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October 12, 2000

Aaron Sele


Q. Would you compare your experiences pitching at SAFECO for the Mariners this year with pitching as a visiting pitcher at the Kingdome?

AARON SELE: Well, SAFECO is such a great ballpark, and obviously, it is a little more conducive to some decent pitching. At the Kingdome you had astroturf and fences you could drag-bunt home runs at. Obviously you have to enjoy pitching at SAFECO as a home player or as a visitor, much more than the Kingdome.

Q. How much of an advantage is it for the pitchers when the shadows come over the mound as they will tomorrow night?

AARON SELE: We had a series against Oakland late in the year where we had a lot of day games, and the way they were swinging the bats, I don't know how much of an advantage it really is. I think it all comes down to making quality pitches. If you make quality pitches with or without shadows you don't get as good of swings. If the pitchers are more in the heart of the plate, I think guys can take good swings and hit the ball just fine.

Q. Do you find that because of the ballpark that the team plays a different game than the ones you used to come in to face?

AARON SELE: I think that the team that the Mariners used to have in the Kingdome, I think they used to just go out and get power hitters and sit back and try to hit three-run homers. Typical American League baseball. Here we have a little bit bigger gaps so you can put together some speed, some line drive hitters and some guys that can hit some home runs. I've talked about this before, I think we were sixth in the League in homers. Edgar Martinez had a new career-high in home runs. Alex was two off his career high. You can hit the ball out of the ballpark but at the same time, you do some more room in the gaps and the line drives will skip through and you can see a lot more triples and you can see a lot more great plays in the outfield.

Q. With your start on the mound tomorrow, Olerud at first base, Ramsay in the bullpen, what does it say about the state of Washington baseball, and would you name a youth team that you played for and perhaps a coach that was important to you along the way.

AARON SELE: Coming from the Northwest, I've always felt like we've had a lot of talent come out of here. I think we've just gotten some recognition more recently. I think we had five kids last year come out in the first round that were from Washington State. You have a lot of guys out of the Vancouver area and the Seattle area that are in the big leagues and working their way up. I think youth baseball in the Northwest is pretty strong. I played most of my high school and legion ball across the water in Kitsap County and I basically stayed with the Babe Ruth programs over in North Kitsap Babe Ruth. I had a lot of people here, coaches and high school stuff like that that were really helpful to me. Steve Freezenberg [ph] and Taylor from high school, Larry Harvey was a pitching coach that I get a chance to run into just about every day because he works here at the ballpark so there's a lot of people that helped me along the way. Obviously my dad helped coach me, probably like everybody else's father.

Q. Any particular team you played for?

AARON SELE: Just North Kitsap Senior Babe Ruth was the team that we did real well with.

Q. Can you talk about your past against the Yankees and maybe why it has been tough going against them and anything that you can draw from that going into tomorrow?

AARON SELE: When you're playing the Yankees you are definitely playing a quality team. I think that is why -- I don't think there's anybody in particular, other than maybe Chuck Finley that performs well against them. They have quality hitters from top to bottom. And you're always making adjustments whether it is during the season or in the post-season. You have to see how the guys have reacted to your pitches before, what you've had success with them against, and obviously, what the team, if they have had any success, what they have done to be successful, say if you're pitching in the third game of a series or second game or whatever. You just mix it all together and come up with a game plan.

Q. Are you going to make any adjustments going into tomorrow?

AARON SELE: At this point, I've been facing these guys or eight years now. They know what I throw and how I throw it. And I know what most of them like to do. It's just a matter of going out and executing pitches. If you can execute quality pitches, then most of the time you get positive results from that, and we'll take our chances on that. Sometimes big league hitters hit quality pitches, too, so make as many as you can and see where you go from there.

Q. Now, you've only been here for a year, but is the coffee here really better, or is there just more of it?

AARON SELE: My daughter is going to turn a year old on Monday, and I've only been a coffee drinker for about a year now. We've got a lot of coffee, and I haven't sampled a whole lot of places, so I think we do just fine with our coffee.

Q. Can you talk about being a teammate with Roger Clemens earlier in your career and what you might have picked up?

AARON SELE: I wish I would have picked up some of his velocity, but I never found out how to do that. Roger was a great teammate. He's a great leader on the field, being a No. 1 starter and just going out there and leading the way, stopping losing streaks. You guys know all about that. He's just absolutely phenomenal on the field. In the clubhouse he was really good to me, too, he kind of showed me how things are supposed to be done, how you put your work first, how you put the team first. He always said that there's a time that you can stop and talk to reporters, and then the rest of the time, you'd better be working. That's just the type of guy he is. He's got a great worth ethic, quality pitcher and he's a quality person. The years I spent with him, basically I just watched him as much as I could and learned as much as I could from him, in a variety of aspects, and I learned a lot.

Q. What was the frustration like for you and the Texas team, just not being able to get over the hump against the Yankees in the playoffs and just from your year here, what do you think A-Rod means to this franchise and this city and how much of a loss would it be if he goes?

AARON SELE: The first part, I think the Yankees were frustrating everybody the last two years. They pretty much cake walked through to two titles there, and as I said before, they have got a quality team and they pretty much did whatever they wanted to to whoever thhey were playing at the time. And Alex, I mean, you can't say enough positive things about Alex and what he means to this franchise and this city. He's a quality -- he's a quality player. He's a superstar player, one of the best in either league. To this city, Alex Rodriguez is synonymous with the Seattle Mariners. He's going to have a tough decision to make this year. Obviously Howard Lincoln and Pat Gillick have done a lot of things to strengthen this team, and I think this run at the playoffs is showing them that Seattle is committed to winning. I would hate to lose him as a teammate. He's such a quality person. If he does happen to leave, I just hope he goes somewhere where we don't have to pitch against him.

Q. There's been a lot of theories as to why the offense is struggling. Do you have a theory on that, why Seattle's offense is struggling and when you take the mound tomorrow night, will it be with the notion that it's going to be a low-scoring game?

AARON SELE: Taking the field tomorrow, the only thing I can concentrate on is the Yankees and making quality pitches. Generally playoff games are lower-scoring than regular-season games, but that really doesn't matter. My job is to get the Yankees out. I think our guys have been doing a great job. We've ran into some tough pitching and when we've had opportunities, we've taken advantage of it for the most part, and I think the guys are doing a good job.

End of FastScripts....

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