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October 19, 1998

Bruce Bochy

SAN DIEGO: Workout Day

Q. Have you got the flu?

BRUCE BOCHY: No, I don't. I wish I did, and they didn't. The club is doing well, now, Kevin Brown feels a lot better, and checking out the guys, they're fine.

Q. So, Sterling will pitch tomorrow?

BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, he's set to go. He feels great, and I see no problems with him going tomorrow.

Q. Bruce, as well as Sterling pitched in the NLCS, he only went five innings in both starts. The way your bullpen has been of late, do you need him to go further?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we'll stay with Sterling as long as he's throwing well, feeling good. Again, this bullpen is better than what it's been the last couple of games. But how far Sterling goes, I think you just check how he's doing, his stuff, and sometimes the game will dictate how long he goes.

Q. Do you think it's part of the hitters strategy to work the pitches deep in the count, and take a lot of pitches?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think good hitters do that. They look for a good pitch to hit, and they're selective. And they show good discipline at the plate, and that's why they've had a lot of success. And I think what's important for us is to be aggressive, throw strikes, that's the only way you can attack hitters, anyway. And I think especially hitters that are very disciplined. And you can't nibble and get behind. I think the more pitches a hitter sees, the advantage goes to the hitter. So it's important that we be aggressive, throw strikes, and go from there.

Q. Your closer, Trevor Hoffman hasn't worked in about six days, is there any anticipation of putting him in the game at some point?

BRUCE BOCHY: We'd hope to. I'd love to see Trevor pitch every game, to be honest. During the year, he had some days off like this. Trevor, he's the kind of pitcher that he doesn't feel like he needs to go out there to get work to stay sharp. If it's not his type of situation, he'd rather get his work in the bullpen. A couple of times we did bring him in when we wanted him to get some work, and it wasn't the right time for him, whether we were way behind or way ahead, he didn't pitch well. So mentally that affects him. And he'll be set to go.

Q. The Yankees have won so many games this year. And there's a fine line between respect and awe, can you talk about how good they are?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, they're solid all around. The Yankees don't really have a weakness. You look at their line-up, they have speed, they have good hitters, selective hitters, they put it in play, throughout their line-up they're good hit-and-run guys. They don't depend on the long ball. They do the little things, they'll first and third you pitching. They have a great starting rotation, a great bullpen and a great closer. It's a team you have to play well against. You can't make mistakes. You can't give them extra outs, they take advantage of it. That's what good clubs do. Because they're so solid, that's why they've won so many games.

Q. Have you decided on whether Brown will pitch Game 4?

BRUCE BOCHY: No, we haven't decided that yet. Kevin is here today, he feels a lot better, but I think we can answer that tomorrow, and that's what the plan is right now, instead of penciling in Joey Hamilton or Kevin Brown. If we have to use Joey tomorrow, we'll use him.

Q. After two games like that in the Bronx, does a change of scenery help mentally?

BRUCE BOCHY: It's good to be home. This club, I think, plays well on the road. We played well the first game. We had 5-2 lead, there, and the 7th inning that game got away from us. Yesterday was the worst game we've played in quite a while. Sure, we weren't happy with that. But it's nice to have a break, come back home, and have our fans, and sleep in our own bed right now.

Q. Bruce, you have a resilient ballclub, what was the frame of mind as a whole last night when they were coming home?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, they are very resilient. And I think they were disappointed with the game, itself, because we didn't play well, we didn't pitch well, we didn't do a real good job on defense. We didn't swing the bats quite as well as we had hoped. But as far as the mood, the tempo, the spirit of the club, it's fine. These guys do a great job of putting games like that behind them. We weren't celebrating by any means last night, but again this club doesn't get down, and I'm proud of them in that way.

Q. Can you speak to the way that Sterling has risen to the challenges thus far, and if you think that will carry over again tomorrow?

BRUCE BOCHY: He's just been tremendous. For what he did during the earlier postseason games with Houston and Atlanta, to go against the pitchers he had to, it shows the mental makeup of this guy. He has good stuff, and has a tremendous makeup. And we have so much confidence in him. That's why we made him our No. 3 starter. He has a great attitude out there, especially against guys like Randy Johnson and Glavine and Maddux. He pitches to win. He comes across as, hey, I'm not supposed to win, but at the same time he's got that bull-dog attitude. And he's done a tremendous job for us.

