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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS | NEW YORK vs. SEATTLE : NOTES

Zimmer Has High Praise for Torre's Performance

October 18, 2000|ROSS NEWHAN

NEW YORK — Sitting in the New York Yankee dugout before Game 6 of the American League's championship series, the inimitable Don Zimmer spoke highly of Manager Joe Torre's performance this year.

"Whether we do or don't make the World Series, I really believe this has been Joe's best year of managing," the bench coach said. "I know we struggled at times, but we were a different club coming out of spring training, guys didn't have the years they normally do, there were all kinds of injuries, we added a lot of players in midseason and nothing ever came easy. I mean, there were just so many things Joe had to control."

Zimmer turns 70 in January. He will certainly be offered the opportunity to return in 2001 but has yet to make up his mind.

"Right now, the 17,000 miles we've traveled in the last 14 days have taken a toll," he said. "I mean, that was why I was hoping for a Subway Series even last year. We wouldn't have to travel."

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Subway Series? Zimmer said he and his Brooklyn Dodger teammates traveled by car to Yankee Stadium for the World Series of 1955 and '56 and that he expects the same type of "unbelievable atmosphere" to grip the city if the Yankees and Mets meet, given "how wild the fans are for our interleague games."

A relic from the last Subway Series, Zimmer also played for the Mets briefly in 1962, their first season.

"You can't blame me for those 120 losses," he said. "I was only there a few weeks. As bad as that team was, I thought it might be a thousand years before the Mets ever reached a World Series."

THE SERIES

Yankees win series, 4-2

Game 1: Seattle 2, New York 0

Game 2: New York 7, Seattle 1

Game 3: New York 8, Seattle 2

Game 4: New York 5, Seattle 0

Game 5: Seattle 6, New York 2

Game 6: New York 9, Seattle 7

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