Oct. 10: Alex Gordon, Billy Butler ALCS interview

Oct. 10: Alex Gordon, Billy Butler ALCS interview

Q. This question is for both of you. Your team doesn't hit a lot of home runs. How different would those numbers be if you played your home games at Camden Yards, and would either of you have at all a different approach or swing if you played here your whole career?

ALEX GORDON: As far as me and Billy go, I think we've been in the League for a while. So we kind of have our approach down to how we like it. I think definitely it would add a couple of home runs here and there.

But it is what it is. We play in a big ballpark. Our ballpark kind of fits our team as far as pitching and defense and our speed in the outfield. We like our ballpark. It's not a home run happy ballpark, but it definitely finds gaps and we hit a lot more doubles than maybe some other people do. It is what it is, and we like it.

BILLY BUTLER:  I'll go along with Alex. We've played in our ballpark so long it's all we're used to. But playing in the American League East, not just here, you definitely have more homers here than when you play in the American League East. The ballpark is a little bit smaller, you play Yankee Stadium and Fenway. But just the East has smaller ballparks. In the Central it's definitely bigger parks. But that's what we're used to.

Q. Sticking with home runs, Alex, I know you've been asked before, the home run you hit on to Eutaw Street, what do you remember about the conditions that day, the pitch, the distance, and how you felt?

ALEX GORDON:  I can tell you, the wind was blowing out, because I probably wouldn't have been able to do it otherwise. It was pretty cool, though.

This was my dad and my older brother's favorite team growing up. To have a piece of history out there on Eutaw Street, it definitely means a lot to me and my family. My brother is out here for the first time and that was the first thing he wanted to do was check out that ball that was out there.

So it means a lot to me. And hopefully I can get another one.

Q. Both of you, playing behind Ventura, watching him all year, what's impressed you most about him?

BILLY BUTLER:  I just think that you forget how young he is. He goes out and competes and does a great job. It's hard to get past his stuff and you see him sitting in the high 90s, triple digits all game. I've been watching him all year, you just feel at some point, is it going to go down a little bit? But it seems like it's stayed there.

He's got tremendous off speed stuff, too. His fastball gets a lot of credit, obviously. As incredible as it is, he's really honed in on his mechanics and his off speed stuff. He's been able to command it all. And that's the reason why he's been very successful for us.

ALEX GORDON:  He's been great all year. His stuff has been there, but over the season his confidence has improved a lot. That goes to credit with Shields and Guthrie and Vargas telling him in certain situations what to expect and what to do. I always see James Shields in his ear, what looks good during his start. And I know Ventura was always going to him for questions. Give credit to those older veterans that has helped him out over this season.

Q. Alex, I know a lot has been written about, talked about with regard to your work ethic, your pregame routine. I'm curious, where did that come from, who instilled that, and how did you develop that?

ALEX GORDON:   I came from a hard working family. I had three brothers that were always tough on me. We believed in hard work and put in the extra time to be successful. It started at a young age.

But I think with any Major League Baseball player, everybody has their routine. And some are different than others. But I think once you get in the League for a while you know what works best for you. I found a good routine, and it might be a little bit more than some other people's, but it definitely works for me.

Q. Both of you guys hit pretty well here. Talk about hitting here, and specifically, Billy, you've had some pretty good seasons, and good at bats and numbers here. Specifically what is it about hitting in this place?

BILLY BUTLER: You know, I like    I see the ball well at this park and I think you get a little bit of confidence knowing that you can hit the ball out of any part of the yard. It gives you a little bit more confidence when you're going into the box.

And like you're saying, it might have been, I've been hot coming in here throughout my career. It could have been the other way around. But I see the ball well here. And just things work out. And I've just squared the ball up whenever I come here. I don't look much past that. This series is the only thing that matters, and that can change. I've had good numbers coming into this park. But that's all in the past.

ALEX GORDON:  It could be a fluke. There's some hitters' ballparks that I don't do well at. I think Billy the same thing, we come in here and we're swinging the bats well at the time. This field is definitely    has a great environment, I think, to it. And when you come out here it's just fun to play in front of. That could be something, too. Just a park that we like going out and playing in.

Q. Alex, you are such a creature of habit and routine. What do you do when you go through a rough patch?

ALEX GORDON:  You just stick with it. Baseball is about ups and downs. It's hard to keep an even keel throughout the whole process. Whether you're going good or bad, you try to stay the same person.

I think that helps within the clubhouse, too. You don't want a guy that's not swinging it well and then has a bad attitude in the clubhouse.

It means a lot to have guys on our team, all the guys are pretty much like that, that are pretty even keel, same guy. They show up every day and have the same attitude every day. So that's kind of the approach I like to take, whether I'm going good or going bad, try to be the same person.

Q. Alex, I wanted to ask you about, you said many times one of your proudest achievements was leading Nebraska to the college World Series after a long absence. How does this compare?

ALEX GORDON:  This has overtaken it. This is pretty special. It's been a long time for me and Billy since we've been in an organization to make it to the postseason. It's been a lot of tough years sitting on the couch in the offseason, wondering how can we improve to make this team better?

To finally be in this situation, we're very fortunate and happy to be here. We know we still have a lot of work to do, and hopefully we can take this thing a little bit farther.

As of right now, I'd say it's definitely better than the college years.

Q. Billy, how has the emergence of Aoki changed your lineup over the past few weeks?

BILLY BUTLER:  Definitely in the month of September, he was definitely our    he was definitely incredible. That series he had against the White Sox, that was one of the best series I've ever seen anybody have. Obviously it's the best in Royals history.

He's done really well in the second half. I credit to    he came from the other League. He hadn't faced any of these guys and he really made the adjustment well. He's a big part of what we did in the second half.

Q. Alex, just following up on an earlier question, did you feel out of sync in the batter's box in the last month or so and did you find anything that clicked for you in the Division Series?

ALEX GORDON:  Sometimes you're just swinging it well. I did have kind of a rough end of the season. I got hot there towards the end, but just kind of went into a little bit of slump. That's part of baseball, it's going to happen.

I wish I could swing it great every night and be the greatest player that ever played, but it's definitely not going to happen. So you've just got to deal with the ups and downs. Over my career I've learned how to deal with it and just moved on. Just try to move on and take every game as it is.