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October 14, 2003

Karim Garcia


Q. Can you state what you had to do to get into the lineup, and also, how tough the crowd was on you, the way they are usually on guys like Derek Jeter; how hard was it to concentrate and did it do anything for you to have the big hit in the game when they were treating you like that?

KARIM GARCIA: First of all to get in the lineup, I had to impress Mr. Torre that I could swing the bat, first of all and I could still hit the ball out of the park. That was putting good swings to the ball. The second part of the question, I really tried to ignore the fans as much as I can. I'm a professional and all I have to do is play baseball. They can say whatever they would like to. That's what they paid their tickets for and all I tried to do was just put the ball in play and help my team to win.

Q. The injury to your hand, how bad was it? Joe indicated that swinging the bat yesterday was totally out.

KARIM GARCIA: It was a little bit swollen. It was bothering me a little bit. But it was good enough today to play. Yesterday I definitely couldn't swing the bat.

Q. What did Joe Torre -- I saw him talking to you at the batting cage late in BP; is that when he told you you were going to start?

KARIM GARCIA: Yes, well he actually told me after my first round, how I felt swinging the bat. I said, "I feel pretty good actually, I think I can go." He said, "Well, can you play?" I said, "If you give me the opportunity, I would love to."

Q. Do you feel like you responded to the fans with that hit?

KARIM GARCIA: I wouldn't say to the fans, I would say to my team. Because this is a big series, like everybody knows and putting my team ahead, that was the main thing for me.

Q. You've sort of been a journeyman your whole career; what's it like to become this key figure in the ALCS?

KARIM GARCIA: Well, again, I'm not looking for publicity whatsoever. All I'm trying to do is just to help my team over here and win. As long as we keep going, I'm happy with it.

Q. When you saw that you were not originally supposed to be in the starting lineup, how did you feel about that, because you had said that you were planning to play?

KARIM GARCIA: Well, it's not up to me. You know, it's Mr. Torre's, and it goes before the playoff, he had gave the opportunity to a lot of players, whoever he thinks is correct for the team to help the team. I think when he saw me hit, he changed his mind, or I tried to change his mind at least.

Q. When you were traded to the Yankees this summer, what was your reaction; what did you think it would mean as a player?

KARIM GARCIA: At the beginning, I really didn't know what to expect because I was here last year and unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to play as much as I did this year. But once Mr. Torre gave me the opportunity to play, it was wonderful. This is what everybody dreams, you know, to come to a first-place team and they give you the opportunity to come to the plate often and to go to a World Series, too.

Q. When Boomer was here he said when he gets out of a jam like he did in the fifth inning the whole team gets confident; what were you thinking when he had the bases loaded with Manny up there?

KARIM GARCIA: Manny, he's a great hitter, a great power hitter, not only hitter but power hitter. That was a big out and it just pumped everybody up. We tried to score a couple more runs but their pitcher was pretty tough, too.

Q. You had a big hit against Pedro and today and you obviously had involvement with whatever happened in Game 3. Do you have a feel that you are now part of the most famous rivalry in baseball history now for all time; that you are now a part of that, and what does that make you think?

KARIM GARCIA: Well, it's really hard to answer that question, you know, because I know the history about these two teams over here. I hope that they don't remember about what happened in the game over here. I hope they remember about the wins and losses that we played over here. The only important thing over here is tomorrow to play baseball and that's what we are trying to do now is to win games to go to the next level.

Q. You said you're not worried about the fans; you're worried about your teammates. But for you personally, what was your sense of satisfaction getting that hit and what's your feeling about how big that hit might be in this series?

KARIM GARCIA: I was very happy. You know, getting the base hit up the middle and getting a couple runs in, because I had faced Lowe before and he's a pretty tough pitcher. I'm 1-for-10 against him career. I tried to concentrate, a sinkerball pitcher like he is, getting a hit to put the team ahead, I think that was great for me.

Q. I know you said yesterday that you wanted to be able to able to just focus on the baseball. Realistically, how much have you been able to, in the last couple of days, just focus on the between-the-line stuff?

KARIM GARCIA: I was very thankful my wife and my son were over here. I tried to keep myself as calm as I could. Them being over here with me, they helped me a lot. Other than that, I just come to the ballpark and do what I'm supposed to do before the game just to get ready.

End of FastScripts...

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