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October 8, 2003

Tim Wakefield


Q.. Do you know why a knuckleball does what it does?


Q.. Why, and how?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Why does it move?

Q.. Yeah.

TIM WAKEFIELD: Aerodynamically, when you throw it without any spin, it seems to catch the air and there's a vacuum or a pocket of air behind the ball that causes it to move around.

Q.. Do you know which way it's going to move?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Do I know which way it's going to move? For the most part, yes.

Q.. Can you control that, which way it's going to move; in, out?


Q.. Before the game, warming up, you had a pretty good indication right then whether you're on with the knuckleball, or till you get on the mound?

TIM WAKEFIELD: I felt good tonight warming up but there has been days where I felt good warming up and you get on the mound and it's been totally different. There's been days where I felt like crap in the bullpen but feel great when the game starts. I really don't try to use my warm-up session as an indicator.

Q.. Do you come back in relief if you have to during this series?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Absolutely. My spikes will always be on.

Q.. Is this any sweeter in view of what happened in '99; did it enter into your mind at all now or before the game?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Not really. I feel very blessed to be able to be in this situation again with a different team, and we have some returning players from that '99 team. Unfortunately, the decision was made to take me off the roster, but it's a totally different year this year, and I feel very, very blessed to be able to start Game 1 and our offense did a great job of scoring runs and getting us a win tonight.

Q.. Three victories in Yankee Stadium this year; what does that mean for you personally?

TIM WAKEFIELD: You know, the three wins, or the two wins prior to the season being over, is important, but the most important one is tonight. We got ourselves in a situation where we got into post-season play, and it's been an exciting past four or five days. Travel has been tough, but I think we're still running on adrenaline right now. It's great to come into Yankee Stadium and take Game 1. You've got to give all of the credit to our offense tonight. They did a great job.

Q.. Doug Mirabelli said he saw a different look from you than he's ever seen before; did you feel different for this game? And is there an adjustment you found during batting practice you carried into the game?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Not really. I really felt in my start against Oakland in Game 2, I really felt uncomfortable. I don't know why -- I have to really throw the ball with a really locked wrist. It's kind of like your golf swing sometimes, it goes away from you; you don't know what you're doing wrong. Over the last couple of days, I've really been trying to keep my wrist in the locked position where I need to be, and I felt really good tonight. Doug saw that, obviously.

Q.. In '99, team management left you off the roster and you're shaving your heads a couple of years later; how have they made you feel about being part of the team?

TIM WAKEFIELD: Ownership has been great, the whole staff, from Tony Cloninger, to Dave Wallace, the interim pitching coach now. They have done a great job as far as making everybody feel important. Last year when Grady took over and I started the year in the bullpen, instead of me being used as a mop-up guy prior to him coming over here, he got my confidence back in using me in a lot of situations to help win ballgames, and not just a guy that fills in. I owe him a lot of gratitude for that because he got my back covered. I started at the end of last year and I completed all of my starts this year.

End of FastScripts...

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