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October 7, 2002

Dusty Baker


Q. How does the champagne taste?

DUSTY BAKER: I didn't have much. I was trying to hide out from the guys. They come to find me, because the cold hurts your eyes. And I want them to celebrate. That's the thing I want them to do because they deserve it and earned it.

Q. Listening to you say "wow" as you sit there, is that joy or just explain the "wow" to us.

DUSTY BAKER: Wow is wow, you know. It's joy, reinforces your belief in faith and everything. It's just an unbelievable moment for us. It's a big step for our organization, our team, for our city, because a lot of people didn't think we'd get by that first round. We had trouble doing that the first couple of times. Boy, this is beautiful.

Q. What was going through your mind in the 9th when they put a man on and nobody out.

DUSTY BAKER: What was going through my mind was what my old coach, Luke Appling said, when I was with the Braves. He's passed on, but one thing he left me with is to be lucky, you've got to think lucky. So I was thinking -- trying to think lucky. You hate to start them -- every time you start the 9th in a close game, you start out with one, two, three, four, you never start off with seven, eight, nine. So whoever did this game, they knew exactly what they were doing to add to the suspense.

Q. It must have been unbelievable seeing the last ball go to JT, the best first baseman possibly in the game.

DUSTY BAKER: It was. Cozza and I, we deliberated over there, just deliberated to the fact we were saying, okay, do you want him on the line, do you want him off the line. We made a decision to keep him on the line. He's off the line, those guys on base have a tie ballgame. That's what happened. Again we were thinking lucky. I'm going to find a way to get out of this. Just thinking it's our year and keep believing it. You know what I mean?

Q. Barry Bonds has played some post seasons where his numbers were not as commensurate as his regular season. This one he seemed to really play through it. Would you talk about his season?

DUSTY BAKER: His focus, is the thing I thought about, because when I was on the championship teams with the Dodgers we lost to the Yankees in '77, '78, and we're, oh no, not the Yankees again in '81. The same thing has happened to Barry. I think he's played the Braves four out of the six times. And I just knew and prayed that Barry would have a great series, and a great series he did. He hit the ball a lot harder than his numbers indicate. And I'm just very glad for him and glad for us.

Q. Dusty, how is it for you?

DUSTY BAKER: It's great for me, too. It's a step-two in a four-step process. We've got two more steps. I'm very, very happy, but we realize we've got two more steps to go, to giant steps to go.

Q. This gentleman was with you in 1993 when you lost and that was heart breaking. What does it mean to you to win this series now?

DUSTY BAKER: It means a lot. Especially then I wasn't pulling for the Braves then, because I said to myself, if the Braves start this roll here, this could be a tremendous roll that they're on. Because they hadn't won. And the young talent that they had, you start winning and start believing you can win, at that time I said, man, these Braves can be tough for a long time. I didn't know it was going to be this long. It's a great joy to start in '93 for them and a great joy for us to end it in 2002.

End of FastScripts...

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