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October 15, 2000

Lou Piniella


Q. Are you still as angry at Roger as you were last night, and with no DH, would that put a stop to throwing inside?

LOU PINIELLA: I'll tell you, in the National League, you can take care of it certainly a lot different than you do in the American League. A pitcher has got to come up to hit; and instead of having to throw at anybody, you just throw at the pitcher, and that's how you stop it. That's the way -- when I managed in Cincinnati, that's the way we stopped it there, and that's the way that National League clubs take care of it. But that's past, and what we need to do now is just win a ballgame today and extend this thing to Tuesday.

Q. If you guys were hitting the ball better over a consistent basis, like you were during the regular season, do you think last night would have been a different story? Are you on a real cold streak right now, anyway?

LOU PINIELLA: Roger threw the ball awfully well. You give credit where credit is due. He had an outstanding fastball. He had a very respectable slider, and his split finger to left-handed hitters was tumbling 88, 89 miles an hour. The man has talent. He has not won all of these games and the career he's had, he's been a great pitcher. But at the same time, we have not been swinging the bats well, and that added a little bit to the performance. Certainly, when you go out there and pitch a complete game and give up one hit the way he did, really, he only was in trouble one time. You've got to give him credit for that.

Q. Well, I asked this of Joe, so I have to ask this of you, who let the dogs out?

LOU PINIELLA: Who let the dogs out? Well, right now, the Yankees have let the dogs out, that's for sure. We won three games in a row a few times this year. We have done it in post-season, too. We're not quitting and what we don't want is for them to, certainly, clinch on our home turf today. We're going to go out and do everything that we can to avoid that and take this thing back to New York.

Q. With the apparent uncertainty about you and what your future holds here, are there any different feelings today or thoughts about if this might be your last game?

LOU PINIELLA: I haven't given that any thought all year. My situation will take care of itself this winter. We've left it with this ballclub where we're going to sit down and talk at the end of the year, and that's been understood all along. But no, I just hope that we win here today and extend this thing. My situation is secondary to the ballgame and to the situation we're in.

Q. Garcia was pretty dominant against them in the first game. How much better are the Yankee at-bats now and their approach, and how much more difficult will it be?

LOU PINIELLA: Listen, these guys are very professional. They have got some very talented people over there. And you don't do the things that they have done for the past three or four or five years, unless you have some darned good talent and you have some head-strong people that get the job done. Joe has done a heck of a job over there managing that baseball team, and the players have really responded well on the field. They have got a bunch of professionals over there that have really stuck together and have grinded it out, and they have done some marvelous things. You've got to tip your hat to them.

Q. Looking at the last three games, hitting-wise, you look at last night's game, and you figure, okay, this is the lowest that it is going to get, and it can only get better after this. Is that the point that you are stressing to them?

LOU PINIELLA: I think so. I thought we would come out and swing the bats well yesterday. We had ten hits the night before and didn't get big hits when we needed them. But at the same time, you look at the Yankee pitching: Clemens, El Duque, Pettitte, Neagle. I mean, they have all had post-season experience, they have all been successful, had great careers. It is not an easy staff. We have only faced probably, what? Six pitchers in this series: Nelson, Rivera, and their four starters. You get ahead of them, and now you get into their bottom tier pitching. And not that those people are not capable, but they have had the left-hander, Stanton, up a couple of times, but they have never used him in a ballgame. They have not won world championships for nothing. They know how to get it done. No question about it.

Q. Can you talk about facing Hernandez again on Tuesday, should you win today?

LOU PINIELLA: Well, we need to get through Neagle today, and hopefully we will. Hernandez -- we're going to throw in as much left-hand hitting as we can in the lineup. He's been so darned tough on right-hand hitting all year. We'll load it up as much as we can. Outside of that, you've just got to go out and play. But that's about the only thing that we can do, is play every left-hander that we have and take our chances that way.

Q. What has managing in Seattle meant to you, and how has it compared to the other places that you've been?

LOU PINIELLA: Well, this has been a wonderful place to work. It is a great city. This ballpark that was constructed here a couple of years ago, it's second to none. It is a wonderful organization. Our ownership group, our front office, the players that I've had, they are top-notch. This place here is -- I'm talking about as a baseball team, it is on the upswing, with the revenues that they will derive from this stadium, added revenues. Our ownership group here doesn't want to make any money. They are wealthy enough. All they want to do is put a good product on the field and in a competitive situation year-in and year-out. It is going to get better. It is going to get better here. It's been fun, it really has been. I've learned a lot about managing in this town, probably more here than anywhere else. In fact, I'm positive of that. We'll just have to see what happens with my situation. I've had a lot of wonderful players here that have played, and a lot of good memories -- great memories, actually. This organization is definitely on the upswing.

End of FastScripts....

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