10/16/11 12:12 AM ET
Postgame interview with Jim Leyland
By / MLB.com
Jim Leyland: First of all, let me congratulate the Texas Rangers. The entire organization. They earned it.
They proved in this series that they were the team that should represent the American League in the World Series. And I tip my hat to them. Any questions?
Q. Jim, what did you see from Scherzer the first couple of innings? And then once everything got rolling?
Leyland: He was out of whack for the most part all the way. His control was not good from the get go, really. And he had a tough time. And we just couldn't stop the bleeding.
As the game went on, obviously, it really wasn't fair. I wanted to get Penny in there in the postseason, to be honest with you. One freaky thing that happened -- not freaky, but one thing that really happened to us in the series all the games were conducive to getting late where you were using Benoit, Coke, Valverde -- so it's not fair, Danny came in and actually made a pretty good pitch.
The guy didn't hit it but he got a base hit. Rick came in and got the ground ball. We didn't get the out.
But it wasn't fair to some of our relievers, because they just weren't used in this series because the situation didn't present itself. So that's unfair too, you know, obviously be upset about that. That would not be fair to them. Next question, please?
Q. In a 10-run game, is there any looking back at close calls, and have you seen any replays of the two calls you were upset about?
Leyland: No, I think you would look awful foolish to be complaining about a call or so when the score ended up like that. I do think -- I'll be honest with you, the play at second base, I looked at it a couple of times, I really can't tell to this point it was so close, it looked like to me.
I do and still will always question the check swing on Cruz. I thought that was definitely a strike. I thought he definitely swung.
Q. Pretty tremendous series and you've been saying all series what a great series it's been. Not the way you wanted it to end in a Game 6. Did you have a chance to talk to your team? And what did you tell them?
Leyland: I did. I spoke with them, obviously. This is really not the time the guys hear much because they're so disappointed. They were all together and they were all paying attention. I managed a team that won a World Series.
And I don't think I've ever been prouder of a team than I am of this team. And I mean that sincerely. They gave everything they had. They gave everything they had. And it was kind of stacked against us a little bit.
We have had some tough travel. We've had some rain. We've had some days off. But I learned a long time ago you don't sit up here and wonder about stuff like that. You give credit where it's due.
The Texas Rangers beat us and they are definitely the team that should represent the American League in the World Series. It's too bad. It breaks my heart to say it, but I'm never one to not give somebody else credit. I don't think that's the way you go.
We're a class organization. They are a class organization. They beat us and I tip my hat to them.
Q. You started to put it into perspective there. Can you put into perspective what your team did this year, and do you go to the offseason more encouraged than disappointed or anything like that? Or is it too early to figure it out?
Leyland: People talk about stuff like this all the time. I would have probably gone into the offseason more disappointed if we would have gotten beat by one run. I'm not going to go into the offseason disappointed at all.
This team gave every single thing they had, every ounce of energy. I just couldn't be prouder of them, and we got beat by the team that was the defending champion, and they defended their championship. They should be going, and they are.
Q. Jim, you've already mentioned pride a couple of times. Before Game 5 in New York, you said you would either move on with pride or you go home with pride. Tonight is it with pride that you're going home?
Leyland: Yeah, the only thing that really bothers me a little bit about this game, because, you know, I'm sure some people are going to make fun of us now because of the way this game ended, so that hurts a little bit.
I hope that doesn't happen. But I can understand it if it does, because it was a great series, and this was just not a great game. It was for the Rangers. It wasn't for us.
I hope people don't start making light of the Tigers or the series, because it really was a tremendous series. I'll be honest with you, I felt great going into the game tonight with Scherzer and Fister waiting in the wings, I felt absolutely great. That's why baseball is a great game. It just didn't work out.
Q. Can you talk about any of the injuries in more detail now than you might have been able to before because of the competitive things that you didn't want to give away to the Rangers, Jim?
Leyland: Well, like I said before, both teams are banged up at this time of the year. I might reflect back on that a little bit later on, but I don't think tonight is the night to do that. I think tonight is the night to give the Texas Rangers credit.
It's just like I said, I think too many people nationally were criticizing the Yankees instead of giving the Tigers enough credit for beating them, and I certainly don't want to do that tonight.
I don't want to say we didn't do something, because that takes away from what the Rangers did. I just don't think that's the route to take.
Q. That really wasn't the question.
Leyland: I thought you were talking about injuries.
Q. What I was -- I think more concerned about was Avila, for instance. Was he playing with a more serious situation than you can really talk about?
Leyland: Well, no. I can talk about it. He was hurting, but he's tough as nails, and he got through it.
Victor certainly had three or four things going on. And of course we know about Delmon. Hey, that's baseball. Beltre was playing with a bum knee. I'm sure they have some other fellows. They only mentioned about Hamilton, strained -- he had strains in the legs.
So we don't -- it was tough and we had a long grind. We really did. We had a lot of tough travel in this series and a long grind.
Unfortunately, we have a long time to rest up, about 10 days or so more than I would have liked. But we'll come back to Spring Training and get back to work.
The moderator: Thank you, Jim, for everything.
Leyland: Thank you, Phyllis, for everything. Appreciate it.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.