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October 10, 2017

Joe Torre

Chicago, Illinois

Q. Who is your starter for tomorrow? (Laughter).
JOE TORRE: You know, it's nice watching games when you don't have to worry about who wins. (Laughing).

Q. Can you just walk us through the day and why you waited for a couple hours with no rain to call it?
JOE TORRE: Yeah, you know, I think, you've been around the game and I know a bunch of you guys have probably experienced it. You try to make decisions on forecasts, and all of a sudden, you know, it doesn't pan out. You know, we had a lot of wind going on out there, and I don't know if it was keeping the rain from coming down.

But we knew it was out there, and you know, even during the season, I know we obviously need to get them in because you play 162. But the last thing you want to do is burn a starter, and it doesn't take much to burn the starter; even warming up, because the starters, most of them now, take anywhere from 30, 40, 45 minutes to get their work in.

So you know, it wasn't raining, and it looked like it was breaking up there for a bit. Looked like it may have been rain that we could play in. But you could see there was really no significant dry time, and then we just -- you know, we had like three phone calls back to New York with Tony Petitti and Commissioner Manfred.

One experience I had as a manager of the Cardinals, we had a businessman's special one afternoon at 12:30. I got to the ballpark at 8:30, 9:00. Dal Maxvil was my boss. We had really bad rain coming in, so we called the game, like at 10 o'clock in the morning. My wife and I were having lunch outside at 12:00; never rained. The sun was shining.

You know, you sit there, and you wait and you wait, and then people say, "Well, why didn't we start this game an hour ago"? But even the time we waited here, if we had started, the pitchers would have been burned. That's the most important thing. Because to this point, especially in this series, that if a starter goes out there for a couple innings, he's probably not going to be able to pitch the rest of the series.

Q. It seems like Major League Baseball is in a no-win situation in these cases. You have to satisfy both teams; you have to satisfy a network, and more importantly, you have to try to satisfy the fans. When this happens, you end up sitting here.
JOE TORRE: Well, you know, the thing about it, the one thing we didn't want to do is try to milk it and get this game in at any cost, and that -- we have to do that sometimes during the season; it's a lot of times.

But you know, it's important that we get input from both teams. We had both managers, both general managers, in our initial meeting, and then the general managers came in, and everybody was pretty much on the same page on this one.

You know, we all felt it wasn't going to be enough playing time without rain, and it was just -- and the forecast had changed a lot during the few hours. But again, it never eliminated the rain. They were talking about windows; it would be an hour, or maybe an hour and a half, or maybe two hours. And just the fact that you may have had a window, you know, at 8:00 or something, or 7:00; but that may have changed by the time we got to 7:00.

So you know, the fact that we waited is because -- sure, we wanted to play. I think everybody wanted to play, but we certainly didn't want to play at a cost, especially in Postseason.

Q. Was there any talk yesterday of moving the game up to 1:00 instead of 4:30 to maybe get through the rain?
JOE TORRE: That's not my department. You know, I don't know if there was a conversation along those lines. You know, it's easy to look back and say that at this point in time, but I can't tell you if there was that conversation.

Q. Just to follow up on that a little bit, to help the average fan understand, what is the dynamic of making a radical change that does not please TV, like a 1 o'clock game?
JOE TORRE: I don't understand.

Q. The average fan is going to say, they had all afternoon to play. Everybody could see they had weather. Why not just play? And the answer is, usually, well, it's TV. Can you kind of explain how much damage monetarily that does to TV, to a partner?
JOE TORRE: Well, they have to be a part of the decision because they pay a significant amount of money for the rights to televise our games. It's really naïve to say they shouldn't have any input on when the games are played.

It's something that, you know, has happened obviously over time. Our sport is pretty popular and the fact that there are a number of networks that are involved here; I think Major League Baseball certainly has to be aware of not only dealing with each team and trying to make them either understand what you want to do or have them help you decide what you want to do. But that we all have to understand, you know, a lot of times, who pays the freight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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