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10/11/06 5:42 PM ET

Rick Peterson pregame interview

Mets pitching coach remembers Cory Lidle

There's no easy way to introduce this, just tell us what you know about Cory.

RICK PETERSON: Well, what I know about what just transpired? I know very little other than what has been reported on the news. And any time you're with somebody for a couple of years and you're around people and you see the best of people and you know, being around that in a competitive way, any time that you're with a teammate, it's horrific. I wish I had words. I have no words. I just have very strong emotions and it's just sadder than sad and there's no words to describe a loss of somebody that you spent some very special times with.

Can you describe him as a person.

RICK PETERSON: Well, he was a very hard worker, very competitive. Always feel like he wanted the ball in big situations. He had a couple great years for us. I think he was in the Top 10 in ERA in the American League and helped us in a stretch in a pennant race where he had I want to say 40 consecutive scoreless innings when we needed it the most. He stepped up big for us when we needed him and, you know, it's just sad, it's incredibly sad.

Did you ever talk to him about flying?

RICK PETERSON: No, as a matter of fact when he came over to the Yankees, I guess he was taking lessons or whatever. I haven't spoken to Cory since we were together in Oakland, so, you know, I've really lost track of what his personal life was about. But, you know, I did hear people talk about the fact that he was going to take some flying lessons and fly.

I guess the obvious question is how do you go ahead and prepare for what you do, prepare for a ballgame in this context when you hear things like this?

RICK PETERSON: I wish I had the answer. I don't have an answer. You try to deal with the emotions first. It's horrific. It's almost unbelievable. It's like a surreal moment. There's no way that this could happen. I think it just goes to show how insignificant some of the things that we think are significant really are when this comes down to the fact that we're about to play a baseball game and how important is that, really. When you look at, I think all of the things that transpire over on the other side of town with the Yankees and I think it's very easy for fans and press to get perspective of what the reality is. These are real people preparing a baseball game and prepare and doing the best that you possibly can. This is not about life or death. It's about entertainment. I think, you know, the people that pull for the teams that they want to win the most get so wrapped up in how vital and how important that truly is, and I think it's moments like this where you take a different perspective and realize how fragile life really is and how from one moment to the next, you know, you should cherish all those moments.

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If there was one of those moments that summed up Cory and what he was, what do you think it would be?

RICK PETERSON: I would say somebody, you know, it's very difficult, because I didn't get to know Cory very well personally. I know him more from a coaching relationship and I think what was most exciting is that when Billy Beane made that trade in Oakland, we traded a Rookie of the Year, Ben Grieve, for a long man from Tampa and he came over and stepped up right into our rotation and I want to say, won 14 or 15 games that year and came up big. Any time you see somebody resurrect a career like that, it shows a kind of fortitude and the kind of competitive spirit that you look for from people that you can count on when you need them the most.

I was just wondering who told you, how you found out, were you all talking and then somebody heard?

RICK PETERSON: No, actually I was walking through the clubhouse, talking with Tommy Glavine, starting to go through the final stage and preparing for the game and someone said what they said, I just turned and was in total disbelief. Again, you want to find out that maybe it's not true, but obviously what they are reporting is true. You know, it's one of the most unbelievable things I've ever heard of, how horrific this is. Like I said, my emotions are not expressed in my words right now.

Just wondering, are the players sitting in the food room or in the clubhouse watching all of this unfold on TV?

RICK PETERSON: Yeah, it's been on. As I walk by the television back and forth preparing for the game, it's all about what that scene is, and ironically enough, I think it's Manny Acta's building and he got here and said that something happened on the other side of his building. Again, you realize how insignificant -- I don't want to diminish how proud we are to get to the second round of the playoffs and what it means to all of us and what it means to the city and everybody involved, but you certainly take a step back right now and realize how important it really truly is. Again, I keep repeating the same words, and I'm normally not at a loss of words for people that know me pretty well, but I am right now. You feel like your soul is just totally bruised right now.

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