10/09/11 7:00 PM ET
An Interview with Jim Leyland
By / MLB.com
Q. Jim, I guess just the obvious question. Do you stick with your pitching rotation? Does this affect it at all?
JIM LEYLAND: My pitching rotation will stay exactly the same as it was. I might as well give you guys some news. We have some pretty huge news today, so the few of you who came out, you get it and the other guys don't. Tell your buddies don't call me because I'm not going to pick up the phone.
Magglio Ordoñez will be out for the series with the ankle injury. The same ankle that he had the problem with. He will be done for the season. That's why he was taken out of the game last night. I was shocked that nobody asked me about that last night. So I wasn't going to give any information at the time because we didn't have all the facts and details, but we've had some medical work done this morning, and he will miss the entire series and the rest of the season.
My rotation will stay exactly the same. Verlander, I know that will be a big question, so I'll take that off your mind as well, he'll pitch Game 5 under any circumstances.
Our rotation will be Scherzer, Fister, Porcello and Verlander in that order. Just the way we set it up originally.
I don't want to be hogging the mike here, but I might as well tell can you, I'm going back soon to discuss the roster, obviously, with David Dombrowski. My coaches have already discussed some of it.
I don't have any information right now as to what we're going to do, because to be honest with you, we don't know. So with that, I'll leave it open top any other questions, if you have them.
Q. So as this transpired last night, you basically pinch ran for him after the second rain delay, was it?
JIM LEYLAND: That's correct. That's exactly why I pinch ran for Magglio. He would not have come out of the game. My trainer came in during the rain delay and said Magglio can't go. The ankle is killing him. So I pinch ran Don Kelly for him.
Like I said, I was shocked I didn't get the question last night why I was taking him out. It didn't come up, so I didn't offer anything.
Q. Jim, how did Magglio aggravate that injury last night?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't know. I don't know the answer to that. It doesn't appear that there was any significant movement or anything that did it. It just all of a sudden it flared up. After some medical tests and results this morning, it shows that there is a situation there that is not conducive to playing the rest of the year.
Q. Already an outfielder short, I'm wondering how devastating a blow this is for your team? You're already an outfielder short with Delmon out. I'm wondering how big a blow this is for your team?
JIM LEYLAND: We're a real resilient team. Do I like this, obviously, no. Do I like losing Delmon, obviously, no. But we're a tough team. We'll figure something out, and we'll get through this.
We're like every other team in baseball that has these type of situations pop up. You get through it. We're not going to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. I can guarantee you that. We'll make due somehow.
But like I said, at this time, I can't give you any information on what we will do with the roster, because we don't know, to be honest with you. We really don't know right now. I've been talking with Dave Dombrowski back at the hotel. When I get back to the hotel we're going to sit down and have a pow wow and figure out what direction we should go.
Q. Prior to the series, was there any indication this could happen with Magglio? Or did it come as a
JIM LEYLAND: What?
Q. Prior to the series was there any indication he was in danger of something like this happening to his ankle?
JIM LEYLAND: It's amazing. I just told you guys recently, because it's the truth. Magglio had just been talking three or four days ago about how he felt great, how he felt as good as he's felt for a long time. When the trainer came in during the rain delay and told me, I was almost flabbergasted, to be honest with you.
So it doesn't appear that there was one incident that happened. But there is a problem. I mean, there's no question about that. Like I said, we had the medical people look at him this morning. Kevin Rand was up bright and early to check him out. There is an issue which keep limit out the rest of the series and the rest of the season.
If you have any questions, ask them now.
Q. Tiger clubhouse is not going to be open. There are a few players here. Jim was good enough to come in.
JIM LEYLAND: Anybody else?
Q. Last question.
Q. Jim, how do you deal with this? The rain in the first series, now this? What could go wrong is going wrong? How do you see this?
JIM LEYLAND: I see it great. We're in the playoffs. We're playing the Texas Rangers for the championship. I love it.
Like I said yesterday, we had to beat the New York Yankees just for the right to play the defending champions. It's exciting. We had a great game last night. We missed a couple of opportunities. That's baseball.
But I see this as this is a great opportunity for us, and it's a great opportunity for us to show how tough we are. And we're tough.
Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. I don't want anybody feeling sorry for us. We'll make due. We'll come out at 3:19 tomorrow ready to play.
Q. Thanks for coming in.
JIM LEYLAND: Sure.
Q. Tiger clubhouse is not going to be open today. There are very few players here. Two of them are going to be good enough to come in and take a few questions.
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An interview with Ryan Raburn
Q. Jim Leyland just informed us about Magglio's situation being out for the series. You guys have rebounded from a lot this year. Is this just one more thing that you have to deal with?
RYAN RABURN: Yes, I think it's been kind of an ongoing thing with some guys. You have to deal with injuries.
I think with us the way we're in position here in the postseason having guys being able to step off the bench and be able to contribute. We'll expect that from still from our same guys.
Q. Were you guys aware last night of the seriousness of his injury and what was the response with you guys to the news?
RYAN RABURN: Well, I kind of had an idea. I saw him in the training room in between the rain delay as far as how bad it was, nobody really knew how bad it was.
We just knew he probably wasn't going to come out. That was the first I heard he was going to be out for the series. That was unfortunate for us. He's a veteran presence in the lineup we'll definitely miss. We'll need other guys to step up like we have done all year.
