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October 7, 2009

Derek Jeter


Twins – 2
Yankees - 7

THE MODERATOR: First question for Derek Jeter.

Q. Derek, you guys talked about not knowing what this stadium was going to feel like in the playoff game. How much did it feel like the old place? Especially once you guys took the lead?
DEREK JETER: It felt just like the old place.
I don't think it makes a difference with the venue. It's all about our fans. We have the same fans whether we're here or across the street.

Q. Derek, you have a history of post-season success. But how important was it tonight to put an end to all that A-Rod and CC struggling in October talk?
DEREK JETER: We don't listen to it. So if somebody said that, I don't think too many people were talking about it in the clubhouse or reading it. We wanted to come out here and we wanted to play well as a group. We did a lot of good things today. Our pitching staff starting with CC, our bullpen was good. Mo closed it out. We swung the bats well. We hit a couple of home runs. We couldn't have drawn it up any better for us. But we're not paying attention to one particular person on this team. It's a group effort.

Q. Derek, you always say the best teams make the playoffs, the hottest team wins it. Considering it was the hottest team came in, how important was it to get the first win against them?
DEREK JETER: It was big for us. Especially when you're playing a five-game series. Every game is important. You want to come out here, you want to play well, you want to sort of set the tone. The thing is we have tomorrow off. Then we come out here on Friday. Minnesota has a great team. I'm sure they're going to bounce back and be ready for us on Friday. So we have to come out with the same intensity level we did today and hopefully find a way to way to win Game 2.

Q. How important was it to get the two runs back in the bottom of the third inning after Minnesota scored two in the top of the third with your home run?
DEREK JETER: It's always important. CC pitched outstanding. You like to score early and give them the lead. They scored those couple of runs there. It's always big when a team scores to try to come back and match what they did. It was an important inning for us. And we were able to tack on some runs after that. But you never want to fall behind. I know we've had a lot of success here at the stadium when we've fallen behind.
Ideally you like to get out and score first.

Q. Derek, you've seen and heard Joba be part of the big debate all year. When he's added to that bullpen mix, he does what he does and you got Hughes and obviously Mariano, what does that do for your team?
DEREK JETER: We have a lot of confidence in all our pitches. I know Joba has been starting all year. But it's not unfamiliar for him to come out of the bullpen. I think he knows how to get ready and what to do when he comes in. He pitched well the last game there in Tampa. He pitched well again tonight. But it just adds another weapon for us in the bullpen. We've got guys -- today we used a lot of people that did the job. And that's how you win games. Starters aren't always going to go eight or nine innings. You need contributions from the bullpen. And we got that.

Q. Derek, when you're circling the bases there, can you sense the jolt of energy that I think everybody else sensed after...
DEREK JETER: Yeah, because we fell behind. Any time you're able to score some quick runs -- my job is always to try to get on base before the other guys and score some runs. But anytime you can get two that quick, yeah, that woke up the stadium a little bit.

Q. You mentioned yesterday how you try to treat post-season games just like a regular season game, prepare the same way. Has that always been easy for to you do?
DEREK JETER: I don't know if you want to say easy. I think this is the fun time of the year. It's not taking anything away from the regular season. But this is when you like to play as a player. You like to play in the playoffs, in big games. Doesn't mean you're always going to be successful. But you try to treat it like any other game, which can be difficult at times.
But no matter how you look at it, baseball is baseball, whether it's spring training or the World Series. You try to simplify things and slow the game down a little bit. I've been fortunate to play in a lot of playoff games. So I think the more you play in these games, the more comfortable you are.

Q. I think you just answered this. What about the post-season brings out the best in you?
DEREK JETER: I don't know. I guess I did answer it. I don't know what else to say. I mean, it doesn't -- just because -- I failed a lot as well, you know. You've had success. Sometimes you're going to fail. What you try to do is when you're in those situations you think of the times you had success. I don't think you can be afraid to fail. But you just try to have fun. That's all I try to do is have fun. Because we're playing a game.

Q. Alex acknowledged that the numbers were bad for him coming into this. Can you sense something different with him coming into this post-season that hasn't been there in the past ones?
DEREK JETER: No. I mean, sometimes you're going to swing the ball well and you're not going to get hits. He seemed like he looked pretty comfortable all year. When he came back, he seemed like he got better and better as the season went on. Played well the last game, carried that over into today. But I think a lot of times people read a little too much into final statistics. All you can do is go up there and swing the bat. Hopefully hit the ball hard. You can't really guide it. He had a big game today. Expect him to continue it.

Q. Derek, how good did CC look to you today? And also, when you guys pulled him out of the game, all the infielders got together in the mound. What was that moment like down there?
DEREK JETER: CC has been pretty consistent the entire year. He's a guy, even when he gets in trouble, he's capable of getting a big strikeout, get out of jams. We have a lot of confidence when he's on the mound. He pitched another great game for us today. Exactly what we needed him to do. And wanted to score some runs because if you -- we feel as though if you score a few runs, we're going to be in pretty good shape. It's not always the case. But that's how we feel. And he got a great ovation from the fans. And a great ovation from us on the mound as well.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Derek. That concludes the interviews for tonight.

End of FastScripts

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