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October 16, 2003

Aaron Boone

Mariano Rivera


AARON BOONE: Mariano, that cowboy, shut 'em down, Buddy.

Q. Aaron, in your life, at any level, anything like this, anything; little league, high school?

AARON BOONE: That ranks up there. (Laughter.) No, come on, I still can't even put it into words. Just to have the opportunity, so many people today had a huge hand in this. And just to come back, to be in that spot, to get the chance. It's humbling. This game humbles you all the time in good ways and bad ways. It's been humbling a little bit lately for me in a bad way, and this is just the same. It's humbling. It's a humbling game, and right now, I feel that way.

Q. Could you discuss what you're thinking, that you have to keep going back out for another inning and shut them down again?

MARIANO RIVERA: I was thinking, there's no way that we have to -- get this game. I have to do my best, and get a chance to win, give him a chance to hit that home run. I'm proud of my teammates. They did tremendous. They pitched, I mean, it was outstanding.

Q. Earlier in the season, you struggled a little. People were wondering what was wrong with you, you came back in the post-season, latter part of the season and just amazed people again, overpowering batters. Can you explain, was there anything bothering you earlier in the season that you got together later in the season, or were things just not going your way?

MARIANO RIVERA: No, it wasn't going my way. I was doing the same thing I'm doing right now. The only difference was I was missing my spots. If I wanted to throw the fastball, or if I was running over the plate, or same thing, away, and it goes over the plate. I'm make sure that if I go inside or if I want away, I stay away. That was the only difference. I was still throwing the same velocity, the same pitches and it wasn't going my way.

Q. I know you don't get to do much too much but have you seen what the Florida Marlins have done this year and if Boston has been cursed; Florida looks like a team of destiny the way things have been going their way?

MARIANO RIVERA: Those guys play good. They have been doing tremendous. Nobody thought they were going to go to the World Series. Nobody gave them a chance. You know what, they showed some courage and they played good. You have to respect that. You have to go out there and play hard.

AARON BOONE: That's the team I'm a little bit familiar with. I remember back in May when I was still in Cincinnati, they came in and swept us, and I remember the article saying, "How can the Marlins sweep you?" And I remember saying to some people, "That's a good team over there." The cliche with them is they don't beat themselves and all that, but they are really good. They catch the ball really good. They have speed, they have power, they have pitching, they have a good bullpen now. They have got themselves off the mat a lot of times at the end of the season. I remember going to Philly, losing 14-0, that first game and I'm thinking, all right, they are done, but they just keep on answering. I'm sure they will be ready to go here Saturday night.

Q. Can you describe the feelings that fielders have when you guys have Mariano coming in to pitch for you?

AARON BOONE: It's pretty good. It's pretty good. There's obviously no one else I'd rather have the ball at the end of the game than Mo.

MARIANO RIVERA: I'm glad you said that. (Laughter.)

AARON BOONE: I just didn't want him to have to pitch too long tonight. I knew he would keep holding them there. Finally we broke through.

Q. You've seen the Yankees win a lot of games from a distance; being on the inside now does it make any more sense, do you have the insight into why this keeps happening?

AARON BOONE: There's good people in that room. I mean, that's the bottom line. We've got a lot of good players. There's a lot of good people that care first and foremost about winning, and unfortunately, you don't always see that, but in that room, each day we come to the park, it's about winning, and that's special to be a part of that.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the journey that you have been on from the emotional good-bye in Cincinnati, to the point that you're standing there with your arms over your head watching the ball fly out to send your team to the World Series?

AARON BOONE: You know, I don't know, I'm still speechless on it. Being in one organization my whole life, obviously, emotional leaving, but knowing I'm going to have a chance to be in a situation like this, that's all you can ask for. You know, it's been a little bit up-and-down for me, but it's just fun to come each day and try and contribute with the rest of those guys in that room because the one thing I've noticed since I've come over here, it's a lot of good people down there.

Q. Against Wakefield, do you take any particular approach or did you just catch one?

AARON BOONE: We faced him a lot obviously these last couple of months. I don't particularly like facing him. I haven't squared too many up off him. It's kind of a crap-shoot a little bit, trying to square that thing up sometimes. I considered taking a pitch leading off the inning there, but just decided get a good pitch to hit. And, you know, he got one up there and I finally ran into one. I've been coming around balls left and right for a while; to finally put a good swing on one was, I guess it was my time. You know, that's nice.

End of FastScripts...

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