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October 26, 2011

Joe Torre

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Game Six (Postponed)

Q. How much did what happened in 2008 and the clinching game in Philadelphia have to do with this decision to postpone this game?
JOE TORRE: I wasn't around. I was around in 2008, but I had nothing to do with it. I think the point that -- it's more just weather-related and where we are in the World Series I think was more of a decision-maker because that rained pretty hard if I remember in 2008, and I don't think they're expecting rain to be that heavy here. Every forecast we've had probably for the last three days or so, and we get them hourly now, is calling for precipitation during the game. You get to Game 6 of the World Series, and you want to guard -- as long as you have a forecast that we're expecting clear weather tomorrow, and if necessary the next day, I think that was more of a decision-maker than anything else, just the fact that we're anticipating rain during the game.

Q. Who's involved in the process of calling this game today?
JOE TORRE: Well, Peter Woodfork and myself, and of course the Commissioner, you always talk to the Commissioner, and you know, it was basically a conversation about, do you want to play in rain? And I think everybody pretty much was in agreement with the fact that because of all the forecasting, because it's not raining out there now, we know that, but the fact that we just didn't want to take a chance. You know, we anticipate it's going to rain. If it doesn't rain, you still make the decision on what you knew.

Q. Being a former player and a former manager yourself, did you use a lot of that experience to think, hey, I remember one time I played in the rain and it really wasn't fair? Because it seems a lot of times they try to go forward with these, and it's tough for the players.
JOE TORRE: It is tough, and this town is one of the toughest as far as trying to figure out the weather. That's from my playing days and my managing days. But I managed the club, and Rick Hummel was quick to remind me, that I managed the team that lost to the Cardinals back in '82, and we had rain in the fifth inning, and the game was stopped. And I understood it because we had a meeting with the umpires before that game, and they said, we want to play nine innings. Even though I was managing a team that was leading 1-0 in the fifth inning, I understood. I mean, sure, you wanted to keep playing, but we stopped the game in the fifth inning before it was an official game. If you had the rules today, they probably would have played a little bit longer and then if it needed to be stopped you would stop it and pick it up.
But I've always felt that when you get to postseason, those games need to be played to conclusion. And as a manager, the last thing you want to do is get on the field and then all of a sudden if you have to pull the tarp and now your starter sits down and gets up -- we had a couple of experiences earlier this fall with some of those things. That's never fun. It really isn't any fun for managers because you're going to wind up having pitchers be unavailable for you.
And again, if the forecast wasn't good for tomorrow and Friday, then the chances are we'd probably wait a little longer.

Q. Was one of the deciding factors that this is a possible deciding game? I mean, if this were Game 1 or Game 2 would the decision possibly have been different?
JOE TORRE: Yeah, well, that makes it easier for me as far as giving my opinion is the fact that here we are, we're at Game 6. Earlier in the series, you know, then you're all of a sudden -- you can still make it but you lose your off-day. That happened to me in '96. We got rained out the first game of the World Series and we didn't have an off-day between 2 and 3. So earlier I think you have more to deal with as far as scheduling than you do at this point. So it was probably less complicated now to do it.

Q. Do you guys have advisors on the National Weather Service, and did they give you any indication that the forecast was looking a little better than, say, it did 12 hours ago? Is the rain apparently not going to be as heavy here as originally thought?
JOE TORRE: Yes. Every hour we get reports. We conferred with both local and national, and the one we had -- the one I looked at, I think it was the 1:00 forecast, it went from high to moderate as far as the rain. So yeah, we knew that. And again, we checked with the local forecast, too. They all were consistent in saying there was going to be rain during the game. Maybe not enough to stop it, but maybe enough to stop it. And that was enough to just make this decision.

Q. Was there any discussion or concern about the game you postponed in Arlington against the Tigers and then it didn't rain as it pertains to this postponement?
JOE TORRE: Well, again, we called that one early in the afternoon, too. We called that one at 2:00. And a lot of it is -- I know it's St. Louis, and of course in Arlington fans come from a long distance away to come to the ballpark and you want to give them as much advance notice as you can. But that was weird, because even the night we played where we did get rain, it was sort of over here (indicating), you know, and it rained a little bit. It rained everywhere else but at the ballpark, I think, on Game 2. But that decision was made, again, on what we have as far as the forecast.
And the reason we went ahead with Game 1 in that Championship Series is the fact that, you know, we were basically looking at a worse forecast for Game 2, so we went ahead and pushed through on Game 1.

Q. You kind of partially addressed this in the previous response, but why would you do this this many hours before the game? Is it strictly because of fans and their travel, or are there other factors, as well?
JOE TORRE: No, just basically for convenience. Because of the forecast there was no reason to wait any longer, and the earlier we can do it, the more people can change plans and do what they need to do, and including the players and managers, too.

Q. I'm curious if teams are consulted on this in any way, and do you worry about agendas from those who might give you input on it?
JOE TORRE: Good question. In fact, yesterday I talked to both Wash and Tony that if the forecast didn't get measurably better that we were probably going to call it early, and they were both understanding of it. They didn't offer any kind of strategy fight on it. It was just okay. And then I called them again after we decided that we were going to do that.

Q. You mentioned before this happened a couple times already this fall. With the Verlander games where he got his starts interrupted, were those discussed? And maybe the pitchers at the start of the game were able to pitch through it?
JOE TORRE: Yeah, we were lucky in Texas with Verlander because he really -- it really didn't rain until he had pitched four innings or five innings, whatever. I think it was four innings.
But again, you have a little more of an issue because that particular day you had a bad forecast where the next day it was supposed to be worse than that day, so that's why we tried to push through on that one. That or Game 6, again, the deciding game, you certainly want to, as long as you can, make it possible to be as dry as you can possibly get it, because you really don't want to play in the rain. You do, and we certainly have done that over the course of the year, and that wasn't a lot of fun for me this year for my new job and having to sit and talk to general managers and managers during the course of that stuff, but I think this was a much easier call.

Q. Fully understanding that no one actually knows what the weather will do and baseball officials will probably get criticized one way or the other, but going forward what does this mean for future postseasons, particularly next year in November, if baseball starts cancelling games before it actually does start raining?
JOE TORRE: Well, I think a lot of it depends on what circumstances. I mean, we're not going to start Division Series and start cancelling games. I think where we are in the World Series and the fact that we have a good forecast for the next two days and the fact -- more importantly than anything else, you want to play a complete game, whether it's nine innings, ten innings, whatever it is. We know the rules during the course of a year, five innings official, and boom, and that's basically up until a few years ago. That's the rule we had for the World Series, even though you didn't want it to be that way. So that new rule was created.
But anytime we're going to get a chance with circumstances pretty much cooperating, we're going to do what we can to give both teams a chance to play in good weather.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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