Danks speaks with the media

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Below is the transcript of John Danks’ media session on the eve of his first Opening Day start.

On the honor of getting the Opening Day start:

“It’s a huge honor. I think every starting pitcher wants to throw on Opening Day. It’s exciting. We’ll see how it goes. I’m looking forward to it.”

On if he knows anyone he’ll be facing from his years in the minors with Texas:

“Not any more. I hardly know anyone over there anymore. There are a couple of guys I played with coming up but it isn’t the same as the first couple of years I came over here to play Texas. I’ve said it before; it could be against anyone it’ll still be exciting. I’m looking forward to it. I wish it was today, but I’ll try to get some sleep tonight and try to win a ballgame tomorrow.”

On if there’s added pressure being the No. 1 guy:

“No, it’s kind of cliché but whoever has the ball that day is kind of who we are counting on. We have five No. 1s the way I look at it. How much success we have is going to be strongly dictated on how well we throw the ball. I have full faith in the guys we have. We have five guys who give us a chance to win every time we go out and that’s the goal. We’ll try to take some of the pressure off the offense by keeping the other team in check and that will start tomorrow.”

On if the team’s ready for the season to start:

“Every time you get to this point you’re ready for the season to start. We were ready to get out of Arizona and now we’re ready to get the season going.”

On how he’d evaluate his spring:

“It got better as it went on. It was pretty bad at first, but I knew all along I was going to be where I needed to be. I had to put in some extra work this year because I was pretty bad at the beginning, but I feel ready. I feel ready to get the ball rolling.”

On if he ever dreamed of playing in the majors with the Rangers:

“Yeah, that’s the only team I knew at the time. I wanted to be a Ranger at that time and get to the big leagues. Never did I imagine being traded to Chicago, that’s just not something you think about, but I’ve been here five years now and I’m excited to be here another five.”

On how many family and friends will be in attendance:

“Oh who knows, a lot? Probably, if I had to guess, 20-ish. It’ll be exciting to see some people and hopefully I don’t embarrass them tomorrow.”

On Rangers Ballpark at Arlington:

“I love it. It was always exciting coming here as a kid. It’s been exciting coming here for me as a player because I’m so close to home that there are always people up here. I’m hoping to throw well tomorrow.”

On his career record vs. Texas:

“I’m always hoping for a big game. I don’t worry about my career numbers; it is what it is. They’re a good team; they’ve been a good team since I was in the big leagues. I’m playing against back-to-back American League Champs, couldn’t ask for a better stage. I want to get out there and have a good game to put myself on the map and put the White Sox on the map. People aren’t expecting much from us, but if we have a good series here people might start thinking twice about the White Sox.”

On if he roots for the Rangers when they’re in the playoffs:

“I was rooting more for players; I wasn’t rooting for a certain team. I wasn’t rooting for a certain team in the playoffs. I was rooting in the World Series for Edwin (Jackson) to do well and I have some buddies still over there, so it was more rooting for players rather than teams. When it comes down to it, I root for the American League I guess, so I was disappointed they didn’t win it, but I didn’t play real close attention.”

On if the team needs to get off to a fast start:

“We’d definitely like to have a better start than we’ve had the past few years. You can dig a hole that might be too deep this early in the season. Obviously it’s a long season and anything can happen, but definitely, we don’t want to start in a hole too early this season and then have to work our way out of it. We want to try to stay up near the top of the division all year and it starts tomorrow.”

On if he’s worried about getting off to a slow start and not being able to come back:

“Not at all – I haven’t even thought about it. I’m going about it like we’re going to get off to a great start and just trying to think like that. We’re all 0-0 at this point so I’m just going to try to go out there and try to win a ballgame tomorrow.”

On Robin Ventura and Nolan Ryan’s past:

“It isn’t something you see a ton outside of here. It was a long time ago. I don’t know if I was even born yet when that happened. It’s exciting for Robin just like it is for me because it’s a first; it doesn’t matter where it is. There’s a little extra back story to it but I don’t think it’s something that’s mentioned too much. I don’t think that’s going to be something that’s mentioned too much but we might take a couple of stabs at Robin if we win a couple of games here, but until then we’re not saying anything.”

On if they’ve taken stabs at him about Nolan Ryan yet:

“I haven’t joked with him about it. I need to learn him first to see if I can. He might beat me up if I do joke about it.”

On the Rangers’ lineup:

“Without a doubt they’re a good lineup up and down. They got guys off the bench that don’t miss a beat when they come in the game. You just got to stay focused, stay aggressive and see what happens.”

On the team’s tough April:

“Regardless of who we’re playing we have to play well. There really isn’t an easy game in the American League. We have to play well. We’re talented enough and capable of winning a lot of ballgames, but we have to play, that’s just the facts. We have to play well, limit our mistakes and take advantage of other teams’ mistakes and see what happens.”

2 Comments

Whatever strange trip this season will bring, it all starts today. Happy Opening Day, everyone! Go Danks and Go White Sox!

Happy Opening Day everyone! Hey whatever the season brings at least its getting warmer out there! Go SOX!!!

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