October 4, 2000
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Game Two
Q. Have you heard from the owner today?
JOE TORRE: I talked to him today. He's supportive. He always has been. To me, George gets tougher when we are playing well than when we are struggling. But, no, he's been supportive. He's been no short of that since I've been here.
Q. Do you have lineup changes?
JOE TORRE: Yes. Leading off, Jeter. Posada hitting second. Justice, Bernie Williams, Tino Martinez, O'Neill, Glenallen Hill will DH, Sojo second base and Brosius.
Q. Will you go over why you decided to juggle it around?
JOE TORRE: Just to juggle it. I think when he told several players that were involved, they sort of shook their head knowingly saying, you know, we understand, you know, you're doing it just to sort of rearrange the furniture, trying to get something going. Again, it doesn't mean that if we win tonight that this is something we're married to. I think its just basically trying to do something a little bit different to try to stir something up.
Q. Do you ever considering juggling just to rearrange the tour during the last two weeks when things were not going too well?
JOE TORRE: We did some things the last couple weeks, but you know, I didn't really want to do a whole lot. I thought that was a different circumstance. And after you -- when you get to post-season play, your patience level is not what it is during the regular season, because you have a five-game series to deal with.
Q. Do you see similarities between this Oakland team is he especially to the Yankees in '96 when Bernie and Jeter were coming up?
JOE TORRE: I guess in the upstart type club that nobody really paid a whole lot of attention to, and they keep showing people why they are a good team, I guess in that regard. There's a lot of energy and a lot of the confidence -- they are having fun. That's a big part about playing this game that is not always easy to do, is have fun. But they seem to really be enjoying themselves. And again, I know I've said it before, but I have to credit Art Howe for allowing that to happen. You know, managers tend to stay out of the way and sometimes good things happen.
Q. Does your team use adversity as fuel, or by this time is your team so professional you don't get any extra juice out of it?
JOE TORRE: Well, I think it's a challenge. I'd like to believe that. I think -- I'd like to believe our ballclub, you know, battles, stays tough, works hard. If it is good enough, fine, and it isn't, we have to do it again tomorrow. As far as fuel, I think we've been able to handle a lot of bad times over the years, and a lot of bad streaks. Nothing quite like we ended the season with, but I didn't think yesterday was similar to what happened during the season at the end. Yesterday was a good game. And I know I mentioned it to somebody, you know if we lose this game 5-4 or something, that doesn't mean that we are in that same streak, even though it's become counted that way. I thought we played well. We just didn't hit. I thought Roger pitched win able baseball, but Heredia did a better job.
Q. Do you remember Derek Jeter in his first year, nervous when he was starting out?
JOE TORRE: No. It was interesting. Because in Game 1 against Texas, if I'm not mistaken, he made an error, the first playoff game he played. And we didn't win the game and I remember being asked after the game if I should -- if I thought it necessary to talk to him to make sure he was okay. And I said, "I don't think so. I'll have a sense tomorrow when I see him". And just about at the time he walked by my office, stuck his head in the office and says: "Get some rest tonight, tomorrow is the biggest game of your life." So I think at that point, I realized, no, I don't need to talk to him. He's a very extraordinary kid.
Q. It's logical that if you're changing things Jeter would be leading offer, but why is he leading off?
JOE TORRE: I think there's a certain amount of spark and enthusiasm that lives in that man and hopefully he can ignite us a little bit. He has the ability to steal bases. He has the ability to score on a double. I know I'd rather hit him second. He's probably more comfortable hitting second. I wouldn't doubt they would hit third in the next year or so in anybody's lineup. But tonight, I'd like it get him up as many times as possible and hope that will give us a little jump-start.
Q. How much comfort do you take in the post-season track record of your next two pitchers?
JOE TORRE: I'm very comfortable. The thing is, we just need to try to give them a little breathing room. I think that's very important. You can be a good pitcher, but you can only -- you can only go so long. You know, you need some runs, and Andy has done a great job, and Rocket has done a good job and of course, El Duque, as you refer to. I felt very comfortable coming into this series with just three starters and the ability to come back on three days' rest. But again, I think it is incumbent upon our offense to start hanging some numbers on the board and not having to struggle.
Q. Is this a must-win game for you?
JOE TORRE: Yes, and if it doesn't happen, I'm going to say it wasn't all that important. Win three in a row, every club is capable of winning three in a row. Sure, we want to win this. There's no question. We're going to go home tomorrow and we'd certainly like to go home 1-1.
Q. Did George Steinbrenner have any thoughts on your new lineup?
JOE TORRE: Come to think of it, in talking to him this evening or a little while ago, I told him I was shaking things up and he said "Good." That was basically it.
Q. Did you give him the details?
JOE TORRE: Yeah. And that was his only comment at that point.
Q. He didn't approve or disprove of the lineup?
JOE TORRE: Well, he said, "Good." So I hope that's approval.
End of FastScripts....