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October 2, 1997

Joe Torre


Q. Any update on David Cone?

JOE TORRE: He threw today for 10 minutes. We know more after he throws than during. But he threw mainly fast balls and got loose. So we'll probably know something by tomorrow.

Q. Is he still definitively -- Cone still definitively your Game 4 starter?

JOE TORRE: Yeah, if he's physically capable of doing it, he's it.

Q. As of now, he's -- nothing that happened today changed your mind?


Q. How did you observe Curtis' stand up, no slide into second base? How does that relate, essentially, to Curtis, himself?

JOE TORRE: Well, he's a hard-nosed player. He got in harms way, obviously. There's no rule that says you have to slide. And it's dangerous to do what he did. But he was just trying to break up the double play, and he was successful doing it. It was scary when I saw it happen, because I've seen, unfortunately, a couple of guys get hit in the head by throws from the shortstop.

Q. Joe, was there anything that David Cone said to you that reassured you that he's ready to go?

JOE TORRE: Yes, I spoke with David a couple of times after the game the other night, and he felt his problem was the first, I think. And it wasn't a smart way to pitch, the second and third inning. We observed the fastball, and it was better. He used his fastball. He didn't use it in the first inning. And unless something happens between now and then, he's ready to go. I said it's your ball. We made the bed and we're going to sleep in it. Of course, if there's any hesitation or question about his physical well-being, then he won't be.

Q. Joe, the umpires talked before the series about having a zero tolerance policy. Is there anything you see from being on the field that says the line has been changed from year to year?

JOE TORRE: No, not in the little we've done here, both Grover and myself. I just went out I think the one time to question the foul ball or the ball that Justice hit, and it was business as usual. They didn't say that's enough or whatever. It was the same reaction I would have gotten before that.

Q. You spoke the same way you normally would; used the same language, raised the same emotions?

JOE TORRE: Yes, it was more. I didn't argue with him, I just questioned him. I wasn't concerned about being thrown out, because I really didn't -- I didn't go out there in anger, I went out and just basically was questioning if he should get a little help on the ball.

Q. What was your line of thinking for today's line-up in the moves you didn't make regarding Curtis and Raines, the move you did make regarding Hayes and Boggs?

JOE TORRE: Well, when I had talked to all the players individually and then collectively, I said it's going to be a day-to-day situation. And I spoke to them, as I say, individually, before the first game, which was actually during the workout day, explaining my reasoning. And then Boggs and Curtis -- I mean Boggs and Hayes' situation, it was a day-to-day situation. They both deserved the play. They both showed me in recent days that they're swinging the bat fine and all those things. I just wanted to give Charlie a day. I think he's got a little more range than Wade at this point, and maybe help our defense a little bit.

Q. Andy's better post season starts have been all on the road, is that a coincidence?

JOE TORRE: I hope not. I hope it is coincidence, yeah. I hope he's fine. Sometimes he gets a little pumped up, like most pitchers do. And I trust that he learned from last year, because he just tried to overdo it in a couple of first starts last year, trying to do too much. And I know the one against the Braves in Game 1, he went out there and basically tried to be somebody other than Andy Pettitte. I think from that time to now he's learned. This is an emotional game, and he's a very emotional guy, and just, hopefully, he goes out there and just trusts his stuff and let's it happen.

Q. With regard to the umpiring issue, you stay relatively calm in your talks with the umpires.

JOE TORRE: Sometimes.

Q. Was that more from your nature or more a respect for umpires that some managers don't share?

JOE TORRE: Well, I like to think I have respect for people. And I go out there, and if it's something that I get upset about -- basically it's not a missed call that upsets me as much as maybe not getting help or if I don't think they were in the right position or stuff like that. The calm part I think maybe is only on the outside. There are times that I get carried away also. But I think when you get a little older you understand that doesn't get you a whole lot. I used to watch Gil Hodges go out and talk with the umpires, and just stand out there and talk to them and sometimes reverse the call. I think if you're out there -- again, we're talking about emotion before. If you're allowed to do that, if -- sometimes in the heat of battle you don't think common sense wise. But if you're able to do that and if you have a point to make, I think it's probably going to be received a little bit better if you don't start screaming at them.

Q. Why has this team played so well on the road, and especially in Cleveland the last couple of years?

JOE TORRE: We played equally as good in Baltimore last year and Atlanta. I think what helped us, winning two games in Baltimore last year, I think it was April or May, two tough ballgames helped us realize that we can play on the road against anybody. Baltimore was our competition for the division at that time, and we played well. And it doesn't intimidate us going on the road. And I think what helps is when you have pitchers that can close out the game. At home on extra inning games you score and go home. On the road you have to protect that. That we have pitchers to send out there to do it has helped our confidence.

Q. Joe, were you interested to see how you, yourself, would feel starting this all up again? I'm sure as a manager you wonder about how the teams can respond this time. Were you interested to see what your own level of -- I don't know what -- would be coming into the playoffs after all that happened last year?

JOE TORRE: I think I misjudged myself, because the last week of the season I was very calm. And last year I wasn't, I was anxious to get started. And I thought that calm was indicative of what I was going to feel like the other night, but I was nervous as a cat the other night. That inning we scored the five runs, the sixth inning, I just told Mel, I could throw up right now (LAUGHTER). Don't tell anybody, but I could throw up right now. It was exciting and it really got to me. It was a great feeling, and that was all a part of it.

Q. Did he move away from you?

JOE TORRE: He just told me to look at Zimmer (LAUGHTER.) I meant his direction.

Q. Joe, how are you approaching Jaret Wright tonight; this is the first time you'll be facing him?

JOE TORRE: What we hear, and what he says, you've seen him right here in this same room, about being aggressive and going after people, that's what our scouting reports tell us, we're going to pretty much have to go out and find out for ourselves. He looks like an aggressive pitcher, which means he's going to go out and throw strikes. So we'll approach it by going out and be ready to hit the first pitch.

End of FastScripts….

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