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October 16, 1998

Kevin Brown

Jim Leyritz

NEW YORK CITY: Workout Day

Q. It is understood that players move around in sports. Do you feel that there are even more two-way affiliations with these two teams than you have ever seen? There is an unusual number of former Padres, former Yankees?

JIM LEYRITZ: Well, I think, yeah, nowadays with as many players that do travel around as much as they do, you tend to see that. But I think a lot of guys on this team, we are a part of the -- Brian Boehringer and myself, we have been a part of the World Series team. That was something special. You don't get that too often. Rather come back and play against these guys, playing for another team, David Wells being from San Diego, there is lot of good stories out there about these guys. It a fun time of year and it is kind of ironic that we are playing against each other.

Q. How badly do you want to beat the Yankees?

JIM LEYRITZ: I want another World Series ring that bad. It is one of those things you come back here, this is center stage. You can't ask for anything more. We have been underdogs every time and we are still underdogs in this series and we look forward to that. We like the challenge. I think our team is up to it. I think we will be ready.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your emotions? Last time you were in the World Series, the Yankees were in the World Series. Now you are playing against the Yankees, talk a little bit about those emotions?

JIM LEYRITZ: Well, it is going to be emotional. Definitely. You are coming back. No.1, like I said, any time you play in the World Series it is emotional. And No. 2, you are playing in New York and with the ties that I have had in New York and some of the memories I have had here, it is a special time, but at the same time, like I said, playing the World Series No.1 is a great thing, but playing in New York against the Yankees I think this is going to be a special thing for all of us. Like I said our team will be ready for it.

Q. The Yankees won a lot of games this year. A lot of expectations on them. Does that help them or does it help you?

JIM LEYRITZ: Well, I mean it is one of those things that there is definitely pressure I think on both sides. We are down to two teams. Bottom line is one team is going to win and one lose. I think it has pressure on both sides. They have had a great season so far. We have had a pretty good season, I think. Like I said, it is going to come down who plays better this week I think it is going to be us, I hope.

Q. Could you talk the atmosphere of the John Moores has created as owner and will that have any bearing on whether you resign with the club?

KEVIN BROWN: Well I will talk about the atmosphere. John obviously I think is the best owner in baseball as far as the way he treats his players and their families. He is very family oriented and they always bend over backwards obviously to help the family and do anything they can for them. He really develops a personal relationship I think with a lot of his players and their families. So it is great from that situation. As far as what is going to happen this off-season we have got too much work ahead of us to worry that.

Q. Jim with the bond you had built with the Yankee Stadium fans by the time you left some of the big moment you had here, knowing them as you do, do you expect them to turn on you real good or do you think there will be some respect or affection?

JIM LEYRITZ: Well, so far it has been pretty good so far. A lot of people at the hotel we came if I saw a lot of people coming over on the 4 train today, I was part of New York City. It wasn't so much I was a New York Yankee but I became a part of the city. But the bottom line we are in New York. It is the World Series. The opposing teams that come in here haven't been treated too good. I expect it to be kind of a mixed. We will see what happens.

Q. Given your track record in the postseason and your track record here, would you be surprised if you didn't come up big in one of these games in the next --

JIM LEYRITZ: That is a tough question. I am hoping I can, but the bottom line is we got 25 guys out there that we hope all come up big. That is what we are looking for. If I don't come up big and we still win, we win. I think everybody to a tee will tell you that, the bottom line is we win. No matter what it takes. Granted, for me, personally, it will be a nice emotion to be able to do something big here back in New York or back in San Diego. But the bottom line is, once you get -- if you do something big, you have got to make sure you win the whole thing. That is our job.

Q. Can you talk about that trade in June and do you think the Red Sox blew it?

JIM LEYRITZ: Okay, that is point blank right there. You know what, I think Dan Duquette blew it. That is as far as I will go. Because the 25 guys on that team, I liked every one of them. I had a good relationship with them. I was sorry to see them lose because I had a lot of good friends there. I am pretty happy to be sitting here and I am pretty happy Dan Duquette is home.

Q. Why do you prefer taking the subway as opposed to a cab or?

JIM LEYRITZ: Well, today I did it from more tradition sake because I used to live in the city and we used to take -- I used to take the 4 train every day. My wife would drive to the game; I would go home with her. It became kind of habit when I came in here with the Angels. I did the same thing, worked out pretty good. It is more of a superstition or tradition and it beats getting stuck in that traffic too.

Q. You were a factor in the National League series with your hitting and running. Will you miss that when they have the designated hitter in this part of the World Series and will that be any factor in what you decide what to do next year?

KEVIN BROWN: You have got to get off of next year. We have got too much focus on here.

Q. The brand of ball that is played in the National League --

KEVIN BROWN: I enjoy the National League style of baseball. I have said that before. I enjoy being a part of it. You don't expect too much out of yourself as a hitter. You have to be realistic about what you can do as a pitcher. But I enjoy being involved. Once in a while you do get a chance to contribute with a hit. It is fun swinging the bat. For thirteen years I didn't have that, but I have enjoyed doing that again last three years.

