10/09/11 6:42 PM ET
An interview with Ron Washington
By / MLB.com
Q. Hi, Ron, with Game 2 tomorrow instead of today, how much does that change how much Ogando could pitch in Game 2?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, it won't change anything. As a matter of fact, he would have been down today. The fact that we're not playing today brings him back into play.
Once again, we can get multiples out of him. We'll just see how things go and how bad the need is to push him.
Q. You're saying if we had played tonight, he would not have been available?
RON WASHINGTON: Yes.
Q. Ron, I'm sure you got the news that Ordoñez is no longer going to be in the series with the ankle injury. So they've lost Young and Ordoñez and the series has badly started. How do you think that changes their lineup?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, they've been resilient all year. Right now you can't panic. So they'll do what they have to do to fill that roster spot.
Knowing Jim Leyland, his team will be ready to play tomorrow. There's nothing you can do about that, but that's why you have guys available that if something happens, you can bring them on. They still have enough. It's unfortunate, but sometimes there's not much you can do about it.
But they will come out tomorrow and they will have intentions on winning the ballgame. There's no doubt about that.
Q. With playing four straight games, will this force you to reconsider how you use your catchers over those four games?
RON WASHINGTON: No, it won't.
Q. Are you comfortable with Napoli catching four straight games?
RON WASHINGTON: He's done it before. If there's a change, I'll make it. But I can't sit here now and say that, but we'll see how it goes.
Q. Wash, Neftali has closed out three straight one run wins. How is that, A, on your ticker, and B, do you think he has passed any kind of hurdle by doing this in this kind of setting?
RON WASHINGTON: He done it last year in this setting, so he's under control. He certainly looked focused to me, and I think with each outing, of course he gains more and more experience. This is his second year as a closer. With each successful outing, it just builds his confidence.
I'm very comfortable with him. When you are trying to get those last three outs of a ballgame, I don't think you can do anything about what your ticker is doing. You just hope it continues to tick.
Q. Wash, you said Ogando wouldn't have been available today. I imagine that's in large part to the number of pitches he threw last night. Having started all year, would he be available normally back to back if he doesn't throw a lot of pitches? Or would you normally always give him a day in between?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, where we are right now, there's no tomorrow. So he'll be available unless he extends himself too much. So to answer your question, yes, he would be available.
Q. Ron, you guys haven't had a whole lot of production out of the three and four spots in the lineup to this point this postseason. Is there any concern on your part on Michael or Josh at this point?
RON WASHINGTON: No, that's why you have nine guys in a lineup, and that's why you have 25 on the roster. At this point of the year, you are facing the best that the league has to offer. And as I always said, good pitching will stop hitting. You try not to have that good pitching stop every hitting possibility you have throughout your lineup.
Right now other guys is picking it up. And if those guys happen to at a certain time certain point of a ballgame that we play as we move forward, if they stop hitting, maybe Michael and other guys in the middle of our lineup will pick it up. That's what it's about, team.
So as long as we can go out there and our pitching can keep us in ballgames and we can catch the ball and we can give ourselves an opportunity to be in the ballgame when the ninth inning roll around, it only takes one hit and it doesn't matter who gets it.
Q. Ron, Murphy kind of had an up and down season, but he was very good in September and he's been good in the postseason. What have you seen change with him at the plate?
RON WASHINGTON: He's much more aggressive. When Murphy is very aggressive that's when he's at his best. When he's tentative, a lot of times he take pitches he should be swinging at. That's what he's been doing. He's been more aggressive.
Q. Nolan mentioned that the cancellation postponement tonight was about keeping the integrity of the game, not causing teams to stop and start multiple times. How difficult is that on the players and on you in a game when the game is stopped like that, like it was last night?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, it is tough. But it becomes how mentally tough are you? I don't think any of us can do anything about Mother Nature. Who he she decides to open up, it is what it is. You just have to make adjustments. And it's like adjustments you make during the course of the year.
You certainly--when you start a ballgame, you want to finish a ballgame. I thought last night they did an excellent job of making sure that we got through that ballgame.
They are doing an excellent job today to keep the integrity intact. We are taking BP right now. We're still getting work done. Hopefully tomorrow Mother Nature bless us where we can go out there and play a ballgame. If not, we just have to figure out another way. You take it in stride. That's what it's all about.
Q. Wash, did having Cabrera in the three spot for them last night with the injuries they have change how you approach him in comparison to when he's batting clean up?
RON WASHINGTON: No, you have to be very protective of him if he's leading off. He's a very dangerous baseball player. He can take you out any ballpark anywheres. He seems to shine when there's men on the bag.
So, no, you have to be aware where he is and we knew he was in the third slot, and when he's in the fourth slot, we know that. When he's coming up third in a certain inning, we know that. When he's second, we know that. Wherever he's coming up, if he's leading off an inning, we know that. So, no, we always have our eye on Cabrera.
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An interview with Nolan Ryan
Q. What was y'alls feeling as far as postponing the game this early?
Nolan Ryan Well, we felt like out of with the forecast that we had that we didn't want to experience what we did last night; and with the forecast for this evening, it appears that it's going to be duplication of what we saw last night.
I think the one thing we're concerned about is the integrity of the game and not put either team in a situation where possibly the elements could affect the outcome of the game.
