October 5, 1999
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Game One
Q. Matt, when you were in Cleveland a couple of years ago and you wanted to make a move
here and contemplated retirement when you did make the move, did you think that would be
the last time you would be in the postseason?
MATT WILLIAMS: I'm a resident here, and I have been, for going on 12 years now, and I
know what Jerry Coangeol is all about. I knew it was an expansion team, but I knew that
coming here, we could have opportunities, but I knew that Jerry would do his best to make
it as competitive as possible. You certainly can't count on it, but I knew that he would
do his job and to the best of his ability and get the players here he wanted here. So, you
Q. Steve, how does this team match up against last year's club that went to the World
STEVE FINLEY: I think this team is probably more balanced up and down the lineup
offensively. Last year we relied heavily on Greg Vaughn and Cami in the postseason. This
team has a lot more weapons. This team can win games a lot more ways than we did last year
when I was in San Diego. We have a good, solid starting staff. Our bullpen is with Mantei.
I think overall it was definitely a better team than I was on last year.
Q. Jay, what has this year meant to you emotionally?
JAY BELL: I think this year certainly has been as enjoyable as any other that I've
played in. Of course, I enjoyed all my seasons -- I have enjoyed all my seasons and I
think simply because I take a lot of enjoyment in watching my teammates perform out there,
this year certainly has to rank right up there with some of the better ones because I've
got teammates that have had tremendous years. Onza came over in a trade and ended up
having a terrific year, hitting .330 plus and driving in a hundred and scoring a hundred.
Steve scored a hundred and drove in a hundred. Matty, drove in a 130-plus, 140-plus
whatever it was. Just to watch my teammates perform this year was very, very satisfying.
Q. Steve, what were your thoughts on the possibility of a championship club this year?
STEVE FINLEY: In the beginning when I was a free agent, my first thought was to stay
with San Diego, but I realized they wanted to go in a different direction. They were going
to be building for the new ballpark and have a team similar to what Cleveland had done. I
wanted to go somewhere where I thought I had a chance to win. And I looked at all my
options out there, and I thought Arizona was going to be the best. I talked to Jerry a
couple times and I was sold. This is the place I wanted to be.
Q. Generally for all you, and Luis, we'll give it to you first, was there any
competition amongst four of you going after the hundred RBIs?
LUIS GONZALEZ: I think we all have inner drive and push each other. Towards the end of
the season there, we were pulling for -- Jay was pulling for me to try to get a hundred
RBIs, and these were -- and we just kind of pushed for each other. This is the type of
team we have here. We have a quiet confidence about ourselves. We don't try to show up
anybody on the field. We play hard baseball and this is just the style of play that we
have had all year.
Q. Luis Gonzalez, you are a Tampa native. Did you ever consider signing with the Devil
Rays, and can you compare the two expansion clubs?
LUIS GONZALEZ: Well, I was a free agent last year going into the expansion year and
that was one of the teams I wanted my agent to talk to. They wanted to go in a different
direction and get some younger players. Obviously, everyone's childhood dream is to play
this their hometown. When I realized that wasn't going to be the case, I signed a two-year
deal with Detroit which didn't work out very well. I was able to hit some home runs and do
some things, but they wanted to go in a different direction with this some younger
players. I ended up getting traded over here which was a blessing in disguise to be
surrounded by so many great players here. Everything has worked out for myself. I have
great teammates here and I've been happy ever since.
Q. Matt, since you are a resident of the valley, can you address the comments on talk
radio about this not being a baseball town?
MATT WILLIAMS: You know, I don't know why that's said. Didn't we go over three million
people coming through this ballpark this year? That's pretty good. That doesn't happen
every day. There are a lot of things to do this in this area. There's a lot of golf
courses. There's a lot of other activities. You have other sports teams. One I believe is
playing tonight. There's other things to do. But we have had fantastic support all year.
Granted, it wasn't sellouts like it was last year, but that comes with newness and
intrigue and all that stuff. But I guarantee you, if we keep repeating what we're doing
here, we'll fill this place every night, because the bottom line is if you give them
something good to watch, they are going to come watch. That's our job. That's what we're
supposed to do. So if we can do that, they will come.
Q. Do you think the community appreciates what this team has accomplished or have they
not grasped it yet?
MATT WILLIAMS: I think so. You know, the people this community get spring straining
until they moved the franchise here, they got spring training and that was it. They got to
seeing spring training games and see a few of their favorite players and things like that.
But to have 181 games here, give them a chance to get to know the players. Gives them a
chance to become fans and root for their teams. So once again, the more we win, the more
we'll be appreciated, and that's the case anywhere. So winning cures it, and if you win,
you'll get people in the stands.
End of FastScripts