NEW YORK -- Joe Torre's pregame meeting with the media was packed, partly because everyone wanted to hear what he had to say about The Boss and partly because the interview room in the bowels of Yankee Stadium is the cumulative size of a few closets. Torre didn't let us down either, expertly dealing with Steinbrenner and deflecting most of the heat.
"It's that time of year," Torre said. "We want a win. Everybody wants a win. I'm not saying you get used to it but it's something you know you have to deal with. ... That's part of what you do here. Is it comfortable at times? No it's not, but that doesn't mean I can let it affect what I need to do. I can't let it influence what my job is."
As expected, Torre has inserted Jason Giambi into the lineup for Game Three to try to do something about getting some offense into the lineup for a team hitting .121 over the first two games. Hideki Matsui, who hit .185 in September and is 0 for 7 in this series, has been dropped to No. 7 in the order and Giambi is sixth.
The Indians are giving veteran Trot Nixon a start in right field largely because of his familiarity and success against Roger Clemens. Nixon is 13 for 35 with three home runs in his career off Clemens. Three Cleveland starters -- Grady Sizemore, Asdrubal Cabrera and Ryan Garko -- have never faced Clemens.
The Yankees have wrapped up batting practice while the Indians are still on the field hitting. The "Yankeeography" episode on the 1996 World Series championship season, the first under Torre, is playing on the video board in right field and the fans are quietly filing in. You can clearly feel the tension, the fear they may be watching the Yankees get swept at home for the first time since the 1980 ALCS against Kansas City. We'll see.
Here's tonight's starting lineups:
Cleveland New York
Grady Sizemore, cf Johnny Damon, cf
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2b Derek Jeter, ss
Travis Hafner, dh Bobby Abreu, rf
Victor Martinez, c Alex Rodriguez, 3b
Ryan Garko, 1b Jorge Posada, c
Jhonny Peralta, ss Jason Giambi, 1b
Kenny Lofton, lf Hideki Matsui, dh
Trot Nixon, rf Robinson Cano, 2b
Casey Blake, 3b Melky Cabrera, cf
Jake Westbrook, p Roger Clemens, p
taggedAL Division Series