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July 10, 2000

Paul Beeston

Bobby Cox

Randy Johnson

Dale Murphy

Ivan Rodriguez

Joe Torre

David Wells

Dave Winfield


ERNIE JOHNSON: Good afternoon, everybody. On behalf of Major League Baseball and the Atlanta Braves, I'm Ernie Johnson. I want to thank you for being here, and we'll move this thing along as quickly as possible and have questions and answers after the program. I'd like to introduce members of the dais. No one has to stand, just raise your hand. Dave Winfield, over 3,000 base hits, Honorary Captain of the American League. Ivan Rodriguez, American League leading vote-getter. Dave Wells, American League starting pitcher. David, nice to have you here. Next to David is an old friend, Joe Torre, manager of the New York Yankees. Paul Beeston, President and COO of Major League Baseball right here, Bobby Cox, National League manager of the Atlanta Braves. Randy Johnson, tall, skinny lefty. National League starting pitcher. Randy, good to see you here. Dale Murphy has his family here. Dale, most valuable player a couple of times, and he's the National League Honorary Captain. Dale, good to see you. Paul Beeston will have a few words to say. He is the President and COO of Major League Baseball.

PRESIDENT PAUL BEESTON: Thanks very much. I do have a couple of honors that I do have the opportunity to present today. First thing I want to do is welcome everybody. This is the 75th All-Star Game. We seem to have had a few more injuries this year. If you look at the line-ups that will be out there tonight and tomorrow night, I think you'll all agree this is going to be quite a special two days. We have two honorary captains that we brought back this year, people that have given to the game, people that everybody knows in the game, and people that we're thrilled that they would accept our invitation to attend. Dave Winfield is the Honorary Captain of the American League. Dave was in 12 consecutive All-Star Games, including as an elected starter, a 17-time Gold Glover. He has 3,000 hits, 450 home runs, and 250 stolen bases. A gifted athlete, a great person. We say to you, Dave, on behalf of baseball, thank you for taking the time to come to the Atlanta to be the Honorary Captain of the American League. Dale Murphy is the Honorary Captain of the National League, known to everybody in Atlanta here obviously. In seven All-Star Games, five as an elected starter. National League's top vote-getter in 1985. He won back-to-back MVPs. And Dale, on behalf of baseball, we say thank you for taking the time to come home and to this new ballpark. Hopefully you will enjoy yourself as much as we're honored to have you here.

CAPTAIN DAVE WINFIELD: Thank you, I appreciate it. To be asked by Major League Baseball to be an Honorary Captain, I guess I could have gone either league here. I played a long time in the National League and the American League. But just to be back, just participating in baseball, having a uniform, to be on the field with people, the elite of this game, it's exciting. I always enjoyed coming to the All-Star Game when I played. There wasn't a time where I said, "I don't want to come." I always wanted to be here and be among my peers and people who were going to play and be in the Hall of Fame and things like that. They're memories that you'll always remember. It was always a thrill coming to the All-Star Game. I'm just glad to be here.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Thank you for being here, Dave. Dale Murphy, got a couple words?

