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October 6, 2004

Alex Rodriguez


Q. From the outside looking in, you've seen the Yankees do this a lot in October, what was it like for you to be a significant part of it for the first time?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Tonight was an exciting game. I mean, it was a war out there. You have to give those guys a lot of credit. But it was a game we needed. It was a special game for us. It's a lot better going in there 1-1 than 0-2.

Q. Can you talk specifically about your contributions, doing it here on this stage, you've had playoff games before, but with the expectations doing it tonight, how do you feel about that?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, I've been feeling pretty good all of September. Ever since Joe put me in the two slot I feel like I've had a lot more opportunities to produce and contribute. I think Joe deserves a lot of that credit. But again, I mean, we're not looking for individuals to do great things. We're just looking to win games and contribute.

Q. What does it say about the character of this team, the way you guys keep coming from behind?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: I think that's 62 times this year. Just tells you this team never gives up. Even when we fell behind there in the 12th, we felt like there's a window of opportunity there, with Nathan going out for his third inning, just getting some guys on, we felt like we could tie it or win it.

Q. What about the multitude of guys that contributed from Sturtze to the top of the lineup all the way through?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: You know that's been the story of this team all year. I have 24 of the greatest teammates a guy can ever think of, from Sturtze to Mo to Gordon, every single guy in our lineup contributed. In order to win these type of games, it needs to be a team effort.

Q. For this team and this city, how important is it for you no matter how good of a year you might have had to produce in the post-season?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: I think it's important to win games. What I do, to me, is a backdrop or is a secondary story. Although it's fun to write about or get really into what guys are doing individually, it's all about winning games. We had a great year, we won 101 games and hopefully we have ten more games to win.

Q. When you watched the previous two guys, what are you looking for in that at-bat and what did you hit?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: I had to make sure he throws strikes. The previous at-bats, both Jeter and I looked foolish up there and he got the better of us. Then we both made adjustments. Jete had a great at-bat and then I wanted to make sure I forced him to throw strikes and now that I'm off the hook, I think he threw me a 1-1 slider and I hit it pretty well.

Q. Back in February, you came here, talked a lot about the Yankee mystique and playing for the Yankees and the feelings and that type of thing, did that feeling come full-circle tonight inside?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: It did, but I was getting tired out there. It was a long night. It's been a long season for you us, too. We've been battling, but I tell you, when Yogi Berra gave me a hug yesterday, I think to this moment, it's still the most special day of being a Yankee. And of course, Reggie is around every day. He talks to us all the time.

Q. A lot of times when high-profile players come to the Yankees, there's always that one game or that one hit where they feel like they have become a Yankee; is that possibly maybe you tonight, that big hit late in the game?

ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, hopefully that game hasn't come yet. But it's getting better. And again, September has been a good month for me and the start of October is pretty good. But we've got a long ways to go.

End of FastScripts...

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