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October 22, 2001

Andy Pettitte


Q. Do you think more fans will be rooting for the Yankees in this World Series because of the aftermath of September 11?

ANDY PETTITTE: I think so. I think that like Skip was saying, as much as we've won and everyone is almost -- loves to hate us now, I think that everywhere we've been, you know, we've been seeing an outpouring of the fans, and almost -- obviously wanting their team to win, but kind of pulling for us a little bit, also. I think that, obviously, what we have come from, being down to Oakland like we were two games, and being able to rally back and then just, you know, fire away to get to the World Series now, I think that a lot of fans are going to rally behind us. I really do believe that.

Q. Can you talk about today's game, the Yankees cashing in on opportunities and the Mariners not, specifically the third and fourth inning, you guys capitalizing on those two innings and the Mariners had their chances and did not capitalize?

ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, right. You're talking about the ball Edgar hit down there?

Q. Yeah.

ANDY PETTITTE: I was fortunate, he hit it off the end of his bat and Tino happened to be standing there. The ball could have easily went down the line. The defense played great today. Knobby made the play at first, Bro made some plays, the play out in right -- I wasn't on tonight. I left some balls over the heart of the plate and I got away with some mistakes. Obviously, the runs were nice to see up on the board, and the guys swung the bat well. We played great defense.

Q. On a team with so many contributors, can you say what it means to you to win the MVP Award?

ANDY PETTITTE: It's special for me. I'd be lying if I didn't say that. I've never won anything like that before. I'm not a pitcher that goes out and dominate, you know, games and strikes out a lot of hitters and stuff like that, so I never really expected to win anything like that. So it's definitely a nice surprise.

Q. Television caught you, for lack of a better description, throwing a bit of a tantrum with Mel, can you tell us what that was all about?

ANDY PETTITTE: Just frustration. Again, I try to -- I'm a little hard on myself and I expect perfection out there. I was really frustrated that I was making some bad pitches like I was, and really, just fighting with myself. Mel is our pitching coach. He's our blanket. When you have a relationship and have been around, been through so much with a pitching coach, and Mel is someone I'm able to go to and talk to.

Q. What does it feel like to be basically automatic in the post-season? I think now the Yankees have won 10 out of 11 post-season starts?

ANDY PETTITTE: It obviously feels great. It gives me a great deal of confidence to go out. I've struggled in a few of those games and the team has rallied back to score some runs and to win some games. But it feels good, obviously, to go out and pitch a game. As a starting pitcher I'm trying to keep my team in the game, and with our bullpen, we feel like we've got a great chance, if you're able to do that. It's very gratifying to be able to go out and have the confidence, you know, that I do right now, whenever I take the mound for our team, and it feels very good.

Q. You're going to pitch against Curt Schilling's team and there was one point in time in Philadelphia we thought the two of you were going to be teammates?

ANDY PETTITTE: I guess I could thank the Boss for not getting rid of me. I really, again, obviously, Joe and Cash (Brian Cashman) were behind me one hundred percent and really tried to shut that down on the trade and had a lot of confidence in me. You know, just thankful the organization didn't give up on me and didn't get rid of me and that I'm still here and able to go be in a situation to win four straight World Series and just be in a situation to be on this team with just a wonderful group of guys.

Q. Did Mel meet with the pitching staff, and was there some sort of special plan of how you were going to pitch to Suzuki in this series?

ANDY PETTITTE: Obviously, we have our scouting reports. We do our meeting before the series starts. Each pitcher was also different. Obviously, you're going to attack him a little bit different. I knew going in what I had to do, from the games I've faced him during the regular season. I only faced him for two starts. You're able to get a feel of what he's trying to do at the plate and what balls he can handle and what balls he can't handle. I knew going in I was going to throw some balls in on him and move the ball around in the strike zone and felt like if I got some strikes inside on him, I could open up the outside corner and I was able to have success with him that way.

Q. Having been with the team since 1996, a team that had not won a World Series in 18 years at that point, and to now, going and trying for four in a row, could you talk about how the quest is different now, and how it is the same, because when you started, you didn't -- you know, you were trying to attain something and now you are trying to keep it?

ANDY PETTITTE: To tell you the truth, obviously, you know Skip wasn't here, but to me, it really all started, I felt like in '95 when we lost to Seattle at their place. We lost three in a row after we had a two-game lead against them. That is where I felt like it all started, for me. And then obviously Skip came over, Tino came over, Jete came up and we've obviously been able to be on the run that we are on. It's different now because after you've won a few championships, all of a sudden you are going into a season and expecting to win it, and if you don't, it's going to be a disappointment especially since we have just such a great nucleus of guys and great talent. In 1995 you were trying to get there and you don't know what it's like to get it done. That's just the difference. Now, we are the hunted, you know, and I think everyone still considers that no matter if we are down 0-2 or up 2-0 or whatever, I think everybody still realizes that we are the World Champs and we have shown a lot of heart and determination to try to keep that right now. So, obviously, now we are the ones that everyone is shooting for, where in a sense before, we were trying to get up to that point.

End of FastScripts....

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