Q. How much of a home-field advantage -- considering the Yankees have never played here, with the shadows, and the fact that you guys use the home-field advantage, how much is it a home-field advantage for you?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we were supposed to play two games here in the spring, so they have been here. This game, it's the same game, on the road or at home. It's nice to have a home-field advantage, but New York plays very well on the road. They're not going to change anything, I'm sure. As far as the shadows, a lot is said about them. But they come into play, maybe 30, 40 minutes. And they're not real bad shadows. I don't care where you are, what stadium, you play at 5:00, 5:30, you're going to have some shadows. I'm sure they're used to it. These shadows aren't any different. The sun shines the same here. So I think New York is too good a ballclub to be concerned with playing here on the road.

Q. Bruce, was there any positives taken out of last night? At least the bullpen seemed to be a little better?

BRUCE BOCHY: I think so. I think our relievers did come in and do a pretty good job. And they got extended when we had to go out and get Ashby, and I thought Donne Wall bounced back, it showed what he's made of. Because that was a rough outing the first game for him. He came out and did a good job. Miceli got in a jam and pitched well. Hopefully they'll build on it and carry it throughout the series.

Q. Could you talk about your relationship with Kevin Towers and the job he's done putting this club together?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think our relationship's pretty unique. He was my pitching coach at one time, and I caught him, back in Las Vegas back in 1988, so we know each other very well. And we have a mutual respect for each other. We don't always agree, but we have the attitude, if we agreed on everything, then one of us wouldn't be needed. So we talk a lot about the game all the time. We spend a lot of time together. When he makes trades and stuff, he'll talk to me, talk to the scouts, he relies on other people, but he's not afraid to make his own decision. And he's done a great job of putting the team together. Coming into this year, we wanted to revamp the bullpen. I think he did a terrific job there. We felt we needed a No. 1 starter, and we get somebody like Kevin Brown. And we wanted to improve the bench a little bit and we got Vander Wal, Sheets, and I mean so much credit should go to Kevin Towers, because he's done a great job of putting this team together.

Q. Can you talk about the absence of the designated hitter in these three games and any advantage you might enjoy?

BRUCE BOCHY: I don't know if that gives us really any advantage. I know as far as managing, Joe Torre has spent a lot of time in the National League. We feel like we have a couple of good DH candidates, Greg Vaughn, Leyritz did the first game, and it's going to take a bat out of our line-up, too. David Cone, he's played in the National League, and he's had to swing a bat before. So I don't think it's going to give us the advantage that some people are talking about.

Q. How bad did Caminiti hurt his groin in the last at-bat last night and how much are his previous injuries limiting him at third base right now?

BRUCE BOCHY: I believe he's fine. Again, I'll have to check on him. But after the game he said it felt more like a cramp in that area. I don't think it's anything pulled, but we'll check on him today. The trainers are going to look at him and let me know. But they felt like he'd be fine to go. He doesn't have any injuries that are bothering him, it's not affecting him defensively or offensively, and he says he feels good. I don't think Cammie has felt so good all year. In fact, sometimes it's better if he's hurt a little bit, seems like he responds to that as well as anybody.

Q. Was '96 for him kind of a lightning in the bottle season, or do you think he's able to get back to that level again?

BRUCE BOCHY: I don't think that was lightning in a bottle. I mean that was just a tremendous year for him. But he's that kind of player, and he was banged up this year, he had some setbacks, he had to go on the disabled list, and it's been tough for him to get in the role that he's been in in the previous two years, because of nagging injuries. It really wasn't just one thing with Cammie this year, it was his lower back, his quad. And I know in '96 he had some nagging injuries, too. But he's such a good player. This guy, he's a great third baseman. He's a great hitter, despite his injuries, he's got some decent numbers when you look at them. Sure, they weren't the numbers in '96, but he missed a lot of time this year, and I think the world of Cammie.

Q. Have you decided on your line-up tomorrow?

BRUCE BOCHY: Jim Leyritz will be catching Hitchcock, and the rest of it will be our normal line-up.

Q. Bruce, what surprised you personally about being in the World Series? You've known about the World Series in the past, now you're part of it, what is the one thing or a couple of things that stood out in your mind that surprised you about being in the World Series?

BRUCE BOCHY: I'll be honest, I don't think anything has surprised me. I heard about all the media, and the attention. But we were prepared for that, each time we advance in postseason, you can see it picking up. And they said just wait until you get to New York. It was pretty much what we expected. As far as the game, itself, there's really nothing that has surprised me. We knew how good New York was, and we knew about their fans. So I can't say we've been surprised by anything.

End of FastScripts…

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