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October 19, 2001

Edgar Martinez


Q. You took some hitting today, how long did you hit and was it helpful for you or were you just doing it because you were here anyway?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: I always when it's a day off, if it's a play-off, I like to hit during the day off. I feel like I want to keep my swing, you know, fresh. Usually when I take a day off, I just feel a little lost after a day off, so a good hitting session, I feel a lot better when I hit during the day off.

Q. How many minutes do you hit roughly?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: Oh, like three or four rounds, just ten minutes.

Q. Obviously, Lou came out last night and said that he believes that the series is going to go back to Seattle for a Game 6 because that's what he believes, literally, but is there a message that you think he was trying to send by coming out and making that statement?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: Well, I think he believes in the team, the way we played all year. We won a lot of series and we won a lot of series when we were down one or two games. He believed in the team and he believed in the way we were playing. Sure, we're not hitting very well right now, but we are playing good defense. We are getting good pitching and that way, it's the way we've been playing pretty much all year. I think that that's the main reason why he believes we are going to go back. The way we are playing is still consistent baseball, and all we need -- we've been close, just one or two hits away from either tying or going ahead in the game. So I think he believes that we are playing good ball.

Q. Do you think what you guys accomplished against Cleveland coming back from two wins down helps the mindset of the team?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: I think it helps. It's confidence, that you can come back from tough games, and I think also the way we play all year helps, too. We played very consistent baseball all year. We didn't make many mistakes. We got good pitching, good defense all year, and I think that the key to our ballclub is just playing good pitching, good defense and timely hitting, that's all we need right now is to just get the hitting.

Q. Lou talked about the passion that he was speaking with last night; he wants not only the players to experience perhaps winning and moving on or at least bringing the series back to Seattle, but also for the city and the fans and to be able to continue to build on the experience of enjoying baseball; do you share that feeling of bringing it back for those reasons, to continue?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: Yes. I think the fans are ready and they would love to get a World Series in Seattle. They deserve it. It's been a long wait. It's been many years without a World Series, and also, the players, we have the experience. We also have a good team that we believe we can make it there and so I do share the same thought of Lou.

Q. Because you guys have so many veterans on the team. When you hear Lou come out and say something like he did last night, can it have an emotional impact on a team as veteran as you are; did it?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: It does. It can have an impact. It's still a veteran team, but sometimes, even veterans need to hear some encouragement or some words like that from the managers or coaches. So, definitely it can help in this situation.

Q. Although the team won 116 games this year, if the Yankees do win this series, do you feel that the team needs to stay the same for next year or needs to rebuild?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: I think the team is a very well-balanced team. The way the pitching and bullpen is set up, the infielders, we have very good defense. Always, more hitting is welcome. Our stadium is very good for pitching and defense and, I mean, if you want to make improvements, I think another hitter would be great for the team.

Q. You talked about how hitting today is important for you to keep your swing. Would you like to have seen more players come to hit or does everyone sort of have his own way of doing things?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: Yes, I think every player is different. Every player knows what he needs. They are all professionals, they all want to win, sometimes you need rest, sometimes you need to go and swing; but every player is different, and I think they know and they are doing everything they can to be sharp tomorrow.

Q. How are you physically right now?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: I feel good. I know I had a problem with my leg, but the last two days, I feel much better. The last two days I feel much better running and today I even feel better.

Q. You are one of the few hitters who has had any success off of Mariano Rivera, and now he's gotten you a couple of times. Can you just talk about him, in particular, his cut fastball, and how tough a pitch that is to hit?

EDGAR MARTINEZ: Yes, it is. He mastered that pitch. Like anyone, I think in the game. When he comes out of the pen, his control -- he throws that pitch and he has great movement and also, he locates it very good. He doesn't make many mistakes and he's very tough coming out of the pen. He also knows what he wants to do with the hitter, even before you come to the plate, so he's well prepared, plus he does have a great cut fastball.

End of FastScripts....

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