October 3, 2000
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS: Game One
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Mr. Piniella?
Q. In the tenth when you took aside Mike Cameron, what did you say to him?
LOU PINIELLA: I told him the NASDAQ was down 113 points today and Cisco was a hell of a buy. (Laughter.)
Q. Can you talk about Edgar Martinez and what he did for you in the tenth inning there.
LOU PINIELLA: Well, Edgar has been clutch for us all year, and you want your big people up there in situations like that. And Edgar got an off-speed pitch, he stayed on it and just drove it. I knew that Carlos Lee wasn't going to catch it, but I wasn't sure it was going out. Edgar's so strong, he's got such great weight shift when he hits the ball, just a clutch piece of hitting by Edgar. Then Olerud follows with another home run. But the story of this ball game today was our relief. Freddy was struggling, and we brought in Tom, he got us some big outs. We brought in Paniaqua, he brought us outs, Rhodes, Mesa and Sasaki. To hold a team like this who hits the ball to scoreless ball, you're doing a heck of a job.
Q. Outside of stock tips, can you tell us what you told Cameron?
LOU PINIELLA: No, I can't. I really can't.
Q. Can you talk about Mike Cameron, though, the two big hits he had?
LOU PINIELLA: Cameron's been clutch for us all September. I mean, this young man has played exceedingly well in the outfield and he's gotten big hit after big hit for us. And tonight, off of Bradford, he lined a ball to rightfield with two strikes to tie the ball game. Then the tenth inning off of Foulke he starts off with a base hit to left. He's been clutch for us all September. He's done a hell of a job here.
Q. How big was this first win, getting it when you have Freddy Garcia?
LOU PINIELLA: It's obvious that the first game of a series like this is very important. It gives a team a lead in the series. You know, here in their home ballpark, on the road, you know, we're a wildcard team, we're gonna be on the road the whole way assuming we go forward. So we're gonna have to play well on the road and today we did. The White Sox are an excellent ballclub. They played very, very well today, and, you know, we were fortunate to come out on top. Our kids played very well, too.
Q. Was the play with Cameron the decisive play of the game, and that was why you essentially made the move to come out and speak to him?
LOU PINIELLA: No, not really. There were a lot of plays today that were decisive from our pitching, getting some key outs when we needed to, and then some clutch hitting by our baseball team. Edgar there in the tenth, Cameron in the seventh or eighth, whenever we tied it up. But I just wanted to talk to Cameron about something, and I really can't -- I can't speak any further. But anyway... That's all I have to say about that.
Q. Can you elaborate?
LOU PINIELLA: No, I can't. I really can't.
Q. In that situation you expected the White Sox to pitch out?
LOU PINIELLA: I didn't -- I didn't know if they'd pitch out or not. They do a nice job over there controlling that part of the game, and we're aware of it.
Q. You talked before the game about experience and a veteran ballclub playing on the road. How much did that factor into today, that you had a veteran ballclub?
LOU PINIELLA: Well, you know, there's no substitute for experience in this business, and basically we threw about everything we had at them. We pinch hit a few times, we pinch ran. We used all our roster, except for one player. Basically, I only had one pitcher left, and that was a youngster, Joel Pineiro. So we were fortunate to pull it out when we did. But experience, there's no substitute for experience in any sport.
Q. Can you talk about the decision to go to Mesa and the at-bat with Thomas?
LOU PINIELLA: Well, we feel very comfortable with Jose. He throws a ball hard, and we felt that bringing in Jose at that time to get their right-hand hitting out, it was the proper thing to do, and he got Ordonez. We went after Thomas, but he got behind them and we just put him on intentionally. He made a good pitch to Ordonez and got him out.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for John Olerud, Alex Rodriguez and Mike Cameron.
Q. John, first pitch were you just baffled after Edgar did that home run? Is that what you were looking for?
JOHN OLERUD: Yeah. Against Foulke, he's got a good changeup and I figured after Edgar hit the home run I was gonna sit on the fastball and be ready for it. Didn't want to get too deep in the count, with a good changeup that he has.
Q. Mike, what did Lou say to you when you were on first? Did you ever see a manager go out there? What did you think he was saying?
MIKE CAMERON: I really haven't seen that since Little League, but what he just told me, you know, "After you steal this bag, we're gonna have a couple drinks."
I can't tell you guys what we talked about out there. It's baseball - a secret that we have to keep under the sheets. (Laughter.)
THE MODERATOR: Have either of you ever seen that before, a manager coming out?
JOHN OLERUD: Not that I can think of.
