Oct. 15: Buck Showalter pregame interview

Q. All year long you talk about wanting to play well during the season so you could have the chance to roll the dice in October. After you watched the first three games, does the phrase "rolling the dice" take on added meaning for you?

BUCK SHOWALTER: I don't know about "added." You have to play with -- I'm proud of the way our guys have approached it. It's been a very razor thin difference. Hopefully we get a few bounces going our way, and we can get it snowballing the other way. Obviously they're a very formidable team. They've done a lot of things to get here. But so have we.

So just trying to stay true to the baseball gods and hopefully they'll let some very deserving guys up off the mat in here.

Q. You've said throughout the year you've been very proud of your guys for how they bounced back from losing key players and a variety of other obstacles. Regardless of what happens over the next four days, will this have been a special season for you, regardless of what happens?

BUCK SHOWALTER: You know, I appreciate that. Obviously the answer is yes. But there's a sense of finality or fate, if that's the question to be answered later. It's not going to change. My respect and -- I don't want to go too far beyond that, but love is unconditional. When you go through the things that we go through together and you see the challenges they face and how they respond so much out of the glare of the spotlight, so many things go on that make you want to return that and do your job, whether it's the pitching coach, a hitting coach, a teammate. This is a group of people that don't want to let each other down. So it's unconditional.

I just hope that they continue to get -- and they're going to get back, and already have. But I'd really like to see -- of course, you know, they're saying the same things. They put great things in this season, too, so it's not like it's one sided. You seek your level. You are who you are. This game exposes everything. And it's such a momentum time of the year. And we'd like to get some of that heading in our direction.

But I don't want to have some -- like it's a -- there's nobody in there thinking about something being inevitable or whatever, you're kidding me? They're not wound like that.

Q. What went into your lineup changes today and should we be surprised to see anybody out of the bullpen aside from, say, Wei Yin Chen we won't see, or anybody else --

BUCK SHOWALTER: Wei Yin said he couldn't throw?

Q. No, he said he's ready, too.

BUCK SHOWALTER: Dave Wallace said he'd give me an inning today.

Tillman is down there and Norris is down there, if needed. Obviously a little bit different stages of potential game situations, but this is pretty much normal for us, against left handers. Trying to think what's out of the norm. What do you consider out of the norm.

Q. (INAUDIBLE)?

BUCK SHOWALTER: That's pretty norm for us against left hander. Vargas has been tough on a lot of our guys. But a couple of guys have been decent off of him. Delmon probably would have played today regardless who was pitching. Wanted to get him back out there, not let him sit too long. Gives us some weapons off the bench, too, three guys that can run well, if we have a need to.

Q. Obviously Dyson's comments made headlines the other day and Guthrie's T shirt kind of rubbed people the wrong way.

BUCK SHOWALTER: Fill me in on that, what's the T shirt, some fashion?

Q. "These O's Ain't Royal."

BUCK SHOWALTER: Where does that come from?

Q. Chris Brown song. It's the Chris Brown song.

BUCK SHOWALTER: Chris Brown is weighing in on the Royals and the Os in a song?

Q. The original line is not that.

BUCK SHOWALTER: What's the original line?

Q. I can't say it.

BUCK SHOWALTER: Roch, you can say it, right?

Q. (INAUDIBLE) We'll tell you after.

BUCK SHOWALTER: Whatever. Really, it's not -- so inconsequential what somebody -- was it a licensed T shirt that they wore up here?

Q. (INAUDIBLE)?

BUCK SHOWALTER: That's a good reason to wear something. I've got one from Yankee Stadium that says: Baltimore -- I'm not going to say it. And Buck something (laughter). I've got that one hanging up in my locker area at Camden. But I don't wear it here. I might offend somebody. Was it licensed?

THE MODERATOR: No. (Laughter.)

BUCK SHOWALTER: What do you want? A great name for a TV show, what network the, "Come on, man, come on, man." Really? Come on, lady.

Q. Has that taken away from the games, though, do you think at all?

BUCK SHOWALTER: Our guys -- it's kind of -- I don't know. No, I'm not going to say anything. I'm not going to categorize it. It's not really a topic of conversation, it's kind of -- consider how it ends up there. And whether you Tweet or Twang or all those things, whatever they all do.

Come on, man. I don't know. How would you respond? It's not bragging if you can back it up.

But they're good. They're a good team. That's why -- you hate to have anything like that take away from the essence of the competition and really how good they are. We don't need any extra motivation. We already have enough.

Regardless of what happens in the series, it won't be because somebody wants it more than the other. It won't be because of what somebody didn't do. It would be because of what somebody did. Though it won't always be looked at that way.

Q. You were talking yesterday about how badly the players want it. And I'm just wondering this situation you're in, is there some way of balance where they can relax a tad? I understand the urgency, but is that possibly getting in the way of their overall production?

BUCK SHOWALTER: Can you change that, no. Quit caring so much. I said yesterday with Doris Day, I had the right one, it was Doris Day with "Que Sera, Sera."

No, that's one of the reasons why we're here. Because we're playing in Toronto -- whoever, in front of 10,000 people in a hot day game, get away day, that's how you win those games because you care. You hold yourself to a high level and you don't give in over 162 games. That's why you're here. And you don't want to turn that of.

That's why I say, if you can get one under your belt, things have a way of -- nobody is more religious -- this is not sacrilegious, but the baseball gods will be kind to you if you stay true. I'm just hoping that they get a return for their want to. And we'll see.

It can be a cruel game, too. You can hit four line drives at people and then some other team, us, flares. They see flares and broken bats, that was a cheap hit. But the strength and size factor of Major League players always hit me. Those balls are getting muscled out over the infield, where in the Minor Leagues and college baseball, they don't get to a spot. They don't get deep enough.

There's skill that goes into that, I know, because we had a lot of broken bat singles. I remember every one of them. They used to call it Showalter Corner, over the third baseman's head and hit chalk and hit left. It was a double in the box score the next day though.

And Nicky had one last night. I don't want to hear about -- they hit some balls hard that we caught last night. J. J. almost got dehorned.

Now I've got to go listen to this song? Won't be playing in my house in the offseason?

Blocking third base, somebody was trying to say something to me about blocking third or something. Really?

Q. Since you brought it up, did Flaherty intentionally block third base with his knee?

BUCK SHOWALTER: I don't know. Did you ask him? It's not designed that way. We actually didn't execute -- we've been saving that for three months now. The last time we practiced it, Gaus didn't step off. I reminded him a couple times to be sure and step off. The key is when you turn around don't analyze the play, but put it in flight. If he puts it in flight he's out.

But it was close. Ryan got there early. We think Dyson -- it's kind of what happened with Jonathan at second base.

So intentionally drawn up that way, let's have a meeting and say we're going to do that? Of course not. No, it's not that consequential. It's funny how imagination runs rampant this time of year.