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October 8, 2004

Ron Gardenhire


Q. What will you be looking for in Santana pitching on three day's rest. Will you be looking at location, velocity, if he's laboring, those types of things?

RON GARDENHIRE: You know, we're not too worried about the kid. He threw a light bullpen yesterday and he was feeling pretty good about himself and told the pitching coach he feels great and wants the ball, and we'll let him have the ball and see how he does. You don't want to mess around too much with these guys, the Yankees you got to throw your best at them, and if he wants the ball, that's good enough for us.

Q. Ron, can you touch on tonight game a little bit and facing Brown?

RON GARDENHIRE: We haven't seen much of him. All we know is from the past. He's a slider guy with a splitter. He's very competitively and will come right at it. All we can do is see what he's doing early in the game and make adjustments. We've seen a little bit of film on him. So we just have to wait and see what he's doing out there and go from there.

Q. Ron, you have been entirely new right side of the infield versus last year. What do you think they brought you this year?

RON GARDENHIRE: Well, we know the offense part. We know that for sure. He can drive the ball, and if you make a mistake, he's got a chance to hit the ball out of the ballpark. He's played pretty defense for us, too. That's important. He's been swinging the bat very well and he's played good defense this series. Second base is his best position. With Luis out, this is our best chance to do things. He's got a very strong arm and they're both concentrating. That's all we can ask.

Q. How is Joe Nathan physically?

RON GARDENHIRE: Well, he fees good. He's ready, but I doubt if I'll pitch him three innings tonight. We'll give him the ball for the 9th inning and we'll go from there. He's ready to do that.

Q. (Inaudible)?

RON GARDENHIRE: He's going to play second base. If I want to put somebody in defensively later in the game, I've got a chance with Rivas, he came in today and his elbow feels a little better. Hopefully that will get him over a little bit of the hump. If I have to, that's what I'll do. Right now Cuddyer is doing okay.

Q. Ron, how seriously were you considering using Carlos tomorrow and did that have any factor into your decision at all?

RON GARDENHIRE: Probably I think he's over that more so than anything else. It was all depending on Santana. We talked about using three guys, and could Santana do this, and we thought he probably would have been able to do that. We're looking at it like that, and Santana wants the ball. I don't think he threw too many pitches last time. I think he's strong enough. He wants to pitch at home in this Metrodome and that's good.

Q. What, in your mind, do you think your team took away from losing to these guys last year and, in your opinion, what do you think is the difference this year as far as how this team fares against the Yankees?

RON GARDENHIRE: The more you're in this atmosphere, and playing against the Yankees, they're still a great baseball team. We know all those things, but you get to feeling a little bit better about yourself. We've changed a few things on our team. We have a little more power. We can pop the ball a little bit, maybe score some runs. We're going to go out and grind and do everything we can. This team has a lot of heart. We pretty much know the Minnesota Twins. We know what the Yankees are. We have to go out and make pitches and execute. If we do that we feel like we've got a chance.

Q. Do you think Santana will have to battle a little more tomorrow or will he be, in your mind, who he usually is?

RON GARDENHIRE: I think he had to battle the first time. I think you saw -- you have to pitch against the Yankees. It doesn't matter who's pitching against the Yankees, you're going to have to battle, I guarantee that. That's a lineup full of All-Stars. That's how good the Yankees are, when you're going through their lineup, they're that good. They have a bunch of All-Stars on there that really know how to play. That's a pretty tough lineup to run through. Every pitcher is going to have to struggle.

Q. With the short rest, though, do you think he will --

RON GARDENHIRE: On short rest, I think he's going to be fine. We've protected him all year. We rested him at the end of the season to be prepared for these playoffs playoffs. We've always taken care of him at 100 pitches or so, and I think he'll be fine. I think he wants the ball and the only way to answer your question is let's wait and see what he does out there on the field.

End of FastScripts...

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