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October 13, 2004

John Olerud


Q. How difficult was it for you emotionally getting released by Seattle, and were you concerned at all that you might not get another shot; that you might be done?

JOHN OLERUD: Well, I think it's definitely hard when you get released by a ballclub. It's not anything that you want to have happen to you. But, I mean, I was hoping that I would get another opportunity to play. I think when you get a release over the year, you don't know if there's going to be an opportunity or if there's going to be an opening. But I was hoping that I would get an opportunity.

Q. You batted against Pedro many times throughout your career; were you waiting on a certain pitch and did you get that pitch when you hit the home run?

JOHN OLERUD: In that situation I've got two strikes on me and against Pedro that's a bad position to be in because he can do so many different things to get you out. So, you know, really I'm up there, I'm trying to protect the plate and just get the bat on the ball and got a fastball up and in and I just did a good job of getting to it.

Q. Being on this team you have to sense something special about this team, whether you're down four runs going into the sixth inning or facing one of the best pitchers in the League, this team has a resiliency to win, can you speak to that?

JOHN OLERUD: When I got here, we had some come-from-behind games where we scored a bunch of runs late if ballgames. That's what everybody was telling me; that's the way it's been a lot this year, is the come-from-behind wins when you need a big hit that we've been getting a big hit. It's kind of continued to go that way, latter part of the season and into the post post-season. So, you know, it's just a lot of fun to be a part of it.

Q. How many teams expressed an interest in you and why did you choose the Yankees?

JOHN OLERUD: Let's see. Probably I think four teams, four teams. You know, there's a lot of things that go into making a decision when you have some options or you have a number of teams you're looking for a good opportunity playing-wise. You know, all of the teams that were interested me in at the time were in pennant races, so you just look for a situation where it's just the best fit for you. For me, New York was definitely the best fit for me.

Q. Two questions, first, what was it like watching the post-season for someone who has won championships before, and the second part, is your wife able to come to these games, being pregnant?

JOHN OLERUD: Say that again? What is it like for me to watch or be a part of it?

Q. Watching the post-season the last couple of years when you've won championships before, watching at home and the second part about your wife.

JOHN OLERUD: Well, I think I've been watching it at home. I got to the World Series pretty early in my career, and I think having not made it back to the World Series, I think just let's you know how difficult it is and how special it is. So I think that's the thing that hits home is just how difficult it is to get there and how special it is. And as far as my wife, yeah, she's been able to come to the games, so she's been here.

Q. You've had a lot of big hits in your career, is this possibly the biggest hit, or certainly the biggest home run?

JOHN OLERUD: I don't know. I would say it ranks right up there. It's definitely the freshest in my mind, that's for sure. (Laughter.)

Q. What would you be doing right now if you had not gotten picked up or you wound up with a team that didn't make the playoffs?

JOHN OLERUD: If I didn't get picked up by a team?

Q. Or if you wound up with a team that didn't make the playoffs, what would you be doing this time of year?

JOHN OLERUD: Oh, I would be back home in Medinah, Washington. And my kids, I've got my son who would be in school, taking care of the kids, getting ready to have another baby here.

End of FastScripts...

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