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October 2, 2006

Michael Cuddyear


Q. When do you think the accomplishment of the season will sink in for this team?
MICHAEL CUDDYER: Well, hopefully, it has. Hopefully, we understand what position we are in, because we got to get ready for Oakland now. I mean, it was fun, it was a great run for us, but now, you know, the second season is starting.

Q. Everybody, I think, was thinking Twins-Yankees, Twins-Yankees. How do you prevent against sort of that, okay, we don't have to go to New York letdown?
MICHAEL CUDDYER: I think everybody on the outside was thinking Twins-Yankees. Inside we were thinking Twins-White Sox. You know, I mean, we were worrying about the series that was at hand, you know, in the regular season.
And, you know, we knew everything else was going to unfold and take care of itself, and we just had to worry about what we had to do that night, so I don't think playing to Oakland has caught us by surprise. I don't think that we overlooked Oakland.
And I don't think we are going to overlook Oakland, because they are one of the best teams in the American League, as well.

Q. What makes them a unique challenge?
MICHAEL CUDDYER: You know what? More so than any other team, they are kind of mirrored like us. They have got a tight group of guys, great camaraderie, great chemistry, and they are built around pitching and defense.
So I think that's what makes them unique, and that's what makes the series intriguing is that you have got two teams that are kind of mirror images of each other.

Q. Tomorrow you will have two Cy Young winners pitching. First of all, how much confidence do you guys have when Johann goes to the mound at home?
MICHAEL CUDDYER: I think a team portrays the characteristics of their starting pitcher. And when Johann goes on the mound, he has so much confidence and exudes so much confidence that we kind of feed off that, and we go out there and portray that same confidence.
So when he is throwing, it's a huge boost for us, especially in this building, in the Metrodome, because he goes out there and dominates and we feel like he is going to go out there and dominate.
And as a team we try to take that characteristic as we play.

Q. You have had a lot of success at the plate in the playoffs. What is it that you have been able to do that some people -- the pressure gets to them. What have you been able to do?
MICHAEL CUDDYER: You know, it's extra baseball. It's fun. You don't know how many times in your career you are going to experience extra baseball. I have been fortunate, at least in the fourth out of five years, but that's how I treat it. I don't treat it as being pressure, I don't treat it as anything, because it's extra. You know, it's fun, it's exciting, it's a great atmosphere, and you just go out and play the game hard and you let everything else take care of itself.

End of FastScripts...

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