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October 14, 2001

Joe Torre


Q. Joe, you joked about wearing that hat when you came out here. Would you talk about whether you thought it would be true?

JOE TORRE: Well, you wanted it to be true. The one thing you have to keep reminding yourself -- and I know, because I've been on the other side of this thing, when you're ahead and you're never comfortable until you get that last win. And unless 2 games is enough to win the series, you have to keep battling, you really do, because you really go home and really feel bad about it. And I'm a strong believer in one game turning the tide a little bit, and we were able to build on it a little bit today.

Q. Joe, with everything you've seen during your team's run, do you ever feel any level of surprise when they do something like this?

JOE TORRE: I honestly can say I'm not surprised, because even when we went through that bad streak last year at the end of the season, I felt very confident that we'd be a different club once the postseason came. But this was by far the biggest high. Coming into this place, where we got our rear ends cleaned six games, and to come in and play a 1-0 game last night, and to be able to battle our tails off to get through the first few innings, it took three weeks to play the first few innings. I credit Duque. Duque battled. He was trying to be very careful. But surprised, I guess I can't be. We've done so many things the last six years that make me proud, and this certainly goes up there among the proudest.

Q. Joe, have you given much thought yet to just how long you will go with Clemens, how much margin you'll give him tomorrow, and how quickly you might go to Andy?

JOE TORRE: I really haven't. But he'll go out there. He threw this morning. He felt good about what he felt like. In fact he practiced pickoffs, he practice fielding bunts. He did everything today. And we'll see, we'll see what he looks like. If I'm not comfortable watching what we see, then we'll make a switch. But for sure we wanted to get back home, and everybody in our bullpen, on our staff is eligible, probably, except for maybe Mussina and Duque.

Q. But he is definitely starting tomorrow?


Q. How much faith do you have with him at 75 percent. Did he look like he was getting inspired by what might happen tomorrow when he left?

JOE TORRE: To be honest with you, I don't know what percentage we see. Somebody asked me 70 earlier, I said fine, that's as good a number as any, but I don't know. I don't think we'll know until he comes out of the bullpen and pitches the first inning. He is self-motivated, there's no question. He's higher than a kite every time he goes out there, because he's done this his whole career. So he sort of has practice doing it. But I think the only danger with him, the physical part aside, is not to get too high and too pumped up, because he has a tendency to get a little wild.

Q. How much effect do you think El Duque's having 73 innings of postseason experience has?

JOE TORRE: I put a lot of stock in that. I learned the hard way. Not having any postseason experience myself, I always put it way up there, until I got here and I still never came as a player. But I really, truly believe experience is an advantage. And Duque, he had every chance to roll over and go away. But he kept battling it. He pitched to who he wanted to pitch to, pitched around who he wanted to. He was able to fight his way through. He had a couple of short innings, because early on I wasn't sure how long he was going to go.

Q. Do you expect a similar game tomorrow, Clemens and Mulder was a tight match up in the first game?

JOE TORRE: He's pitched well against us earlier this year, so we know that -- It's nice to be on a high going home, winning two in a row, but we certainly know that this thing isn't over. And we just need to Roger to go out there and go toe-to-toe with it.

End of FastScripts....

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