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October 6, 2000

Darryl Hamilton


Q. Last night's game, did it feel like old times? Did last night's game feel like last year?

DARRYL HAMILTON: Yeah, it was pretty incredible. That was the first playoff games in Pac Bell Park and it was pretty intense the way the fans were screaming the whole game with the towels and all. It reminded me of Game 5 last year against Atlanta.

Q. Can you talk about the mindset of the team after a big win last night?

DARRYL HAMILTON: Only it changed over from the bottom of the ninth to the top of the 10th. I think that would have been one of the toughest loses, if that would have happened that I've ever been involved with. The fact that we were up three runs, to lose it in the ninth, but to come back, I think our mind set obviously changed and we felt very positive after the game was over. Obviously, we feel pretty good to come back here to Shea with two more games left.

Q. How good is it to be back, having a good September and contributing?

DARRYL HAMILTON: It feels very good. I think this is the reason why I worked so hard in rehab to come back, because I felt we had a good chance to win on this team. You never want to watch opponents on the sideline and see other guys celebrating. You want to be a part of that. This is the one things that kept me going. There was some tough times involved, but I think my mindset was to find a way to get back on this team and help the team win. I'm willing enough to be in the situation I'm in now. So the questions about the lineup and all that stuff doesn't faze me at this point because I'll just happy to be in the situation that I'm in right now.

Q. Can you talk about what Timo has brought to this team and what you've observed about his demeanor or temperament?

DARRYL HAMILTON: He's obviously brought a little sparkplug to our ballclub which is something I think we were lacking the last few weeks of the season. I was lucky enough to see him when I was down in rehab in AAA Norfolk. So I know what he's capable of doing. So this wasn't a surprise to me. When I came back here a couple of reporters had asked me about him and I said, and I don't know the guys that were in here when I said that, but I thought he thought he had the capability of being a five-tool player. He's got good speed, good defense, good arm, and he can hit for average. Now I know saying it now, after last night's game may feel like I'm kind of getting over a little bit, because of the game that he had last night, but you look at the numbers of what he did in Norfolk and the way he's handled himself up here is pretty incredible.

Q. What about his demeanor? People say he plays without fear.

DARRYL HAMILTON: I think after playing in Japan, he doesn't have any fear going out there and playing. He's very positive when he goes out there. He knows that he's a good ballplayer, and I don't look at that as being cocky; I look at it as being confident. He knows that when he goes out there that he can make something happen and that he can help this ballclub win. And any time you have a guy at the top of the order that feels that way, it makes you feel a lot stronger.

Q. You worked in San Francisco and it is obviously a big change from Candlestick to Pac Bell. Are you surprised at the way the enthusiasm is there now?

DARRYL HAMILTON: Not really. Actually it was like that in the playoff series in 1997 with the Marlins. Although it was only one game and Candlestick was so different because it was so big, you could fit 60,000 fans in there. Most of the time there was only 15,000 or 20,000. But during the playoffs, the fans really get behind you. That ranks up there with the Metrodome as the loudest ballpark. When they were waving the towels and doing all the screaming, it was pretty incredible. I was so glad that we got a split out of there, because the way they play at home, you can understand why, because the fans are behind them, they give them 110 percent and they have got to enjoy playing there.

Q. Can you take us through the at-bat last night?

DARRYL HAMILTON: Well, Bobby had told me once the three-run homer went up to be ready to hit third in the lineup. So I went down to the cage and started hitting some balls on the tee; so I was getting prepared. The one thing I wanted to do was not get behind in the count like the day before when he struck me out so. My main objective was to go out there and swing the bat. The first pitch I swung and fouled off, but I took a good swing at it, and I felt pretty good about that, by not letting anything get by me. Then he threw me a changeup, he left it up a little bit, probably wasn't a strike, but it was a good pitch for me to swing and put the bat on the ball. And just lucky that it fell in. And again, when I'm aggressive like that, pitches that are borderline, usually I swing it, and just lucky that it fell in and we got the guy on second base.

Q. Was your foot complaining on that run around the bases?

DARRYL HAMILTON: I think obviously that bothered me when I was running. And I think a reporter asked me the day before when I came out for Derek -- I didn't get a chance to stretch or do anything. In a situation like that when the fans are screaming and intensity is out there, you don't need a lot to get you up. When I got out there and hit the ball, I was happy, first of all, to get the hit. But the way the fans and the adrenaline was flowing and all that, I wasn't thinking anything about the foot. I was trying my best to get on second base and get us in scoring position, where we had a chance to score a run with two outs.

Q. Can the noise have an intimidating effect, even on professionals?

DARRYL HAMILTON: It can. I mean, the one thing you have to do is try to block it out. The good thing about last night's game was that, you know, I was so into that at-bat and focusing on trying to get on base that I heard them, but I didn't. I mean, I heard a little bit of the "Darryl" chant going, which I was a little surprised in San Francisco, but I tried to block it out and not let it affect me and just focus on what I was trying to do; and that's get on base and give us a chance to win.

Q. Are you surprised that Bobby utilized you in that role?

DARRYL HAMILTON: No. We've been doing that the last month of the season. I think Benny (Agbayani) usually comes out of the game in the seventh or eighth inning for defensive purposes. But any chance we go into extra innings or so, usually I'm coming off the bench and hitting in that situation. So it didn't surprise me at all.

Q. You've talked about yourself playing whatever role you can at this point. Can you talk about also John Franco coming in, I guess, in a role that people don't really expect?

DARRYL HAMILTON: It's obviously something different from what he's done in the past. John has always been the closer, and, he's basically pushed that aside for the team to try to help us win. And for him to be back in that role again last night was something I'm sure that is a little different for him but something that he truly enjoys. I think you have to leave your pride at the door in a situation like that, because we have got a lot of guys who can play, a lot of guys who on other ballclubs would be starting or closing or whatever. But we're on the New York Mets ballclub and we've got a lot of good players here. So you've got to push that to the side and worry about the main goal, and that's trying to get to the World Championship. I think John has done that better than anybody on this ballclub. It was good to see him out there in that situation. I was listening to the radio on the way in and that maybe they thought it was a ball, but I thought it was a good pitch. Any time you get a good pitch in a situation like that with a hitter like Bonds, you deserve to get that out.

End of FastScripts....

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