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October 24, 1999

Joe Torre


Q. Is that about the most hits you've had in two games?

JOE TORRE: I was thinking about the home run tonight. I sort of like that, because when we have good at-bats, trying to think about putting the ball in play and hitting line drives. But probably, you know, you expect a home run in there somewhere, but I was very pleased the way we went about that first inning, especially with, you know, Bernie hitting the double play and then picking up two more runs after that. I thought that was big for us.

Q. Looked so easy with the approach your hitters have and the way David Cone pitches. Is your team that good? Ten World Series games in a row, is it that easy for these guys?

JOE TORRE: I wouldn't say we're about the hitters. It's the pitching that sets the tone of our games. And we just feel, as a team, I think when we know what our capabilities are, we don't try to go outside ourselves. I think that's very important, that we just think in small bits and bites. Because that's what we need to do. We don't have home-run hitters. We can hit home runs, but we don't have home-run hitters. The pitching pretty much sets the tone for what we do, and David Cone was terrific tonight. I didn't worry about him tonight. Last time out against Boston he hadn't pitched in about 12 days. Tonight it was eight or nine. I felt pretty good about it. Because even with the cold weather, he pitched well in the cold weather against Boston also.

Q. What was working best for him?

JOE TORRE: What was working best was pretty much everything. You know, he walks a tight rope every once in a while. I was kidding with Mel in the middle innings, I said why don't you just start from the stretch. He got the man on base, seemed to pitch well out of the stretch. Looked like he had better rhythm out of the stretch than he did winding up. There are a lot of little parts to his wind up with the dipsy doodle and the spinning around and stuff like that. His splitter was good tonight, threw some good splitters to Klesko, back-door slider a few times. Fastball, he doesn't throw hard, as hard as other pitchers, but he's able to have good movement. I think that's probably the most important thing for him.

Q. You and Bobby both left Braves managerial jobs under the optional conditions and this is the second time you've faced each other in the World Series. What happens to make you all such good managers now?

JOE TORRE: When you have good players and ride good horses, you have a chance of winning some races. That's probably been the same with Bobby and myself. Of course the more you do it, the better at it you'd like to believe you get. Because you continue to learn every day, and, you know, I read somewhere or heard somewhere that Bobby Cox did a good job this year. I look up there, and they've been post-season play, won the Division eight years in the '90s. That's not too bad.

Q. Can you give an example of what, over the years, you all most likely did with people?

JOE TORRE: There's no question managing is more than changing pitchers and putting on a hit and run. It's getting the players to trust you and in order to get commitment, you need trust. I think a big part of it with Bobby Cox is in that clubhouse; he knows his players, his players trust him. Then when you have players that have ability and they trust you, then you have a couple things going for you.

Q. In '96, the comparison, Atlanta went up to New York and beat you guys in both games and you came down here. Do you use that as an analogy to your team now to have to keep the pressure on?

JOE TORRE: I'm not going to say anything to my team. They're pretty aware, we are definitely aware on a game-to-game basis, things that can happen. I don't even have to say anything in that regard as far as '96, if you just watch the series with the Mets and the Braves, 3-0, 3-2. You know, a couple outs away from 3-3. This game of baseball is very tough, I mean I didn't take anything for granted tonight. We're bunting, getting to the third base with a 6-0 lead early in the game. This, you know, you need to score runs. You need to win ball games one at a time. We've been pretty good doing that. But there's no question we are aware of what happened in '96 and how we came back on them.

Q. Off the subject of the game for a moment, they had a nice tight shot on you during the proceedings of the ceremonies. It seemed like you were almost revisiting some of the memories when they looked at you.

JOE TORRE: I was welling up a little bit. Ted Williams, Stan Musial, it's great to see Pete Rose back in a Big League ballpark. Bob Gibson and then to see Junior in there and Cal Ripken, that's quite an honor. Baseball is so much of its history, you know, we're so much a part of baseball, as far as the history of the game, it's so important to the game is what I'm trying to say. To see all those players on one stage, it was pretty emotional. I thought it was terrific.

Q. Do you think, just to follow-up, if I could, do you think it helps your current players? Looking at Jeter and O'Neill, they seem to have a sense of tradition. Does it enhance their ability, looking at what it's all about?

JOE TORRE: Our guys are so respectful, especially Jeter, who has such a short history of the game so far. Warren Spahn, after it was over, was looking for Derek Jeter. Jeter went out to meet him. As I say, it's pretty damn special, it really is, that the players get a chance to see in person Sandy Koufax. It's nice to see he's a nice guy after what he used to do to you on the mound. (Laughter.) I thought it was a great tribute to a great bunch of players who really, you know, just took the baton and ran with it and passed it off to Junior and Cal and have them continue.

Q. The Yankees spare no expense as far as every little detail. They travel advanced scouts. I don't think anyone else does that. Do these little things with the scouting, does that help you guys even more be prepared for a series like this?

JOE TORRE: There's no question. Gene Michael, you know, he's the head of the scouts, he's in charge of that, Bob Diddier, Wade Taylor have done a great job for the last few years to just constantly stay with teams. You're right, it's better than having one scout because you're able to bounce it off each other and talk about it. First of all, advanced scouting is probably the toughest job to do because it's a very lonely job. A couple guys doing it, the mental aspect is better, plus we get more information. As long as we're able to follow their lead, we're fine. You still have to pitch and you still have to do things, execute, I should say. And we've been able to do that. But there's no question that we don't spare expense when it comes to trying to get as much information and get us ready to play games.

Q. Does it go right to the top with Mr. Steinbrenner?

JOE TORRE: No question. George Steinbrenner is a stickler for detail and meetings and talking about things and it can't hurt. Maybe a lot of stuff is not needed, but it's better to have too much than not enough.

End of FastScripts…

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