Q. Ryan, I know you guys had to encounter an abbreviated schedule losing your off day during the New York series. Because this is a seven day series is there any different feeling or a feeling of here we go again at all? Having to stay here an extra day and go back to Detroit without the off day?
RYAN RABURN: I think it's one of those days. That's part of the game, the elements you have to deal with. I don't think we're bothered by it too much. We just lose that off day coming up Monday.
But we'll -- we dealt with it the first series. Hopefully we deal with it this series. Hopefully it works out to our advantage like it did last time.
Q. Jim Leyland was just in here and said not to feel sorry for you guys. Do you feel sorry for you guys?
RYAN RABURN: We're in the American League Championship Series. I don't know how sorry we can actually feel. This is a great experience, especially for myself. This is my first time. I'm enjoying every minute of it.
Yesterday is gone, that first game. We would have loved to have get the first one out. We'll be ready tomorrow and hopefully we can get a W.
Q. I'm talking about Magglio, the injuries.
RYAN RABURN: He -- yeah, it's part of the game. It's unfortunate, but it's just something we have to deal with and try to get by.
Q. With Delmon being out and now Magglio, does that increase your playing time or your presence in the lineup, do you think?
RYAN RABURN: I hope. I want to play. This is a big series. Losing Delmon really, really hurts a little bit, the way he's been playing and the way he did in the first series. And then losing Magglio.
Yeah, I think it was I don't make the lineup out, but I think so. Hopefully I'll get more playing time and be able to contribute.
Q. What was it like last night when you guys were watching those series of power arms they were running in from the bullpen?
RYAN RABURN: It was fun, actually. Their bullpen, they have a great bullpen. Our bullpen is great also. Their guys came in and shut us down. Our guys came in and shut them down.
All in all, I thought it was a great game. Unfortunately we were on the losing side. Yeah, definitely they have some pretty good arms coming out.
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An interview with Alex Avila
Q. Hello, Alex. We've seen this team come back from one thing after another all year. Now both Delmon and Magglio are out. Can you talk about how the rest of the team will respond to this, please?
ALEX AVILA: Well, just guys have to step up. That's one thing throughout an entire season, and in the playoffs you're going to have guys go down or just different circumstances you have to deal with as a team, just another obstacle.
Q. Alex, does this postponement kind of like act as a blessing in disguise with Magglio -- finding out that Magglio is out, give the team more time to regroup in some way?
ALEX AVILA: Well, I think it maybe helped as far as figuring some things out, but I think either way skip and the rest of the coaching staff had an idea what was going to happen regardless. It's just a shame that the rain happened and we can't really do anything about it.
Q. Alex, how much has the knee been affecting you at the plate?
ALEX AVILA: Well, I mean, at this point in the year I don't think there will be anybody that will tell you they're not aching or they got something bothering them.
So, I mean, there's always been something, an issue as far as whether it's my knee or back or anything like that throughout the entire season.
So as of right now, nothing has changed as far as my health. That's something that shouldn't be an excuse for my performance or anybody else's for that matter at this point. In the playoffs you go out there with what you've got and you give your best. Sometimes you come out on top, sometimes you don't.
Q. Alex, can you just talk please about what you saw from Justin last night?
ALEX AVILA: Well, early on in the game he was a little out of rhythm, falling behind some hitters early on. I think the first inning first couple of innings he was trying to find--make the adjustment like he normally does throughout a game.
There's always a time in a game where a starting pitcher is going to get out of rhythm. I has to be able to make that adjustment quickly.
I think he found that, and then we had the rain delays. That was obviously something that was out of our control. But I thought he pitched well, not only him and Rick coming in and Perry and Coke came in. To hold them to three runs, that's more than you can ask. Gave us a shot. Yesterday was particularly frustrating because we had an opportunity to win and we just couldn't come up with the big hit.
Q. Alex, all season long it seemed like you guys have had a lot of run production from the bottom third of the lineup. How important is that going to be going forward knowing that Magglio and Delmon aren't in the lineup anymore?
ALEX AVILA: Well, I mean, like you said, all year 1 through 9 we've been very productive. A lot of quality at bats, a lot of two out RBI's, a lot of getting the runners over, sacrifice flies, things like that. The good thing is not only the starters have done that, all the guys like Donnie Kelly, Santiago, Raburn, all the guys coming off the bench and the utility guys have done the job as well. That's just something that has to continue for us to win games and win this series.
Q. Alex, as someone who predicted in Spring Training that Justin would win the Cy Young Award and saw it firsthand, what do you feel about both Game 1s in the playoffs the rain cuts him short? Here he had this magnificent year and now he's on the biggest stage and something nobody can control takes it away from him?
ALEX AVILA: It's hard to get mad about that. It is what it is. The thing is he'll be preparing for his next start and hopefully we won't have any rain delays then and we'll get to see what he can do to help our team win.
He has had a tremendous year. It is a shame that the two games that he's tried to go out there have been postponed by rain or kind of forced him out because of the rain.
Like you said, it's something you can't control, so it's kind of hard to be upset about it. At the same time, I'm pretty sure everybody was kind of bummed out not getting to see him finish out a couple of games.
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