Q. How much have you been dreaming of this day since the Yankees traded you?

JIM LEYRITZ: Since the day I left.

No, it is one of those things, you know, when I got traded to Boston, I thought, okay, I might play against the Yankees in the playoffs - which would have been kind of exciting but to be able to do it on this level, with a ballclub that I am on now, it is a great chance. It is a great opportunity. Like I said, we have proved everybody wrong so far since the beginning of these playoffs. We think we are going to do it again here. It will be extra exciting to be able to do it against possibly the best team in baseball.

Q. Four teams in the last couple of years. Is it your hope this turns into something more permanent?

JIM LEYRITZ: No. Basically every trade that has happened so far, I have asked for. It is not because of anything that has gone wrong. It is just an opportunity to play and I talked with my wife the other day, I said: Unfortunately, after this postseason on July 31st, if my team is out of contention, we might pack the bags again. Because you never know. Bottom line is I have got about 3, 4 more years to play. I want to play on a team that is a contender. If this ball club goes into the direction they plan on going, I plan on being here a couple years.

Q. What is the biggest specific thing you think you need to do to beat the Yankees?

KEVIN BROWN: Obviously you got to score more runs than they do. How do you break it down? You have got to play solid ball. I mean, they have got such a great team from top to bottom, pitching and hitting and defense, the whole nine yards. You have to make sure you limit your mistakes and we have got to go out there and do our job. I think as long as we know we go out there on that field and give it everything we have got and don't leave anything in the bag, we can look at ourselves with pride and be satisfied with what we have accomplished. If it winds up the breaks go our way and we win this whole thing, then so be it.

JIM LEYRITZ: You are talking two teams right here that are supposedly the best last two left in baseball. The bottom line is it comes down to who plays better baseball this week doesn't matter who is better on paper, who is better statistical-wise, whatever it comes down to, who is going to play better this week. We will see what happens.

Q. One of the words that is always associated with you pitching is "Movement". Is this a natural gift you have had since you began pitching or did you acquire this type of movement in?

KEVIN BROWN: Well, I have always had it. I mean, I had it when I went to college and I have had it pretty much since then. Some days it is better than others, but obviously that has always been one of my strengths. I have tried to use it through the years to my benefit as much as I can and you know, build on it.

Q. Do you expect to come back in Game 4?

KEVIN BROWN: Well, you know, depends on how things play out. At this point in time I have always, during the playoffs, said that I will do whatever Bruce and the guys feel like is best for the team. I'd like to get through the first game before I start worrying about that. One game at a time in this situation; especially, this is enough for anybody's plate.

Q. Dave Wells gets a lot of credit for keeping the Yankees loose and you have been given a lot of credit for boosting this team's intensity this year. Do you not get enough credit for being more relaxed and fun loving than people realize or see a lot?

KEVIN BROWN: You know, I don't know. I don't know what the case is. I don't know. It is hard for me to judge that myself. You'd have to ask the other guys on the team. I enjoy the game, you know, and have fun the days that I am not pitching. Obviously I am pretty locked in. I guess I am not much of a fun-loving guy on the day that I pitch. But the other times I have a good time. You'd have to ask them though as far as that kind of effect. It is just not the kind of thing you want to judge for yourself.

Q. You pitched as an opposing player. Obviously you have warmed up out there where -- there is a lot of abuse hurled at pitchers. Is it the kind of thing you can tell someone about to prepare them them for or do they need to experience it?

KEVIN BROWN: I think we have most everybody probably experienced it at this point. Maybe a little bit different here in New York, obviously. But I mean, Houston -- I caught it in Houston, caught it in Atlanta, you are going to catch it whereever you go this time of year, especially. I don't know. How you prepare somebody for that? Other than -- when you step on the mound for a game, you are not worrying about what the people are saying and what they are doing. You are worrying about trying to get the guy out.

Q. Kevin, you said that John Moores does a lot for families of ballplayers. What has he done for you and your family?

KEVIN BROWN: Well, I think he has done it for everybody's family. He always -- he has a couple of parties every year for the whole family; has really nice setups where the kids are well taken care of. They have -- he has get-togethers where the kids have lots of activity to have a chance for them to enjoy themselves while the players and wives all have a chance to mingle. It is just a lot of little things. He really takes good care of the people, on a day-to-day basis, of little things. Just, he is always there to see if somebody needs something.

JIM LEYRITZ: We always joke around saying we are a family. John Moores takes that to heart. That is one of the biggest things I have seen since I have been there. He really takes his ballclub as, you know -- granted I own you guys, this is my team, but at the same time, he does -- he makes everything perfect for your family. He really cares about every individual. They are worried about the wives' sections. He wants this new stadium because he wants to make a difference. Right now his hands are tied because the Chargers in San Diego own the stadium. He wants a stadium for this ballclub so he can do the type of things that he wants to do for this ballclub.

Q. You talk about the way you are on days of pitch channeling that intensity. Has that been an evolution of the way you are or have you always been that way?

