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October 13, 2003

Joe Torre


Q. Second time facing Wakefield; could you tell the guys are just getting more frustrated as the game went on?

JOE TORRE: They kept battling. You're frustrated, sure, but I thought everybody stayed within themselves tonight. You know, we hit some balls hard. I mean, that first inning was big for him to get out of, first and second nobody out and Jason hit the ball on the button. We had second and third. You have to give Tim Wakefield a lot of credit, because he got the outs when he had to. We were getting all excited about Jason's ball down the right field line. You sit in our dugout, boy, that looks fair, but it wasn't close to being fair. As I say, you have to give him credit, because he won a game for them that instead of going down 3-1, they tied the series. Tim Wakefield has been a big-game guy for them.

Q. Would you just talk about what you saw on the double play that Soriano didn't turn?

JOE TORRE: It looks like Jeter made a heck of a play trying to get the ball because it was one of those spinning balls that Varitek hit. He threw to Sory and he threw to first. I saw Nick's reaction -- somebody came out; from the bench you can't tell. People come out from inside and they say he was safe.

Q. You didn't see anything wrong with Soriano's footwork or anything like that?

JOE TORRE: I didn't notice if there was.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Mussina's performance and how the home run ball has become a problem for him in these two games giving up five homers?

JOE TORRE: One thing about it, when you are a good pitcher and throw strikes you're going to give up home runs. He gave up two home runs, nobody on. I remember Robin Roberts, I remember Don Sutton, all of those guys gave up home runs with nobody on base. You go after people. They just beat him twice. We are not giving him a lot to work with. He's been pitching under pressure and he's done very well. We just haven't been able to pull the trigger on an inning for him.

Q. You guys are usually very aggressive on the bases; what were you thinking in the fifth inning when Soriano didn't tag up on the fly ball to center?

JOE TORRE: He tagged up.

Q. He didn't go.

JOE TORRE: He would have been out if he went. I mean, I didn't know if he was going or not. We know that Damon, that John doesn't have a very strong arm, but the throw he made, I don't think he would have been safe. I didn't think that was a bad play. He did tag up.

Q. It looked as if on Todd Walker's home run Mussina shook off a lot of pitches he wanted to throw before he gave up the home run; was he comfortable with what he wanted to throw and what was being called?

JOE TORRE: They have worked together all year. Moose is his own person. He knows what he wants to do. Sure, he'll make a pitch and it will be hit out of the ballpark, but he certainly never is in between. He's pretty definite, and again, pitchers and catchers don't always agree, but they eventually come up with what the pitcher wants to do. It was a fastball. I'm not sure if he wanted to get it in a little bit more than it was. Normally if you miss your spot, that's when bad things happen. I don't think -- there was no disagreement when they got in, but as I say, he made a great deal -- he made a lot of good pitches today but that evidently wasn't good enough.

Q. Did you get a chance to take a look at Jason's ball that went over the foul pole?

JOE TORRE: No. From the bench we were all excited because we wanted it to be a home run. At first when he hit it, at first it looked like it was just a sacrifice fly. That's from our angle what it looked like. And when you saw Nixon give up on it, it just looked from our angle like it was going over the foul pole, but Maz at first base said it was a good, whatever, five feet.

Q. What was the Nelson/umpire thing?

JOE TORRE: I guess they wanted to undress him to see if he had anything to doctor the ball. I have no idea what it was had I went out there. It was all about checking his glove and his belt buckle.

Q. Just your thoughts on Wakefield; again he pitches another great game?

JOE TORRE: I don't really feel like giving you my thoughts on Wakefield. No, he was terrific. Again we had him on the ropes a couple of times and we couldn't get the hit that would put him on the ropes. So you really have to give him -- I have a great deal of respect for him. He's probably great for a manager because you can start him, you can relieve him, he's pretty durable and he's a class act. I thought we battled him tougher this time than the last time. He may not have had as good of a knuckleball today, but we went at him.

Q. I understand it was just one at-bat for Ruben, but with Johnson struggling, would you think about Sierra DHing, Giambi at first and resting Nick?

JOE TORRE: I don't think so. Again, it's too early for me to think about tomorrow. I'll get here tomorrow early as I usually do. We'll look at things and see if they jump out at you. But I think Ruben does a good job where we use him, in a situation where you have a chance to knock in some runs. He had nobody on today, but being a switch-hitter, he's sort of neutral, as is the bullpen. I like him as a strategy guy on the bench.

Q. During the regular season, obviously there's a couple of guys in this lineup you want to work around. In the playoffs here, one guy, he's obviously hurt you bad, Todd Walker; is he just going through a run here?

JOE TORRE: He's a good player. He had a heck of a year. I watched him -- of course we watch the Red Sox a lot on TV when we are not playing. He has a quality at-bat. He got the base hit off Rivera a couple of days ago. He hit the ball left. He's so good at serving that ball inside-out to left field. Sure, you watch him against Oakland, he popped a couple of home runs. He's a good hitter. He's always been a good hitter. When he started out, I guess it was with Minnesota and bounced around a little bit, but he certainly has come into his own this year. Yeah, you make a mistake, and they are letting you know about it.

End of FastScripts...

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