Jaret Wright pregame interview
Game 4 starter discusses his postseason experience
Seeing you and Mr. Leyland going against each other in the post season games good time to ask, what are your recollections of Game 7 from '97?
JARET WRIGHT: We were on the wrong side of that one. He has my ring basically. He's done a great job, you know, with the team they had in '97, then with the Tigers this year.
Hopefully we can change that and be on the winning end of it this year.
What does it mean for you to be able to pitch in the post season this year? Last year I think you came one game away from pitching and the Yankees got eliminated and you didn't get to pitch.
JARET WRIGHT: Yeah, last year was tough for me because I was, Game 5, on an airplane, you know, while they were playing the game, flying to Chicago.
I actually asked the stewardess if we won or lost. She said we lost. I was at the hotel in Chicago with, you know, none of the boys, so that was tough.
To get another chance this year after the way, you know, last year ended and went for me, I think it's exciting for me.
You've been skipped before in this rotation. You've been designated to the bullpen. When did you start mentally preparing for this start?
JARET WRIGHT: I think really, you know, I guess you could say all year basically. Because every start for me, I'd look at it like not whether it's regular season or post season, you know, it means the same amount to me. I give it everything I got, whether it's, you know, October or May.
You've had some outstanding outings in the playoffs, and then some that didn't go your way. Have you thought about the difference between those types of outings? How much of it depends on what you have that night? How much of it depends how good the team is you're going against?
JARET WRIGHT: I think they're both probably big factors. I mean, in any game, you know, regular season, post season, it comes down to execution, how many mistakes you get away with, stuff like that.
But, you know, you try to limit that. You try to make your pitches when you're supposed to, and try to keep the ball down. I know I'm going to try to do that.
Talk about the pressure cooker of pitching in New York, just how unique that is. One game you're great, the next game you're a bum, and you get killed in the media. Talk about that.
JARET WRIGHT: Yeah, it's kind of how you feel on the inside is expressed by the fans. If you pitch bad, you feel bad inside. As far as the fans, I've never been to a place where, you know, 50,000 plus are so intense when they watch the game. You know, as far as checked swings or umpires or watching everything.
It's different, but I love playing there. You know, I always wanted to win. It's a good place to try and win. Hopefully we can do that.
Coming off the September that you just had, the fact that you pitched deeper into games more frequently than not, can you carry that momentum into tomorrow?
JARET WRIGHT: You try to. I mean, for me I think starting, you'd like to be pitching well going into October, obviously. But if you're not pitching so good, then it's start by start. It's a mental thing to get back out there if it's not going well, to build on what you did if it did go well.
I try to do that.
Your dad pitched for a long time in the big leagues. I don't think he ever got a chance in the post season. You've had several chances now. Does he ever joke with you about that? Is he going to be here?
JARET WRIGHT: Yeah, he's actually scared to fly, so hopefully we can make it a little bit farther so I can get him on a plane.
He does kid me all the time about going to the post season. He never had a shot. So it's special for him to come out in October. He's been a part of some big games to watch me pitch in. I'm looking forward to him coming out.
It seems like whether you guys win or lose a game, so much scrutiny is placed on Alex Rodriguez, every at-bat, almost every swing he takes. Do you scratch your head over that? What do you think of that whole situation with A Rod?
JARET WRIGHT: For me, I think Alex is one of the best players in the game. Everybody pulls for him in the clubhouse. I know I do every day. I know every time he steps in the box, I think he's going to go deep. I think a lot of people do. You hope he's going to do it.
Can you compare where you are now from when you were, first pitching in the post season as a pitcher, and as a person?
JARET WRIGHT: How much time you got (laughter)?
Yeah, in '97, being 21, throwing in the World Series and whatnot, you have that invincible feeling, like you're never going to get hurt, you're always going to go to the World Series.
Over the course of it, you learn that doesn't happen. You gain a perspective on the game where you try to enjoy it, get the most out of it.
I think going back this year, being a Yankee I think is special to me.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.