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October 20, 1998

Joe Torre

SAN DIEGO: Game Three

Q. You have a team that doesn't have a clear-cut MVP, but so many players that are in that neighborhood, have you ever seen anything like that before?

JOE TORRE: No, not really. You go back to the old Celtics, probably before you guys were around, but you thought about all those guys averaging 16, 18, 19 points a game, and they'd always win games as a team. But this ballclub, they're going to take MVP votes away from each other. It's a great feeling for a manager to know when these guys come to the field the only thing they're interested in is winning the game. They don't care who gets the winning hit. They all want to get the game-winning hit, but they don't want to talk about it. It's a very unusual club in my years in the game.

Q. Joe, certainly you can't say enough about what Brosius has done this year, can you?

JOE TORRE: We didn't know exactly what Scott Brosius was all about. You pick up the press guide and you see numbers, and last year he wasn't too good. The year before he hit some homeruns. And in Spring Training it didn't take us long to see how good a player he is. The homeruns, the fact that he can hit and run, he can bunt, and plays third base lights out. I think he's very underrated defensively, because I thought he had no problem winning the Gold Glove, but he didn't do it. But he is such a force on this club. Guys look up to him. As I say, he's very flexible, he adjusts to situations, and he's got so many big hits for us, it's incredible.

Q. When did you first get the feel for him that he was a clutch hitter?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think when we started the season. Spring Training he didn't hit a lot early, but you could see that he had a good, sound approach, he didn't try to pull the ball. And I think that's what's really benefited him in having the year he's had, hitting as high as he has, and being able to knock in the runs, you can't pitch him any one way. But the first half of the year, it didn't take us long to see that he knocked in big runs for us, and was very important for us both defensively and offensively.

Q. Have you ever asked Scott, how did you hit .203 last year?

JOE TORRE: Yeah, we did. We did, because of the sound approach. But I won the MVP and batting title one year, and the next year I was searching for it. Things get in your mind and you start trying things, you start thinking about mechanics, things you never had to think about when you were hitting, because they all were reactionary things. And once you start dissecting what you do, you forget about the pitch. And I think he just probably heaped a lot of pressure on himself and really forgot how to hit.

Q. Would you talk about David Cone's performance tonight?

JOE TORRE: Gutsy as always. I don't know-- from time to time I was a little concerned because the last time -- the last game he pitched he had trouble staying loose, of course the weather was a benefit for us tonight. But David Cone can beat you whether he's throwing 92 or 82, and that only comes from know how. I still think there's a little intimidation factor, the hitters go up there and know he can get you out a number of ways. And I thought tonight he was terrific. He didn't use a lot of pitches, which I was pleased about. When we took him out, he was like 85 pitches, past the 6th inning.

Q. Joe, it seemed like the breaks were going to go their way, what was your sense as the game unfolded?

JOE TORRE: You can't fight it, especially Gomez's play. At first he didn't know what it was, I'll take the blame for that, because if I don't have a fast runner at second he's not holding them on. It was a great reaction by Gomez to make that play and stay with it. You can't fight that stuff. We got our share of breaks, also. But you're right, sometimes you think not tonight.

Q. Did you notice when Hoffman came in, how the place went nuts or were you just so emerged in the game you didn't notice?

JOE TORRE: It's tough not to notice here. You could feel the vibration. I don't think I've ever been in a louder ballpark than here. And again we knew he was coming in. It wouldn't surprise us if he started the 8th inning, because he hadn't pitched in the first two games, and he's been their savior all year long. I was just happy the way we approached him. And we had some good at-bats against him.

Q. On top of everything this year, do you realize that you're on the brink of sweeping, for the first time in Yankee team history or in a World Series -- for 50 years?

JOE TORRE: I really haven't read anything about that. That's the last thing I'm concerned with at this point in time. We just want to win the fourth game -- not necessarily the fourth, but we want to win our fourth game, and hopefully cap off a great year for us.

Q. Joe, you're in a position of closing this out tomorrow, possibly, would you like to see this Yankee unit back next year as a whole?

JOE TORRE: Sure, but you know it's not going to be possible. In '96 I knew when we won, you have a closeness to all these guys, but I knew it wasn't going to be possible to come back. With free agency the way it is, it's really tough to keep a club together. We were fortunate to be able to keep this club together all year. Last couple of years we added people here and there and subtracted people during the course of the year, but we didn't do that this year. This is a novelty, as far as I'm concerned, I'm enjoying the hell out of it, because they're quality people, along with being quality players.

End of FastScripts…

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