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October 21, 2009

A.J. Burnett


THE MODERATOR: Questions for A.J. Burnett.

Q. You've obviously had some great success in the postseason. Have you noticed any difference in the preparation and the approach of the regular season?
A.J. BURNETT: Tremendously, focus has been a lot more intense, you know. I mean, you tell yourself throughout the season, every pitch counts and throw every pitch with conviction, but for some reason in the postseason you focus and make sure a little more.

Q. You've been telling us all year you've been waiting for this opportunity in the postseason. Is it going to be a little hard to channel that energy knowing that you have a chance to pitch in the World Series?
A.J. BURNETT: No, I think I'll be able to channel that. I think I would be a little more amped if I was at home right now. But being here and going up against this team in their house, it's a little different scenario. So it will be a little easier for me to channel that.

Q. When you were going last winter, looking at where you were going to end up, is this the situation you sort of imagined? You were thinking Yankees are where I want to be?
A.J. BURNETT: Yeah, this is why I signed. The opportunity to pitch in the postseason, you know. I have the opportunity, and the first year over here I have an opportunity, so I'm taking full advantage of it. I cannot wait until tomorrow.
I'm excited, and looking forward to it 100%.

Q. Wherever you have played, you've obviously had talented teammates in the Major Leagues, that the definition of the Major Leagues. In this clubhouse when you look around at the talent on your team, how do you react to that seeing so many good players brought in here?
A.J. BURNETT: It's like every day you're looking to somebody to your right or left and saying do you believe this guy? I mean, have you ever seen a guy like this guy? That's a handful of guys on this team.
I've played with some good players, but, you know, it's like the guys on this squad when the stage gets bigger and the situation gets bigger, they perform better. It never ceases to amaze me what can happen.

Q. Anybody surprise you with their talent?
A.J. BURNETT: No, not really. I mean, it's just the plays you get to watch it from the dugout. Not be against them and hear about it and not be a part of it. But to witness some of the stuff I've seen this year has been a pleasure.

Q. Following up on that last question, A.J. you look to your left, you look to your right. Is it almost you imagine you're on a different team when you look at the Yankees, is it almost not fair?
A.J. BURNETT: No, I can't say that because it's the big leagues. Everybody's good. But everybody's a future Hall of Famer it seems like. Jeter's always in the right spot, he's always making his plays defensively, Alex doing what he does, and CC doing what he does. It's just been that way all year. It's been somebody new all year. It's been the whole team. It never stops.
Like I said, you're looking around going and you can't believe some of the stuff that you're witnessing.

Q. This was all new to you three weeks ago what have you learned about the postseason that maybe you didn't know before?
A.J. BURNETT: I guess just how crazy it is in general, you know, in New York especially. Pitching on the mound there with the team -- I mean with the fans there and situations when they get on their feet how loud it can be, and how crazy it can be. This is my first road game, so I'm looking forward to that. But I think the biggest thing is just the experience of New York and what it offers during the postseason.

Q. Can you describe what the lead that CC has set for you this whole year? Is there anyway to describe what he's done for you personally?
A.J. BURNETT: It seems like every time I'm asked that question I say inspiring, and that's the truth. It seems like every night he throws I give him a hug and say, man, you just inspired me to go tomorrow. And it seems that every night he does that. That's who he is. He's a horse. You know, he throws eight innings every time out. And he sets the tone. We talked about it when we signed him, about being able to throw back-to-back, and it's been an honor. It's been a pleasure. It makes you go harder.

Q. Did the conditions have any effect in New York the last time you pitched. Anything with gripping the ball, how happy you were not to have to worry about that this time?
A.J. BURNETT: No, it was fine gripping the ball. I mean some weren't close because sometimes I don't throw in that situation. But it was fine. I look forward to the weather pitching down here and breaking a good sweat, for sure.

Q. Whether it's the rally monkey or whatnot, there is some effect in this stadium, he we saw it the other night that monkey came out and Joba gave up a triple. Can you talk about pitching at Yankee Stadium with that crowd? How do you keep your head together on the mound when this play starts going wild? Are there any techniques that you practiced?
A.J. BURNETT: I haven't been on the mound yet when it's gone this wild. So I'm sure it's just a matter of breathing, you know. That's one thing that (inaudible) told me to do no matter where I'm at. Just breathe.
I don't know, I'll witness it tomorrow. And seeing CC and how he handled it, it's just one pitch at a time no matter where you're at. But it's obviously tough to play here. Especially the way they play here.

Q. If you had to pitch to Alex Rodriguez right now, how would you approach it?
A.J. BURNETT: (Laughing). How would I approach him? I'd attack him. But that's just me. I mean, he's locked in, man. He's just seems like he's swinging for the fences every time up. And that's what he should do, I think. I would see how many balls I can hit out of him, how many saves I can get out of him. But he's relaxed and he's in a good state right now. He's having fun. He's like a little kid playing the game out there, and it's showing, man.

Q. You talked about the rhythm that you and Molina have. Last game he's come off the mound a lot. It seems like that breaks the rhythm. What's going on there, that whole dynamic? What are you guys accomplishing?
A.J. BURNETT: Maybe pitch selection, you know. What do you think right here? This is what I've got, what do you think? It happened a couple of times the other night. But I'd rather do that than not be sure.
You know, or throw a pitch that, you know, maybe I don't want to throw and then go through that again. So I've learned to call him out, whoever is back there and make sure this is what we want to do.
I guess it's more intense, and every pitch means more in the postseason. So just making sure.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts

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