CAPTAIN DALE MURPHY: Yeah, thank you, Ernie. Same as Dave, it's a great honor and surprise. We were coming to Atlanta anyway to enjoy FanFest and see some of the All-Star Game when I was asked to be the Honorary Captain of the National League. My family and I couldn't be more excited to be here and be part of this great event. I think the All-Star Game in baseball, in the sport of baseball, is unique. I'm not exactly sure why, but why -- the other sports, they're great games. But I've always felt that the Baseball All-Star Game was something special. And so I'm grateful to be here, too. It's great to come back to Atlanta and see the new ballpark and be around these great guys. They are great guys. I think they're not only great players, but I think we have some of the great ambassadors of the game who are a part of this. So it's great to be associated with them. Thank you.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Thank you, Dale. I want to mention that 7:15 tonight at Turner Field in the interview room, Tom Lasorda and the Selection Committee for the U.S. Olympic Team will be available. It's 7:15 tonight. Now I'd like to introduce a good friend, a good manager, Bobby Cox. Bobby?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: Hi, Ernie. Good morning. I am honored and thrilled to have these two guys to my right on our ballclub. Dale Murphy, a legend here in Atlanta, a future Hall of Famer. I had the pleasure of working with Dale during my years with the Braves. I got the chance to come back, which I appreciate, too. But Dale was a delightful kid to be around, a good ball player, and just a great person. To this day, he's remained the same. Of course, I think Randy Johnson's probably the best pitcher to come along since the Koufax days and those types of guys. I can't say enough about Randy being our opening-day pitcher. I know he pitched on Sunday, and he told our people that he could go an inning, which I appreciate. But certainly if Randy Johnson's got an inning in him, you want him to be the first guy out to pitch and be the opening pitcher. He won the Cy Young Award last year, leading the league in wins, ERA's and strikeouts and every other category you could imagine for a pitcher. We're delighted to have Randy as our starter. This line-up's changed many times. I had a line-up really set, etched in stone here about ten days ago. Our guys started dropping a little bit. But I know some of these guys, just being around, this is my 5th All-Star Game. I've been around Barry Bonds a long time. Nobody loves the challenge of playing in this thing more than Barry from what I've gathered, just hanging around him. I can remember when Randy was starting against us, I'm not sure which city we were in, he was the opening pitcher. Barry had his game plan, he was going to bear down. I don't know if he got a hit or not, but he had a great swing, which I thought was a great achievement. Anyway, those guys will miss him. He wants to play. Unfortunately, things happened. In Maddux's case, he was supposed to pitch yesterday in Boston. Saturday, prior to the game, he was shagging in the outfield and got hit with a line drive right in his pitching shoulder. It swelled up about the size of a large grapefruit immediately, and we just couldn't get him going. So hopefully he'll be able to pitch in the Baltimore series. That's who we open with after this All-Star Game. But leading off is going to be Barry Larkin at shortstop. Hitting second will be Chipper Jones at third base. Hitting third will either be Gary Sheffield in leftfield or Guerrero in leftfield. I haven't really made up my mind yet. In rightfield will be Sosa hitting cleanup. Jeff Kent will hit fifth and play second base. Since David Wells is pitching, Galarraga, Andres, will start at second base, hit sixth. Edmonds will hit seventh, play centerfield. Kendall will hit eighth, and Randy probably won't get to swing a bat. (Laughter.) But I'd also like to say thanks to Katy Feeney out of the Commissioner's Office that helped me so much and getting in contact with players with these emergencies that we did have with the injuries and things like that. I do know she was up past 1:00, because I was talking to her around 1:15 last night trying to locate a catcher. She works awfully hard, and I want to say thanks, Katy.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Bobby or Randy?

RANDY JOHNSON: I'm just thrilled to be here. It's an honor to be an All-Star and represent the Diamondbacks along with Steve Finley. Obviously, it's a great honor to be selected as the starting pitcher. I'm looking forward to having a good time.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Okay. You might note that Mike Piazza is not here; he was injured. He was the leading vote-getter in the National League. Now, Joe Torre, American League manager of the Yankees. An old friend.

MANAGER JOE TORRE: Thanks, Ernie. It certainly is a thrill. I know this is Bobby's home turf, but I lived here for a number of years, and it's always great coming back to Atlanta and to the All-Star Game, which is a great spectacle. Then looking over there and see Dale Murphy and realize he's not on my side, it's still great seeing him. Of course, Dave Winfield, who -- Hall of Fame, what can I tell you? Great guy to have on your side also. It was very unfortunate how many players we have lost to injury here over the last couple of weeks. And I guess the only upside to that is there are so many more deserving players that the roster allows you to have. Now you're able to honor more. I know our ballclub, we have 15 first-timers. For me, as a manager, it's a big thrill to see the faces of these guys when they come into that clubhouse and see all their teammates for that one day. It's a great experience for me, and I know it will be for them. My line-up: Roberto Alomar, leading off playing second base. As an asterisk here, he got hit by a pitch here the other day, and he's iffy right now. Hopefully he can make it. Derek Jeter will be batting second, playing shortstop. We all know Alex Rodriguez had to bow out because of the concussion. Bernie Williams will bat third and play centerfield. Jason Giambi is playing firstbase. Carl Everett will play leftfield. Pudge Rodriguez will bat sixth and catch. Jermaine Dye in rightfield will bat seventh. Travis Fryman in third base will bat eighth. I spoke with Cal Ripken yesterday, and he expressed his regrets at not being able to be here the first time in 100 years or so. Cal is getting better, but the doctor really didn't want him to sit on the plane and sit for any length of time, so he won't be able to even show up to be honored. We all know what he's meant to this game and still means to this game. My starting pitcher, the Boomer (David Wells). I promised him he'd only pitch seven innings. That's it. (Laughter.) Got to wear them out some way. I'm not sure that will do it.


