October 16, 1998
NEW YORK CITY: Workout Day
Q. Can you describe John Moores as an owner and what he has meant for the success of
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think we have the best owner in baseball -- that is what I think
about John Moores. When he acquired our ballclub he allowed us to acquire the type of
players that would not just make us competitive but contenders and I think all the credit
goes to him, and I think we are pretty lucky to have an owner like John Moores.
Q. Do you see any similarity in '84 the fact that you are playing another team that is
considered to be the best in its era like the Tigers?
BRUCE BOCHY: Sure, I think it is similar. San Diego had a tremendous year in 1984 and
we had to battle to get there and go against a team that just had an incredible year and
what -- what the Yankees have done this year, it has been remarkable. We are going against
a team that is going down in to history as having one of the best years ever, so, yes, I'd
say it is similar. But I think the Yankees have even had a better year than San Diego did
Q. Could you talk about how your rotation is going to be for this series?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, right now it is Kevin Brown, we have Ashby going second game and
Hitchcock going to the third. That is where we are going to leave it right now.
Q. Looking back to '84, do you have any sense in going back to that team? Many of the
players were saying just happy to be here in their hearts and just being out on the field
and being in the World Series. Is there any danger looking back to '84?
BRUCE BOCHY: '84 was such a long time ago, that was the first time that San Diego had
ever been to the World Series and we had our backs to the wall being down two games to the
Cubs and we had to win three to get there. I think it is different in this way, I think it
is tougher to get to the World Series now especially when you have to go against two clubs
like Houston and Atlanta. But this year I think players are thinking more, hey, let's win
the World Series. I mean, your goal is to get here. I think '84 and most of the guys and
Tony Gwynn had said this, a lot of the players on the team said that looking back we wish
we would have had a little different attitude instead of just saying, hey, we are in the
World Series. And this year, I think you will see the players out there playing to win.
Q. What point in your career did you focus on wanting to manage and who were the major
managerial influences to you?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, being a utility player I think you have a lot of time to think and
you never know when it is going -- but I knew I wanted to stay in the game. I mean even as
a player and I have always had a passion for this game and I knew I wanted to manage. I
didn't know how much I would love managing until I started doing it in the Minor Leagues.
A lot of people influenced me. I think all my managers did. I hate to leave any names out.
A couple I would like to mention Bill Virden, my first manager in Houston. I just thought
he was an outstanding manager, very fair, but firm. He let you play. Dick Williams, he was
a big influence on me. Really how demanding on the little things the fundamentals and just
the way he -- when he managed, he managed to win and he did -- he went all out to try to
win that ballgame. But I think even in the Minor Leagues all the managers you played for
you learn something from.
Q. Can you talk about David Wells a bit and what you are going to have to do to beat
him tomorrow night?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I don't think there is any secret. You have to scrap for runs. We
know what a good pitcher he is. We have to get good pitching. We have to play the kind of
ball that we have been playing to get to this point. It is going to be a tough series
because we know how good their pitching is. We need to step up on our side too. And to
beat somebody like David Wells, you have to play your best baseball.
Q. Can you describe the difference in the fan support that your club has received this
year as compared to '84?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think it is similar. Again, that was a long time ago, but in '84,
they really became our 10th man. They helped us win three in a row there and when we came
back from Chicago, we had thousands of fans there waiting for us and really, you know,
just boosted the whole team's morale. Again they have done the same thing this year. I
can't say enough about the fan support we have had. Even last year we came in last and
they were still behind us, but this year, the support that we have got and the rallies
that have been there for us coming back from the playoffs, the noise that they are making,
it is nice to see people talking baseball in San Diego and they are having a lot of fun.
Q. Joe Torre kind of said in the playoffs that Leyritz used to get on his nerves, I am
curious what your impressions were?
BRUCE BOCHY: It is hard for him to get on my nerves when he is hitting home runs and
driving in runs. He is doing a great job. He has got that certain personality. He loves
being up there with the game on the line in postseason play and he is valuable on the
ballclub. There are so many things you can do with him, pinch hit, double switch, put him
behind the plate, first base, I even played him at third and leftfield a little bit. So it
is nice to have a right-handed batter like that.
Q. Have you had a chance to walk around and see Yankee Stadium and how special is it to
finally make it to the World Series to be here?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, it very special to be here. I mean, so much tradition. This is what
I think when you think about baseball, you think about Yankee Stadium. I grew up a big
Mickey Mantle fan and Yankee fan, so this is a special moment for me. But I haven't had a
chance to walk around. My son did. He went out and looked at the monument. He was in awe
of it. So I look forward to it during our workout. You can tell I am going to walk around
the stadium and check it out.
Q. Tony Gwynn had talked about how he has evolved as a person and player since '84 to
now. I am wondering what you -- how you have seen him change and evolve in those 14 --
since the last.....
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think the best thing I can say about Tony Gwynn is I don't think
he has changed as a person since I played with him in 1983. He still has that infectious
laugh, that passion for the game. As a hitter I think he has grown. This year he didn't
have the kind of year we are all used to, but there were a couple of reasons, really the
main one was some nagging injuries. I think he has gotten smarter as a hitter. He is even
hitting with more power. But as a person he hasn't changed a bit. He is great in that
clubhouse. We have said that he is like fine wine, he just keeps getting better with age
Q. When you traded for Kevin Brown, you knew he was a good pitcher, but did you know he
was as dominant as he has been the last couple of weeks?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I have said earlier I knew he'd make a difference in our ballclub. I
didn't know he would make this big an impact on our club. Kevin, he has made a huge
difference in our year. Coming from our struggles last year, coming in last place to
coming in first place, he is a big reason because of it. He sets the tone. He did it in
Houston that first game we won. He just gave the team a sense of confidence, that, hey, we
can do this. And that is what a pitcher of the caliber of Kevin Brown will do for a
ballclub. I can't say enough about what he has done for us.
