Sunday, April 29, 2012

Interview With Tim Byrdak

Tim Byrdak 
Here is part of our conversation with reliever Tim Byrdak from the Blogger Event.

Talk about this team from last year to this year. Is there a different atmosphere?

Terry's done a great job, last year, even this year. I think the biggest thing about this year, with this team, is Johan Santana. He sets our rotation up where everyone kind of falls into place. You can use R.A. as your number two and Niese, it sets everybody up in a rotation so nicely. Without him last year, we had a couple of injuries, trying to keep guys in the rotation and fill spots. It's a little tough, but the atmosphere he brings around the clubhouse keeps things loose and we go from there.

Losing Pelfrey and having Jason Bay out to the 15-Day disabled list, does somebody say just pick up the slack and go from there?  

There's nothing you can do during the course of the year. Guys are going to go down. It's a shame that it happened so quickly, and again, two or three guys sitting out at the same time, but again it's going to give the young kids an opportunity to come up here and compete, and show them what they can do. I think you've seen in in Nieuwenhuis. The role that he's played out there and stuff like that. It's make or break. Can you play up here or not? He's showing right now that he deserves to stay.

How tough is it for a young guy like Nieuwenhuis to come to a team with veteran guys, and fitting in with the rest of the team? 

I think that falls on the rest of us older guys, to make them feel welcome, to not put too much pressure on them,  go out there and them him do his thing, and be able to play relaxed out there and not worrying about making mistakes out there.

When you had surgery...were you surprised at how quick you came back? I know you were determined to get back before opening day, but were you surprised at how well you healed? 

Yeah, a little bit. They gave me the timetable with no setbacks of three weeks, and I knew there was going to be that short window. I remember, at the time a week and a half out of surgery, I finally got back down to spring training, watching these guys pitch, watching what they were doing pushing off the mound, and knowing at that point I really couldn't do that. I contemplated how long it was going to take, but the rehab part of it came back great. It strengthened it up real quick and I'm happy to be here.

Talk about Terry a little bit. Terry looks like he's been juggling a lot of around here, juggling personalities of a lot of young kids since he's been he looked at by you guys as a master scientist, or just one of the boys? Where is Terry in your eyes?

I think his personal touch inside the clubhouse, going around talking to guys, getting there feels, letting them know what's happening each day. He's trying not to surprise anybody and say, 'Hey, by the way, you're starting,' an hour before the game. He's going to try and give a heads up, saying to the bench guys, 'Listen, I'm going to try and get you in tomorrow. I'm going to try my best to get you a start,' so guys can prepare. I think that's the biggest thing you've seen so far this season is that personal touch...he's not going to B.S. you, so to speak. He'll tell you straight up, how it is so you can prepare.

Can you talk about your relationship with Dan Warthen, and his relationship with the rest of the pitching staff? How does he get you guys ready for games, and if your in a slump, how does he work with you guys? 

The preparation, the charts and everything, all the game notes that we have that we go through. It's there for you any time. If you have questions, or you want to try something out, he's down in that bullpen. The starters always get that consistent work in their bullpen sessions between starts. For relievers, that door is always open. During BP, whenever you need him to talk about some things, or work on some things.

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