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October 10, 1998

Joe Torre


Q. Any lineup changes?

JOE TORRE: Yes. I've -- Curtis is playing left field. He'll hit 8th, Posada is in the lineup -- that's not really a change even though it's different from yesterday, and Tino has dropped to 6th and Chili will hit 5th.

Q. If you could put the personal stuff about Darryl aside for a second, have you thought about not having him on the team, his absence could have helped an offense that hasn't set?

JOE TORRE: You know, everybody knows that Straw is a threat even when he's not hitting he's in the lineup and helps the guy in front of him. On the bench he keeps the other manager from doing things. Sure, he would have helped. But, again, you don't sit down and dwell on that stuff because it doesn't do you any good. We knew that a long time ago -- I learned a few years ago when we didn't have David Cone -- wishing doesn't get it done. You just have to do with what you had and we played well without Darryl this year. You're right, when you need a little juicing up, the kind of power he can bring in to the lineup does help.

Q. Have the pitchers finally made adjustments to Spencer after his hot streak?

JOE TORRE: I don't think it's as much as that Spencer is not as locked in. You know, he seems to be drifting a little bit. Hit some balls hard the other day in Game 2. Last night, got behind -- got ahead in the count and swung and missed, fouled some balls off he normally would hit. I think it's just a matter of not having the lock that he had during that streak.

Q. Do you think because it's the first time he's struggled since he came up, is there any confidence lost there?

JOE TORRE: Well, when you are not hitting, I don't care how long you've been in the Big Leagues, you're going to lack a little confidence. But with young kids -- not necessarily young, but inexperienced players, you have to take what they give you. We benefited from what he has done for us and he's done some good things and the one thing we make sure we tell him is he's not letting us down, he's giving us a bonus we never expected when we started postseason.

Q. Last night you said you suspected it would be a sleepless night. Is that how it went?

JOE TORRE: No. No, I was fine I slept well. Went out and had dinner after the game with Mike Fratello (phonetic) and Billy Crystal and took your mind off it, that's for sure. But it was an enjoyable little dinner after the game and I did sleep. I slept and got up and worked out this morning, felt pretty good.

Q. Did you consider at all starting Wells today so you would have him for Game 7?

JOE TORRE: He wants to pitch today. He told me that if you want to change your mind, I can pitch. I said, only if you pitch tomorrow, too. We set this rotation around David Cone, and we're going to have to win today or tomorrow or both. And David Cone not being available tomorrow doesn't help us. So I appreciated the offer and he was sincere, but, again, we have to -- first of all, if I did take him seriously and did this thing, you'd be moving your Game 4 starter back to Game 5 and I wouldn't want to play with a cycle like that.

Q. Do you think anything has happen today this team this year that presented a challenge of a similar magnitude to the challenge that they face now?

JOE TORRE: Well, obviously not. I mean, you're not going to say that is a challenge during the season whether it's facing Pedro Martinez or Roger Clemens, those types of players. I think while we were struggling in the last few weeks of the season we played well under those conditions. We take challenges. We challenged ourselves but obviously in postseason, there's not during the season that -- especially with the lead we had all year that's going to be what the postseason is all about. However, we've been in postseason before and I can -- that's the area you call upon to help you through this thing.

Q. Mike Hargrove selected Chad Ogea to start tomorrow. What is your reaction to that and what do you think went wrong for Jaret Wright?

JOE TORRE: I don't care about that. I'm worried about today, okay, and my concern is today. Chad Ogea did a good job against us, that's why he's starting tomorrow. Jaret Wright was basically out of his game. Threw hard but got behind in the count and threw a lot of pitches that were hitable. He throws hard, but again you need location and that's the one thing he didn't have and that's probably the reason why Mike has made the change.

Q. Is Spencer struggling at the plate the reason for the change in left today?

JOE TORRE: Yeah, it is. Curtis -- he's done a lot of good things for us and he played Game 1 of the Division Series, did a nice job for us. But he was just overtaken by this kid that was on a streak and he understood that. He's ready to play. I said I was going to have a meeting and tell everybody to really go hard. He said you won't have to do that with me. Curtis is ready to play all the time, got a lot of energy and hopefully it will be

catching today.

Q. You mentioned a meeting, are you having a meeting?

JOE TORRE: No, I'm not. No, my meetings -- the one I had yesterday was basically to try to -- if it wasn't the case, wanted to make sure everybody was thinking about the game and not all the stuff that went on for a day and-a-half. What I do and I know it's been talked about before, I have many meetings, I'll sit with one player and talk to another player. Not necessarily organized meetings but go around from player to player and talk to each one of them, what I think helps them, if they want to talk about something. I have meetings every day, but it's basically those types.

Q. Did you give any thought to sitting Tino?

JOE TORRE: Not really. He got us here and I think Tino takes this as a great deal of responsibility. He lead our club in RBIs for three years in a row, he knows that he's the big man here. And I don't think it would be the right thing, in my mind, to sit him down and not take part in this postseason. He's going to have to come out of it in the lineup.

End of FastScripts…

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