John Axford meet with the media following today’s announcement that he had been pulled from his season-long role — pulled, at least, for the time being — in favor of former big league closer Francisco Rodriguez.
“It was a decision I kind of expected after yesterday’s performance.”
“It’s frustrating the way things have been going this year so maybe it’ll be a breath of fresh air to step back a little bit and try to get back in the swing of things the way it was last year.”
“I’m not sure (how I expect the new role to go). Obviously, I’ve been in that position before when I was first up so I’m just ready and prepared to do anything I can to help the team. That’s what I told Ron. Whether it’s one inning or coming in to throw two, whatever he sees fit to get me back on track and most importantly, help the team.”
Axford was asked how the change might affect him mentally.
“You just try not to let it get to you. You’ve got to go out there and do your job. Baseball has never really been an easy thing for me. It was never an easy thing to get here to begin with, so I’m not going to assume and think that it’s going to be easy from here on out. I had to fight to try to get to where I’m at, to get to the big leagues, so I plan to go at it that way.”
Did Axford try to talk Roenicke out of it?
“I feel that would be selfish of me to think that way. I’ve had plenty of opportunities this year. Some of them haven’t gone my way, be it bad luck or what-not. But yesterday I put myself in that situation though it was ultimately a couple of ground balls and a flare that ended up beating me. It was the two walks, also. I wasn’t finding anything. It would just be kind of selfish on my part to try to talk him out of that. The decision was not only for me but it’s for the team as well.”
Thanks to the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel for the direct quotes.