MANAGER JOE TORRE: Like Bobby, I want to thank Phyllis Merhige. God love her, she doesn't get any sleep either. She tried to help me put this club together. She's been a wonderful, wonderful friend and a wonderful help. And back to you.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Is that it?


ERNIE JOHNSON: Dave, you got a few words to say? Congratulations on a great year.

DAVID WELLS: Thank you. It's a great honor to be here in the All-Star Game representing the Toronto Blue Jays as well. It takes a lot to get here; and, you know, with the team that we have, it doesn't -- a lot of people are skeptical of what we have out there. But we have a great team. Without them, it's -- you know, I wouldn't be up here talking with you guys. So to be representing them is a great honor.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Thank you very much. Paul Beeston?

PRESIDENT PAUL BEESTON: Thank you, Ernie. Each year, as you know, there is an award to the top vote-getter. Mike Piazza won that in the National League. He regrets that he can't be here today. Anyone that knows Mike knows how much the All-Star Game means to him. It will be presented to him at a different time at Shea Stadium. But there is a person here who won the American League. Ivan Rodriguez, we'd like to present to you the Pepsi Award. A tremendous year, on behalf of Pepsi and Major League Baseball, would you accept that with our congratulations.

IVAN RODRIGUEZ: Thank you. (Applause.) Well, I just want to say I'm very happy for this. I appreciate it from my fans who selected me for most votes in Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. I'm looking forward to go out there and do a great job for the American League and enjoy it. Thank you very much, and have a good day.

ERNIE JOHNSON: How about a hand for these guys who came here today? (Applause.)

Q. David, talk about your feelings facing this line-up, and also feelings of some of the best hitters out there.

DAVID WELLS: Well, it's a great pleasure for me to go out there and face the best hitters. You know, that's what I grew up on. You get the best hitters out there that want the ball, they're going to go out there and pitch on a five-day basis. It's an impressive line-up. I think that, you know, what these guys are capable of doing out there is, you know, it makes you bear down. It makes you want to go out there and succeed, because the better you pitch against these guys that are so good, you know, the better it makes you inside mentally and physically. So to me, it's -- any big challenge is awesome.

Q. Joe and Bobby, can you talk about the rigors of selecting the team, and does it temper your enthusiasm for actually coaching in the game?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: I'll go first, I guess. It's probably the toughest part of it, yeah. Trying to make the right selections, and sometimes it's very difficult. There were so many offensive years being had, especially at second base, and all the outfielders seemed to be having super years with the lumber, so it became more difficult for me this season. But once you get here and all the process is done and the selections are made, it's a lot of fun. Today will be all kinds of fun at the ballpark, meeting the guys, going out and taking batting practice and mingling with the American League guys also in our case, then the contest tonight for home runs. It will be a lot of fun. It doesn't temper it much.

MANAGER JOE TORRE: It certainly is tough, because there are so many deserving players that you really can't put on there. I got beat up by my relief pitcher for not selecting him. But it's -- I guess this year, the one guy I was really sorry -- there were a couple of guys I was sorry I had to leave off, Mike Bordick and Tony Batista, I was able to take them because of the injuries. I felt good about that part of the injuries because these guys could be honored and certainly deserve to be on the All-Star Team. First base was probably like second base was in National League. It's very, very difficult with all the players with great offensive years. You know, to leave Frank Thomas off and Jim Thome and Rafael Palmeiro, there are so many quality offensive players all around both leagues that you really can't put everybody on the team that deserves to be there.

