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October 29, 2001

Roger Clemens


Q. How do you feel going into tomorrow?

ROGER CLEMENS: I plan on going as hard and as long as I can and hopefully longer. The stamina and my strength have felt great. My pitches and my stuff was plenty good enough to go deep into the game.

Q. This has been described as the most secure sporting event in New York City tomorrow. Does all of that extra security add tension or a changed mood? Is it a distraction for you?

ROGER CLEMENS: I don't believe it's a distraction. I think most of us will be used to it just for the fact since the playoffs have begun here, security has been tight and guys have pointed out throughout the stadium where the extra security is and the different security. So, I don't think that -- I don't think that will come into play.

Q. Does it change the mood at all for you?

ROGER CLEMENS: I hope not. It has not so far in the playoffs. The crowd has been great and exciting and once you get out there and you're doing your work, you are so focused on what you are trying to accomplish, you know, I know it has not been a distraction for me. I see it, but again, once I start -- once I take the field to do my work, my preparation for that, it is not a distraction.

Q. With your team down 0-2, is this the kind of challenge that you relish?

ROGER CLEMENS: I hope it's a challenge we all look forward to. Again we knew what we were facing out there and those guys threw the ball exceptionally well. As far as, you know, Andy's game was incredible, to watch Andy, how he performed for us in last night's game. It was so exciting and for him to get out there and match Randy, and do the things that he did, it was just an exciting game. So I think all of the guys, by tomorrow we look forward to being back at home and look forward to the challenge of trying to make this somewhat of a series.

Q. You're on the other side of this in 86' but your team could not close-out the series, what did you learn from that experience and does it make you more optimistic for this situation?

ROGER CLEMENS: I don't know, again that was my first experience and it was such a long time ago, I don't know that I take a lot from that, other than, you know, the games that we have learned here. I look at it a similar situation when we were down to Oakland we just have to start doing some positive things and get some of the guys on a roll where they feel comfortable about what they are trying to do. I think that would be the most important thing. So I don't know that I draw on any similarities from that.

Q. One of the things you did particularly well this year is come back and find a way to get a Yankee win after a loss. Can you talk about how you prepare after a loss?

ROGER CLEMENS: I don't know that I will approach it any differently. I was able to watch in between -- I was out at the field when we hit, when Mike was pitching and I went inside to watch him try and locate and do the things to their hitters early in the game. You know, we got our scouting reports and I rely a little bit on that, more so than usual because I have not faced a lot of these guys, and, you know, try and pitch my game accordingly and we'll go from there. I don't know that I look at it like you're trying to stop maybe a long streak like you would during the season. I'm going to go out there and pitch our type of game and hopefully be good enough.

Q. Do you have a couple of games as a Yankee that you are most proud of? And the other part is, after pitching against them as tough as you do for years, when do you feel like it's us rather than the Yankees or them, besides the day you signed your contract?

ROGER CLEMENS: I don't have -- I don't really have any games that are more special than the others. I have, again, things that are special would be, you know, whatever game it was when you won, whether I was performing a game or not, the game that you won the World Series, that's why we play and why I've been doing this for 18-plus years or whatever it might be. The same thing with the parade, sharing it with the City, those are things I take with me. Again, other than pitching my first game in the uniform, there are so many guys that play on this team that come from so many different teams, I don't know that that plays a big part in it because it is going to continue that way, the way things are around the game now, anyway. But I made the statement, the first time we won the World Series, to be part of a world championship team, I was very comfortable from day one. But to be part of a championship team, just a whole other subject, when you play on a team and you win your last game, you are part of a championship team, really to me on any level, whether we won the National Championship at Texas to when we won the World Series here. Those are -- I still remember those guys. I still see those guys. I take memories with me from that.

