home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 11, 2003

Joe Torre


Q. With three out of the four traditional teams in the Final Four here, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and the Marlins, do you sense this is good for baseball and it's energized baseball, the fact that these teams are in?

JOE TORRE: I don't think there's any question. I mean, the Chicago Cubs; you hate to have the Florida Marlins get lost in the shuffle there, what a courageous club they have been through this whole thing. But yeah, I think baseball is exciting. It's a little nerve-wracking in the dugout during the game but you can see with the teams that are involved, it's pretty exciting.

Q. Two-part question: Do you personally like playing at Fenway Park? And the second park is, do you think this ballpark favors the Red Sox?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think any home ballpark favors the home team. Their fans, for one. Do I like coming here? I love coming here. You sort of love it and dread it all at the same time. It's very passionate. I was very moved back in '99 when I had my surgery and this was the first game I managed after my surgery and I took the lineups -- in fact, I wanted to get Zim to take the lineups to home plate and he said, no, you do it. When I brought the lineups up, the fans gave me a standing ovation and it was very touching for me. The people around town are great. They wear Red Sox hats and they are saying "good luck" and you know they are not telling you the truth. (Laughter.) But they are nice people. I love the passion. It's special. It really energizes. You don't get intimidated. We play here so often, people are saying, well, is it going to be loud today? It's loud in July, it's loud in April. Whenever we play here it's loud. The players, once they get a feel for where we are, they are really energized by it.

Q. Beyond the obvious statistical stuff with Enrique, are you looking for any sort of psychological edge in that the first guy, since Pedro is a guy that's handled them in his career?

JOE TORRE: I hope so. I think the only reason I'm batting Enrique lead-off is he's had success that Soriano hasn't. I don't want to sit Soriano because he's so unpredictable, because he's liable to take a pitch and hit it in the seats out there because he's so strong and so quick. But Enrique, especially this year, I know he's 10-for-20; but 7-for-8, it got to be laughable the last game. You remember, even Pedro was sort of scratching his head, because he was comfortable in front at the time, but it's uncanny. I have no explanation for it. I know it's happened. For it to happen to a guy like Pedro it gets your attention because none of those other statistics really jump out at you.

Q. You mention the adverse conditions here at Fenway Park, is David Wells the perfect guy to pitch in this type of thing, this mentality; do you like him in this type of environment?

JOE TORRE: I like David Wells anywhere because he accepts a challenge, and no question, when you play in this ballpark with the energy, with the fans, he takes that as a challenge. When you tell him you don't think he can do something or it's going to be tough to do something, you usually find the best David Wells that you're going to find. Of course today, with Roger, as much as I've said over the last -- well, actually the last couple of weeks, about how he's a different pitcher. This is still October. And it's Fenway Park. One thing I know is that perspective-wise he's going to pitch against the Red Sox and not really let Pedro enter into the equation.

Q. A couple of things on Jeter, how bad is his wrist and thumb and what's your admiration of him for playing through this pain and how does he elevate his game in October?

JOE TORRE: Derek Jeter is a special kid. I wish every manager could get a chance to experience someone like him, and he was that way from day one in '96 for me. He gets the to the ballpark, there's never a consideration that he's not playing. Yeah, he's felt better. He's never going to say, if he goes 0-for-4 or 0-for-5, this is the reason that happened; you're not going to get that from him. He's going to try to beat you up as best he can. That's it. Hopefully it gets better, the thumb is aggravated a little bit, but, you know, he comes early, he gets his treatment and he does what he has to do. He didn't hit yesterday for obvious reasons, because one day off would not hurt him, to keep from having to do something. But I think he can rise above it.

Q. I know you didn't see Matsui before this year, but to go from 50 home runs in Japan to 16 here, do you think he decided in his first year to concentrate more on contact and getting hits, getting on base?

JOE TORRE: I don't think it's that easy to be able to change the way you do things. When I saw the 50 home runs in the press guide, I was a little concerned, him coming over here and trying to hit a lot of home runs, in a new league, in a new country, against some pretty darned good pitchers. Then when I saw him in spring training, right from day one, he did not look like a 50-home-run guy to me because of the type of stroke he had. I was much more pleased to see the stroke he has than thinking how long the swing would be to try to hit 50 home runs. You're right, I never did see him over there. But I don't think it's that easy to change just because you come over here.

Q. You touched on the fans earlier, if you could talk about how the fans here and how the atmosphere here compares to Yankee Stadium?

JOE TORRE: Very similar. Very similar. Obviously Yankee Stadium will have more people, but I think the energy, the abuse, all that stuff, I think coincides with each other. They love their baseball here. They love their baseball. And the Yankees, you know, the fans are very proud of us. There's nothing better than rivalries. I was raised in the 40s and 50s with the Dodgers and Giants. There was a lot more hatred there I think among the players than there is today with us. We respect them a great deal and I feel that they respect us, but it's not going to change the fans. I think we are more concerned with our families in the stands than we are concerned with ourselves in the dugout because of the energy and the passion and all that stuff that goes on, especially in October. The Red Sox, you go to Yankee Stadium, a lot of other places, you know, they are always haunting. You know, 1918, it's just a passion that these fans have, and they have in New York, that I think everybody should experience. It's wonderful. It really is.

Q. Back to David Wells, just the course of his season and do you think he's pitching as good as he has all season right now?

JOE TORRE: Yeah, I hope so. He certainly has pitched well. He pitched probably the most important game of the year for us after the Red Sox beat us up the first two games of that last home series we had against them and picked us up on Sunday. He pitched very well. The only question with David is he's had back problems in the past and he is 40 years old. The concern you have is, how often can he do what he does, and I don't think we know that answer. But right nnow, I think he's very sharp. I mean, he pitched against Minnesota and did a great job for us. He had a week off, so I'm not concerned about sharpness. But right now, I think psychologically and physically, he's probably as good as he's been.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297