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October 13, 1999

Joe Torre


Q. Are you expecting that Bernie is particularly locked in this postseason?

JOE TORRE: I mean Bernie, he is very unpredictable. He comes up so large sometimes, most of the time. I don't think this postseason is anything different than other games out there. I know it beats him up if he doesn't do the job, but the kind of response he has given us this year, I mean, I go back to the game in Toronto on that Tuesday that picked us up big time when he hit the grand slam. That was a huge game for us because we were reeling a little bit. We had just come from getting swept here and losing the first game in Toronto. So Bernie does big things and I wasn't sure if the ball was out until I looked at Darren and the way he turned on it, I sensed it was gone.

Q. Did you have any sense before Bernie stepped to the plate, any reminiscence of 1996?

JOE TORRE: I really didn't. I know that I remember it. I mean, Rick Cerrone mentioned it to me. He was hitting right-handed and he hit the ball long and far and high. But at the time I was just looking for something to hold onto and when he hit the first -- I think the thing that surprised me more than anything was the first pitch, bang, home run, game over. The way the game was going, you know, it looked like one of those 14, 15 inning thing and Mel and I were talking about who was coming in to pitch the next inning. So it was a little bit of a surprise to me how quickly it happened.

Q. Talk about the emotional lift you got from the play at the plate earlier in the game, the Nixon throw home and Brosius slide?

JOE TORRE: Well, to be perfectly honest with you, when Jeter hit that ball, I didn't think there was going to be a play at the plate. You have to give credit to Nixon, he charged it real well and got rid of it very well and made a good throw to the plate. I didn't know until I saw the replay up on the board if Varitek had dropped it, but he never had the ball. For sure the ball beat him, then we were lucky to score there. Scott was going to come in there and try to bowl them over, but we were fortunate for sure there.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about Scott Brosius's play today and how he just has risen to the occasion in October?

JOE TORRE: Brosius has had big hits for us, I mean, we didn't know a year ago what kind of player we were getting, seeing him limited a number of games when he played at Oakland. But he showed us a year ago, spring that that he was pretty impressive. Then when he came up big for us in the postseason last year, and then this year, he had a tough year emotionally with his dad passing away. But still came out here and didn't have anybody else have to live with that. He was the same guy even though he was forcing it, but to have him have the day he had today was big. He has it coming to him. He works hard, not that other players don't work hard, but as I say, it was a tough year for him.

Q. What adjustments did Hernandez make? He struggled earlier and got better as he went along.

JOE TORRE: Well, it's been what, seven days since he pitched. I think it is the same thing really, he did against Texas, first couple of innings he had men on base in that game then settled in. It looked like, you know, carbon copy of that game except he escaped in that game without giving up any runs. But here, they hit some balls hard, other balls they -- you know, they found a hole, but the thing about it, that is what Boston does. They are very tough when it comes to getting them out, they don't give you easy at-bats. Even though they are very aggressive and they are free swingers, but they don't swing and miss very often. But he really settled in. I thought the key inning in the game was the second inning when he only came away giving up one more run. I thought that was huge that inning to get out of there with only one more.

Q. Was there a point last offseason where you thought you were losing Bernie to Boston and what kind of blow would that have been?

JOE TORRE: I really didn't pay attention to where he was going. My concern was he wasn't going to be with us, that was the concern and we had a look and see where our production was going to come from. At the time we were talking to Albert Belle obviously. You hear so many rumors on where he is going, he is going to this club, that club, going to Arizona, going to Baltimore, here, I didn't really pay attention to where he was going. I was just, you know, it was a concern if we were going to get him. I know he wanted to come back. I had talked to him during the offseason, didn't know if it was going to be possible and the thing came together so quickly. I really didn't spend a lot of time on the Boston thing.

Q. You mentioned everything took so quickly towards the end: First pitch off of Beck; can you talk about how much of that celebration, how much of that feeling afterward is relief?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think Jimy and I felt the same way. It is a very tense game, Game 1, and we feel we are under the gun because we are playing at home. I think that it is important that we win on our home turf to keep the home-field advantage. But you know, it is elation, I don't know about the relief part because it is going to be sometime before I am able to get that feeling.

End of FastScripts…

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