Q. Schilling gives you credit for helping turn his career around, at the workout in '91 in Houston. Do you remember what you told him, and did you see whatever you told him, some of the effects Saturday night?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, some of our guys had mentioned it to me in the past week when we knew we were going to match up against Arizona and Curt being there. You know, I give him all the credit. I have told the guys in the past, you can have those talks and you can take heed to what maybe a pitching coach tells you or what -- how you can learn. I have had some guys that maybe I didn't really consider that had a whole lot of knowledge in the pitching department, but it is not that I'm going to close them out because they might say one or two things along the line that it's going to click for you. Curt, he deserves all of the credit for what he's done. He's the one that made the decision to turn and take the game seriously and not waste his time. He's made himself one of the best pitchers in the game. He deserves all of the credit. The talk that we had, I was hoping that I was not going to waste my time. And I didn't realize at the point that he was following me around down there; that he wanted to talk about not only pitching, but the approach to it and when there is a seriousness to it. But it is our profession. It's the way I take care of my living and the way I take care of a lot of people that you don't see out here in the open. I take care of a lot of people that count on me, and it's serious to me. Yet, I enjoy it. I have fun when there's a time to be fun and light-hearted. Some guys like to have fun in different ways, and that's basically what the talk was about. It got pretty heated in the 45, 50 minutes to an hour we sat in the back of a weight room and hashed it out a little bit. About what he thought and where he was going with his career. But again, give him all the credit. He made those decisions. He's the one that has made himself a tremendous pitcher. I mean, everything from what we do as far as keeping our notes, and they have gone from notebooks to 3 X 5 cards that you keep in a plastic container, to now in our computers and it has just evolved to that. That's how you study different things and you're able to maybe break down a hitter and you're able to watch yourself, to make yourself get better. It doesn't matter, again, how many World Series you've won or how many Cy Youngs you have won, and that's why I'm super appreciative to have somebody like Mel Stottlemyre, even through his sickness, he was a constant and had that watchful eye; and I would go to him or go to Skip and say, "What can I do to get better" -- whether it's my pick-off move, improving my foot speed, or what we do in the backfield in spring training. That's what you do. Simple.

Q. How different is the mental approach when your team is in a hole and how much do you relish the challenge of trying to turn things around?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, one game can do that and we feel being at home that we can do that. But I enjoy -- I relish the opportunity just to pitch. I mean, whether I'm ailing or I'm not feeling great, I still enjoy the challenges. I know if I'm going to hurt the team, which in this case I'm not because my body feels really good -- knock on wood. So I enjoy having the opportunity every time to go out there, because I know, again, guys are counting on me and it goes back to the work that you do and your focus and all those things that we talk about. The quicker you can get focused and the routine that you have -- I've seen it many times. I've seen guys that have four or five years in the big leagues and they don't even have a routine. They don't have a warm-up routine; it varies, it's different. They don't have a set routine, and you've got to get a set routine so that you can find some type of consistency and something that works for you. So, that's always there. I expect to have that tomorrow when I wake up, go through the routine, start getting locked in on what I need to do, and hopefully so I can perform at the highest level. This is the highest level that you can be at in our game, and I relish the opportunity just to be able to have that opportunity to be here. So, I look forward to it. It's what we work for all year, to be in these positions, to be in the position we're in. We make it tough on ourselves sometimes. But I'm confident the guys will come out and we'll be swinging the bats.

Q. You've pitched a lot of big games and you're a pretty fiery guy, how much does the importance of the game factor into your mental preparation?

ROGER CLEMENS: Well, again, I think if it was flipped the other way around, it would be just as important because I would not want to let the momentum go. So I would look at it, you know, on both sides of the coin. Obviously, we would like to be on the other side, but we are not. We are backing ourselves into a corner again. We are being challenged again. You know, having won three in a row, some are going to say the odds are even against us. So we are just going to have to find out. We are going to have to go out and play some very good baseball, like our manager said here earlier. We are going to have to go out and play some good baseball, to try and slow these guys down a little bit. So that's what we are going to try and do.

End of FastScripts�.

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