Q. How would you compare Kevin's personality with what you know about David Wells and
what is he really like?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I don't know David Wells personally. I know how competitive he is. I
would say they are similar in that respect, that -- I don't know a tougher competitor than
Kevin Brown and when somebody takes the mound like Kevin does, I have never seen anybody
take more fire and intensity out and he pitches all-out to win. It is just not when he
pitches or if he is hitting, he is going to do whatever it takes to win that ballgame.
Every game is important to him even when he is not pitching you hear him in the dugout. He
just has that fire for winning. Again, I think the other pitchers that have -- have fed
off that and he has helped them.
Q. You mentioned Tony Gwynn's nagging injuries, is what contemplating using him as D.H.
BRUCE BOCHY: To be honest, I don't have my lineup set right now. I am going to wait
until after the workout, see how Tony is doing. I want to see how Greg Vaughn is doing,
that would affect the lineup. So if Tony feels fine, he is going to be out there. He'd
much rather play right field than D.H.. He has this thing about D.H.ing, but Greg Vaughn
-- I know it's a big leftfield here -- I want to see how he is moving out there. After the
workout, I can set the lineup.
Q. A lot of people believe the catchers have a leg up on becoming managers. Do you feel
that catching gave you a spark to start?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think it has helped me. I think being a catcher you are so
involved in the game, I think first of all, you have to have some understanding of
pitching. I think that is a big part of managing. But you are also involved in everything
from bunt plays, first and third defense, things like that. Moving infielders, outfielders
around, so you are the one guy that sees the whole field. In essence you are the manager
on the field. So, sure, I think it gives the catcher an advantage, but I know it is not
always the case. There are some outstanding managers out there that weren't catchers.
Q. With Brown in Game 1, how important do you feel it is to win that game?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I don't know how important. I mean, they are all so important. We
are not going to put that kind of pressure on us, hey, we have to win Game 1 or -- our
backs are to the wall. It a best out of seven. We have got to go out there, be loose and
relax, play with intensity and we have a lot of confidence in Kevin, I am sure just like
they do in David, so it should be a good ballgame.
Q. Will you be open at all to bring back Kevin in Game 4 or if so, what factor is going
to go into that situation?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, that is an option right now. I really will wait until after
tomorrow's game and see how he feels. He is pretty gifted. He can come back on three days,
he has shown that. He has thrown well in three day's rest. I think we can answer that
better after the first game, but sure, there is no question, I think he could do it. I
will see what our situation is then.
Q. All the history and tradition you talk about with this place and this team, is that
one more thing for you guys to overcome or is it not a concern of yours?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I don't think it is something we have to overcome. I think the
players enjoy being here. I think at this stage, you have to focus on the New York
Yankees, not where you are at so much or the fans. We know what great fans they have here.
It is pretty simple. You got to go out and play good ball. I don't think the players are
going to be thinking where they are at once they are on the field.
Q. What was your reaction to David Wells' prediction that they would win it in five?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, pretty confident, you know, from what I have heard about David, you
know, he is a little loose and he has fun. He is from San Diego, from what I heard he is
excited we won because he has a chance to go back home. Those are things we don't really
pay a lot of attention to. I mean, we feel like we are going to win too and that is part
of the game.
Q. With the teams you beat in the convincing fashion you have beaten them in the
postseason, would you have trouble keeping a straight face if you closed the clubhouse and
looked at your guys and said, gee, we are such big underdogs, I mean, isn't that theme
kind of laughable to you at this point?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think we should have been underdogs, be honest. We didn't feel
like it, but if people are setting odds or making predictions, we struggled in September,
you take away September, we were right with the rest of the clubs. But we had our troubles
there again with a couple of injuries and we didn't quite play as well either. So I am not
making excuses there, but this club never felt like they were underdogs. We feel like we
have a very talented ballclub and sometimes it is nice going in as underdogs because
people don't quite expect as much of you, but these guys were determined and we played as
good a ball as we could. It took that to beat those two teams.
Q. Who was your most effective D.H. in interleague play?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we used quite a few. Actually Tony had a good game D.H.ing. Greg
Vaughn, he did a nice job. We have some options there. It is obvious that if Jim Leyritz,
he would be one. Vander Wal he has been swinging the bat well. Vaughn and Tony, I think
they will help me dictate who is going to be D.H.
Q. So much success is being able to build on experiences. How much are you going to
maybe build on '84 not to be intimidated? I know you have mentioned that in the past about
what happened in '84 to talk to guys who have not been there to not just be satisfied to
be here but to try to win?
BRUCE BOCHY: Again '84 was a long time ago, but somebody like Tony Gwynn could at the
point out in that area to say hey, let's -- just don't be happy to get to the World
Series, but Kevin Brown, he was there last year. We were in the playoffs and we were three
and out. That made for a long winter, took four, five months there when you get there and
you lose three straight, so, again the hard part is to get here. We know that, but now
that we are here, we are the type of guys that are not content with just getting here. We
know what a good club we are going against, we have to play well, but we are here to win.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢ï¿½Â¦.