By: Jeff Riger
Friday afternoon both the Tigers and A’s hit the field in preparation of the American League Divisional series that gets started on Saturday at Comerica Park in Detroit. Players and Managers weighed in on how the series should play out and which team seems to have the advantage.
Below are some of the more interesting comments from the day.
Tigers Manager Jim Leyland on what the atmosphere should be like at Comerica-
“Well, you know, the job at hand is for us and the atmosphere is for the fans. That’s the way it should be. It’s going to be obviously sold out. It’s going to be hopping. But we’re kind of used to that. I mean, we get really a little bit spoiled. I don’t know if they’ll hand out the hankies to wave or anything. That’s a little bit different than the regular season.
But it’s pretty neat. And this is a happening. My family’s coming. They’re going to enjoy the atmosphere. My son, who is in the organization, will come with a couple of buddies and they’ll enjoy it. But that’s for them. Dad’s working and the players are working. And you know we want it to be an enjoyable experience for anybody that comes. And hopefully, obviously, a winning experience. That usually makes it a little bit more enjoyable.
But it’s going to be neat. We know the atmosphere. The weather’s going to be a little cool. But seeing our fans all year, most of them will be pretty warmed up, I think. So they’re going to have a hell of a time tomorrow. I just hope they’re having as hell of a time after the game as they have before and during the game.”
Tigers Pitcher Justin Verlander on why October baseball is so magical-
“It’s just the grind of a season, I think. You go through 162 games with what’s like your family. I think that’s what makes it so special to get in baseball, in particular, just because of the number of games and what you go through in a series. And what a lot of guys don’t see behind the scenes, what guys really go through to get through that many games, and then you make it and it’s just a celebration and it’s fantastic.
And then here you are, playing when a lot of your friends are at home. And it means something. And there’s excitement in the city, the buzz, everything about it, just makes it that much better.”
Tigers first basemen Miguel Cabrera on what he remembers from last year’s ALCS and how things are different now-
“Well, I remember like almost half the teams was hurt. We got a lot of injuries in that series. I think the injuries affect our game because it’s hard to lose somebody in the postseason when you need him. The difference about this year, I think we are at 100 percent. Everybody is healthy. I think everybody has more experience. Hopefully we can play well. Hopefully we can win this game we need to pass to the next series.”
Tigers catcher Alex Avila on how Detroit’s pitching staff compares to Oakland’s-
“Strikeouts normally mean success in the playoffs and we relied heavily last year on that and we will do it again this year. We have a lot of strikeouts between our staff and the bullpen and we are definitely going to need that.”
A’s 3rd basemen Brandon Inge on if he still believes Miguel Cabrera should win the MVP-
“It didn’t change (his opinion) he still should be the MVP. He unbelievable! Triple Crown, enough said.”
A’s right fielder Josh Reddick-
“I feel like we did a good job, I think he went through 120 pitches in 5 or 6 innings last time. If we can do that, score one or two, keep a lot of zeros off the board and get in their bullpen and add a little more, I think we will be alright. We just got hope he leaves pitches over the plate and we did a good job of that, we just couldn’t capitalize with runners on last time. So if we can just keep him over the plate and drive balls we will be just fine.”
Watch the Alex Avila and Brandon Inge videos below and then listen to the game right here on “The Ticket” Saturday evening.