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October 12, 2003

Grady Little

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS: Game Four (Postponed)

Q. Just revisit Tim's outing against the Yankees in Game 1.

GRADY LITTLE: Tim Wakefield? I thought it was outstanding. We're looking forward to getting him back out on the mound again in the game tomorrow night.

Q. Has there ever been any issues with security here and do you think it's lacking or do you think there needs to be anything done about it?

GRADY LITTLE: Well, we haven't had anything as severely as we had last night. I don't think we'll ever have any again. That was an extraordinary circumstance and I'm sure they will look into trying to increase the security for the remainder of this series and for any time in the future.

Q. The Commissioner indicated that he did not expect any kind of replay of anything that happened yesterday. Have you met with the umpires to discuss any of those circumstances?

GRADY LITTLE: Well, we haven't -- I haven't heard about a meeting yet, but it would not surprise me if there was some sort of meeting this evening before the game. But I don't foresee any kind of replay of what happened last night. That kind of thing happens on a baseball field sometimes and you turn the page and go on with the next day's game. That's usually what happens and that's what we expect tonight.

Q. Todd Walker said last night after the game, he said when you were talking to him about Garcia sliding into second base, he said, "I would have done the same thing, given the circumstances and when somebody throws at my head." Would you agree with that statement?

GRADY LITTLE: Well, we haven't talked a whole lot about that. That's the way the game is played on the field. There's a lot of things that go on on the field. A lot of time the reality of a situation on the field is totally different than the perception and that's just another instance last night -- it's a high-intensity battle between these two teams, and I don't think that's going to change.

Q. You have a lot of very good hitters that are struggling a little bit, particularly Nomar; any worries about them and what might happen and what might need to happen to get some of these guys to break out of the funk they are in?

GRADY LITTLE: I think hitters have these ups and downs during the course of the season. We have an awfully good lineup here on our ballclub that's been very productive all season long. I think that we have been productive by being strong from No. 1 in the order all the way through No. 9 and at no time during the season have every one of them been swinging the bats well on the same day. But Nomar is one of these guys that we know can come out tonight and get five hits as easily as anyone, but yet again, there are going to be some days where he doesn't get any hits.

Q. Is there any concern on your part that Manny or Pedro could face any kind of suspension?

GRADY LITTLE: I don't think that's going to happen.

Q. If you could talk a little bit about Johnny Damon's return.

GRADY LITTLE: I think our whole ballclub is impacted when he's in the lineup, as opposed to when he's not. Last night was certainly an indication of that. He just got the ability to make things happen, and he means a lot to the top of our order.

Q. Since yesterday, there's been countless replays of Pedro's throwing Zimmer to the ground and Pedro pointing to his head as if he's saying "I'm going to beam Posada," and Pedro throwing at Garcia; do you think his stature in the game has been lessened from the image he projected yesterday?

GRADY LITTLE: I think that by you saying he was throwing at Garcia's head, I think there again, that the reality of a situation is totally different than the perception. The perception is going to be different for a lot of people. A lot of times in this case the perception will be different for people here in New York than it is here in Boston. Last night we had two pitchers on the mound and both of them are going to the Hall of Fame, and both of them are going to the Hall of Fame for a reason, and one of the reasons that both of these guys have in common is that their entire career, they have pitched in a lot and they have pitched up and in a lot. They are not perfect with these pitches, but that's part of the reason they are going to the Hall of Fame. So that's not going to change.

Q. How would a rainout affect your starting rotation if at all?

GRADY LITTLE: A rainout will affect our starting rotation, but we will make that announcement after a rainout comes.

Q. MLB announced that there were going to be four fines that are given out for conduct in yesterday's game, Martinez and Ramirez being the two people on your club who are going to be fined. Do you feel that fines are merited for the behavior that they exhibited yesterday?

GRADY LITTLE: MLB is the power of this deal we've got going on right here and they do levy fines from time to time for instances like that, and whatever they do, we abide by.

Q. With obviously the highly-charged emotions from yesterday, is there any danger, are you at all concerned with your guys getting caught up in that today rather than just playing the game with the Yankees? Are you concerned about that, and if so, have you or will you say anything to them?

GRADY LITTLE: We don't have concern for that. These guys have been turning the page all year long and getting on with the next day. We know how important these games are, and if we lose focus of that, we don't have any time to waste right now. We are down 2-1 in this series and we've just got to go out there and play baseball and that's what we are putting our focus toward.

Q. Can you discuss the importance of this game, if you lose it, you're down 3-1, if you win, you're even again; how important is this game to this whole series?

GRADY LITTLE: Well, without a doubt, it's an important game. We'd certainly rather be tied 2-2 than down 3-1. But whatever happens, we'll still be playing tomorrow and we do know that we have a ballclub here that's won three in a row many times before and if we need to win three in a row again. We'll try it again.

End of FastScripts...

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