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Updated: July 30th, 2012 7:07pm
Was Liriano offended Twins didn't offer contract? 'To be honest, no'

Was Liriano offended Twins didn't offer contract? 'To be honest, no'

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Just a few hours after cleaning out his locker in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse, Francisco Liriano -- wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform -- addressed reporters in person for the first time since Saturday's trade.

What's it like to be sitting here in a White Sox uniform, about to face the Twins on Tuesday?

It feels weird. It's kind of surprising. But mostly it just feels weird.

I haven't thought about it at all, because I don't want to get too excited, too nervous. I just want to go out there tomorrow, try to do my job.

How did you find out about the trade?

I was getting ready to go to bed. ... I got the phone call around 10:30. I was in shock. I wasn't expecting a trade the night before my game. And getting traded in the same division was kind of weird too. But things happen.

What's it like to find yourself in the middle of a pennant race?

More pressure. Like I said, I'm not going to change anything. I'm just going to go out there and try to do my best, do my job and give the team a chance to win some ballgames. They're playing some pretty good baseball right now. I just want to fit in, do my part.

Do you have an advantage against the Twins, considering how well you know them?

I haven't done my game plan yet. I'll just wait til tomorrow morning and see what I'm going to do tomorrow. It's going to be weird for me, but this is baseball. Things happen and there's nothing you can do about it.

Will you rely on scouting reports?

Well, I haven't talked to the pitching coach yet. I just have to do my game plan tomorrow morning before the game. I don't want to do my game plan tonight before bed, thinking too much. Just do the same thing I was doing -- throwing strikes, hoping to get some groundballs.

How many White Sox players do you know?

Probably like seven games. Orlando, Phil Humber, Jesse Crain, Alexei Ramirez.

What was the reaction from those guys?

They're kind of surprised also. Everything is surprising and kind of weird, but it is what it is. Something like that can always happen in baseball.

Weird to be facing the Twins as a member of the White Sox? A.J. Pierzynski has talked about that before.

Yeah. It feels weird like I said. ... I've faced the White Sox so many times. It's real weird like I said. Nothing I can do about it. Just go with it and try to do my job here and get to know everybody and try to fit in.

How do you look back at your time with Twins?

I was there for almost six years, so I had fun over there. I had good teammates, good pitching coach. Gardy's a great manager too. I had fun over there. I've got some good memories from over there.

Was the no-hitter at U.S. Cellular Field the best moment of your career?

To be honest, yeah. It was a great feeling, a great night, great experience. ... We weren't playing that good at that time, and we got the no-hitter, and at least we had fun that night. That was a great day.

Did you expect to be traded?

I knew something was going to happen. I didn't know what, but I knew something was going to happen. This is my free agent year, so if they didn't want to sign me they're not going to lose me at the end of the year, so I knew something like that was going to happen.

Did it bother you that the Twins didn't initiate talks for a contract extension?

No, not at all. This is baseball, and it's a business too. It didn't bother me at all. Everybody wants to sign a long-term deal, but everybody's different. I just have to wait for my time.

Do you feel you're back to where you want to be?

Yeah, I've been more patient, throwing a lot more strikes, been getting ahead in the count a lot better, getting I think more consistent, besides my last start. So I think I feel where I want to be. I've been throwing all my pitches for strikes and going deeper into games. So I think that's where I want to be.

It seems like every other starter in the Twins rotation throughout your career got a multi-year contract except for you. Did that bother you?

No. To be honest, no. I think about it sometimes. Not that it was bothering me. Like I said, everybody's different. ... I know I wasn't very consistent pitching. I wasn't pitching that good. But it didn't bother me at all.

It didn't offend you at all?

No, not at all. Like I said, everybody's different. They approaches a couple guys for long-term deals. I don't know. I just think this wasn't my time.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Jesse Crain, Francisco Liriano
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