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October 11, 2003

Joe Torre


Q. Rather than trying to ask a question, can you just tell us what you saw, what happened, and what your thinking and reaction to it is?

JOE TORRE: Starting with what?

Q. The incident with Garcia getting hit.

JOE TORRE: Well, I don't think there was any question, in my mind -- I know there's no question in my mind that Pedro hit him on purpose. Second and third, nobody out, left-hand hitter, right-hand hitter on deck, he can thread a needle at any time he wants. He was probably frustrated with the fact that we hit some balls hard. You know kind of respect I have for Pedro's ability to pitch, but, you know, I didn't care for that. After that, Roger threw one high to Ramirez. Wasn't even over his head; it was over the plate. It was just high. And Manny, I think everybody's nerves were a little frazzled by that time, and he overreacted, and again, I can understand the over reaction because of the tensions and everything. Aside from that, that's all I know. I got out there in the middle of the scrum and the group, and I hear Zim is on the ground, but I have no idea what happened.

Q. You say you didn't see the incident with Zimmer.

JOE TORRE: No, I didn't.

Q. Did you talk to him about it afterwards, was anything said?

JOE TORRE: You know, I heard what happened. I didn't see it. It's tough to comment. I heard that he and Pedro had something going on. I can't accuse anybody because I would rather see it before I could make a comment on that. The only thing I'd like to say is I thought under the circumstances, I thought the umpires did a terrific job. They kept everything sane. They kept everybody in the game. As I said, it was a very, very tough situation, and I thought as a group, they did a very professional job.

Q. Later on in the game, it looked like someone jumped out of the stands into the bullpen and something happened with the trainer; can you tell us what happened?

JOE TORRE: I wish I could. I'm in the dugout and all of a sudden I see my catcher running out to the bullpen. I heard someone jumped out of the stands and there was an altercation, again, but I can't be sure. Karim, cut his hand; how he did it, climbing over the fence, whacking, I have no idea. And that's why he had to come out of the game. I've heard since then that it was a security guard, I've heard it was a groundskeeper. Initially, I guess, whoever got in the altercation thought it was a fan, which again, the nerves were a little frazzled. But that's the extent of what I know about that.

Q. Roger was nicked up in the first inning, and then seemed to settle down nicely, what did you see, his assessment of his pitching performance today?

JOE TORRE: I didn't think he was bad in the first inning. He strikes out Nomar, with second and third and Manny looked like he had a pretty good pitch. He hit a splitter and a base hit and then he settled in. Roger, as I mentioned earlier, the last half a dozen starts, I think he's been able to keep his emotions in check and really have that stuff work for him. He really got bent out of shape with this whole thing and went on. The veins were popping out of his neck. If you were watching, you saw him jump out of the dugout when that whole thing took place. Usually he's up in the clubhouse waiting for his turn to pitch again. We took him out after six. I thought it was a courageous sixth-inning; he had to go through that lineup with a couple of men on base. It was incredible. I just took him out of the game. Pitch count didn't get him, but I think the emotion of the whole thing really, really drained him. That's the reason we made the switch.

Q. Given the hit by pitch on Garcia and what you learned about the incident between Pedro and Zim, do you think Pedro should have been ejected from the game?

JOE TORRE: Well, you know, I certainly wanted that to happen, I mean, for obvious reasons; he's a great pitcher. But as I say, the umpires, it was not easy. It was not easy for them to have to make a decision. I got a little aggravated, when the umpires started explaining to me -- I walked back away, that was emotional for me and I walked back in there and Grady and I were listening to the umpires explain it, we're not throwing anybody out and this is the reason. But from now on, let's try to keep our team under control. The whole thing, Tim McClelland and his group were, you know, outstanding. They explained that, sure, things happened that probably under normal circumstances, people would have gotten thrown out. But they explained -- I think they took into consideration it's post-season.

Q. Can you talk about how sharp you think Pedro was or wasn't and what tonight's victory, where it puts you guys in terms of the future of the series?

