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October 6, 1999

Buck Showalter


BUCK SHOWALTER: I can tell you, I know maybe some eyebrows were raised when Todd was pitching the second game here, but I think tonight you can see why. We have so much confidence in him. Todd is a warrior. I don't know how to describe it. He's a baseball player that happens to be a pitcher. He's a guy that you like having going into tough situations for you. And this is a game we needed to win, and now we're back into this thing. Regardless of what the outcome was, we needed somebody like him out there.

Q. Can you talk about Finley's game tonight?

BUCK SHOWALTER: Fin very quietly has had the best season of his career. On top of that, he's one of the best centerfielders in the league. He showed tonight what he's meant to our club. It just takes so much poise in that situation when the crowd is yelling and emotions flying around to stay within yourself. I thought with the base on balls with the bases loaded was an impressive at-bat. When he takes the ball the other way like he did -- I thought the two-run single got the momentum moving in our direction. We were pretty fortunate that inning with a swinging bunt by Matty and a couple others thing that worked our way.

Q. Can you talk about the difference of going back to New York in a playoff situation, sense of urgency?

BUCK SHOWALTER: The sense of urgency, I can tell you more after we've gone through it, but fortunately, I have been through it in New York, when you weren't the enemy. And we all know the passion and energy that we'll be facing in New York just like the Mets did here. I was so proud of our fans and the boost they gave us here the last couple nights. I just hope that we're able to come back and play some more games here this year.

Q. Is it a personal sense of victory for yourself going back to New York?

BUCK SHOWALTER: Victory is in games won, and if we can win some baseball games we certainly will, but not at this point. There's just too much going on to dwell on that, and I think that's kind of -- some vindictive emotion, and I've got nothing but gratefulness for what the Yankees and New York allowed me to do in my life and life is too short -- they allowed me to do things that I never dreamed I would be able to do in my life.

Q. Kelly seemed to have finesse, can you talk about that?

BUCK SHOWALTER: Kelly is throwing the ball well. Some of the times -- last two nights Randy and Todd holding runners on their fourth day and were giving up some stolen bases to a pretty good base runner, and I can't say one of those as being Kelly's fault, and some of those situations we're not covering, we would rather let them steal third than give up our position and have the ball roll through or where the score dictates it. The injury may have helped his approach to hitting a little bit. Like I said, we may take a hammer to his knuckle all spring. He's as good as he has been all year.

Q. What was Todd talking about between innings?

BUCK SHOWALTER: Some of the things we talked about were pretty colorful. It's always fun talking to him. It's not ever -- sitting on the fence with his emotions. He's going to tell you what he feels. But my main concern early in the game was he took a real good lick on the non-throwing hand, and my first conversation with him was about swinging at-bat. If I could use him to maybe hit-and-run or do something where he swings the bat, and as we went on he just really got a stinger in there, and the numbness finally wore off. He's going to being okay. Thank God it wasn't on his throwing hands. But veteran pitchers, he's never going to tell you he wants to come outs of a game. That's not his decision to make, and you should not put a pitcher in that spot like Todd with his background. You've got to make that decision yourself. He was pretty honest with me considering all the emotion he had flying around here tonight.

End of FastScripts….

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