For the past few years, Scott Downs has cited superstition when asked to do formal interviews with us scribes. He’d chat outside of that type of setting, always friendly, but said that talking to reporters was bad luck.
Now, if this was Downs’ only “superstition” it might have been a bit much. But he does have some other odd things he does. Racing Brian Tallet from the outfield to the clubhouse — we’re talking a dead sprint — after each BP. Placing his Red Bull can in the same spot in the dugout before every game, moving a “No Reporters Beyond This Point” sign down the third-base line every day. The list goes on.
Today, Downs agreed to be interviewed after news came out yesterday that he’d remain the closer after B.J. Ryan returned from the disabled list. Downs did throw us off right from the get go, though. When approached, he said “Ahhh, only if it’s NOT about closing.” Ummm, we proceeded with caution and turns out he was just kidding.
“In my eyes, he’s still our closer,” Downs said of Ryan. “I’m just filling in until he’s ready to go.”
As for finally being trusted with such an important job after a career that has seen him go from a starter, to a long reliever/spot starter, to one of the game’s top setup men, Downs said:
“It just goes with hard work and timing. It’s really timing. I don’t consider myself a closer. I dont think I ever will. I never would’ve looked at myself as a setup guy, either. I’m just kind of a guy that’s going to go out there and pitch when asked to pitch — that’s what I’m here to do and what I love to do.”
Ryan is scheduled to throw again tonight with Class A Dunedin and could be back before Monday. Ricky Romero is scheduled to start tonight for Double-A New Hampshire and could be back soon, though there is no timetable yet. Casey Janssen logged six innings last night in his fourth Minor League start, and no timetable for him, either. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s back during the White Sox series, but no one has said that will be the case. He could very well have one more Minors outing to complete.
1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixiera, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Melky Cabrera, LF
7. Brett Gardner, CF
8. Ramiro Pena, SS
9. Francisco Cervelli, C
Starter: LHP Andy Pettitte (2-1)
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Kevin Millar, 1B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Jose Bautista LF
Starter: RHP Scott Richmond (4-1)