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October 16, 2004

Derek Jeter


Q. So which is it, do you find an extra level of concentration for these post-season games of some sort or do you approach each game the same whether it's March 1 in Fort Lauderdale or tonight?

DEREK JETER: To be honest with you, I don't approach it any differently. You know, regardless of when you're playing, you try to have the same approach. I don't think too much. I think at times people can think a little bit too much and that affects you. But this is all I've known since I've been 21, is playing in the post-season. So it's not foreign to me, but the games obviously mean more. But my approach stays the same.

Q. How much do you pay attention to the situation with Curt Schilling or do you even pay attention to what's going on with him?

DEREK JETER: Well, you can't help but notice, obviously, because we're asked about it a lot and every time you turn on the TV you're seeing updates on his condition. But to be honest with you, we can't worry about Curt Schilling. We have to worry about approaching Arroyo a little bit better than we have in the past. So I think you worry about those things when the time comes but you can't look that far.

Q. How does this group of the new Yankees who came in this year, Brown and Vazquez and A-Rod and Sheffield, how does it fair to some of the other ones in terms of how they have acclimated into that Yankee way?

DEREK JETER: Well, I think people have a pretty good understanding coming over here how we go about our business because of the fact that we've been together, you know, Mr. Torre has been here for, this is his ninth year. We have played against those guys. They have seen us from afar. They understand what it's like. When they get here I think they look at some of the guys that are here and how we go about our business on a daily basis. So it really has not been much of an adjustment for them I don't think. As long as you come in here with the mindset that you're here to win, then you'll fit in just fine.

Q. Yesterday with the rain, you spent a lot of time in the relatively close confines of the visiting clubhouse here; can you talk a little bit about the charms of this ballpark?

DEREK JETER: I love it here. (Laughter.) To be honest with you, I've said it time and time again, the atmosphere makes it fun, regardless of the kind of things that they may say, the Fenway and the Red Sox fans are diehard, you know, to say the least. (Smiling) They are pretty passionate about their team. It makes it fun. This rivalry has been fun. Since I've been here, the intensity has picked up as the teams have gotten closer in the standing, since '96, '97, last couple of years especially. I always enjoy coming here. Sometimes the fans take it a little too serious away from the field, but it's fun. It's fun to play here.

Q. What similarities or differences do you see between Red Sox and Yankees fans?

DEREK JETER: The fans, they are both passionate, you know. Obviously we've won more than the Red Sox, so I think there might be a little -- I've got to be careful how I say this. You should have asked me this question yesterday and let me sleep on it. The Red Sox fans seem like they are frustrated, but I think both sets of fans care about their teams. Now it's gotten to a point where it's not just during the post-season and the season, it's moved on to the off-season. Baseball is the talk for both sets of fans throughout the year which I think is good for the game. Both are great. They are very intelligent. I think they pay attention to detail. But these fans are up there with any fans. Here Red Sox fans, Yankee fans, I think they are both as good as it gets.

Q. How do these Red Sox fans treat you when you're in Boston and when you're not on the field?

DEREK JETER: Great. Yeah, it's fun. You go places, they always have nice things to say. (Laughter.) You go out to eat, they offer to pay for your check. (Laughter.) You know what, to be honest with you, you get them one-on-one, I think they respect us. Obviously they don't pull for us, but I think they have respect for how we go about playing the game. If you get a group of them, that's trouble. (Laughter.) It's a little bit different in the daytime, in the morning than it is at night. So I guess it depends on the circumstances.

Q. I was just struck, they just showed a picture of Andy Pettitte in the dugout, Roger Clemens is on the mound, you're here; how closely do you follow those guys? Are you rooting for them? Have you called them or talked to them? Will you go back and watch?

DEREK JETER: Without question, any time you play with someone as long as we've played together, especially Andy, I feel for him, I feel bad for him that he's had problems with his arm this year. You know, but you miss those guys. I've played with Andy since '92, that was the first time we played together. I wish him the best. Same thing with Rocket. I've probably talked to him a little bit more than Andy, but I'm pulling for them. I hope they do extremely well. Just not if we're playing them. You're pulling for them because we've been through a lot of things together.

Q. Would you want to play the Astros theoretically if it got to that because they were there?

DEREK JETER: Well, I don't care. As long as we get there, it means we're in the World Series, so it really doesn't make a difference. But I can't worry about who we're going to play in the next round; we have to get past Boston first.

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