Oct. 1 Jason Vargas off-day interview

An interview with:

           JASON VARGAS

Q.         What is the morale of the team right now?

            You guys hopped on a flight right after the win, checked into your hotel room and are here. Are you guys okay?

            Are you tired? How are you?

            JASON VARGAS:  I think we're a lot happier to be here than Kansas City, that's for sure. Morale is great. Guys had energy out at BP today, so we're just ready for tomorrow.

            Q.  What does it mean for you to be the Game 1 starter, especially against your former team?

            JASON VARGAS:  You know, I feel great. It's a lot of trust put in me, so I feel good about it. The fact that it's a team that I played for before and played for last year, I think all of us have friends throughout baseball, so when we get in between the lines, it's just us versus them.

            Q.  When you were on the team last year, you would watch Mike Trout do what Mike Trout does. Are you the kind of guy to sit and watch and think how would I get him out?

            If so, what sort of thoughts did you have then? Without giving away with what you might be doing tomorrow, your sort of notion on him being there in front of you four or five times tomorrow?

            JASON VARGAS:  You know, I don't think there is any secret in what I try to do. But he's a good player. It was definitely a pleasure to watch every day last year. There are not very many players like that that come along, so the fact that he's going to be in the lineup tomorrow is the same as it was before I played on this team, after I played. You know, going to have to negotiate the whole lineup, and if you think about one hitter, your work's going to be cut out for you.

            Q.  A veteran like you, when you get a four-year commitment from the Royals and you're going on to a young team, was there more involved for you as far as what you had to give the Royals beyond just pitching every fifth day, as far as veteran leadership for a young staff?

            JASON VARGAS:  You know, I feel like that's a responsibility you get when you're put into a situation like that and a team puts that amount of trust in you. I don't go over the top and try to bombard, but I definitely put my two cents in. I definitely try and help and move guys in the right direction. I might not always say the right things, but that's just how it is every now and then.

            The young guys on this team have responded to this second half tremendously, so their heads are in the right place.

            Q.  How cool is it for you to be going against a fellow Dirtbag in Game 1?

            JASON VARGAS:  It's funny you say that. I just ran into him outside in the hall way. We go back a while. To be able to tow the same slab in the playoffs I know is pretty cool for a lot of other people than just us. I'm looking forward to it.

            Q.  What do you remember most about playing with Jered?

            JASON VARGAS:  You know, just --

            Q.  Like back in the day?

            JASON VARGAS:  Back in the day?

            Well, it really didn't change much till now. The competitiveness has always been there. It's always been the same raw emotion on the mound, and off the mound it's a different person. It's a really easy-going, easy guy to be a friend with. So he's a tough competitor out there on the mound, and we better be ready.