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October 4, 2003

Joe Torre


Q. How difficult do you think this year has been for Giambi, the physical stuff the ups and downs and how do you think he's handled it?

JOE TORRE: I think Jason has tried to handle it real well. He's a tough kid. But again I think he's put a lot more pressure on himself than he needed to, even though we rely on him a great deal. Any time you have somebody 3, 4, 5 in the batting order, you are always looking to them to carry you for a while. But overall I think he's tried to maintain the same personality and do all he does as far as his part of the leadership that we show on this ballclub. But overall, I think it's been a tough year. He started out with that eye problem, and again, never once saying he couldn't play. And even though he went out there a lot of times when he had one good eye, I think that tells the rest of his teammates, he's there for you, basically. I think it's been a tough year for him.

Q. Has the knee affected his average?

JOE TORRE: Has the knee affected his average? Probably. Again, this knee thing is something that he's dealt with in the past. When you hit .300, nobody asks those questions. I think he's had a lot of things he's had to deal with, physically, and of course the big part of dealing with it physically is the mental part of preparation.

Q. You said yesterday you weren't sure whether you would keep it with Jason as the DH and Nick as the first baseman; what went into the decision to leave it that way?

JOE TORRE: Just the fact that we won the other day, and not necessarily being a superstitious man, why change things. Nick, as I say, two of these guys are one real good first baseman, because he probably scoops the ball better than Nick does. Nick may have a little more range and just the fact that Nick has been out there, he's used to it. I'll just leave it that way right now.

Q. Between Boomer, and Mussina, two guys tough on the Twins, what would be your thinking for starting pitcher; were you thinking about going with four guys or were you thinking about coming back with Mussina?

JOE TORRE: I had in mind all along going with four guys. I let people early on know it was not a trust factor because obviously if Mussina pitches tomorrow, Wells was still going to have to pitch Game 5 which is very important. I just wanted to name the first three, and if there was something that jumped out at me because we had a right-hander in the first game and a left-hander the second game, if there was one advantage that one had over the other, and not naming, this was my thought process but after the first game I just decided to name Boomer. When he had his workout day, I told Mel Stottlemyre, just tell him because we both agreed that that's what we wanted to do.

Q. I know you've heard a couple of times this week that Gardenhire said that you were a good influence on him; what did you see in him that showed you that maybe he had some understanding of this game?

JOE TORRE: Well, he's one of those backup infielders, you know. I mean, Don Zimmer was one of those backup infielders. The guy that had to know everything about baseball in order to play it right, and to help a ballclub. See, Ron Gardenhire, when he was with me with the Mets, he was one of those guys that if you said, can anybody here play the outfield, he would raise his hand; anybody here that can catch, he would raise his hand. He was just one of those energetic guys that wanted to make you notice him. And he was a hard-nosed player. He would run into somebody even if the guy was twice his weight. He was easy to notice because you really admired players like this that maybe weren't as gifted with talent, but the desire factor meant a lot to give your club a little more energy.

End of FastScripts...

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