10/05/2002 11:43 pm ET
Salmon post-game press conference
The following is a transcript of Anaheim Angels outfielder Tim Salmon's press conference following Game 4 of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.
Q: How much of a sense do you have of all the Angels that went before you that never won anything?
TIM SALMON: You know what, you do think about those players right now. You have DiSarcina down there, and Mrs. Autry down there, it's just awesome. It's been a long time coming for myself and for this organization, too. You know, you just can't say enough. You know, as a player that's been around, I've seen a lot of faces come through. A lot of blood, sweat and tears, you know, with a lot of those guys. We were close. But to finally come through and do it, it's just special. It really is special.
Q: Could you talk about the fifth inning. And, also, when did you guys feel like you were going to win today?
TIM SALMON: Oh, in the sixth inning, well, you know... It's kind of been the club all year long. I can't even remember how -- I think Woo hit the home run that got us going and tied it up. I can't remember how that inning got going. That's been the trademark of this club. A guy gets on base, a base hit, first and third. Before you know it, I mean, it was like every time there's a hit, it was first and third. And that's just been the club all year long. We've had innings like that where things kind of come together and you get on a roll. And it was just awesome. It was nice to really start, you know, padding a lead and start putting some distance between us and them.
Q: The second part of the question was when did you know you guys were going to win.
TIM SALMON: Not until the third out (laughing). You know what, you never take anything for granted. I mean, you're playing the Yankees, a very veteran club over there. You know, I don't think I would have been comfortable with a 10-run lead in the ninth. You know, it's just -- never being in this situation that I've been in, you know, just seems like those last three outs are an eternity. You know, so I don't know if I ever knew for sure we were going to win until I was actually running on the field.
Q: During the season at various times we wanted to ask you about this term, "the ghosts of the Angels, is this a 'jinxed' franchise?" What can you say after this win, after winning the series, about all those questions for the past -- your entire career, maybe the Angels' entire franchise history?
TIM SALMON: Yeah, it's a fresh start. Everything's been buried as far as those questions go. There's only a few guys out here that were aware of those ghosts. For the most part, we have younger guys, guys from different organizations that aren't aware of those things and the talks in the past. Sometimes that's just being naive or not really knowing the past, you know. And our situation, I think that's, you know, that's the way it worked. I think, you know, having a coaching staff around you that, you know, constantly is encouraging you and keeping things upbeat and not panicking and, you know, I think -- yeah, I think those are the things I point at.
Q: Tim, would you say this win is more special because you guys beat the Yankees, who have dominated the postseason for the last six, seven years?
TIM SALMON: You know, if we were to have played the A's or the Twins, it would have been just as special. You know, just to be in this position where, you know, you've gotten through that first round of playoffs, you've actually won, I don't care who you're playing, it's gonna be special. I mean, I think, you know, we might have had -- I don't know. I mean, nobody gave us a chance against the Yankees, and they're a great club. You know, maybe we, you know, caught them on a bad week or something, I don't know. They're a great club, and we battled them. We went toe-to-toe with them. We answered, you know, the bell every time we had to. You know, you can't say enough about, you know, the way our club's played. We battled hard. I think everybody's seen that.
Q: Tim, you've had a lot of come-from-behind victories this season. Yesterday you came from 5-down against the defending American champions. Does that give the team a Superman mentality to do that?
TIM SALMON: Yes and no. You know, I think it's -- what we did was something we've done before. I mean, it wasn't new to us. I think the one quality about this club that I think really makes it a special club is that, you know, we don't get too high. When we win big like that or we come from behind, you don't see that dropoff the next day. You don't see that, you know, kind of riding the highs and the lows. We really stay even keel. You know, I was actually kind of concerned, not so much about the team but about myself. I was thinking, "Man, I came off such a high last night, how am I going to come back for a day game?" I think as a group we all responded well and played well, you know. It was a close game there for the first five or six innings. David Wells was throwing awesome. You just kind of wonder, it's like, "Well, is this because of last night or is he really throwing a good game here?" You know, things just kind of, you know, the wheels kind of fell off. You know, it's exciting to be a part of a team that, you know, we can enjoy a victory like this, especially at home today, so...
Q: Given the quality of their pitching, the team hit .376, scored 31 runs, is there any way to anticipate something like that?
TIM SALMON: No, you don't. I mean, I can guarantee we might have felt confident going in that we played well. I don't think we felt we'd do that necessarily. I think it's just a group of guys, like I said, the character of the club. You know, you get in a game against the Yankees in the postseason. You can't help but -- it helps motivate you. It helps you rise to that other level or whatever. We put the ball in play as a club. I think, you know, that's what you saw. I think you saw, you know, balls being put in play and enough got through for us. But, you know, when you're looking at a staff of Clemens and Pettitte, Mussina, those guys, you're hoping that, you know, our pitching is going to hold up because you really think it's going to be more of a pitching duel.