Q. Bobby, could you expound on the feeling of managing this game in your home ballpark?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: Well, the odds against that happening to a manager, having the game played the same year that they were in the World Series and having it in your city, I think those odds are astronomical. I don't know if it's ever happened before. I'm sure it has. Our last All-Star Game was 28 years ago in this city. So I feel lucky; and, you know, just the anticipation of having your own fans there is something pretty wonderful.

Q. Did that influence your roster at all?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: If you're regarding our selections for the Atlanta Braves, I don't think you could find a player having a better year than Andruw Jones offensively or defensively this year. He has really put up the numbers. He is one great centerfielder. He almost ruined his career two days ago in Boston going into the centerfield wall hard. The only thing he said when I got out there was, "I should have caught the ball." He had no chance, but he darn near did. He's having a good year. Maddux, he's got ten wins. Tommy's got nine. These guys, to me, are All-Stars. Chipper was voted. Galarraga has 20 home runs and was hitting .306 with a lot of RBIs. To me, he was our MVP the first half. One of his goals was to play in the All-Star Game this year, and win a World Series. He's halfway there.

Q. Bobby, the Guerrero-Sheffield decision, what's going to enter into that?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: Well, Guerrero, I think he was the fourth most vote-getter behind the top three, with Bonds, Griffey, and Sosa. I thought maybe he should be the guy, but I'm not quite sure he wants to play leftfield. I haven't talked to him yet. I really don't know if he'd feel comfortable in left, or he'd rather -- the original idea was to pick up Sosa in rightfield. So if he wants to play leftfield and start, I will play him.

Q. This is for Dave. Is there any extra feeling for you being picked by the manager of the team? And also, do you feel vindicated now? A lot of people were critical -- a lot of fans were critical of the trade. A lot of media and others. Do you feel like you've proven the point?

DAVID WELLS: I don't think there's a point to prove. You know, I know what I'm capable of doing at any time, and, you know, right now if I wanted to, I could strangle Joe. (Laughter.)

MANAGER JOE TORRE: The only thing I could say, if it was just to prove a point, you've done that, so you can stop. (Laughter.)

DAVID WELLS: No, but, when things happen like that, you just have to treat it as business, and, you know, don't hold any regrets over it, because, you know, to me, New York was a place where I wanted to play. That's where I wanted to end my career. It was just something how it happens, when you get traded for Roger Clemens, I think you'd be crazy not to because he's an outstanding pitcher. But life goes on. You have to accept that. For me, just go out there. I do something that I love doing, that's pitching and playing the game of baseball. It's the greatest game in the world. To go out there and do that, to hold any ties wouldn't be fair to the Toronto Blue Jays or the New York Yankees. For me, it's just to put everything behind me and move on. That's what I've done.

Q. David, this happens to be probably your best year so far in your career, and you've had some good years. What is it that you're doing differently, I guess this season, that you're having so much success? Why do you think it's happening in a year when most pitchers aren't doing that well?

DAVID WELLS: Well, I think it's because for me, I'm getting a hell of a lot of run support -- the defense we have, every time I go out there, these guys just wake up. It's something that, to me, is a blessing. And for that, I just -- I go out there and challenge guys. I think if you're on the plate, you're going to get some calls, and they're going to put the bat on the ball, and you got a chance to get an out. They've been playing solid defense this whole year. So for me to go out there every five days and be successful, we want the team to win, and that's what's happening. We're all playing very well. Some guys have the luck of the draw being in the right spot. That's how I felt. But I know what I'm doing out there. I think I do my job very well. So I just take a lot of pride and go out there and stay focused. You know, the other years, I've been on some great teams. Best team ever in '98. I think that I still have the same focus I did then as I do now. So it's just a matter of these guys going out there and playing behind me and playing solid and keeping the team in the game.

