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October 8, 2002

Ron Gardenhire


THE MODERATOR: First question for Ron Gardenhire, please.

RON GARDENHIRE: Fire away. I'm ready for anything.

Q. What was working for Joe Mays tonight?

RON GARDENHIRE: Take less time if I tell you what wasn't working. He had everything. He had his changeup, he had his great fastball moving in and out. His curveball, he had his slider. He had the strike zone, in and out. So that's what we envision with Joe Mays right there, going right at the hitters, making them swing the bats, going right at them, attacking. That's what he did tonight. That's a pretty good performance, I would say.

Q. What was it that made you keep faith in Joe after he had a rough outing last week?

RON GARDENHIRE: Well, I didn't really ever lose faith. I mean, you know what I mean? He's one of our best pitchers, he was an All-Star last year. Had an elbow injury, you know, after spring training. If you would have seen him in spring training, he was throwing the baseball pretty good. Came out with an elbow injury, lasted a while. When he came back from that, there were a few outings he was really good, matched up against some of the best pitchers in the game and threw just like that, like he did tonight. Had a rough start out there in Oakland but he knew what he did wrong. Didn't attack the strike zone or hitters. He likes pitching at home. He was very good here and he was pumped up for this.

Q. You're in this position before, but just comment on going up 1-0 in the series?

RON GARDENHIRE: When you have home field advantage, that's a nice feeling to get that first game in front of our people. They were very excited. The crowd was fantastic. Our players were very good. That was a great baseball game. Both pitchers pitched very well. Their bullpen came as advertised - solid. Got them through. And we ended up using Eddie at the end, but Joe Mays carried us. We had a couple chances to score some runs but Appier threw the ball well. Joe Mays did what we thought he could do.

Q. How much was using Eddie out of confidence or necessity?

RON GARDENHIRE: I don't know if there was necessity. When we talked to Joe Mays, he came off after the 8th inning. We gave him the option, I said, "Andy, ask him how he's doing." Joe said, "I can try to finish it or Eddie can." When a pitcher says, "Yeah, I want it." You got the ball. I would have given him the ball. But I saw him out there in the 8th inning when the guy ran out on the field, he was stretching. He told me he had a little harder time getting loose in the 8th inning. I was happy after the fact, after talking to him, when Eddie was out there, that we had put Eddie out there. He had the option to go back out there for the ninth. I thought he was throwing the ball pretty good. But I'm never, never, never unhappy to put Eddie Guardado in the game. Eddie is our pitcher.

Q. Did you know that the commissioner was here tonight? If so, was there any added satisfaction in winning in front of him?

RON GARDENHIRE: I actually got a chance to talk to -- meet him before the ball game, shook his hand. He's a very nice man. I had never talked to him face-to-face. He was very excited to be here. He's very excited about baseball here in Minnesota, the way it's going right now. He's happy for our baseball team. I said before, I believe that he was doing something that he thought was the right thing, and that's talking about contraction. The biggest thing he did this year was they got a deal done, a labor agreement. That gives Minnesota a chance. I'm happy that he was able to help in getting that done, so it was really, honestly, nice for me to see him and meet him for the first time.

End of FastScripts...

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