Q. When you spoke to the Commissioner, did he support fully everything you said, or did he offer you any advice in this situation?
Nolan Ryan He had been in contact with his personnel here today and was abreast of everything. And it was just a matter of accumulating the information and making a decision.
And obviously he didn't want to see us and our fans and the two teams go through what they did last night.
And so, obviously, with the off day, we have off days and travel days, so it makes more sense to do it tomorrow with a good forecast versus the forecast that we have for this evening.
Q. Nolan, in the postseason, what's the protocol for this? Do you gather information and give it to the Commissioner? Does his people make it? Do you make the call?
Nolan Ryan MLB has a staff here. They have a relationship with National Forecasting Service, and we also have a meteorologist on retainer with us that we use through the course of the season.
So we accumulate all the different information from the different sources and share it with each other and talk about what possibilities there are, what options we might have, how it may impact the game or the field.
So it's an ongoing process, and it started really from last night, looking at the forecast for today, and then obviously following the forecast.
I must say that what we saw last night followed pretty much what we were told by our experts as far as meteorologists and the weather service were concerned, is that they thought we would have a window until about 8:30, maybe a little past that last night, and it held pretty true.
Then what you got were pop up showers starting and those are hard to predict, because you don't know where they're going to occur, when they're going to occur. They're more unpredictable. That's kind of what we're looking at this evening, is that they anticipate what happened last night happening again tonight.
Q. Is there a final authority on this to make the call?
Nolan Ryan I think it comes down to the Commissioner. He takes all the information that he's given. It's ultimately his decision. But I think he considers a lot of the information that he gets from different sources.
Q. Nolan, a pitching question. Playing four days in a row now, can you talk about how that's going to be different, do you feel for the bullpens, then playing three days in a row?
Nolan Ryan Well, you know, obviously it comes down to how far your starting pitching takes you. I'm not for sure how Detroit is planning on using their starters.
But we were looking at going with four starters if everything fell into place, I think. Ron may correct me on that. So I think it depends on how far the starters can take you.
When you get into a situation like last night where you have these lengthy delays, then it impacts your starting pitching. As we saw last night, both starters had thrown a lot of pitches early. Then they had a minimum of an hour wait. That came into play, obviously.
So I think that if we don't have any interruptions, I think that the starting pitching you would in these situations, hopefully think they would pitch much later into the game.
Q. Nolan, when you made the trade for the two relievers, at the time did you think it would be as valuable as the Cliff Lee trade the summer before? And how would you compare this bullpen with some of the others?
Nolan Ryan I think what we did, obviously, when we made the trade, we looked at what our needs were, and we felt like that was the biggest need that we had when we went out and made the trades before the end of the trade deadline.
We felt that was the way we could strengthen our ballclub the most. We felt like it gave us the balance that we were looking for.
So I think that--you know, you look at the Cliff Lee deal last year, and you look at the relievers this year, I think they both had tremendous impact on our ballclub and what we're trying to accomplish.
Q. Is it an underrated bullpen?
Nolan Ryan Well, I think the bullpen has been pretty consistent for us. And I think that it's more experienced this year than it was last year.
I'm not for sure how baseball in general views our bullpen, but I think they view it differently now than they probably did earlier in the year.
Q. Nolan, I just want to clarify on a couple of details about the schedule. When you guys checked, you mentioned there was some similarities to last night's forecast. Was it looking like you guys would have about an hour and a half window to play and then looking at what the rest of the night?
Nolan Ryan Well, what I was referring to, not necessarily the hour and a half window that we had last night, but the weather pattern they felt like would be the same tonight, where we would start getting pop up showers. There's a disturbance out in West Texas. I'm not a meteorologist, but they're talking about the south to north line that we were dealing with last night moved further east, and that it could block this disturbance moving in out of West Texas.
So does it lose some of its energy? They don't know. It's a possibility. But then I think there's going to be some heat build up showers, pop up showers like we had last night that came into play.
They felt like the pattern was similar, was the best I could tell.
Q. Do you do that in front of a map?
Nolan Ryan You know, if this job doesn't work out, you know... Maybe they could use somebody.
Q. To get off the rain for a second, with the hiring of Robin Ventura this week, you've gotten even a little extra notoriety. I'm wondering if you think about the fact this is still a big story decades later?
Nolan Ryan You know, I'm truly surprised by that. I'm really happy for Robin, that he's getting that opportunity. It should be with the White Sox. I think he's the type of person that you want to see in that position, because I think he's good for baseball, and he knows the game. And he played the game the right way. So I'm happy to see him in that position.
But I am, I'm surprised that this thing has had the life that it's had.
Q. Nolan, with the way the season ended and the races and how great it was when it came to the end and for the playoffs to kind of pick that right up and be the same kind of games played, and all of them were extended to the full five games and everything that's happened, I don't know how much you're paying attention to the other series and what's going on, but what's your take on all this?
Nolan Ryan I think what's happened with the Wild Card races and now with the playoffs like it is, I think it's been extremely good for baseball. It has put us on the forefront on the sports page with a lot of people talking about the games that have been played and scattered around the country like it is.
So I think it's been good. You know, you just never know until it comes down to the last out what the end result is going to be. So I think it's been real good.
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