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October 11, 2000

Tino Martinez


Q. About the struggles that you guys are having offensively, is it because you are trying too hard, the lineup, everybody is trying to hit a home run?

TINO MARTINEZ: I don't think so. I just think that when you fall behind in the game by a couple of runs and you can't get anything going -- we hit a couple balls hard. David Justice hit a home run. I thought that ball should have gone out but it didn't. A few breaks here and there and we're back in the game or maybe tying it up. I think that you can break out at any time, but I don't think it's trying too hard. Everybody wants to win. There's a lot on the line.

Q. The lineup has changed quite a bit in the last week. Can that be part of a distraction, or do you think that's going to get you guys on track?

TINO MARTINEZ: I don't think it's a distraction at all. Joe Torre changes his lineup throughout the season, different guys, different places and it didn't affect us at all. I think he is just trying to get us jump-started and get something going. Probably taking O'Neill out of the third spot, get him to relax a little bit and try and get him going, but I don't think it's going to affect our offense at all.

Q. Can you compare and contrast Derek and A-Rod, on and off the field?

TINO MARTINEZ: On the field, obviously, everybody knows that they have great talent. They are both superstar players and they handle themselves real well. They are classy individuals. Off the field, being so young and having the world at their hands, they handle themselves tremendously, and I think it is a credit to their parents, I guess, because those guys have it made, and they are awesome people off the field. They do a lot of charity work. They treat everybody with a lot of respect and they are just two great role models.

Q. This team has always been a stand-up team, win or lose. And for a lot of us, it was shocking to find the locker room empty after the game. Can you explain why that happened?

TINO MARTINEZ: I don't think there's any explanation. I think the pitchers out there, the catchers out there, I think the rest of the guys are getting iced. I know I was getting iced in the locker room, and after I got iced and took a shower. I came out and I had one reporter standing at my locker and I answered their questions and that was it. I didn't stand around waiting for anybody to come to me. I don't think anybody else did. If somebody is standing at your locker and you know they want to talk to you, about a hit or a play on the field, you did something that they want to speak about, I think guys will usually do it.

Q. Obviously, you guys are happy to be making the trip because you're happy to be playing, but what does another cross-country flight do for you?

TINO MARTINEZ: I don't think it is going to have any effect at all. This time of the year, the American League Championship Series, there's no excuses. Nobody can say they are tired. It is a lot of fun and you play with a lot of adrenaline. Going for one day to play Oakland and coming back, I don't think it really affected us because we were not there long enough to get tired or whatever. But at this time of the year, that's just the way the schedule is, and we're playing Seattle, just so happens that they are 3,000 miles away and both teams have to deal with it. Once you take the field, that is behind you.

Q. Pretty much since 1996, you've been dealing with coming from a winning perspective leading into the post-season. How is the team dealing with a slightly different perspective now?

TINO MARTINEZ: It is not much different. I think we've come in the last few years obviously really hot with great records and whatnot during the regular season once the post-season starts we are able to put it behind us and just win each series. We've been down 1-0 in games before and most of the guys who have been here, have been here the last four or five years it. Didn't really affect us at all. It's not like it's our first time and we're down by one and we're panicking. We're used to different scenarios of dominating falling behind and everybody knows how to handle it. We've just got to battle back, and obviously it is not going to be as easy as it was in the years past.

Q. Is there a sense in the clubhouse with the struggles and how hard it was this year, the team comes back next year will be in many respects largely different from the one that finishes this year?

TINO MARTINEZ: I don't think guys think much about that. Right now, I think in 1996 we won and 1997 we lost, and we came back with pretty much the same team in 1998 and had a great year. I'm sure some things will change, the people will change. Nobody really knows for sure who. But nobody is concerned about it, and I don't think it is affecting our play. I mean, 1998 we had the best year we ever had and who would ever have thought we would have traded David Wells that winter. We know anything can happen in the off-season, but it definitely does not affect the way we play in the series.

Q. You talked about coming back in the past, how much do you turn to that in your head when you are against the wall?

TINO MARTINEZ: I think it helps us a lot. It's not like, as I've said, that we've swept every series that we've ever been in. I think a younger, inexperienced team like the Chicago White Sox who had a great year and they fell behind, I think they had a little trouble getting back in it and coming back. You know, we have fallen behind before and we've never gotten down, and I think that's a key to, I guess, what post-season experience is all about.

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