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An interview with:
Q. Obviously, waiting for this opportunity for a few years. What's it feel like to be coming back and back in the saddle? How has it been the last month?
LLOYD McCLENDON: Well, obviously we've had a few things going on the last two or three weeks. It was really good. I saw Andre Dawson, an old teammate of mine, who said, well, you're back in the fire again. I said, yeah, I'm extremely happy. Obviously this is an opportunity that I've waited on for quite some time. I didn't think it was going to take quite this long to do it again, but I'm really excited.
Q. The team has been mentioned prominently in a lot of things. How important is it to get Cano or an impact player to really solidify that lineup?
LLOYD McCLENDON: Well, the one thing when I went through the interview process, jack and I talked about the direction of this club and what were some of the things that we were going to try to do. Obviously, for the most part, the pitching is in place. We have some quality young arms and we have Felix and Iwakuma at the top of the rotation. But we've struggled from an offensive standpoint for quite some time. We wanted to be able to go out and make a -- I don't know if make a statement is the word, but obviously get better from an offensive standpoint. When it opportunity came along, I would say we got better, and I got smarter really quick.
Q. How much of the team have you been able to talk to? I know that's something you wanted to do was talk to certain players?
LLOYD McCLENDON: I've talked to most of my players. Obviously trying to connect Latin American countries, it's a little difficult to get in touch with those guys. But most of the guys in the States I've either visited with or talked with. Whenever I can get out of here, I plan on doing a little bit more.
Q. But what are you hearing from the guys about the thoughts coming into the season?
LLOYD McCLENDON: They love their new Skipper, obviously (laughing). You know, I think our guys are excited. Obviously with the commitment that we've just made, I think it shows them that we're serious about what we're trying to accomplish. I think they understand that for the most part the maturation process is just about over with. Now it's time to step up and start getting it done. I think we have some pieces in place that can hopefully get that done for us in the near future.
Q. Are you different as a manager this time than you were in Pittsburgh?
LLOYD McCLENDON: Yeah, you know, I was asked that earlier. I believe that your past prepared you for your future. I'd be foolish if I said no, I'm no different. I would hope that I'm better. I know I'm older, I'm a little more grayer, and hopefully a little smarter. I would say, yes. I'm going to be much different, yeah.
Q. Did you do a lot of thinking of what you would do differently if you got another chance here?
LLOYD McCLENDON: Get better players (laughing). A guy like Robinson Cano makes you really smart, really quick. Hopefully we can get a couple more pieces like that.
Q. What else does this team need?
LLOYD McCLENDON: I've been listening to, obviously, all the news outlets and we have to do more than just Robinson Cano. Look, no one player is going to win a championship for you. But I would remind people that we have some pieces in place. We have a team that we lost 18 to 20
December 10, 2013