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October 20, 2004

Joe Torre


Q. A lot of your teams have shown the kind of resilience the Red Sox showed tonight. In that context can you appreciate what they have pulled off here?

JOE TORRE: Oh, no question. We always respected their ballclub. We knew they had a ton of ability. The fact that when they get on a roll they can do things like they do to us. You watched it when they ran off those 20 out of 22 or whatever it was in August, and they are very capable. You know, we had a couple of games, if you go back in the series, where we had situations the way we wanted it, leads late in the game and we just could not close the deal. We certainly never took them for granted, even up 3-0 because we know how explosive they can be.

Q. You had said before the game it was important for the pitching to set a tone for your club early, it must be disappointing.

JOE TORRE: Well, disappointment, it's just too bad it happened. You go out there and all of a sudden you give up a two-spot and a four-spot and that's a hell of a hill to climb. Fact is, even if you try to fight your way back, Derek Lowe did another great job for them. We just, you know, kept, if we scored a run, they scored two, we scored two, they scored one, so we could never really mount anything to get back into it. You know, we just didn't pitch well enough.

Q. Looking back on the last week, does it cross your mind that the 19 runs was like a home-run hitting contest with a lot of batting strokes, in that one game, might have been like batting practice?

JOE TORRE: No, I don't think so. We've had games that go both ways in that way. I think we were pretty grown up enough to know where we were and that was still only one game. We had got beaten. We were beaten 22-0 in one game and we certainly know that good teams bounce back from that stuff. But I don't think it changed anything. First off, my batting coach, his first year as a coach did an outstanding job and the kind of player he was, he certainly is aware of how his players are, how his hitters are.

Q. Have you had a chance yet to speak with George Steinbrenner and knowing him now as well as you do, how do you expect him to react to what happened?

JOE TORRE: Well, he's going to be disappointed. I saw him before the game. He was offering all of the support he possibly could. I mean, none of us want this to happen. We went out there, busted our tails. I think everybody was a little surprised that we were up 3-0, and, you know, you thought going in it was going to be a seven-game series. However, you didn't think it was going to be three straight and three straight and then of course they finished us off tonight. I mean, George knows that we do the best we can. Unfortunately the results are not always what you want them to be.

Q. You've had some classically-constructed teams in the past and this year maybe not the balance that the Red Sox had. Did they have a better-constructed team with the left-handed bullpen, Roberts to come in and pinch-run, little things?

JOE TORRE: We never got in that position really to utilize our -- who you wanted to take out for a pinch-runner for us. They had a little better balance. They picked up Myers which gave them that extra left-hander. They are a thunder. As I say, they can put winning streaks together before you blink your eye and we knew that, we knew that. That's why we were wanting to close the deal. That's why I brought Mariano in in Game 4 with two innings to go, even though we had a 3-0 lead. I thought this was the time to do it because we had the opportunity to do it. Certainly, after playing them as often as we did, we are very much aware of what their capabilities were.

Q. After you got to 3-0, was there anything that collectively happened that you could cite or was it just a game-by-game thing?

JOE TORRE: I wish I could. To be perfectly honest with you, which I always try to be, after that game, you know, we spent as much time talking about tomorrow than we did about what we just did after Game 3. I don't know anything that happened. Nothing consciously happened. We certainly, as I said, never took anybody for granted. But, you know, the Red Sox, Derek Lowe came in in Game 4 and just basically got us down. But even that being said, just because what did we have -- we had four runs which is fine, and we had a one-run lead going into the ninth inning. So we were where we wanted to be in Game 4 with Mariano on the mound. And then Game 5, we had a two-run lead in the eighth inning with Gordon in the game. So those two times, I don't think anything happened after Game 3 because we were in good position in Game 4 and Game 5, positions that we would take any single day of the week.

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