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October 24, 2000

Jose Vizcaino


THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. When you were watching Luis play second base for all of the Division Series and the ALCS, did you ever think that, "Wow, there might be a shot still out there for me," or were you content thinking you'd be coming off the bench?

JOSE VIZCAINO: Well, Luis's been doing a great job. He played in Seattle and Oakland. I was pulling for him. I was pulling for the team. The only thing I got in my mind is I want to win in the Big League for ten years. I never got a chance to go to the World Series. This is my first time. I'm just pulling for everybody because I want to win.

Q. What do you think of all of the fuss about the Clemens-Piazza incident? How does that apply to the other people on the team?

JOSE VIZCAINO: Well, nobody talked about that in the clubhouse. Just it's happened, and we don't even talk about that. We just have to concentrate on tonight's game. Whatever happened, it happened. We just have to continue, and we have more games to play. So we just have to take our mind off of that and think about tonight's game.

Q. The Mets' fans are obviously going to be agitated about what happened with Roger. You're the first guy to come to the plate tonight for the Yankees. Have you thought about what that's going to be like?

JOSE VIZCAINO: No, not at all. It's another game. Like I say, what happened the other day is over. So we don't think there is anything going on, because he's going to play again. We don't think about it; nothing is going to happen. Both teams are set up, we just have to think about our game. They're going to try to win tonight because they need to win. We want to win tonight, so we're going to have to just play the game.

Q. Does it mean something special to you to be playing against the Mets, where you played here for a couple of years, both second and short?

JOSE VIZCAINO: Yeah. I had fun the three years that I played here. The fans here, they were great to me and my family. Today, when I came to the park, I saw a couple of people that work here. They hugged me. They said, "We love you, but we hate you now." (Laughter.)

Q. Who were those people?

JOSE VIZCAINO: People that work out there in the office.

Q. What do you feel most comfortable with, short or second? For sitting so long, have you felt comfortable playing defense?

JOSE VIZCAINO: I always feel comfortable playing defense, because that's what I've been doing most of the year here, since I got here. So I spend a lot of time during the game in the batting cage and hitting off of the tee inside the clubhouse. So just getting loose, because I know my first concern is just to work more on my defense, because that's what they brought me here for, because Chuck Knoblauch had problems. So I knew if we'll be winning by the sixth inning, I might have a chance to go play defense. So that's why I was putting more time into my defense.

Q. Can you just talk about what it's meant to you and what it's been like for you since you joined the Yankees?

JOSE VIZCAINO: It's been a dream, like I said before. Because I knew since I got here, things weren't going good with the Dodgers. Coming here to the Yankees, I knew I was going to have a chance to go to the post-season and have a chance to go to the World Series. And this time it happened. First time here. I'm just enjoying every moment. I never thought I was going to be starting in a World Series, and here it is , third game, I'm going to start three games. I'm just really happy and I'm enjoying it every minute.

Q. Since you've played for both teams, which team has louder fans and which team has meaner fans to the opponents?

JOSE VIZCAINO: They're both great. (Laughter.) No, Yankee fans. They are more spoiled because they won more. They won the last two World Series. And the Mets' fans, they haven't been in a World Series since '86. Yankees fans are just as loud as Mets fans.

Q. Can you compare the make-up or the point of view of the guys on the Dodgers and the guys on the Yankees that you've come to be with?

JOSE VIZCAINO: Well, we had a great team when I was with the Dodgers. They have some great players over there. But I think the difference was that the 25 guys here, they play more together. It's one team here. All 25 guys, they just have one goal in mind: To win. A couple guys over there, they just want to have a good, individual goal, have a great season or whatever. Here, they don't -- numbers don't count here. It's just the win.

Q. Has Chuck spoken with you at all? Has he given you any words of encouragement?

JOSE VIZCAINO: He talks to me every day. He's a professional guy, like I say. We have 25 guys here. If you don't play, the other guy is going to pull for you. You just want -- he just wants me to do well so we can win.

Q. What has he told you?

JOSE VIZCAINO: He said, "Go get them. Do a great job," like I did the first game.

Q. You know the Mets fans pretty well. How would they have treated Chuck Knoblauch if he was playing second base tonight?

JOSE VIZCAINO: I don't know. I think they'd rather have him there. Even if he was there, he could have a good game, too. He's a good player, and everybody knows him from back in Minnesota, how great he was defensively. This is the only year that he's been having some problems. So last time we were here, they were just happy that he was playing. This is the World Series; he's taking it good. He says that he's fine with Joe's decision. He just wants to win.

Q. When you joined the Yankees, were you encouraged to take a lot of pitches, and be very patient at the plate? If you could talk about that in terms of your approach tonight.

JOSE VIZCAINO: No, no. I'm going to lead it off. If he throws me the first pitch down the middle and I can swing, I'll swing. I just have to concentrate. And if I can see a couple pitches, it will be better for the other guys. But I'm not going to go out there and just take the first pitch down the middle just because to see what he has. If I can take advantage of getting the first pitch, it will be better.

Q. I'd just like to leave you for a moment, Jose. Rick, can you comment on El Duque's health?

RICK CERRONE: I think El Duque is fine. I didn't ask him, but he's getting dressed. I think Joe was talking earlier and said that he would be very surprised if he doesn't pitch tonight.

Q. Is there a kind of daydream that Jose Vizcaino has about closing his eyes and seeing himself driving in the winning run in the World Series, or a fantasy that you have?

JOSE VIZCAINO: I never thought about that. When I was a kid, I would just dream to play professional ball and be able to go to the World Series. But I never thought that I was going to be driving the game-winning RBI in the first game of the World Series. So I've been living a dream since that day. I've been enjoying every moment. Hopefully, there's a couple more to come.

End of FastScripts....

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