Q. Joe and Bobby, could you describe what your feelings were as the superstars on your respective teams started pulling out with injuries?

MANAGER JOE TORRE: I think more so in my case, I knew, you know, like Cal was a question mark. Alex Rodriguez, unfortunately, we had a chance to have the best three shortstops I'm sure in our league and maybe in baseball on the same team at the same time, and when he came up with a concussion, that was unfortunate. This year was the most unusual I've ever seen with all the injuries that happened and, you know, influenced the -- whether they were going to play or not. I know in Bobby's case, it had to be more disconcerting for him because everything happened just the last couple of days.

Q. Bobby, could you address that question, also?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: Yeah, the first thing I think of is the fans. These people aren't from this area that are going to attend this game tomorrow, and people drive from all over the United States to be here and fly in. And what tickets are available, certainly they want to see their heroes and the superstars; and unfortunately, you know, in some cases they're not going to get that. I always worry about the integrity of the game when guys miss. But, you know, in these cases, they're all legitimate injuries, and they can't help it. I know -- I told you about Bonds. I know those other guys, too, they really like to compete in these things a lot more than most people think. They are competitors. But, you know, there's times when this happens that I do think about the fans, yes.

Q. Randy, can you talk about when you let Bobby know that you would be able to go today and when you made that decision?

RANDY JOHNSON: Well, I didn't find out I made the All-Star Team until a couple of days ago. I told him at that time that I'd be available even though I knew that I was pitching on Sunday unless, you know, I threw 140, 150 pitches, which wasn't the case yesterday. So...

Q. Joe, could you speak to the situation from -- of what's happened and transpired with Mike Piazza in a very tough series with the Mets? He's not here, but he said he doesn't respect Roger Clemens any more because of what happened Saturday.

MANAGER JOE TORRE: Yeah, I feel very bad about that. You know, the situation, just to address the situation, you know, we had beaten the Mets two games in a row, and Mike was hitting in I guess the second inning -- first inning, I'm not sure. Second inning I think it was. Roger threw strike one and tried to come in off the plate again, the ball, as my catcher said when he came in, followed him in. I know Roger needs to pitch in, in fact we've encouraged him to do that. And I'm just sorry that Mike feels that way, I can understand. I mean I've been hit in the head before, and I can understand how -- why he feels that way. I'm just sorry that a very exciting series for the people of New York had to turn ugly there, and I don't know what to say. I mean, I can understand Mike's feelings; I can understand Bobby Valentine's feelings, because if it happened to one of my players, you don't want to hear any reason, whether it be legitimate or not. You just are caught up in the emotion of what's happening.

Q. Bobby, could you just take us through the selection for second base, how difficult that was, and what your thinking was on that?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: Well, it was tough. You know, the one guy that's not here that was leading in the vote-getting for most of the voting season was Biggio with Houston. He's always been one of my favorite guys period, because I love the way he plays. He plays to win and always puts up All-Star numbers. He got passed up by Alfonzo, then at the last minute the E-mail voting came in and Kent passed them both up. I was trying to figure a way to get everybody on there and Vidro and Alfonzo, you know, Kent was going to make it regardless, too. There was going to be three of them on there, and I was going to have to take one less outfielder. I was going to make sure I got him on, but it was going to be difficult.

Q. Can you comment on what it's been like to come back to All-Star form after missing last year?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: Well, you know, he thinks the angels are looking out for him, and certainly that has a lot to do with it. But we didn't really know what to expect in spring training. I know we weren't thinking the way he was thinking when he showed up. We thought it would be a slow process and he was able to start the season, that would be good. We thought maybe we'd carry him through the first month or so and see what happens. But right from the very first day, he came in and did all the work the other guys did and went on the back field and took some extra batting practice, and I know the wind was blowing a little bit out to leftfield that day, but he hit some balls that were hit over 500 feet the very first day of spring training. You could see then that he had a -- his ambition was to play Opening Day and he was going to make it, and he did. Like I said, he's been our MVP this first half.

