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October 26, 2001

Joe Torre


Q. Do you have a lineup?

JOE TORRE: Yes. Do you want it? (Laughter.) Knoblauch, Jeter, Justice, right field, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, Posada, Soriano and Brosius.

Q. Why Justice instead of O'Neill?

JOE TORRE: It took me a long time to do it. I guess David's numbers are a little bit better than Pauly's, and really, that's all you have to go on at this juncture. You know, for me, it's a coin toss, and then the thing that really swayed me, I guess, were the matchups.

Q. Have you discussed with your pitcher's the preference of having the roof in? Open or closed?

JOE TORRE: No. Mel is in there having meetings with my pitchers now. I don't think it's going to affect how we go about our business. You know, we just still have to try to be as efficient as possible, as far as, you know, pitching the way -- hopefully in a way that we will be successful. Really, as of right now we have not discussed the open or closed roof.

Q. Have you ever considered playing both those outfielders and seating Knoblauch? Was that a consideration?

JOE TORRE: I thought about it, but it never really was a consideration. I mean, Knoblauch, I think he's done a nice job leading off for us, especially against, his first two guys -- I can't say especially against these guys. Knobby, he's done some good things for us in these first two series.

Q. Have you finalized the 25-man roster?

JOE TORRE: No. My coaches and I, we're going to meet after the workout today. We don't have to have it in until ten in the morning. Not that we're going to utilize the ten in the morning stuff, but still, the consideration, and I'll tell you, the considerations, we're going to add another left-hand hitter. We're going to add another left-handed pitcher, are we going to go with 11 pitchers, or have to make a switch off if we decide to go with ten; so we have to eliminate, you know, a pitcher. So that stuff, I felt, was important. Yesterday we didn't have a great deal of time because we were sort of formulating this idea, and today, we're going to take the time after batting practice to talk about it.

Q. Can you talk about where this particular Yankee team, having won four world championships ranks in the history of Yankee teams?

JOE TORRE: Well, we've got a long ways to go before we're thinking about winning four World Championships. There's a lot of real estate out there before we can think about that. So I really don't allow it. But I think just the fact of getting into the fourth World Series in a row, in today's baseball, where it's so tough because of how many layers of playoffs you have to go through. And I've said it before, I think this ballclub should not have to take a back seat to any dynasty or team, I guess, over a period of time is probably better -- in baseball, at any time in, my opinion. Again, not that it was easy, in 154-game schedule to win in that particular league, but still, right now, it's so much tougher with the three-out-of-five and four-out-of-seven, to be efficient as often as we have.

Q. Just wondering if you could elaborate on how tough it was for you, in what may be Paul's last World Series, to not have him start the first game?

JOE TORRE: Very tough. Very tough. Again, my loyalty to Paul O'Neill is -- I mean, I'm very loyal to him. But I think in all fairness, to the other 24 guys, my first loyalty has to be to the team and which players I think would be a better match up. Again, it's close to me, they are both regular players. Paul O'Neill, as you know, has been very dear to me, and before I read the lineup off in the meeting, I made it a point to him first and explain that, you know, he wasn't playing. But it was tough, no question. Knowing it's the first game, the second game of this World Series, he will be out there on Tuesday.

Q. You have a left-hander going against in Game 3, how much will Paul legitimately play in the series?

JOE TORRE: Taking nothing away from Ryan Anderson, but Randy Johnson makes you change your mind a little bit. I sense at this point in time that Paul O'Neill will in all likelihood play on Tuesday.

Q. Walking around here with all of the heat and sunshine, does it feel in some ways more like spring training than the World Series?

JOE TORRE: Not with all you people sitting in this room. (Laughs). This is a fun time of year, there's no question about it. It is different, coming to a ballpark you've never been in before, for most of us, and I know myself. It certainly is different than the other ones, to me. It's pretty exciting. It's very exciting, and I know it's exciting for this city. I know I just saw Mr. Colangelo in there, and he deserves a great deal of congratulations for, in such a short time to, put a team like this on the field, and have to again go through a couple of layers of playoffs that were not easy. It's an exciting time of year. In spring training you never want to think about having to get here, but you get to where you can reach out and touch it, the energy gets you.

Q. You said the ballpark is different; how so?

JOE TORRE: Some nooks and crannies. There's no -- it doesn't look like there are a lot of predictable bounces out there, balls off the wall, and it's dark. But that's fine. For a background, I think it's good, where you don't have a lot of distraction. And again, you know, with the hole in the roof there, baseball is still a little bit different when you play it indoors or sort of indoors. But it's a great facility, because you need something like that, you know, in the desert or you think down the road in Florida.

Q. Have you made any decision on whether or not you are going to play Tino in Game 2?

JOE TORRE: No, I haven't. You know, it's easy to say it's go right-handed against Randy and I said that to Tino yesterday. I said, we may be going all right-handed, but let's wait until we see what happens after Game 1 and then we'll make that decision. He's prepared to understand that we may go all right-handed at that point, and if it is all right-handed, it will be Velarde at first base.

Q. In a ballpark like, this the ball really flies, do you think there is going to be some great plays that have to be made?

JOE TORRE: As long as it doesn't fly too far. We expect to do well. I think we've had some unexpected plays over the course of these first two series. I know the one in right centerfield that Bernie and O'Neill made to save a run, I guess that was against Seattle. We hope we play efficient defense, because we know Arizona does, and it's important for us, especially when you are bragging about how good your pitching is, you certainly don't want to negate the good pitching with bad defense. You know, this is a different ballpark for us. Hopefully, we don't make mistakes in positioning because it's something new for us, but I know we've taken a lot of time with it, the scouting report, they are going over it as we speak. We'll do the best we can.

Q. You've talked about how difficult it is to get to the World Series, but how amazed are you at how dominant your team has been?

JOE TORRE: It is amazing. No question it's amazing. If you sit back and allow yourself to think about it, you know, you scratch your head. There's no question. But, again, each one is different. You know, just because we've won 16 out of 17, the only thing that gives us is the fact that we have experience being there, and I think that gives -- we have a little bit of an advantage in having the experience. But they have a lot of experienced players over there. What we have accomplished over the past few years has been nuts, it really has, when you think about the sweeps and the five-game series and starting with Atlanta losing the first two games and then winning the next four. There's no way you could ever foresee that or understand why it happens, because you really have to be efficient so consistently, and we have been able to do that.

End of FastScripts....

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