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October 19, 2006

Willie Randolph


Q. In a similar ninth inning situation in Game 2, you brought Wagner on. Can you talk about the decision to put Aaron back out there for a second inning?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, I thought Aaron had a nice eighth inning. He was throwing the ball pretty well. With all the righties coming up, I thought we could get another inning with him and bring in Billy after that.

Q. Obviously on the losing end, it hurts. Do you feel like you were part of a great game tonight?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, no doubt about it. Pitchers' duels are special. They are all right when you are sitting there watching them. As a manager you see every pitch and every at-bat is obviously very important. It's just nice to be a part of a classic kind of game. We wish could have swung the bats a little bit better. We had opportunities at times to come through and that's what a pitching matchup is all about. Suppan did a great job and the relief pitchers came in, and I tip my hats to them.
I say congratulations to Tony La Russa and his ballclub and organization. They did a great job of fighting back in the series, and beating us. My hat goes off to them because they are a fine organization.

Q. Could you talk about Oliver Perez's game and what that means for him going forward as a Met?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: I'm real proud of Oliver. He did a tremendous job for us. He stepped up and, you know, just gave us more than we expected really, more than a quality start. He's grown, you're right. He's going to be a fine pitcher. He grew up a lot the time he was here with us and hopefully he'll be back. I'm just real proud of the way he stepped up for us. I had a feeling he would go out and compete the way he did, and he gave us a chance to win the game. He did a great job.

Q. Can you discuss the meeting on the mound before the at-bat with Rolen?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: I asked him how he felt really. I felt he had enough to go against Rolen. I liked the matchup with Rolen. He has a good, high fastball and I thought he pitched to him pretty well tonight. I pushed him to get another out and Chávy made a great play to jump up there and snatch it.

Q. You talked a lot about how much you enjoyed playing in the World Series, can you just share with us a little bit how disappointed you are now?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, I'm disappointed for our ballclub. I've been a part of this a lot of years. When you go out and bust it all year from Spring Training, you're disappointed, it's definitely disappointing. I'm real proud of my guys. I say it over and over and over again. Told them many times this year how much I appreciate their resolve and their attitude and the character of this club.
It stings right now, it's a good experience for all of us. I think it's a good experience for the young players to go through this type of drama. We fell short but I think it's going to be something we can all kind of learn and move on to and feel good about the fact that we've come a long way in a short time. But we've got a lot of work to do and we'll get to that next spring. Of course it's disappointing, but keep your head up and keep going. Told my players to be proud and keep their heads up and just feel good about what they have accomplished this year.

Q. You were such a great offensive team in the regular season, and you had maybe one, two break-out games in this series. Can you point your finger to anything why the offense went cold for the most part?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No, not really. I think you have to just tip your hat to the other club. They pitched real well. Suppan threw two really nice outings for them. We were able to beat Carpenter, he threw the ball well also. Overall you have to tip your hat to good pitching. Dave Duncan is a good pitching coach and obviously they had a nice game plan on some of our hitters and some of our big hitters had a tough time there for a while there. I don't really look at what guys didn't do what. It's a team situation. You win championships by collective effort by everyone. So I don't look at who was 0 for this or 0 for that or 10 for 20 for that matter. Bottom line, it's a team you play against and their team was a little bit better than us this time around.

Q. Looking back on the season now, you have this incredible regular season, but the last month, you lost some important guys who you probably would have counted on at this time of year. Can you describe if you feel that that was very unfortunate or how salvageable it is --
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No, you go with what you have. This team was successful this year because of the fact that we didn't really waste sleep over who was here or who we didn't have. We had a chance to go to the World Series and the guys stepped up and did a great job for us. Omar was challenged to go out and get guys to do the job and they did. You can't look back and be concerned or cry over things you can't control. We were good this year and a good ballclub. We are not going to look back now and make excuses or think about what we could have had. We had some gamers out there, guys that gave their heart and soul to the team and this organization. So we would have loved to have had a so-called full squad, but all teams go through injuries. We don't make excuses for that. We just go out and play and that makes it even sweeter that we were able to accomplish what we did with some of our key guys not feeling good.
Like I said, nobody is going to feel sorry for you and we don't make excuses over here.

End of FastScripts...

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