Q. Do you know who your DH is going to be tomorrow in the lineup? Secondly, throughout the post-season have you been at peace with the issue of your future? Was there ever a point during the season when maybe you weren't at peace about your future?
DUSTY BAKER: My DH tomorrow will be Shawon Dunston, same DH I used against Appier last time. Yeah, I've never not been at peace this year about my future. I mean, I'm not really too concerned about my future because I've always been taken care of some kind of way because I have faith in God, faith in the fact that I will be taken care of. It's just a matter of how much.
How much, most of us have too much in the first place. No matter what, hey, I'm taken care of right now. I'm not really worried about my future at all. I've always, some kind of way, no matter how dark or bleak things looked, I've always come out shining and on top. In this situation, I don't see any darkness or bleakness at all.
Q. Dusty, when you call on the powers of your jewelry, is there one particular, identifiable image that you see, one that you call on, one particular word, name or person?
DUSTY BAKER: No. I just wear this particular jewelry in the name and spirit of all the guys that I played with, the good teams that I played on. I mean, we all have something, right? I don't know what it is. Some guys have, like, some lucky underwear or something.
Q. You don't have that?
DUSTY BAKER: Sometimes (smiling).
Being a baseball player, especially athletes, we all have something, wear the same socks that you wore or the same something. I just wear for the guys; I know they're pulling for me, especially some of the guys that didn't make it, or like some of the guys that helped me along the way when I was on the Dodgers, that are deceased.
Q. Anyone in particular?
DUSTY BAKER: There's quite a few. Roy Campanella, Joe Black, Jim Gilliam. Those guys are like special counsel to me. There are other guys that helped me along the way, Tommie Aaron, Bill Lucas, my real good friend down here, Lyman Bostock. I saw a sign, "Lyman Bostock could have been one of the players on this team."
Q. Peter Magowan has said a couple times he feels the need to clear the air with you. If there's no darkness or bleakness, is there a need to clear the air in your mind?
DUSTY BAKER: No, not really. I didn't know the air was polluted, number one. Number two, if it was going to be cleared, we are waiting kind of late to clear it, ain't we?
No, not really. I'm just living. I'll tell you one time here: I got so much insight and so much spiritual enlightenment and faith now, especially after having cancer last year, I see my son, I see my wife, I see a lot of things for me to live for, why am I going to worry about little stuff like this, really? If I hadn't gone to the doctor when I went to the doctor, I could have been dead right now. Really, I'm worrying about the wrong thing if you want me to worry about what you asked me to worry about.
Q. Obviously, your playoff history is pretty futile. There are a lot of great names who haven't won World Series. Do you think, in the back of your mind, do you think about that? Does it weigh on you at all?
DUSTY BAKER: No, doesn't weigh on me because I wasn't back there with those guys. In my mind, our and my playoff history is not futile. You can bring up all the past futilities if you want to, but that has nothing to do with today.
The thing that weighs on my mind, sure, we want to play and win because a lot of those guys are still here. When you see Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Davenport, Mike McCormick, a lot of guys come around a lot. Sure, we're in this Giant family. We want to win not only for us, but we want to win for them. There's sometimes I even drive by Candlestick Park and just look outside the park. I'm like, "Man, sure looks raggedy now." I think about all the guys that played there. There was never a championship there.
Quite frankly, you don't know how badly I wanted to win and be our last year in Candlestick and be the first championship team to play in Candlestick Park the last year. That would have meant more to me than even now because this future of our stadium here can go on for years and years. But at that time, that meant more to me, trying to win there, than actually it does to win here.
Q. A word that's used a lot this time of year is "momentum," how quickly it can change from one team to year. Obviously, the Angels winning tomorrow would swing the momentum back into their favor. Is tomorrow a game you have to win if you want to do this?
DUSTY BAKER: No, it's the game we want to win. Game 7 is the game you have to win. We'd rather not go to Game 7. If you have to go to Game 7 to win, you've got to do what you've got to do. I don't believe you have to, really, until it's like D-day and it's not quite D-day yet.
Q. The big 16-4 victory last night, do you think that's demoralizing for the Angels? Do you think they'll be able to bounce back?
DUSTY BAKER: No, it's not demoralizing. Didn't demoralize us when they beat us 10-4. These guys are a very resilient team. I know that that staff, they'll forget about yesterday. It's a loss whether it's 16-3 or 16-four.
Q. You mentioned the cancer. How big a scare was that for you? How did that help you put things in a proper perspective?
DUSTY BAKER: At first, I wasn't as afraid as I was kind of in denial. You're like, "No, not me." Never been sick a day in my life. After you go through denial, you think about what the solution is once you know what the problem is. The solution is, I have to attack it the way I attacked everything else, before it attacks me. I'm more of a puncher than a counter-puncher. I'm like, "Let's go get it taken care of right now."
My wife was very positive because she lost her mom the year before to cancer. She really knew what the feeling was like. She said, "Hey, let's go get it taken care of." I just did the best thing that I thought I could do at the time, have an operation, versus radiation. I didn't want to get burned up if I didn't have to. "Let's get this operation, get it over with. I have eight weeks before spring training, I could possibly be back in shape before then -- not before then, but at least during then."
That was the tough part, was the post-op stuff, not the operation itself. I'm doing great now. I've had three 3-month checkups. They all come back undetectable and cancer free.
Q. Russ, Dusty talked about his ring, lucky underwear. Any superstitions you have, given the significance of tomorrow night's game?
RUSS ORTIZ: I don't have any superstitions. I would say the majority of baseball players never step on a line. That's just something I've always done. I don't know if I really think about it when I go across the line. I've never really stepped on it.
For me, it's just feeling comfortable, trying to do the same things every time out. You get a certain comfort level. If time changes or if it rains, we get delayed, all that stuff, doesn't mess up my routine, all that. I mean, my socks, I'll grab a new pair. I try to put on the same stuff. If it just happens to not be there, it's not there. I don't rely on that to get me by.
Just feeling ready. I don't know if you want to call that a superstition, to make sure mentally I feel ready. That's the one thing I really rely on.
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