Q. Bobby, you mentioned that you were up very late last night trying to scour for a catcher. Did you have any luck with that? Are you going to go two players short?

MANAGER BOBBY COX: No, we'll find somebody tonight. We decided we wouldn't mention the names. Our guy went to Puerto Rico, Javy Lopez, and we understood that Todd Hundley, I think is a -- there's a very ill person in his family that he had to attend to. And we were trying to locate a couple other guys.

Q. Pudge Rodriguez, how did you guys put aside the rivalries that the teams had when you think about last year in the Playoffs, the Yankees versus the Texas Rangers, now Joe Torre will be your manager tonight.

IVAN RODRIGUEZ: We play against -- when you play against the best team, I have due respect to the Yankees. They got hitting, they got offense, they got everything. When you play teams like that, you got to play hard and you got to play, you know, what you can do. You just -- we take one inning at a time, play hard. But they don't do any mistakes, so we don't have chance against them. But they're a great team.

Q. David Wells, you mentioned there was some skepticism about the Blue Jays. You were one of those skeptics on a couple of occasions before the season. Can you talk about the evolution of ending your skepticism, and are there any regrets about it?

DAVID WELLS: Well, I'm glad I ate my words, because it was something that I thought we had a pretty good team last year. You go in there and make a trade like that, you know, I didn't understand it. You know, over the last couple of years, I've been pretty vocal. To me, I just don't understand why some of these things happen like that. Once these guys came into camp and saw the way we wanted to play, it really opened my eyes. To me, I looked very foolish after saying those words, but you make mistakes. You know, I've been around the game for a long time. To go out there, you know, I want to win. I was on the team for two years, and it was great. You get adapted to that life and you want to go out there and win, so you try to go out there. Any input or anything you can say to help the organization and get the players to go out there and win, that's what we're here to do is to play and win and have fun. That's what I want to do before I retire. I'd love to put another ring on my finger.

Q. Joe, as a cancer survivor, can you comment on Andres Galarraga and the remarkable comeback he's having and shed some perspective on that from somebody who's been there?

MANAGER JOE TORRE: Well, I managed Andres also in St. Louis. He's a wonderful human being. It's scary; there's no question, when you hear that "C" word and the only thing you associate with it is death. I think when you talk to doctors and understand about treatment, it sort of opens your eyes a little bit, and it's not really that dark hole as you initially think. But to have Andres come back, I mean I come back and I sit on my rear end. But to have him come back and do what he's done physically, it's taken a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work; and psychologically, you go out there every single day happy you're alive and happy you feel well. But that's the greatest story that we've had in sports, in my mind. You know, Armstrong last year with the Tour de France, and this year with Andres is a wonderful story. Really puts a smile on your face.

Q. Joe, Frank Thomas was disappointed when he was left off the team but said yesterday he had made plans and wouldn't be a late choice. Would he have been on your team had he wanted to be with these late choices?

MANAGER JOE TORRE: No. And not because I don't respect what he's done and what he's done in the past and this year. First base is very difficult. And he has been DHing most of the time. We don't have a DH this year. Edgar Martinez's numbers are so glaring that he needs to be on this team. We had breakdowns at third base and shortstop and possibly at second now, so I'm trying to understand those positions. Bobby was talking about taking three second basemen. I've taken two second basemen. You had to cut back somewhere when you had to take so many first basemen. I was happy to make a decision at first base to take Fred McGriff. I think coming back to Atlanta will be a lot of fun for him and a lot of fun for the fans. Frank, I'm sorry that he wasn't selected, but he's had years before, I'm sure he'll have more years that he'll make this team.

Q. To Joe and Bobby, does interleague play take away anything from the All-Star Game?

MANAGER JOE TORRE: I'm not really a proponent of interleague play. The weekend we just had in New York is great for the fans. We're one of the few cities, I think, that that works for. I think it takes a little bit away from this. I think it takes a little bit away from the World Series also. But, again, progress has to be understood, and, you know, with realignment out there in the near future, I guess we're going to have to change with the times and understand. But I think it takes a little bit away. However, the resolve on the players' part, they come to have fun, but they want to win, and that's fun to be a part of.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Interleague play?


