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October 9, 2004

Joe Torre


Q. Joe, could you talk about the way your team has been able to come from behind all season long and now in the playoffs?

JOE TORRE: You know, every day, every game like this, you think you've never seen one like it and all of a sudden, another one pops up. This one today is probably as unlikely as any of them, especially playing here and being down 5 to 1 and knowing how good the bullpen is. They don't stop. We went through two innings after they scored the runs and we didn't touch a thing, and all of a sudden, we get a man on base and things start happening. It was -- I couldn't be more proud of the ball club. There's no secret formula other than playing 9 innings, and today it was 11.

Q. Give us your impressions on Arod.

JOE TORRE: He's so multidimensional. He can do just about anything he wants -- not wants to do, but he has the ability to do a lot of things. Obviously, the stolen base was a huge part of that inning when we scored. It really puts pressure on the defense. I mean, he hits a double down the line and steals third base and everyone is in tuned with it. Gary shortened up and took strike two. It was incredible. He's on a special run right now, and hopefully we can carry it through the championship series.

Q. Joe, you guys have done a good job all year of focusing on Boston, now that it's upon you, can you tell me your thoughts?

JOE TORRE: It's going to be nuts. We played them 19 times, and last year, it was the last series, I anticipate it's going to be the same kind of emotional rollercoaster. We're certainly going to enjoy tomorrow's off day where we don't have to think about anything, and we'll show up for the workout on Monday. I guess it was supposed to come down to this. Every single game during the course of the season just takes on a life of its own. I think it's going to be obviously electric again.

Q. Joe, do you have any more information or are you going to wait until next week to know about El Duque?

JOE TORRE: He didn't throw today. He's not going to throw tomorrow. Monday he'll do a bullpen, and we'll see if we can slot him in somewhere.

Q. Can you comment on how hard the Twins played this series?

JOE TORRE: It's no surprise. They play every -- I remember Gardy getting a little upset with his ball club in Cleveland and he read them the riot act. I got some stuff off TV. From that point on, they responded. He doesn't tell them anything that isn't true. He was a hard-nosed player when he played, and he certainly -- these players trust him and we respect these guys a great deal. They play fundamentally sound baseball. A club like ours that our owners spends a lot of money and we have a lot of talented people out there, but they play with a small margin of error. You have to respect them a lot.

Q. Describe what you saw with Ruben's at bat in the 8th inning.

JOE TORRE: I know he worked hard today in the batting cage. The first couple of games he seemed to get outside of himself and was really too long with his swing. He had an idea. That's the one thing about Ruben, if he looks for a fast ball, he may cheat a little bit like George Brett used to do. He looked like he was maybe looking away or off speed, and he got a hanging, breaking ball and he stayed right there and didn't try to hit it too hard. That's the big thing. For a guy who left in '96 and was like good riddance as far as I was concerned, when he came back last year, I guess it was in June, he has been nothing but not only a good pinch hitter and a good player off the bench, but he's helped a lot of the younger players get ready to play.

Q. Joe, what's it say about a player like Arod who can manufacture a run on his own?

JOE TORRE: Statistics are one thing, but trying to win a game is another thing. Statistics will probably be what a lot of people look at when they look at Arod after he's finished playing, but you really have to appreciate how talented he is, and how many instincts -- the instinct he has really works for him, and today was a perfect example. He manufactured that last run all by himself.

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