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October 12, 1998

Joe Torre

NEW YORK CITY: Workout Day

Q. You have been juggling guys in and out of left field all year. Different people now with Spencer involved. I was wondering -- talk about your philosophy with that position and who might play tomorrow?

JOE TORRE: Well, just trying to figure out what to do that is basically the philosophy and tomorrow I still -- I am not sure what I want to do. It is interesting though the position that seem to be the position in the spring with all the candidates. Now we are just finding someone to be effective out there. We will mix and match. Good part about it is that we have a way to go back and forth if you start one person you can always pinch hit back and forth basically. You can go righty, lefty righty again. So at least I have some depth there. But as far as who is starting tomorrow, I don't know right now.

Q. Was there any discussion or thought of saving Cone for if there is a 7th game and pitch someone else tomorrow?

JOE TORRE: No, we don't want a 7th game. That is basically what it is all about. David -- we planned this starting rotation around David Cone because we wanted to give him the extra day on his second start. So we took a chance in his first start pitching him on the fifth day, which he has been fine with but I think what helped us make that decision was the fact that we had the rain shortened game at Texas, he only threw 85 pitches. He was effective his first time and I anticipate he will be fine tomorrow because it will be on his 6th day instead of his fifth. This is the day we want him to pitch and hopefully it works out.

Q. David Wells spoke at length yesterday about what happened before the game. In all your years in the game, has the behavior of fans changed?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think you are going to find a certain element everywhere that are going to try to get under your skin. The unfortunate part, if the fans that were agitating him were aware of the death of his mom, I think it is really tasteless. But fans will try to do anything to get your attention and I don't think any particular city does it more than any other


Q. Obviously you don't want to get to a 7th game, so you didn't have to make this decision. If you were forced to pick a 7th game pitcher, are you worried that maybe Andy Pettitte will have a confidence problem?

JOE TORRE: I am not even going to talk about the subject.

Q. Does it make you feel so much more comfortable tomorrow with David knowing the body of postseason work he has behind him that there is nothing tomorrow that is going to surprise him or feeling -- feel anything that he has not felt before?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think I probably put more trust in David in the three years I have been here than any other pitcher. Going back to the World Series in 1996, starting him in Game 3 in Atlanta because I knew if -- two up, two down, even, that that was an important game because he was the only one really familiar with pitching in that ballpark. Starting him in Game 3 in Texas for the same reason, first road game I thought it was important and the fact that he was only going to pitch one time. So all my eggs are in one basket as far as I am concerned. If it doesn't work out, then we have to put it together for Game 7. But I am very confident that we are going to get the performance out of David Cone that you know, we hope to.

Q. In reference to Bernie Williams, what are some of the advantages of playing in New York as opposed to going for the -- knowing Bernie the way you do, do you think there is a loyalty there where he may look at you guys longer rather than go the financial route?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think the loyalty factor is, you know, has to be based on where you are comfortable. That is something that he has to talk about with his family and the people involved and his making that decision. For me, when you get up into the numbers that you are talking about, paying Bernie, I think the most important thing is where he plays and that he is comfortable because he is going to be playing there possibly for the rest of his career. So think that is a tough decision and I hope -- I hope that New York is a big part of the equation because he has had success here and I'd like to think that because of his success that he has been comfortable here and I hope we do get an edge that way.

Q. Could you talk about -- Charlie Nagy has been pitching very well in the postseason, facing him tomorrow?

JOE TORRE: Well, he showed us the end of the season, he beat us the last week of the regular season and then come back and duplicated it in the game in the Championship Series. Is he getting ahead in the count keeping the ball down, he is doing all the things he needs to be successful and it is not going to be an easy fight tomorrow because there is no reason to think he won't do the same things. He is on the extra day like David is, so he should be strong enough. But he has, I think in the second half really straightened his stuff out.

Q. How much help did the team need dealing with the anxiety of falling behind in this series and what are the things you did to try to help?

JOE TORRE: I am not sure I did anything to help them. I think I got in the way more than anything else. You talk about trying to have some fun and enjoy yourself and Paul O'Neill pulled me aside he says, Skip, it is not fun unless we win. They know they have to grind and there is nothing I can say even though there was a great deal of tension in that clubhouse for Game 4, it wasn't that they didn't think they could play. They were just anxious to get it going and get into it. This club has been very good at playing even though, you know, when there is a lot at stake and even though they are tense, they seem to be able to hold it together and not lose site of what they have to do to be successful. So I am -- I continue to be not amazed, but impressed with the way this ballclub goes through and gets themselves ready to play.

