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October 18, 2009

Johnny Damon

Nick Swisher


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Johnny and Nick.

Q. You've been in the postseason so many times over this last decade. What has made Andy Pettitte one of the great postseason pitchers of this era?
JOHNNY DAMON: Well, first off, he's been to the postseason quite a bit, and he's learned from experience. He's a veteran through all these years. He knows when to go after guys. He knows when to not give in.
But seeing Andy pitch all year, he's been amazing. I mean, this guy looks like he still has another three or four years left in him. I mean, I'm very proud of him, because I know he worked very hard to get back to this dominating form.
Andy knows exactly what to do. He's always going to keep you in the ballgame. He's going to keep it close so you always have that chance to win.

Q. There's been so much talk about where Alex is sort of mentally. But I was wondering what you guys think of what he's just done from a baseball standpoint and just how physically good he's looked in the playoffs here?
THE MODERATOR: Johnny, you've got to take this one.
JOHNNY DAMON: Okay, I've got it. Alex is the, you know, when you think of Alex Rodriguez, you know, from a few years out and still even until today, you think of one of the greatest players who has ever put on the uniform. His only downfall in his career so far has been he hasn't won a championship. He has had success in the postseason before, but, you know, the past couple have not been so great for him.
Pitchers could be pitching around him or whatnot, but I think he understands that more now. He understands that they're not going to go after him. He knows Matsui is waiting right behind him. Waiting to do some damage. Then Posada, then Swish, then Cano.
So we have a lineup that can beat you anywhere. You know, especially with the emergence of Melky Cabrera. He's been amazing for us the past couple of years. He's learning how to play this game more. But I think Alex is at that comfort zone that, you know, he feels like he's a big part of our team, and that's great. I hope he continues to keep swinging the bat like he's been doing so far.

Q. Following up on the theme of Alex. It seems like in the past few years in the postseason because he had not done well, there was an expectation among the crowd that he would fail. And clearly that has changed this year. I wonder if that's changed among the players as well? If there is that excitement that the crowd shares when he comes up to bat in a clutch situation in the playoffs now?
JOHNNY DAMON: Well, you know, you can definitely feel the crowd is behind him. Especially with the big homers he's hit for us so far. I mean, he possibly could have saved us three games.
But everybody has always looked at Alex as, you know, making that big contract. So he should hit a home run every time up there. I think Alex probably thought that of himself before. He should always perform. But we tend to forget how tough this game is sometimes.
But Alex, he's a different breed. I mean, he still goes on out. He still works harder than anybody. He still tries to master the swing. That to me, I don't think a swing could ever be mastered, because you have that guy 60' 6" away from you to try to mess you up.
But I think Alex is in a very good place. I think we're going to see more big things from him this postseason.
THE MODERATOR: Nick do you have anything to add?
NICK SWISHER: I think Johnny hit it perfect.
JOHNNY DAMON: Thanks, Nick.

Q. Nick, can you just kind of talk about the importance of bringing a 2-0 series lead into Angels Stadium which has been a tough place for the opposition, not just you guys over the years, but just in general has been a tough place to play the last few years?
NICK SWISHER: I think generally we feel good about it. There's no doubt about that. But the great thing about this thing is we take every day one day at a time. We take everything for today and get ready for tomorrow. It's been a great run for us so far. And it's nothing we want to stop.

Q. For both of you, obviously your pitchers have done a really good job so far of limiting what the Angels could do offensively. But now they're at their ballpark and they're trying to get themselves back in the series. Do you two specifically, because of the position you play, feel a little bit of pressure on what they're trying to do and how they try to attack, you know, given what they try to do to take extra bases on you guys?
JOHNNY DAMON: I think we did a pretty good job at our ballpark in those conditions. The conditions are definitely going to be a little bit more favorable for both teams to actually try to perform a bit better. The bones won't be aching as much and the body won't be able -- will be able to move around a little bit quicker.
We understand their game, and we also understand our game that we have to put the pressure on them. I mean, they're a team that has always forced the issue. And our past couple of games and especially the past couple of games there in the when we faced them, we did put some pressure on them and we were able to make mistake.
So we understand our game plan. And I don't think we should change it. As long as our pitching keeps throwing like they are, hopefully we can keep catching the ball behind them.

NICK SWISHER: Keep doing what we're doing all season long, you know, and it will be a blast for us.

Q. Along those lines about playing great baseball, you guys are on obviously quite a roll now. Is 2004 an example of how quickly momentum can change in a short series?
JOHNNY DAMON: Yeah, it definitely can change. When I was a part of that series in 2004, we just got clobbered the night before. You know, so when I was on that team we had a no-fear type of attitude, so we just went out and played. And we happen to have played well. And we actually happened to come back well.
So I think momentum can definitely change. You're never satisfied with a series unless you win it. So, yeah, we're happy now. We're up 2-0 on. But we'd like to make it 3-0, and hopefully 4-0.
You're never satisfied until we can pop some more champagne.
THE MODERATOR: Johnny, Nick, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

End of FastScripts

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