KEVIN BROWN: I don't think intensity has always been there. Of course, like everything else, with experience you hopefully get better at it and use it more effectively. That is the case in anything. I am sure that has been the case in my pitching career is through the years, you learn how again to more effectively use what you have; what your natural instincts are.

Q. In terms of the Yankee hitters who have faced you in the American League, is it a good feeling on your part to be going after them with the split finger which, I guess, you didn't have when they faced you before?

KEVIN BROWN: Well, I mean, obviously I think you are a different pitcher every time you walk out on the mound. Yes, there are some things that you do pretty consistently, but everyday is different. Some days you have totally different stuff than you do other days. The key is as a pitcher, you are trying to find a way to get guys out with what you have for the day. It has been awhile since I have faced most of these guys over here anyhow, so, I don't know if there is any real advantage one way or the other - some of them have seen me in the past, I am probably a little bit different than what they remember anyhow.

Q. Obviously this is center stage and last challenge of the year, but is the challenge of beating the Yankees after beating two consecutive 100-win teams any more monumental than it was to beat Houston or Atlanta?

JIM LEYRITZ: I don't think so. The Yankees have a good ballclub. They were the best ballclub in the American League this year. We were the best ballclub in the National League and we feel we have just as much talent or just as much desire to win this thing as they do. We look forward to the challenge and we will see what happens.

Q. Did you think your kind of flamboyant personality and talkative nature had anything to do with the Yankee trading you?

JIM LEYRITZ: I didn't really think I was that flamboyant. Bottom line was George actually did me a favor. I went to George at the end of the year. I said: George, if you guys are going to bring Girardi back, I would like to have the chance where I can play everyday. There was an opportunity in Anaheim, they had a trade the Yankees liked. It was nothing personal. I left on a really good note. George told me to come back any time you want. Everything was good when I left here. There is no problems as far as that goes.

Q. You have number 39 on for Strawberry. Talk about how you felt when he went home today?

JIM LEYRITZ: When I first put the number on my hat everybody asked me: Hey, you don't play for the Yankees; what are you doing? I said: You know what? Some things are bigger than baseball. Darryl was a good friend of mine when I played here. We had a lot of special moments and when something like that -- I know his children. I know his wife. It becomes more of a personal thing than anything. I just want to let him know that I was thinking about him and in baseball we do these kind of things. That was my way of saying: Hey, listen, my prayers are with you and good luck.

Q. Are you more comfortable starting Game 1 considering what happened last year?

KEVIN BROWN: Obviously you can't start one game at a time anyhow. So the thing I think -- the difference this year is the fact that I feel healthy. Last year I got sick at the wrong time and you know, struggled with the end of the Braves series then into the World Series, trying to fight that, and hopefully that is the bigger difference. I will know this year at least I am healthy walking out on the field.

Q. I know you have only been there a short time, but what do you think about Kevin's influence on the rest of the pitching staff?

JIM LEYRITZ: You look at a guy like that, the desire what he goes out there with and the tenacity that he pitches with, you feed off that. Kevin is the ace of our staff and the guys that are below him, they want to work to get to that level. Like I said, you see the intensity he pitches with, the focus that he has and success that he has had as a young pitcher, as a pitcher on that staff, yeah, you have to look up to him and say: Listen, we want to be like that.

Q. Hitchcock, how much of a different pitcher is he than when you were here?

JIM LEYRITZ: Still he was 21 years when he got here, that was pretty young. Being in New York and he got to -- off on the wrong foot. I think he has matured over the years. He is more confident in his stuff. As the season went on, you could see more and more that he was getting the confidence that he could pitch every five days and be real successful. He stepped it up for us in the playoffs against the three biggest pitchers supposedly in the game besides. Kevin Brown did a good job for us. Hopefully he will continue to do the same.

Q. How would you say you have changed since your early days in your career in Texas?

KEVIN BROWN: I am a heck of a lot older then when I was then. I don't know. It is kind of hard to pinpoint. I guess your repertoire changes. Again, you try and learn something each year. You want to get beater each time out. Obviously you don't make that smooth continuous climb as far as getting better, better, better. I am never satisfied. I always feel like there is something else to learn in this game, always more you can do if you keep trying, and that -- that is really, I guess, been the most consistent point. I mean, your pitch selection, what you can do one year to the next, they change a little bit as your body gets older, the whole nine yards, I guess, but I mean, I throw probably more pitches than I used to. I used to rely a lot on the sinker. I am sure people I give people a little bit more varied looks than I used to.

Q. You have chuckled a few times when Kevin's intensity has been mentioned. Do you have any anecdotes or do people stay away from him the day he pitches? Are you afraid to go on the mound with him?

JIM LEYRITZ: He is the kind of guy -- he is focused. He will slap a high five to you if you hit a home run for him, but bottom line is, he is focused on going out there getting the three outs that he needs to get each inning. It has always been said, hey, don't get too close to him or don't say the wrong thing on the day that he pitches because, like I said, that tenacity is right there.

Q. A lot of guys are like that, but is it a different level--

JIM LEYRITZ: Not a lot of guys that can go out and do what he does so, yeah, it is a different level. To be like that and go out and do it, that is a big thing.

End of FastScripts�.

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