10/18/2003 6:17 PM ET
Notes: Hammond back
NEW YORK -- Chris Hammond is back on the Yankees' active roster for the World Series, as the Yankees opted to go with 11 pitchers for the Fall Classic against the Marlins.
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
Hammond replaces reserve infielder Erick Almonte, who did not play in any of the seven ALCS games against the Boston Red Sox.
"I just think matchup-wise, Hammond could be more useful," said manager Joe Torre. "Plus, playing in Florida, we may pinch-hit more and make double switches."
Hammond was on the roster for the Division Series against Minnesota, but did not appear in any of the four games. He was left off the ALCS roster in favor of Almonte, as Torre wanted an extra infielder, knowing he would start utility man Enrique Wilson against Pedro Martinez in Games 3 and 7.
"We made this decision yesterday," Torre said. "I went through the whole roster three or four times and the only guy we didn't use besides John Flaherty was Almonte. He was there as a safety valve."
But Hammond's experience in the National League and his ability to get right-handers out was more attractive to Torre, who had never taken 11 pitchers on a postseason roster before this year.
Hammond said on Friday that he would be thrilled to make the roster, especially having sat out the last round.
"It makes me feel a little better, knowing that they expect me to help out if needed," Hammond said. "The perfect scenario would be to get the starter to go seven, give it to a set-up guy for an inning and then to Mo. It probably won't happen that way. We all have to be ready, because this is for all the marbles."
Hammond's last appearance in a game was September 24, but he insists that he will be ready to pitch if he is called on by Torre.
"As long as I go out there with confidence, knowing I can do the job, then good things will happen," Hammond said. "I'm happy to be preparing myself to pitch instead of cheerleading. I'm glad to be here."
Tweaking the lineup: The Yankees' lineup for Game 1 of the World Series looks very similar to the one Torre put out there for Game 7 against Boston, with one minor exception.
Aaron Boone, whose 11th-inning walkoff home run propelled the Yankees to their 39th AL pennant, is back in the starting lineup, playing third base and batting eighth. Wilson started at third on Thursday against Pedro Martinez, but Boone entered the game as a pinch-runner, eventually blasting the game-winner off Tim Wakefield.
The Yankees lineup has Alfonso Soriano (2B) leading off, followed by Nick Johnson (1B), Derek Jeter (SS), Bernie Williams (CF), Hideki Matsui (LF), Jorge Posada (C), Jason Giambi (DH), Boone (3B) and Karim Garcia (RF).
Torre decided to leave Giambi in the No. 7 spot, as the slugger went 2-for-5 with a pair of solo home runs on Thursday.
"Maybe he did feel less stress in that spot," Torre said of Giambi. "The thing is, there's pressure and there's tension. Pressure is hitting with the bases loaded as opposed to trying to fight your way out of a slump. He can handle game pressure, but he was fighting the other stuff. This doesn't mean he's going to stay there."
Rivera ready? Mariano Rivera, who threw three innings to earn the win in Game 7 on Thursday, could be available to close out Game 1 if the Yankees need him to throw the ninth.
Torre said that Rivera would throw before the game, then tell pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre whether he'd be ready to go.
"He'll go out and throw," Torre said. "I don't think he's a definite no. We'll see."
The one thing that Torre stressed was that Rivera would not pitch more than one inning. Of his six outings this postseason, five of them have been at least two innings.
Unfamiliar foe: The Yankees and Marlins have met 14 times in their history, with New York holding an 8-6 edge. The two teams haven't met since 2001, when the Yankees dropped two of three Interleague meetings.
The Yankees have won four of the five meetings at Yankee Stadium, while the Marlins have taken five of nine meetings in Miami.
Torre said that the team will rely much more heavily on the scouting reports for this series than it did against Boston, as the players were more-than-familiar with the Red Sox before the ALCS.
"You have to pay attention to scouting reports," Torre said. "It's not that you don't against Boston, but you'd played them 19 times. We've never seen these guys, so we have to pay attention to the reports and trust them."
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.