10/05/2002 11:36 pm ET
Percival post-game press conference
The following is a transcript of Anaheim Angels closer Troy Percival's press conference following Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.
Q: Troy, you seemed very eager to share this with fans coming off the field. Can you get into that a little bit.
TROY PERCIVAL: I've been here for eight years and the fans have been behind me 100 percent, even through some rough years. They've always been there for me. I tell you what, I'm just glad to have those guys out there to just enjoy a little bit of this, like we are. Including guys like Disarcina, who never got a chance to be here. I talked to Chuck Finley today. He's anxious to meet up against us but he's rooting for us to get there. It's real exciting for all of the guys that have been in this organization, for Jackie Autry, Gene Autry. I tell you, there's a lot of people that put in a lot of time to get us where we're at.
Q: Do you guys look at this as just the start of something, that you're laying the foundation here?
TROY PERCIVAL: I can't speak for everybody, but for me, it's an end to one thing and a start to another. We got somewhere this organization's never been, and we're getting ready to go somewhere that we've never been. Those teams got to this level now and we're ready to move on, whether it's Oakland or Minnesota. You've got two very tough teams ahead of us. I think our celebration will be over here in about 30, 40 minutes. The guys are already starting to focus in on the next series.
Q: How beneficial was that in this series, in terms of mental preparation?
TROY PERCIVAL: I don't think it was just Minnesota. It seems to me like since the All-Star break, all I've read or heard was that every series was where we were going to have our downfall. The most important series, this is where we're going to drop off. For me, the last two and a half months has been nothing but playoffs; intense games. I look back to the game in Boston where I didn't get the job done and the team bounced back the next night for a big victory. That showed what this team was made of. From that point forward, the guys just battled all the way through. We've been playing in the playoffs for two and a half months. It wasn't just the last Oakland series.
Q: The ninth inning, what part of that will you remember, do you think? The noise? Were you focused in? Will you remember the fans, the pop-up at the end?
TROY PERCIVAL: I remember trying to walk by horses when I walked in (laughter). I didn't get what was going on, I got horses and police going on. I thought maybe the game was over. Obviously, with that team it wasn't. You got to go out there, make good pitches. Two outs, next thing I know, one runner, two guys on. So the last thing I remember is throwing a good, hard fastball up and away. As soon as I saw it go up in the air, I knew somebody was going to catch it even if they all collided and there was three of them. By the time the ball was caught, I think everybody was on top of me.