ERNIE JOHNSON: Bobby echoes it. (Laughter.)

Q. Joe, could you talk about the players that you were adding to the line-up: Everett, Jeter, what is your feeling on taking those particular players?

MANAGER JOE TORRE: Carl Everett, before I saw the voting, I saw the kind of year he was having and he needed to be on this team. Derek Jeter, you know, was right behind Alex Rodriguez in the voting. I'm a little partial to Derek, and, yeah, a little bit. You know, you have to be around this kid to appreciate -- maybe you don't have to be around him to appreciate what he's all about, because he's a tough kid. I'm just happy he's able to start this game. I picked him over Nomar, because Nomar started last year, and I think it's a big thrill for a youngster to start the game. I'm batting him high in the line-up, because that's where he hits mainly. But I need to get three shortstops in this game. The only way you can do that is to hit someone high in the line-up. You know, it's an easy decision because you know you're picking from prime stuff all the time and wonderful players. So, you know, wherever you happen to plug in players, it's really tough to go wrong.

Q. David, Boomer, at the time of the trade, going back to the Yankees, just the trade, besides supposedly wanting not to pass up a chance to get Roger Clemens, there was a lot of suggestions made at the time from them anyway perhaps that they were concerned about whether or not you might break down on them in the next couple of years or whatever. I'm just wondering, considering all of that, if you have a special satisfaction coming into this game? Obviously, you didn't break down and you're having one of the best seasons of your career and really of any pitcher in baseball.

DAVID WELLS: No, I'm not here to try to prove a point because -- of them trading me and having the success that I'm doing. I think I'm going to have success wherever I go because of the fact that I was determined to go and pitch. And for them thinking that I was maybe, you know, wasn't going to make it this far, I don't think that was it. If it was, I think that is a lot of hogwash. I think the Yankee Organization knows, Joe knows that I'm a competitor and I'm going to go out there every chance I get, no matter if I'm in pain or not, I'm going to go out there and play until I completely break down. But the satisfaction of coming in here is just, you know, like I said, if it wasn't for my teammates, I wouldn't be here. And also myself, having a good idea of how to pitch these hitters. You have to pay attention to the game. That's what I've done over the years; I've had some good teachers, and I've had some peers to watch. There's guys like Dave Winfield I want to pitch to. He makes it exciting when he throws his bat at you. (Laughter.) But, you know, I don't look back on that. I just like to have fun, and the negative things that are said out there, it just goes in one ear and out the other, and I just go out there and try to do my job.

Q. This is for Joe and Boomer. You touched on this a little bit earlier. How strange is it for guys to not play with Cal in this game?

MANAGER JOE TORRE: It's very tough. Cal has a sense of history. What he has accomplished in this game, when you consider he's played every single game from 1982 -- just about every game -- to the present. Then, you know, he's had some injuries recently. But not to have Cal as a part of this team, physically as a part of this team, you feel like there's something missing; there's no question. The losses Bobby has suffered here in the last few days, there were some perennial All-Stars there with Griffey and Barry Bonds. It's very, very difficult to not have those types of players. But Cal's been doing it for so long. The respect that he's garnered from everybody, I know he -- after speaking with him yesterday -- really is saddened that he can't be here. His priority is to go back and play some more. I like his chances.

Q. This is for Joe. Joe, with the uncertainty over Roberto Alomar's situation, will you be bringing in another second baseman, and will it be Luis Alicea?

MANAGER JOE TORRE: We'll find out this morning or early this afternoon here. And then if he cannot play, we'll definitely try to fill the roster. The biggest problem now is to, you know, find someone. I'll tell you, my guys scattered last night to try to fill that spot. And Luis was one of the guys I definitely felt bad about leaving off the club for a couple of reasons. Having probably a career year, he played for me. He's definitely one of the considerations.

ERNIE JOHNSON: Once again, thank you very much for being here. See you at the ballpark.

End of FastScripts…

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