Benoit clarifies World Series comment
Just talked with Joaquin Benoit, who found out last night that his postgame comment had gone a bit viral. He says he didn’t mean it to come out that way.
In case you missed it, Benoit told reporters after the Game 1 win, “I feel like we’re on the verge of the World Series again.”
Taken by itself, it reads like a prediction, and it got some play here in the Bay Area because of that. Benoit said before batting practice today that he didn’t mean it that way. He meant to say that the win felt like a confidence boost for this team, including a relatively young bullpen.
“I guess that the message was taken the wrong way,” Benoit said. “We went to the World Series last year, and what I was trying to say that this is the feeling that I would like to have, that we can go back to the World Series. … If it was taken the wrong way, I apologize, but I don’t really mean to say that we’re going to go to the World Series. There’s a lot of baseball to be played, and hopefully we do.”
Asked if he had talked with manager Jim Leyland about it, Benoit said, “I already clarified with him, because I already heard about it. It’s really tough when you’re trying to say something and it’s taken the wrong way.”
Leyland, for his part, wasn’t happy about the hubbub, but defended the comment to an extent.
“It’s not good for you guys, but I always tell my players that you know what, in all these situations, because of the national media attention, it’s probably best to say less,” Leyland said. “The less said is probably better. Sure, I like a confident team. I don’t know that you need to go on stage and talk about it, but I like a team that’s confident and I think you show that by the way you play. I thought we responded very good to the atmosphere last night and a lot of that was dictated by the way our pitcher pitched. But we are a confident team. I don’t expect that we are any more confident than the Oakland A’s, so I don’t like to hear any teams talk about it too much.
“I just like to watch ‘em go out and play and they usually show their energy and confidence and everything by the way they play. If guys want to talk about it, that’s fine, more power to ‘em. They’re grown men. I don’t tell anybody what to say and or not to say. I don’t give advice, but I do say there is no sense in fueling fires. We don’t need to do that. We just need to go play.”