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Jim Lefebrve: "We're not exactly wearing out the ball, but at the same time we've hit a lot of balls hard..."

XX Sports Radio: Jim Lefebvre Interview (MP3) by Darren Smith

  • Jim Lefebvre was manager of the Cubs, Brewers and Marlins.  He managed Scanman as a reliever and spot starter.  Darren says "We're you used to this pretty boy, he has nice hair, gets manicures, wears nice suits".  Lefebvre says that Scanman was a competitor, threw real hard and wasn't afraid to get dirty.  He wasn't afraid of anybody.
  • "We don't want to hit anybody or hurt anybody" but you got to pitch inside. The umpires won't allow you to pitch like that anymore.
  • Being a manager for the Cubs, Jim says that the wind is a big factor and plays a big part in a teams strategy.  If the wind is blowing in, you've got to start playing for one run right from the beginning of the game.   If the wind is blowing out, you put all your big hitters in and let them rip.  The Cubs have to have a team that plays all different styles in order to succeed because of their ballpark.  Darren Smith suggests that it might be the night life because they have so many day games and the players come in hung over.
  • "We're not exactly wearing out the ball, but at the same time we've hit a lot of balls hard that if they hit a hole here and there they'd make a big difference in the game."  The Padres are hitting the ball a lot better than what the numbers are showing.  "Hopefully we'll snap out of this little funk and get on a roll."
  • Kouz needs to find a direct path to the ball.  Lefebvre talks about Kouzmanoff's mechanics.  His front arm goes up and his back arm drops, he needs to level his swing.  Kouz puts a lot of pressure on himself and is pressing, he really cares.  
  • You have to appreciate Eckstein's competitive, it's about the heart of the player.  Eckstein's hearts has rubbed off on a lot of the players.  "He's very special"
  • You have to talk to each of the players differently.  The hard part is getting in the minds of each player.  What works for one guy doesn't work for somebody else.  Once you find something that works for somebody you have to stay with it.
  • Darren Smith asks Lefebvre if losing has become acceptable in the clubhouse.  He says "no, that is not happening on this ball club, trust me".  "Are we that bad?  No!"  The players have been working hard.

More from Lefebrve in the UT.