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October 6, 1998

Charles Nagy


Q. What do you attribute your good second half to?

CHARLES NAGY: Eating right -- no. It was just one of those things where I fell into a lot of bad habits early on in the season. I had a tough time making adjustments because of that. Went back into some tapes of years past and saw some things I was doing then that I wasn't doing now. Just able to work on those things and ever since then, things have been better.

Q. What did you see?

CHARLES NAGY: Some idiot on the mound -- no. Just little things. I mean, there is just you know, I mean, baseball is a game of adjustment; pitching, hitting, everything is a game of adjustment. And I fell into some bad habits. Little things I was doing I was able to correct those.

Q. How do you go about handling this lineup when you face them?

CHARLES NAGY: They got a great team. From 1 through 9, so you can't really relax anywhere in their order. You just try and make your pitches and keep the ball down. Keep the hitters off balance, move the ball in and out, that is all you can do. Make them -- if I get those guys that hit the ball into the ground, the guys making the plays behind me, things will go well hopefully.

Q. Guys have said that this lineup makes pitchers tired; they take more pitches into -- some guys have said that this line up -- they take more pitches than other lineups.

CHARLES NAGY: They are very patient hitters. You got to make them swing the bats. If you get ahead of them, you throw your pitches, you know, hopefully I will be able to do that. I can get them out. Whether I have to -- hopefully I can get them to swing early at some pitches. If you run deep counts on these guys they are going to sit back and zone you up, that is when you get hurt.

Q. You went through 88 pitches in the last start against Boston. Were you surprised at how much first pitch swinging they did and is there something that you were doing that was causing them to --

CHARLES NAGY: Boston is an aggressive ballclub. Most clubs in the League are aggressive. If they know you are going to be around the plate and you are throwing strikes, not too many hitters I have ever talked to or you every hear like to fall behind 0-1, 0-2 in the count, so if you are around the plate and throwing strikes, hitters are going to swing at pitches. When they are doing that, if you make good quality pitches, you can get them out early -- early in their at-bat.

Q. Charlie, have you decided how you are going to pitch to Shane Spencer?

CHARLES NAGY: Walk him. No. (laughs). I have never faced Shane Spencer. He is on an unbelievable tear right now. He is hitting everything that people are throwing up there. So it will be my first real look at him from the mound, so I am just going to try and make my pitches.

Q. You said growing up your dad was a Yankee fan. Did you come here a lot; any special memories here?

CHARLES NAGY: I played a few high school All-Star games here -- here at the stadium. Just always had to come with my brothers. I have two brothers; one of my brother's birthday is tomorrow. I told him I would get that in there. But, just we always came here and watched the Yankees play.

Q. Can you imagine the Yankees moving, leaving the Bronx?

CHARLES NAGY: I am not going to touch that question.

Q. Are you surprised that Mike changed his rotation, and that you will be going out there tomorrow?

CHARLES NAGY: You know, I didn't know what to expect. Just assumed I was going to pitch on Friday, that everything would stay the same, but found out yesterday that I was pitching Wednesday. Excited, it is going to be fun. This is an unbelievable place to pitch, especially this time of year. The atmosphere is just -- it is electric, and hostile, I guess for the opposing team, but it is a lot of fun. I am looking forward to it.

Q. How did you do in that All-Star Game?

CHARLES NAGY: I played shortstop. I think I got a hit. It was fun, just had a good time.

Q. Do you think the Yankees have any added incentive because you guys knocked them out last year?

CHARLES NAGY: I think at this point if you need incentive then there is something wrong with you. This is the ALCS. If you win four games, then you are going to the World Series. That should be incentive enough, whether we are playing the Yankees or we are playing whoever or the Yankees are playing us. People can make what they want of it because, you know, we were lucky enough to beat them last year in the shortened five-game series, but when you get here whatever, if you need anymore incentive than winning this means going to the World Series, then you got to scratch your head.

Q. How many family members or relatives are going to be here? Is it David's birthday tomorrow?

CHARLES NAGY: Yeah, David, he will be 29 tomorrow. He wears an extra large -- no, size 10 and a half foot (Laughter.) Just seven tickets, hopefully that will take care of everybody, keep everybody happy.

Q. You played shortstop, were you primarily a pitcher in high school and college or a position player?

CHARLES NAGY: See if you ask any pitcher that question they are going to tell you they were pretty good in high school hitting and playing everywhere else. No, just played different positions in high school; shortstop, pitched, you know, when you are able to throw the ball, they are going to stick you wherever they want to. You don't play too many games back east in high school or even in college, so just do a little bit of everything.

Q. At the end of Game 7 last year, you were on the pitcher's mound. How much did that drive you this year?

CHARLES NAGY: It was just something that just happened last year. I have put that behind me. We lost the World Series, I was the biggest part of that. Time goes on, everything goes on, the sun came up the next day and spring training started in February and 1998, and just, you know, went on. You got to move on. Disappointed that we didn't win the World Series last year, but it is a new year, you get a new chance and we are back here in the ALCS and we have that opportunity now. It is ours if we go out and play hard and whatever happens, happens and hopefully we can get back to the World Series again this year.

Q. Can you find out who the home umpire is tomorrow?

CHARLES NAGY: I have got to find out what room he is in so I can give him some money.

Q. Do you make adjustments before he takes the mound or, as the game goes along seeing where the strike zone is or do you adjust to that ahead of time?

CHARLES NAGY: I have pitched in this league for a while now, so I basically know the umpires pretty well and I know how they are going to call the game and they know how I pitch and things like that. I mean, strike zones change sometimes as the game goes on, but I mean you establish what you are going to do early. If you can throw strikes, the umpires, you know, are willing to give you a few borderline pitches as the game goes on. But if you are all over the place, then you know, you are in for a long afternoon.

Q. Favorite Yankee growing up?

CHARLES NAGY: The whole -- just I have a few favorites, but that is no big deal.

Q. The sun coming up tomorrow, is that something that you can do the next day or did that take a while to have that kind of feeling like it was a big game, but life goes on?

CHARLES NAGY: It was disappointing. I mean, you know you lose the 7th game of the World Series, you get that close to what you worked so hard for that whole season and then you lose, I mean, you just don't forget about it within five, ten minutes a week, two weeks, a month. I mean, memories are always going to be there. But it is just something you can't really dwell on. You still think about it. You are constantly reminded of it, but you just move on.

End of FastScripts…

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