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October 6, 2006

Rich Harden


Q. Rich, what jumps out at you from the Twins lineup?
RICH HARDEN: I would say they have a lot of guys that can get things done in impressive situations. Like late in the game, there is always guys that are getting on base, putting pressure on you as a pitcher, and then you got the Morneau, Mauer and, you know, Cuddyer. Those guys coming up that who can hit a homerun at any time. It's a tough lineup to pitch against.

Q. How are you feeling after your two side sessions?
RICH HARDEN: I feel great. You know, I think it worked out good having an extra day to work on a few things and iron out some mechanical issues, and for me it's just getting that feel with the fastball and my release point and being able to locate that, and that's something I didn't have in my last game, and I am feeling good about now, confident.

Q. You know how it feels to be an injured pitcher. How do you feel about what Brad Radke's doing today?
RICH HARDEN: That just shows what kind of character he has, and it's not easy for a guy to go out there and do that, especially with the injuries he has got.
He's a competitor and it really is inspiring to see him go out there and do that.

Q. What effect does that have on his team?
RICH HARDEN: I think that's -- your team -- it probably gives you a little motivation seeing a guy like that go out there, and he can put it all on the line for you, being injured and everything. And I think that's something that would motivate you a little bit.

Q. Could you tell us a little bit about how well you know Morneau and going back?
RICH HARDEN: I grew up in Victoria. He grew up in, I think it was New Windsor, Vancouver, and we played against each other back in high school.
Actually, I wasn't a pitcher, I was a center fielder so I didn't really pitch to him, but yeah, just watching him play, back then, the type of power that he had, it was impressive. And I got a chance to play with him for CNB for the summer and it really was a good opportunity.

Q. Have you had a chance to talk to him during the series?
RICH HARDEN: Everything has been so busy, so crazy, I haven't had time to talk to him.

Q. Rich, because of the injuries that you have had this year, what's it been like being a fan this year and having to watch?
RICH HARDEN: I mean, it's been very frustrating, not being able to go out there and be a part of this team on the field, but yeah, basically, I am a big fan of these guys. I sat through the whole season and in the dugout, best seat in the house, and was able to watch what these guys have done and I have seen some pretty amazing things.
At any given time certain guys are stepping up and getting things done. It's not just one guy that's done it for us, it's everybody. I think being able to witness that, you know, down there, it's been pretty exciting, it's been very exciting.

Q. What's the difference being in post-season now compared to when you were younger?
RICH HARDEN: Yeah, in '03 it was my first year up in the big leagues, so there was definitely more nerves involved. I was new to the big leagues, and coming into the playoffs, and coming out of the pen was something I wasn't used to, it was pretty exciting, so now I am a little more calm and I have been around a few years, and I can just go out there and prepare and get the job done. It's still real exciting.

End of FastScripts...

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