October 12, 1998
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
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
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
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
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
Q. Is there a health concern related to Tim Raines and your decision not to play him in
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
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