October 9, 1999
NEW YORK CITY: Game Four
Q. Your are emotions right now your thoughts on everything that has happened this year
and to this moment?
BUCK SHOWALTER: My thoughts are on the players. I think as many ebbs and flows of the
season there are, that the finality of a situation like this is real tough for them. My
hat is off to the Mets. They played real well. Made it tough on us. I don't think I have
words to try to describe it. My vocabulary is not that good. It is just a tough situation
to have; you won 101 games, next thing you know you are a spectator, but you understand
that going in. That is why winning is that much more something that you want to do.
Q. How did you express your congratulations to Bobby?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Just like he would to us. There is a certain identification with each
other, managers and coaches, the struggles we all go through. I know the pressures that
all managers are under and coaches and players. As much as we would like to be feeling
what they are feeling what would have been tomorrow you should as a human being be able to
step back and realize it is a special day for them. As much as we would like to be a part
of it, I am so proud of what our players have established and continue to establish. It's
been a great ride. Like I told them, I know the game can survive without players -- I mean
without managers and coaches, but it can't survive without players and fans. Their support
of me and the coaches and the organization has been the reason why we were able to get
this far. I wanted them to -- just told them that the pain would pass, but the burning
desire to get back here and get it right won't because that is the type of people they
are. Tucson will be here before they know it.
Q. I know Womack has played right field a lot. But does his relative inexperience play
in the way he played that ball.
BUCK SHOWALTER: No, I don't think so. Tony I think is one of the top two or three
right-fielders in the league. He has played outstanding. He has been, with the exception
of some of other guys that have established themselves like him. Gonzalez dropped fly
because this year. Jay Bell has. It happens. It is tough. You run a long way under -- a
lot of guys wouldn't have got to that ball. He got it to. We have been saying this over
and over again seems like everyday here but Tony is one of the reasons one of the big
reasons why we are here today. And I think it would be very unfeeling for me or anybody to
forget that. I know I won't. I can't make someone feel something, but Tony my gosh, the
ball he hit in the first inning. He has been hitting tough luck. We have been hitting line
drivers and it seemed meant to be to fall into their gloves.
Q. Could a Randy Johnson be today and do you regret not pitching him?
BUCK SHOWALTER: I don't see how he could have pitched any better than Brian Anderson
did, any better than Zeke (Swindell) (ph) pitched well for us. Mantei did a great job. I
don't see how we could have gotten any better performance. We all could have. We felt like
that that was our best option and we are real comfortable with it to be able to hold this
team to this type of runs. We had a real good opportunity to win. B.A. was outstanding;
that didn't surprise me.
Q. Did you think Finley caught the ball and what was flashing through your mind as you
watched him and the ball and your reaction?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, we become so spoiled by Steve catching everything that stays in
the ballpark, we are used to seeing him. He has made so many catches that have saved ball
games for us this year - even if he catches that ball there is no given that that saves
the game. But certainly it would have prolonged it. Yeah, I thought he had caught it
initially, but you know, I thought Ricky had caught Colbrunn's ball, I believe it was
earlier in the game. We talk. Jay Bell's hit high up in the air, I didn't see the replay
of the play at the plate with Jay on the throw from left field. It is just -- and I don't
know if it was Darryl's ball was foul or not. I know everybody enjoyed the game except us
but it was a great game.
Q. Obviously you were pulling out all the stops. It could not have been easy so take
out Matt Williams. Tell us your thinking?
BUCK SHOWALTER: It is never easy to take out any of our guys, but in Matt Mantei -- he
is rested and can pitch you want to make sure -- you know you are going to pinch hit for
him; if you go straight up there, Matt is going to pitch to three or four hitters at the
most. That way we are able to get two plus innings out of him borderline three. I thought
of course Lenny Harris is a good option and Matt never hit again in that situation anyway.
Q. If you care to could you play analyst for a second look ahead to the Mets Braves
BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, any time anybody left standing this time of year they are a good
club. I am sure -- let's see the Braves have the home field advantage, but I think the
Mets have certainly showed their ability to play anywhere. They will certainly be a tough
task for the Braves. I like the karma and the things that the Mets have going for them
right now. But you know, the pitching staff that Atlanta is going to feature and they get
some time off now and regroup with their pitching. Rick Reed is real hot for them right
now pitching real well. We knew that coming in. Kenny Rogers will be back for them. Of
course, Al. I hope I never become so callous that you are not able to step back and
realize how much today meant to Al Leiter and what he was able to get done. It is a nice
day for a lot of good people over there.
Q. Did you consider bringing in Mantei to start the 8th inning?
BUCK SHOWALTER: No, not where we were in the lineup. Olie (ph) gotten a big out against
Alfonzo where earlier in the series, Zeke has been pitching real well. Matched up well
there, and especially where we are in the batting order. If we could have done that we
could have potentially not anybody hit in the bottom of that inning an top of the next.
Matt would have had to have taken out of the game if they tied the score against him.
Q. Accomplishments of this team winning the rest outright. Fastest to win 100 biggest
turnaround in baseball history. Look back on the year and think of the accomplishments of
BUCK SHOWALTER: It is real tough at a time like this just like I got talking through
the players about it. Not many times do I feel you know, it is very callous to say that
you feel what they feel. You haven't walked a whole lot of miles in their shoes but today
I do. I think it is something we will reflect back on as the offseason wears on and
realize how close we were, but I am just so proud to have been associated with these guys.
It is so easy to pull for them. I think that is why our fans fell in love with this team
because they felt comfortable selling themselves emotionally to them. They weren't going
to let them down. Their effort and the way they handled themselves and the way they
treated people and I don't know if you can say much better about a group of guys than
that. We are going to work hard this offseason to continue what we have started here.
End of FastScripts