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October 3, 2006

Willie Randolph


WILLIE RANDOLPH: Wow, lot of folks in here.
Before we get I guess into everything. I have some news: El Duque was jogging in the outfield getting loose, preparation, he felt something in his calf. We pulled him off the field. He's going to go and get an MRI. We hope it's maybe just a cramp, but they said he felt something, he was upset about it. So we're gonna get him checked out.
Obviously, we're up in the air on who's our starter tomorrow. We have some options obviously, but we'll wait and see how he feels first and then we'll make a decision on that.

Q. Unnerving news to get at this time?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Oh, yeah. Well, it's not great news, that's for sure. We'll wait and see what happens first. We'll just take first things first and regroup and see where we are.
But, yeah, he was very upset.

Q. Which calf was this?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Right calf. Hopefully it's just something mild.
Having said that, we still have to see how severe it might be, and that might impact whether he's going to pitch tomorrow. It doesn't mean he wouldn't be on the roster per se. Like I say, we'll just take first things first.

Q. Can we exclude Glavine since he pitched Saturday?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, we can't exclude anybody because I haven't talked to Glavine about it yesterday. Yeah, he'll be coming back on short rest. We have other options, too. I haven't talked to him so I'm not gonna really comment on that.

Q. What's your sense of this, this on top of Pedro, on top of everything else?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: It's life. It's the way it goes. I been around the game a long time. Things happen. You know, you have a team of 25 guys who have, you know, not really focused too much on who's on the field but rallying around each other and playing the game. So we've had our share of injuries this year. You've been here all year, Marty, you know that. That's not going to affect the total group of guys. We've done a great job this year of picking each other up. We'll continue to do that.

Q. Two-part question. What will go into that decision whether El Duque can start? And, secondly, what's the time line? At a certain point do you have to pull the plug and say, We have to go with another option?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Again, first, we'll wait and see how he feels first. Then we have until 10 o'clock tomorrow to set our roster. We'll know for sure what we're gonna do then, set the roster and see where we are.

Q. Is Trachsel an option at this point? Will he be back in time?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: He's supposed to be coming in this evening. I don't think he's an option for tomorrow, no, that's safe to say. He still might be on our roster.

Q. Just realistically, besides a guy like Glavine coming back on short rest, if Trachsel is not an option, are you looking at Maine as the other guy?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: I said we'll check all our options and we'll get together as a staff, an organization, and decide who that is. We have some options, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow, you know.

Q. Obviously, moving away from that even though that obviously is the biggest news of the day, postseason for you, old hat with a new twist, though. How different is this for you? This is your team now.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: It feels very much the same, very similar in a lot of ways. Obviously, you know, manager of the team, that feels real good. But, you know, as a coach with the Yankees for years, my preparation has always been the same, you know. A lot more responsibility of course in getting ready for it. I feel real comfortable, I feel real good. I'm happy to be here. This is a great opportunity to do something special here, and we're ready to go. We're ready to do it. Feel great.

Q. What's Cliff's health? Is he capable of starting tomorrow? And Delgado will be fine, too?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yes, he's playing tomorrow leftfield, yep.

Q. Are you ready to give a starting lineup?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, I told the players already: Jose leading off, Lo Duca, Beltran, Delgado, Wright, Floyd, Green, Valentin.

Q. Do you know if Trachsel has been throwing at all through his absence?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: I don't think so. No, I don't believe he has.

Q. Have you decided yet if you're gonna go ahead and keep the three catchers, the two extra catchers?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Haven't decided yet. All decisions on our roster will be made tomorrow and obviously we'll get them in tomorrow before 10 o'clock. I haven't made any decisions yet on the final roster.

Q. Of all the times that you spent under Joe Torre as a coach, bench coach, third base coach, is there one thing you learned from him being in that position?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Not necessarily one particular thing. I've drawn from a lot of coaches and managers I've been around. Nothing in particular. Just my experience, being in the game, things that you kind of draw back on. But not one thing in particular.

Q. Of all the postseasons you have been in, as a player, coach or manager, have you encountered any situation that you can relate to this where you have one and possibly two of your starting pitchers injured?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No, I don't -- I was trying to think about that earlier. Things happen sometimes, and, you know, it's easy to kind of feel sorry for yourself but I have not allowed myself to do that. No, I don't really believe there's -- in the last week and a half, anything quite like this.
We've had our injuries all year. Even now, guys are banged up here and there. That's always in your mind. But I can't say that I've experienced anything like this before, even as a coach or a player. But it is what it is.
We're in the playoffs, man. I still feel real good about next month or so, so it's a little bit strange, a little bit different. But you have to react and actually adjust as you go. We're gonna do that, and we'll be fine.

Q. Did you see exactly what happened to El Duque?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No he was already inside when the trainers told me to come inside and see him. I didn't see anything happen.

Q. Did you go and see him afterwards? Could you describe his reaction? Was he angry, upset?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: He was a little upset, obviously. He's a little upset, disappointed. Like I said, I told him just to relax, we'll get him checked out, and then we'll go from there. He said, again, the doctors said it could just be a little cramp. Hopefully that's what it is. It could be worse.

Q. Could he walk?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, he was fine. Took a shower, got out of the shower, just talking, walking around. He's okay.

Q. With all the postseason experience you had with the Dodgers as a player, what are some of the emotions or memories as you look across and see LA on the other side?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: We played LA a lot in the mid '70s and, you know, we won back-to-back championships against them. The thing I remember the most is that we lost to them in '81 after being up 2-0, so that's still something that still bothers me a little bit.
But, you know, for years we had great battles with those guys, you know, over the years. They're a great organization. They have an outstanding ballclub this year. They're gonna be a big challenge for us. We're looking forward to that.

End of FastScripts...

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