CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Joe Torre pregame interview

Joe Torre pregame interview

When you found out Lackey is starting, how does that change the preparation in the lineup or what goes through your players' minds?

JOE TORRE: I don't know what goes through my players' minds. I don't poll them on that. When you're at this point in the season, just whatever happens, happens and it's all about what we do.

As far as I'm not sure it changed anything because I certainly am aware, I didn't know that Washburn was sick, but I certainly felt that there was a chance that he could switch. And it really didn't impact anything. We made some decisions on the lineup, we decided to put Crosby in the outfield, basically to give us a little more defense in centerfield. You know, the field is in great shape. If it had not have rained it would have been just a touch dryer, but it's not a hindrance out there. We just felt we wanted to go that way.

I know the focus obviously is on winning tonight, but one of the side bars that's out there is Bernie Williams and the fact that this could be his last game as a Yankee, have you thought about that at all?

TORRE: No, because we don't want it to be his last game as a Yankee.

You know, we've kidded, just about everybody on this ballclub has kidded with him about it just to keep it from being too emotional. Bernie I think when the time comes that he's not in this uniform, I think it's going to hit you more so than anticipating when it's going to happen.

I know one thing, Bernie is seizing the moment, I don't know what his numbers are but he's having some quality at bats and he seems to be in a great frame of mind. There's no question it's going to be an emotional time when that's the case, when he's not here anymore.

So far they have pretty much limited Sheffield and Rodriguez in terms of the damage, they seem to be pitching around Alex a little bit; do you have an explanation for both and was there any consideration in juggling the lineup at all?

TORRE: They will still recognize them when they get up to hit. They wear the same number and everything. In Sheff's case, he's hit some bullets. I know that number wise he probably doesn't have any numbers, but he's hit some line drives a number of the times he's been up. Actually he produced a run when he didn't hit a line drive, just hit the little tapper to third. That's what they are all about. They are real good match up team, they pitch very well. That's why they are here. And they are pitching carefully, there's no question.

We feel in stacking the guys that we have, we wanted all of them to hit as often as possible, and as far as changing the lineup, no, I never considered it, because I like the fact that we alternate and they all seem to be a threat for me and I'm comfortable with the way it is.

What's it going to be like to see Jason get the Comeback Player of the Year Award today?

TORRE: Well, I just hope he earns it a little bit more tonight. (Laughter.)

Jason certainly worked hard for this. Not that that's anybody's goal to go out there and win Comeback Player of the Year but to get back and be a force like he is, just John asking a question about the lineup, certainly with his play and his offense, we felt it was necessary to do it because of how much an impact he's made on this ballclub.

He spent most of the early part of the year hitting sixth and seventh, and to be in the middle of our lineup gives you an idea of what kind of respect he has gotten back right now.

What do you think of 2-2-1 set up in the Division Series?

TORRE: 2-2-1 I think is right. You'd like to see a day off after the second 2, but again, we'd like to see a lot of things. You'd like to see a seven game playoff because that five game is very tense.

I think it's very tough, the no day off between the second set of 2s. You understand it because the season is 162 games and who knows when it would be over with if you kept giving days off and stuff. I mean, I like the concept, as opposed to 2-3, yeah.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}