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September 30, 2003

Joe Torre


Q. Is there any difference between the way Andy Pettitte pitches in the regular season and then in the post-season?

JOE TORRE: Well, there was in '96. He thought he had to do something extra special and it didn't work out too good. He admitted that. He's such an honest guy. The only thing I can tell you, every time he goes out there, and it just seems to be more apparent or maybe it gets magnified in games that are important, he just seems to keep it together. There was a game he pitched against Pedro earlier this year where he screwed up on the mound and threw a ball away and all that stuff and they got three or four runs, but then he shut it right down. To me, that's probably more important than being perfect in the first inning, that you have the feel and the sense and the calm to be able to do that.

Q. As a follow-up, is it any different in the post-season?

JOE TORRE: No. I have seen him have to deal with some stressful situations in the post-season, and even maybe he's not that easy sitting here talking to you guys or doesn't appear to be very confident at times because he seems so timid, he seems to keep it together out there and has a plan. I mean, earlier this year he didn't have a plan. He was all over the place. And talking to Mel, we had some conversations and it's easier for us to see what he's doing than for him to feel it, and all of a sudden he got back into that familiar feeling and got it back together. He knows how to do this stuff.

Q. What do you feel about the afternoon game; does it change anything in terms of maybe the aura, and also what do you think about the Cubs suddenly becoming America's team?

JOE TORRE: I know one thing, you sit next to Zimmer, you get your fill of talking about the Cubs. He talks about them all the time, the romance of the whole thing in Chicago and this is the first time they won the division since he was manning the club in '89, so that was pretty impressive. That doesn't bother us. We spend so much time complaining about Major League baseball starting night games at 8:40 and all that stuff, so 1:00 is nice. It's a throwback to my childhood, that's for sure. World Series games, every time was in the afternoon. We have not played as well in the daytime. Our record tells us we have not played as well in the daytime, but I don't sense that is overriding to the fact that it's a post-season game and that really takes front and center. I'm happy it's at 1:00, if the sun is going to be out, as opposed to 4:00 and you are trying to deal with shadows and all that kind of stuff. The fact that it's 1:00, is fine. We are going to work out tomorrow, by the way, because from 1:00 today to a night game on Thursday night is a long time.

Q. Brad Radke, everyone knows, is a control pitcher, puts the ball over the plate; do your hitters have to have a different frame of mind?

JOE TORRE: We have some guys who swing wildly and whatever. Even though we like -- we're sort of proud of what we've done say against Pedro and some other pitchers that may work hard, even though we like to think we're patient doesn't mean that if we see a strike we are not going to swing at it. I've had the question asked of me, is your club normally a patient club, do you swing at the first pitch? Well, yeah if they see a strike. We don't go up there saying we are not going to swing at the first pitch.

Q. Getting ready to go out there today, do you think the memories of what happened against Anaheim last year is in the minds of some of your players still?

JOE TORRE: I think you have to ask them. But Game 1 was all right last year. We'll deal with Game 2 later on. But Game 1 turned out all right. You know, I really don't think so. There may be a couple of players, I know Jeter wasn't very pleased last year and Jorge, they had trouble swallowing that pill. Nobody to blame, we spoiled ourselves. But I don't know how you become more determined because it never gets easier when you do this stuff, and especially when you're expected to do it. They may have some of those feelings deep down, like in '97 there was a lot more talk after '97 and losing to Cleveland than I sense from last year.

Q. Because Andy has been so consistently good over so many years and there's always been so much depth and talent in the rotation, does it feel like sometimes he's almost taken for granted and overlooked?

JOE TORRE: I think he is overlooked but he likes it that way. He's sort of shy and timid that the fact that he's not the center of attention doesn't bother him. I think he enjoys that. And he's always had that and he's always been able to fly under the radar so to speak. We've had David Cone here, of course David Wells, Clemens, we bring in a free agent and everybody always seemed to take on more importance than Andy. But he just enjoys the fact that he gets the ball every five days. But it certainly is not a blow to his ego.

Q. I wanted to follow-up on what you said before about afternoon games, what did you used to do, did you bring a radio with you?

JOE TORRE: At school, yeah, they used to let us -- we did have TV in those days. (Laughter.) We'd have a teacher bring in a portable TV or something like that. Still had the rabbit ears though, or radio, either one. I was fortunate enough in 1956 to have a couple of tickets to Don Larson's perfect game and presented them at the office that morning and they allowed me to go to the game that day. It was all about baseball, World Series time, and especially in New York, we were always spoiled. There was always one New York team, at least, in the World Series when I was growing up. So it was always of local interest all the time.

Q. Sun coming down there in left field, Matsui, a little strange to him out there; has he been working on that?

JOE TORRE: We played at 1:00 all year. Even over this past weekend, I'm not saying you're not going to have a problem, but Yogi and I were talking about it earlier, and I think more of a problem maybe was the old stadium seemed to be more of a problem, since they renovated here, where the light situation here, it's a little bit different. As I say, you never get used to trying to keep the ball out of the sun, but I don't think it's anything different than we've had deal with on a regular basis. We just played this past weekend at home.

End of FastScripts...

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