Q. Alex, the inning that you got trapped off second and then John hit into the double play, it looked like a big inning was going. Were you worried that momentum had swung the other way for good at that time?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, I realized that momentum switched at that point. It was a situation we haven't really been in all year. It was my fault because about 30 seconds before the incident happened, Larry Bowa told me to be careful because Charles would get me. I said, "Yeah, I won't get picked off." Next thing you know, I was picked off. That was a huge momentum switch for them. It almost cost us the game, to be honest with you. But I'm glad we recovered after that.
Q. Mike, without revealing your company secret, do you feel that sequence, in any way, threw them off a little bit and set Edgar up any better or anything like that?
MIKE CAMERON: I really think so. I think they kind of tried to figure some things out. The most important thing was getting a good pitch I could run on, get out there and get in scoring position for Edgar. After I did that it was basically a matter of Edgar getting a good pitch to hit and he got a good one and he drilled it.
Q. To any of the guys up there, the importance of winning Game 1. Can you talk about that?
JOHN OLERUD: Well, I think being the visiting team, winning Game 1, I think in a five-game series anyway, to get the first one puts the pressure on the other team. It's a short series, and the first game, getting that first one under your belt, gives your team a lot of confidence and it also puts the pressure on the other team. Now they really need to win tomorrow because they don't want to be two down going to Seattle. So I think it will help us relax a little bit, and it puts the pressure on them.
Q. Question for Mike. I know it's been a long time since you played here, but is there any extra sense of satisfaction having been a key part of this game?
MIKE CAMERON: Not really, just the fact that we're in the playoffs, we beat Chicago, a team that I once played for. I just want to go out and play well just like anybody else. My job is to go out, play good centerfield, put the bat on the ball and help come up with some big hits. Today was a day I got an opportunity to do that and hopefully I can just continue to have some success in this series.
Q. Mike, when you saw Lou coming out to talk to you, did you think to yourself, "What the heck's going on?"
MIKE CAMERON: I don't know. That was the first time. I just kind of guess it was a moment of truth or whatever. I don't know what happened right there. It wasn't anything serious, anything like that. Lou trusts me on the bases - I've been very successful this year. It was a very big time for me to get in scoring position. He just wanted to sure things up, make sure that I was comfortable where I was. Basically, it worked, whatever he told me.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Mike. We'll let you run. Questions for Edgar or Alex?
Q. Alex on the double play in the sixth, first and third, what were you guys doing defensively? How were you told to play the middle and how big do you think that turned out to be?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, with a guy like Ray, it's very, very difficult to turn a double play. The only thing you're hoping for is either a popup or strikeout. He hit it hard, he hit it up the middle. I just dove and gave "Mac" (McLemore) a flip, he just made a great turn. I thought that was a big play in the game.
Q. Alex, were you concerned at any time during the game that you may have run your team out of an inning when you got thrown out at third?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, I thought at that point that was a very deflating moment for our team and very inflating for them. I felt they got a lot of momentum. The next pitch they got a double play, then they put some runs on the board. I feel guilty like I let my team down a little bit there. But I knew it was early enough so we could still recover.
Q. Alex, you guys have seen Edgar do this so many times in the past. When he does it, are you almost not even surprised anymore?
ALEX RODRIGUEZ: Well, I've been spoiled for seven years playing with this man. I feel like every time he comes up to the plate he's in scoring position, one; and, two, I feel like everybody can score if they're on base. He's just been incredible. He's taken this game to another level this year. It's amazing that he does that.
Q. Edgar, can you talk about, first of all, the stolen base, and then what Foulke, who's obviously one of the best relievers, what he threw you?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: I'll tell you, when he was at first base, I was looking for something that I could handle and maybe try to hit it hard in the air somewhere. But when he was on second, I tried then to make contact - make my swing a little bit shorter - and most of the time I make better swings. So by him being on second, I think I was able to wait more for the pitch, and make a better swing.
Q. Edgar, what were you thinking when you saw Lou run out to talk to Mike? What effect did it have?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: I think what I was thinking was probably he was telling him, "Hey, if you get a chance, just take it." I thought that when the count was 2-0, I was gonna try to hit the ball hard somewhere, but like I said, I think he was just telling him, "Hey, don't be afraid, just take the bag if you can."
Q. Is it an odd thing to see?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: Well, you know, in that situation, he cannot -- he kind of took me by surprise a little bit. (Laughing.)
THE MODERATOR: Alex, thanks. We'll let you go. Final questions for Edgar.
Q. Once first base was open, were you surprised that they didn't just put you on there?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: No, it didn't surprise me. I know John was behind me. He's a very good hitter and he can line the ball somewhere. He can drive in runs as well as anybody on the team. So I wasn't surprised when I have John behind me.
Q. Was it an off-speed pitch?
EDGAR MARTINEZ: Yes, it was a changeup, I believe.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Edgar.
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