Our Paul Hagen is covering Brett Myers today in Reading.
Here is a transcript of Myers' session with the media:
Myers: “I’m not coming back to take anybody’s job. I’m just coming back to help. Whatever the situation is. If somebody needs a day off or whatever. Just make it to where they have confidence in the guys in the back of the bullpen, to where we can win games. It’s all about winning. It doesn’t matter how we do it. I just want to win.”
(But if they needed you to close. . .)
“Yeah. If Lidge threw four days in a row and he felt like he needed a blow then, yeah, I could do it. (Ryan) Madson could do it. Hopefully (lefthander) J.C. (Romero) comes back and the match-up works out and he can do it. There are a lot of guys in there can do it. Just because they haven’t doesn’t mean they can’t.
“They put a lot of emphasis on that ninth inning. And they should, because it’s probably the three biggest outs in the game. But guys just have to think of it like another inning. I think they should be just fine about that.”
(But you do have to understand the concern. . .)
“I know that the fans and everybody else – I’m not sure the organization is too concerned about it with the lead we have and everything – you never know. Who knows? Maybe we make it to the playoffs and (Lidge) comes out and he goes 6-for-6 or whatever. You just never know what’s going to happen and that’s the beauty of the game.
“I’ll just come back. And if they need me to close the game or if Brad needs a blow or whatever just to take a day then, yeah, we can do that. They can pick who they want to put in that situation. But am I prepared to do anything they ask? Yeah, I’ll be ready. I’ve closed before. It’s nothing new for me to go out and do it.
“But, like I said, I’m not coming back to take anybody’s job. I just want to come back and help. The main thing for me right now is just to get back and be part of the team. Because they’re doing all this without me and it (stinks) for me. Because I’m wanting them to win every night and not being there to be a part of what’s going on is tough.”
(How do you keep up?)
“The greatest thing ever. It’s called the Sling Box. . .I can watch it on my computer.”
(So you don’t sense that they’re concerned about Lidge?)
“Dude, I’m not there. I couldn’t really tell you. . .I don’t know what’s going on.”
(Believe us, they’re concerned)
“If that’s how you feel, if they’re concerned about it, I don’t know what to tell you. There’s nothing I can do until I finish up here. I’m just trying to pitch here and get my arm strength back and be healthy enough to contribute any way they need me to.”
“I think it’s pretty good. I’ve been throwing for two months. It’s been 2 ½ weeks since I’ve been able to get on a mound. The first week or so of throwing felt weird. But tehn you get past that and you start playing catch and then all of a sudden it starts coming together.
“I threw four or five bullpens in Clearwater. I threw four simulated games. So I had like nine chances to be on the mound (before starting the rehab assignment) to get my stuff ready. So it’s fine.”
(Why multiple innings? So you can do that out of the bullpen?)
“Possibly. I mean, when I was closing I’d throw two innings sometimes. I’d come in in the eighth and I’d throw the ninth, too. I was doing that. That’s fine. I mean, a normal inning, a good clean inning, should honestly be no more than 15 pitches. If you get in trouble, it could be up around 25 pitches. So if I threw two innings that way it would be 50 pitches.
“Personally, I don’t think I need to throw so many innings (to get ready). I know they want to get me up to 50 pitches, but I think I can throw 50 pitches any day of the week. That’s just me. That’s just how I feel about it. That’s not their plan would be for me. Their concern is they don’t want me to get up there and I have to go two, three innings and hurt myself.”
(Do you think your coming back will put any pressure on Brad Lidge?)
“I would hope not. I would hope it would make him better. I’d hope it would not put any pressure on him, maybe that it would lock him in. Hopefully I’ll get up there and he’ll shut them down and we won’t have to discuss this anymore because you obviously see it and you hear it and you see it and everything.
“As I said, I’m not there to take anybody’s job. I’m not there to do that. I don’t want to start any turmoil in any part of the team. I don’t want to be anything like that. I just want to help. I want to go pitch. I don’t want any controversy or, ‘Oh, we want him in there’ and start stirring up stuff. That’s not what I plan on doing.
“I just want to go back, get an inning in here and there, help the team out if possible. Maybe throw to one hitter or something like that in certain situations. I just want to participate.”
(Feel the hip anymore?)
“No. Knock on wood I don’t feel anything, pitching, running, whatever.”
(Find it hard to believe you pitched with it so long?)
“No, because I’ve always been the kind of guy who was going to go until it fell off. At a certain point, I got to where I was throwing with it and it just got worse. I felt it last year but not as bad as I felt it this year.
“In ’07 I didn’t feel it as much maybe. It didn’t bother me as much. And then last year it was bad. Like every year I was having hip problems. It would be tight. I felt like it was just from standing around and that’s why it was doing it.
“Honestly, going into the doc I didn’t feel like I was going to need surgery. I didn’t know what it was. I did everything I could to keep pitching this year. And I wanted to keep pitching. I was ice-tubbing every day so, if there was inflammation, I could get it out.
“Against the Yankees I threw a pitch to Johnny Damon and he grounded out to first. My brain and my body and everything was telling me to get over to first but for some reason I couldn’t move. I got over there late but Howard had tagged the bag, so I got lucky. I told the trainer, ‘It just locked up. I don’t know what happened.’
“It would do it every time I’d really try to get after a pitch. When guys get in trouble, they try to throw harder. And I’m that type of guy. I’m trying to throw harder and harder. I was getting into a little bit of trouble and the harder I’d try to throw, the worse my location was, the worse my velocity was and the more pain I was in.
“At that point I was like, ‘It’s not that bad. It should be fine tomorrow.’ Then they checked it and said I had a torn labrum.”
(What’s your approach when activated?)
“I’ve only been part of two postseason rosters. I guess they’re just going to go with the hot hand, whoever’s going good. I feel like I have to make the team. Honestly, you know? Period. I don’t expect to be given anything if somebody is throwing better. There are no guarantees in this game, no guarantees I can go back out there and do anything sufficient. Hopefully I can. Hopefully I get enough work here and feel comfortable going back there.”