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October 19, 2004

Joe Torre


Q. How would you assess your bullpen tonight as far as arm weariness and whatever?

JOE TORRE: Well, I'm sure we're arm weary. But everybody is available that you've been seeing out there. Let's put it that way.

Q. How much do you think you could possibly expect, for example, like Gordon, who has given you four innings in the last two games?

JOE TORRE: You know, this time of year, it's tough to sit like you do during the regular season and say, well, he's worked a couple of days and pitched this many innings, let's give him a day off. This is what you base all the rest that you give these guys during the course of the year, to save it up for. So the fact is that we go into every game trying to win, and that's the way we're going to approach this one. And if the situation presents itself, where Gordon is a fit for us, which means that we'll be ahead, which is why we've done this the last couple of days, we'll still go to the same people.

Q. If you did have a Game 7 tomorrow do you know who would be starting or would you have everyone on deck including a guy like Mussina or El Duque to give you an inning?

JOE TORRE: We're not talking about Game 7.

Q. Would you talk about Willie Randolph as a managerial candidate and what he might bring to that position?

JOE TORRE: Well, I hope the Mets -- I think he's going to interview later this week. I certainly hope that, you know, the interview is for the purpose of interviewing him for the job, as opposed to having to interview a minority. I think Willie, with the experience he's had, first off playing for a number of ballclubs that have gone to post-season, and then coaching third base, which is a very rigorous job pressure-wise, and being around great baseball people, you know, Billy Martin and Piniella and all of those people, and then the fact that he's been my bench coach this year. And has seen the game from that perspective. You know, I think he has done just about everything other than manage in the Minor Leagues which not everybody has done to be successful in the big leagues. I certainly would like to see him get the opportunity. I don't think we ever really know how someone is going to do until they are actually doing it, but I think credential-wise, especially the fact that he's done it here in New York, certainly qualifies him as a viable candidate in my mind.

Q. Do you have to devise a different game plan to try to get Ortiz out in clutch situations? And also, how impressive has his performances been the past couple of days?

JOE TORRE: Well, the past couple of days, let's see, how many times have we played them? 24 times or something like that so far. He's been a handful, there's no question. You know, the only way you try to devise something is when you feel that you have to pitch to him is the fact that you have to try to move the ball around. I mean, he hit a real good pitch last night. I know Mel looked at it again, the ball was in off the plate, but he's so strong that he was able to fight the ball off. And if you make a mistake out over the plate, he can kill you like he did the inning before, or in the eighth inning. He is really -- you saw he had the chance to be a good hitter when he was in Minnesota but he's gotten so much stronger and so much more confident, he's certainly a force. Again, you make a plan by not pitching good hitters any one way. We just need to be in a position to have him hit our pitch, basically.

Q. Any update on Olerud and any concerns that his injury; is something different than what you think it is right now?

JOE TORRE: Not that it may be something different, but it may be something more. He is getting tested today. What the extent of those tests are, I'm not at liberty to tell you, only because I don't know. He obviously is out for the rest of this series, and we'll have to wait for the results. My guess is, as soon as we get them that, you know, you'll have -- Rick will probably give them to you guys.

Q. Last year you guys came home with a 3-2 lead, same scenario, but does it feel any different or less secure because of the last two games?

JOE TORRE: To me it's the momentum thing. If we had won, say, the first game and lost the second game, you know, back and forth and we had won yesterday -- it's always, the team that wins the day before always seems to feel pretty good about itself. But the thing that's unusual, where we're very frustrated obviously over the last couple of days, but the fact that 12 innings, 14 innings, it's a matter of who is going to score first. So I think that's what caused our frustration. But I don't think -- other than the frustration that we feel, maybe a little tired like I'm sure Boston is, that we feel any less of ourselves or our ability to do something.

Q. Millions of fans have been rehashing the last two days trying to see what they think was important or most memorable; what have you rehashed going to sleep, any managerial moves, any breaks that either team got? What sticks out?

JOE TORRE: I pretty much try to make it as simple as possible. You can go through the whole game and wish things turned out differently. That's when you're basically a fan and you wish that the line drive wasn't caught or you were able to do this or do that. What I come down to is that we've, last two days have had the situation we've wanted both games where we've had a lead in the eighth and ninth inning, and that normally is what gets the job done, and we haven't been able to close the deal. In thinking about, you know, say Trot Nixon's catch on the line drive yesterday with Matsui with the bases loaded, it still comes down to where you were in the eighth and ninth inning. As I say, if I had the same situation tonight I would be very satisfied.

Q. Can you see yourself in a situation mid to late game, close score, that you would pinch-run for Posada?

JOE TORRE: You know what? I could see that happening but I think I'd have to be behind to have that happen. You know, if I'm tied at home, or tied on the road, I struggled with it the other night and then we made two quick outs so I didn't have to dwell on it that long when he was at second base. It certainly is a consideration, but we are playing one guy short without Olerud, and you know, making that decision, not mid-game, I don't think I could make it mid-game. I think it would have to be late, because we've, you know, during the course of the year, we've been patient pretty much. For his run to mean something mid-game, I certainly couldn't do it. But we've done that, but basically when we've been behind, and especially at home.

Q. What's your basic message to the guys tonight?

JOE TORRE: Well, it's all about perspective. We've still got to maintain our patience as hitters. I thought we got a little bit away from that in the extra innings last night. We got a little overanxious. But that's what happens to you, that's the human element. You can talk about it, and you go up to the plate, somebody is on base and everybody wants to swing the bat and have something good happen. It's just basically to continue knowing who we are and how we've been successful and not do anything different. Just make sure even though, here we are in Game 6 and we are one win away from going to the World Series, we've still got to maintain the fact that we play baseball a certain way.

Q. With all of the talk about depleated bullpens, can you talk about depleated catchers in this series and specifically your conversation with Jorge today, how he felt going into this one?

JOE TORRE: Well, you sort of goof around I guess a little bit. But it's just, you know, you don't know how to approach it because normally if you'd have something -- well, first of all, if he had caught the first game he wouldn't have played yesterday if it was during the course of the year. Then you throw in there another 14-inning game yesterday, but you get to the point this time of year that -- because Jorge and I have talked during the course of the year which days we were going to take off but it's never been an issue in post-season. It's never been something we have ever talked about. The only question I had today, because I had talked to our local guys, is the fact that he got beat up a little bit last night physically. But I think if you have to go on fumes, you go on fumes but he's certainly an integral part of what we do behind the plate and in the batter's box. It's just been a joking matter on, you know, taking a day off or something, as opposed to anything we seriously talked about.

Q. Now that you don't have to play what Derek calls "arena ball" up in Boston, what does being here with the dimensions do in terms of your tactics, things that you can do, take some chances possibly that maybe you don't want to do in Boston?

JOE TORRE: The thing about it is, you're right; in Boston that wall is so appealing. I know my experience. I never played in Fenway during the regular season; I was there in the Jimmy Fund game but it goes back to when I played in the old Coliseum, you saw that left field screen out there that you could sort of feel waver in the wind and it makes it tempting and you can really pitch into the hitter's hands. Here it is a different scenario. I think we are more inclined to fall into the habits of having the type of at-bats that we need to have. But, yeah, I mean that ballpark, it's a great ballpark, there's no question. It certainly adds different things to the results of the game. Right field, right center so deep and left field where normally a couple of bloopers would go in, they are easily caught because of the dimensions. But hopefully we get back to what we need to do and get back to the approach that we need to have.

End of FastScripts...

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