JOE TORRE: Well, you know, winning the first game up here is enormous, especially when you beat Pedro. I didn't think Pedro threw as hard early on; he threw hard later on. I thought we were aggressive against him. He didn't -- normally we like to take a lot of pitches, but he threw a lot of strikes early, and Matsui, especially, hit that first pitch for the double. But I didn't think he -- you know, he always has good control. That's why I got aggravated with the one that hit Garcia. Mixes speeds and stuff. I just think the velocity wasn't there like when he throws his best. But he still, obviously, pitched well.

Q. Understanding that you didn't actually see the incident with Pedro and Zimmer, what's your first reaction when you hear that a 31-year-old man pushed a 72-year-old man down to the ground?

JOE TORRE: Well, I'm angry, but I was more concerned about Zimmer's health. I didn't know what the hell happened because he was sitting there, he was half-propped up and I didn't know what the extent of his problem was. He had a little cut hear (indicating between the eyes) and Gene Monahan put on a Band-Aid. And Andy Pettitte, he probably calmed him down more than anybody. He said, "Put your arm around my shoulder, we'll pick you up," and stuff. Zim was very upset. I was just concerned about him. As I say, I don't like to comment on something I didn't see.

Q. Do you think Zim's extra sensitivity about balls to the head, I think it was Hal Jeffcoat who he hit him in the head?

JOE TORRE: You couldn't remember that.

Q. I looked it up?

JOE TORRE: Zim is fiery. These people in Boston know that. They watched him coach here, manage here. You love him because of his passion and stuff. I don't know of the fact -- it may be. I can't speak for him. That could be part of the reason, knowing that he was unconscious for a week or whatever the hell it was when he did get hit in the head.

Q. Tomorrow's headlines are going to be "Beanballs in Beantown." It took away a real victory, your team coming from behind. Can you speak about that?

JOE TORRE: It didn't take any victory away. I was very proud of my team. They certainly acted like a team. At times I was a little worried that we would start losing our focus with trying to not hurt somebody, just trying to hit the ball too far and just get emotionally involved more than we should have. I don't care what the headlines are. What's more important is how we feel about it and how we act and there's no question tomorrow we have to come out here and do business and we cannot have any carryover as far as letting the emotions get in the way of that.

Q. When Grady was in here, he said when the series began, everybody knew it would be emotional, but he said this has now been upgraded from a battle to a war; would you agree?

JOE TORRE: Again, it's an emotional thing. But I said before this game how we respect their players and I'm assuming, and I'm pretty sure, they respect ours. To me, this whole thing started over one pitch. I don't think that we have any anger for the whole team; it's that one incident that bothers me and just the one person involved.

Q. When you get to the point where you feel like you are taking Roger out because he's getting worked up over that --

JOE TORRE: I don't mean to take him out. I just felt that because he got worked up that he drained himself so I took him out because I thought he had had enough.

Q. And the right-fielder comes out because of the incident in the bullpen, what about the war escalating to that level, where it's actually indicating some changes on the field?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think everything that happened after the initial confrontation was just a matter of the pressure of the game, contention, post-season. I think we all can understand the overreaction in the situation, because of what these games mean. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, but certainly, as far as our clubhouse, it will get a point across as far as what we need to do, and certainly not we're interested in having any fights on the field; we want to play baseball.

Q. Can you comment on Rivera and using him; will using him as much as you did preclude you from going back to him tomorrow?

JOE TORRE: You know, certainly, again, you'll think I'm a liar because I say I don't want to bring him in in the eighth inning, but once we gave up that extra run, I felt it was necessary, especially the emotion of the game. He threw less than 20 pitches for the combined two innings, which is like pitching one inning. We wait until tomorrow when he throws in the outfield and he'll tell Mel how he feels. Someone asked me before the game about pitching him two innings with three games in a row. You know, you never know from one game to the next if a closer is going to come into play. So I think when you get an opportunity in a short series like this to win a ballgame, you try to seize that moment. As I say, I never want to do it, but the game itself dictated that I had nowhere else to go. Nowhere else to go, in my mind.

End of FastScripts...

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