

Q. You've obviously been a part of a lot of good teams. What do you seem to enjoy the most about those good teams, was it the good managing, the watching the skill players or maybe just the team chemistry?

JACK MORRIS: You know, I think you don't really know everything when you're a player. You're doing what you can. You're just trying to survive and do your part. I think when you look back you get to where I'm at in my life, you realize that there's a lot of cogs in the wheel you don't recognize. The groundskeepers, the fans themselves, there's so many parts and ingredients. Obviously the players and the coaching staff are the ones that are under the microscope.

But good teams just have a will, and I think it's a common it's not in a sabermetric quotation or formula, but team chemistry is something that's huge, and that's why these four teams are playing right now. There's something special about these four teams. Talent wise you could name some teams with great talent but they're not here now. I really believe in the 10th man on the field is team chemistry. It comes with coaches. It comes with players.