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October 29, 2001

Luis Gonzalez


Q. Bob had mentioned to us how the wrist was. Would you explain a little bit to us how it is feeling?

LUIS GONZALEZ: It's a little sore today, but I've been hit three or four times this season on my hands, pitchers trying to pitch up and in to me. I'm thankful today was an off-day because it would have been sore, but I probably would have ran out there anyway. I've done it before. And a lot of us have been waiting our whole career to get to this point to play in a World Series, so with our ballclub I think it takes a lot more to get some of us out of the lineup, so I'll be ready to go tomorrow night.

Q. Do you plan to test it this evening, taking some bating practice ?

LUIS GONZALEZ: I'm probably going to have some treatment here in a little bit and run out there and take some swings. Probably not going to do too much hitting, just try to get some of this swelling out of my wrist and my hand. No matter what it feels like today, tomorrow, just with the adrenaline and the excitement of playing here with the magnitude of this game, it's probably not going to affect me anyway.

Q. How much depth do you think you have for the guys who could be DH and what sort of an advantage does it give your lineup to be able so select one of those guys, for Bob to be able to select one of those guys to put in?

LUIS GONZALEZ: Well, our ballclub, we feel like is one of the better benches in all of baseball. So, we have a lot of good balance with left handed hitters and right-handers with Colbrunn, Durazo, Dellucci, Bautista. So, it can swing in any way. It is up to our coaches and our manager. It's kind of nice to know that we can throw that extra bat in there, we have some power hitter that is are sitting on the bench and that has been our strength in the National League and those guys have done great jobs throughout the playoffs as far as pinch-hitting and doing a good job or spot starts like Bautista did yesterday for us.

Q. Luis, if three years ago someone had told you that you would hit 57 home runs and you would only be third in the League, what your reaction have been to that?

LUIS GONZALEZ: Well, I picked a bad year to hit all of these home runs. (Laughter.) You look at past MVPs, guys numbers like 30 home runs and 110 RBIs and those guys are MVPs and now you are, like in the middle of the pack. But you know what, the numbers that I've put up would have meant nothing if we don't get to this level. I think if you look at our team, our goal was not -- I think we had a quiet confidence to get here. This was our goal to get to the World Series and win the World Series. We are up 2-0. We are not taking things for granted. We know that the guys on the other side of the field have been here many times. They have been down there. We saw what happened with Oakland. Nobody on our side is celebrating. We know that we still have a long way to go. These guys keep running out great pitchers, Clemens tomorrow, El Duque the next day or whatever Joe Torre wants to go with. I think what you find with our ballclub is we respect the guys on the other side of the field, and you're not going to find any ridiculous statements from our ballclub, so if that's what you guys are looking for, you're not going to find it from us. (Smiles).

Q. Can you just talk about facing the Rocket? Obviously, I'm sure you've had a little experience facing him but as a team, can you just talk about going against the Rocket?

LUIS GONZALEZ: He's a great pitcher. He's one of the premiere pitchers in all of baseball. We are excited about that opportunity. We faced some great ones in the National League, Kevin Brown, Hampton and some other guys. This is another challenge. This is a guy who is throwing in Game 3, and that's just to show you what kind of a pitching staff they have here. We know we have got our work cut out for us and it does not get any easier even though we won the first two. We have him and whoever Joe wants to run out in the next couple of games. Our team-- we always look forward to the challenge. We do whatever we can to scrap scratch and claw runs out. We are not a flashy ballclub. We do whatever we can. We try to play mental baseball and that's what's helped us out in these first two games, we have been able to take advantage of mistake pitches and hit them for home runs, an infield hit yesterday, a double in the gap. We are not playing big ball; we are just trying to do the little things, and that's what's helped us throughout the whole playoffs, not just the World Series.

Q. Which is a bigger game?

LUIS GONZALEZ: They are all big games. Obviously, we won the first two games at our home and tomorrow is a big game, they are all big. You want to win each one, and we know what those guys are capable of doing on the other side. We just look forward to going out there and playing well, we know it's not going to be a friendly environment. We know that. We have seen a lot of games on TV here. A lot of us have played here before. I played here with the Tigers and it was not a full house, so I know the crowd is going to be a lot bigger, and the magnitude of playing here. I'm sure the fans and players are looking forward to coming back to their home, to their house, because they know that there's going to be a loud crowd and they are going to be trying to get them back into this series. So we know that. We knew that coming in. We are not running out on the field with nine rookies. We have a veteran ballclub. A lot of us have been playing for a long time, and that's a challenge that we look forward to tomorrow night.

Q. Bob surprised a few people by selecting Brian Anderson to start tomorrow night. What are your thoughts on what he brings, what Brian brings to the game, and also, how he matches up as a lefty against the Yankees in Yankee Stadium?

LUIS GONZALEZ: First let me just say, whatever Bob does doesn't surprise us. He's not your typical manager, by-the-book. He's gone against matchups and things, and everything he's done this year has worked. We would not have gotten to where we are at right now without him pulling some of the things he's pulled, and sometimes us players scratch our heads; and at the end of the day we go, "It worked, we can't believe it." But that's what it takes sometimes. For him to call out Brian Anderson in Game 3, that gives him a lot of confidence, as far as Brian, and our ballclub. We all believe in him. He has had a rough year, but he stepped up for us in the playoffs. He pitched well his last couple of times out, and we are hoping that he continues to do that. Our team has been playing well in the playoffs and we hope that we can scratch out some runs for him early and let him relax and pitch his style of game. If he keeps the ball down, we are going to be all right.

Q. Did you go to Ground Zero today and if you did, did it affect you?

LUIS GONZALEZ: Yes, I was one of many players that went there. It was a very eye-opening experience. We did it out of respect to the families and to show our appreciation to the firefighters, to the police officers, to the many volunteers that have worked hard out there. We understand that what we are doing is one of the most-watched things in the world right now, because it the World Series and everybody is paying attention to this. But we are happy to be here, but at the same time, we are human beings. You know, a lot of people look to us as heroes, superstars, whatever you might want to call it, but those people are what we consider heroes, to us and to many. They have families and friends and loved ones that are missing, people that they work with every day. And to go out there and look them in the eye and just shake hands with them and tell them thank you, because this is not only affected New York City, it affected everybody across the world. It made a lot of our players upset to know the devastation of this, and I think a lot of us were in disbelief when you see it in person. We are in Arizona and we see it on TV. We see all of the different stuff going on with the workers and stuff, but to actually go out there and walk on the site, it's mind-boggling to see a building of that magnitude come down like that and just to see everything the way it is out there now.

End of FastScripts....

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