Q. Looking back to two years ago, do you and the players you think felt more pressure to get into the World Series, or more pressure once you were at the World Series to win it?

JOE TORRE: I think the World Series is fun. Sure, once you get there, you want to win it very badly. But I don't think the anxiety is there as much in the World Series as it is now. The first series, five games, very tense. This series, very tense because you are so close, one more step away from the World Series, that is where you want to get. Once you get to the World Series I think you have accomplished what you want to accomplish. Winning the World Series like anything else you hope you are hot that week and you get the break here and there. Being the best in your league, one of the two best teams in the game, getting to the World Series is probably the same as it was two years ago. I mean, this year you know, we have been more favorites than we were in 1996. But the fact is that we feel the pressure getting to the series as opposed to being in the series.

Q. What did David Wells say or do that made you smile when you went out there in the 8th inning?

JOE TORRE: We sort of had a game plan before we went out for that inning because he was sort of intimated, have somebody ready just in case something happens. I decided at that point talking to Mel that I just wanted to let him go through Vizquel and bring in Nellie to pitch to the two right-handers because I didn't want him running out of gas pitching to the middle of that lineup. So when I went out to take him out and evidently he found this extra surge, he said I am all right. I got the second wind. He said send him back. Send him back. I had already made the call for Nellie. I said that is good. But he was more messing with me because he knew that. He was just still pumped up. He was very high for that game, and you know, he was sort of reluctant to leave because he knew what the reception was going to be leaving the mound, but he played -- he played it up. Took the hat off, waived it, and the fans loved it.

Q. At this time of year how important is a manager? Is that overrated or underrated?

JOE TORRE: Well, somebody has to write a lineup and pat guys on the rear end if they do well and make a pitching change now and then. It is a job that I love. It is a great challenge. How important is it? I think players look to coaches and managers at certain times just to get a feel of the mood and the confidence. I think my job at this point in time is to show that I have confidence in every single one of them in whatever move I make. But again, I never will ever say or feel that this game belongs to managers. It is the players' game. Manager makes the decision. Sure, I will bring in a pitcher if it doesn't work I made the wrong decision. I can live with that. But still, I think the game belongs to the players and it is great to watch that thing happen.

Q. What is it that impressed you the most about the Indians and has there been anything that surprised you about them?

JOE TORRE: No. We were expecting a dog fight. Any team that has reached postseason play as often as they have, you know it doesn't matter who the favorite is because they believe they can win. They beat Boston after getting beat up the first game at home. And going to Fenway is not easy to go in there and win two in a row the way they did that. So we knew what we were in for, it was just going to come down to who was going to pitch better. I felt we would hit better. I still hope that will happen tomorrow. But they are tough. They are tough because they have that confidence. There is nothing better in this game than having the confidence of knowing that where you have been and how you got there and it basically gets down to the experience that they have had over the last few years.

Q. Your bullpen has been almost perfect other than one inning in the postseason? Sometimes they are overlooked? Would you comment?

JOE TORRE: I think that is because of the starting pitching that we have been able to send out there. I feel very good even when we were struggling and not knowing if we were going to have Nelson back because of his back problems, I still have a great deal of confidence in sending those guys out there. Again I think the secret of having a good bullpen is not trying to use them all the time. I think that keeps them sharp. It keeps the opposition from getting to see them all the time so there is a certain amount of inactivity that helps the bullpen when they have to come in. All but the closer. I mean the closer is the closer and he is going to finish every game pretty much. But I think that when you give the bullpen bits and pieces, you have a better chance of being more consistent.

Q. Is there a health concern related to Tim Raines and your decision not to play him in left field?

JOE TORRE: I played him yesterday.

Q. In left field?

JOE TORRE: I played him in left field yesterday. You were watching football, weren't you.

Q. I guess I was.

JOE TORRE: In terms of tomorrow I don't know what I am going to do tomorrow. He seems fine. He told me that because I asked him yesterday how he felt. He said he felt fine. He still is struggling a little bit swinging the bat right now. That is what is making me struggle. I think health-wise I wouldn't be afraid to put him out there again.

End of FastScripts….

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