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October 19, 2003

Richard Atkins

Dusty Baker

Ozzie Smith

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Game Two - Manager's Move of The Year Award

THE MODERATOR: Welcome to the Take a Swing Against Prostate Cancer Manager's Move of the Year Award. Dr. Richard Atkins and Ozzie Smith are here. They will start it.

DR. RICHARD ATKINS: Thank you very much. I'm Dr. Richard Atkins, I'm the CEO of the National Prostate Coalition. I'm very pleased to be representing the National Prostate Cancer Coalition at today's events as part of the Take a Swing Against Prostate Cancer campaign. The campaign is an educational program to raise awareness about prostate cancer risk factors. The campaign is a partnership between the NPCC and Major League Baseball, with support from Merck. Founded in 1996, the National Prostate Cancer Coalition is committed to ending the devastating impact of prostate cancer on men, families and on society. The organization is the only national prostate cancer, non-profit, that actively lobbies the government for increased federal funding for prostate cancer research. Let me tell you a couple things about prostate cancer. Knowing your risk of developing prostate cancer and having regular prostate health examinations with your physician are an important part of monitoring your overall health. There may be no warning signs of prostate cancer, which means that the critical first step to maintaining a healthy prostate is knowing that some men are at greater risk. To encourage baseball fans to Take a Swing Against Prostate Cancer, MLB and NPCC created the MLB Manager's Move of the Week Award. From the All-Star Game through the end of the regular season, fans voted on MLB.com for the MLB Manager's Move of the Week Award, which honors the manager who evaluated the situation and made the best strategic move during a crucial point in that week's game. Recently, baseball fans returned to MLB.com to view clips of the weekly winners and voted for their choice for MLB Manager's Move of the Year. When voting on-line, men had the option to fill out an on-line checklist to assist them in identifying whether they have certain risk factors for prostate cancer and to give them a second entry into the sweepstakes. The checklist identifies prostate cancer risks by age, race and family history. Fans who voted at MLB.com each week were automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win tickets to tonight's game or a baseball signed by Lou Piniella. With such a high prevalence of prostate cancer, I'm very pleased that during the 13 weeks of the Take a Swing Against Prostate Cancer campaign, more than 130,000 people have taken the prostate cancer risk quiz on MLB.com. Now, more information, if you want it, is available at the National Prostate Cancer Coalition's website. We hope you'll visit www.PCAcoalition.org. In addition, NPCC Skip Lockwood, our Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Now it's my pleasure to introduce my colleague to my left, the Take a Swing Against Prostate Cancer campaign spokesman, Ozzie Smith.

OZZIE SMITH: Thank you, Dr. Atkins. It's important for all men to understand the risk factors for prostate cancer, and it would include their family history, age and their race. Because I'm an African American man, I'm at an increased risk for prostate cancer. As a result, I routinely talk to my doctor about prostate cancer risks and tell the others that are close to me to do the same. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men. African American men are twice as likely to die from the disease. Men over 50 are also at an increased risk and should regularly discuss their risk factor with their doctor. Baseball fans can find additional information about prostate cancer on NPCC's website or PCAcoalition.org. As the Take a Swing Against Prostate Cancer campaign manager, it is my distinct honor to present the Major League Baseball Manager's Move of the Year Award to Chicago Cubs manager, Dusty Baker. Dusty receives the award for his strategic move during the August 1st game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Dusty sent pinch-hitter Troy O'Leary to the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning with runners on the corners and the Diamondbacks leading 3-1. O'Leary doubled in both runners to tie the game as the Cubs went on to win 4-3 in 14 innings. As the recipient of the Major League Manager's Move of the Year, $1,000 will be donated in Dusty's name to US TOO!, University of Chicago/Weiss Memorial Hospital, a provider of education and information on prostate cancer risk factors in the Chicago area. It is my pleasure to present this award to Dusty Baker. Congratulations, Dusty (applause).

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I'm very excited to be awarded the MLB Manager Move of the Year Award, an honor from the fans who voted on MLB.com. As the manager, it's important to evaluate the situation and make strategic moves during crucial parts of the game. I really didn't know much about the award during the year, because you get so caught up in just playing and managing. But this is a tremendous honor, especially to be -- to have been competing against such other great managers as Joe Torre and Bob Brenly, all the other nominees. Again, I'm very grateful and thankful. I had no idea. I wanted to come to the World Series big time (laughter). But I had no idea I'd be coming in this way and fashion and I'm very happy to be here. This will be my first time watching a game in the stands like this, Yankee Stadium. Thank you.

DR. RICHARD ATKINS: Thank you, Dusty.

THE MODERATOR: We'll let Ozzie Smith also sit up here and we'll take a couple of questions before Ozzie goes out to the field. Any questions?

Q. Dusty, you have a history with the cancer firsthand, personally. You've experienced it. Can you talk a little bit about it, what this means to you?

DUSTY BAKER: It means a lot to me to be voted this, period. I didn't know that the coalition was behind this, which I've come to learn about. I'm just thankful and glad that I'm here, actually. This is about awareness for men in the future, mostly men. Really not supposed to talk about my own personal experience at this point. At some future date, I'll tell the world about it. But right now, this is really just a tremendous honor, like I said, to be here, to get this award. The fact that whatever I had in the past is just an afterthought. So, again, I'm very honored and thrilled to be here.

DR. RICHARD ATKINS: Let me just add one thing, if I can. I'm very grateful to Dusty and Ozzie for being here and delivering an important message which is about prostate cancer risk factors. You're at higher risk with increasing age, higher risk if you're African American, and higher risk if you have a family history of prostate cancer. That's what you have to start out knowing.

Q. Dusty, can you talk a little bit about that O'Leary pinch-hit in that extra-inning game against Arizona that you got the award for? Also, how have the last few days been for you since the Cubs were knocked out?

DUSTY BAKER: Actually, I was just doing my job, really. I had no clue I was gonna get an award out of it! (Laughter). If anything, I got to split half this award with Troy O'Leary for coming through. It's up to the players. The better the players do, the better you look. The last few days have been sort of -- the first day wasn't too bad. The second day, I was sad. My wife noticed I was sad. After Boston lost, I was even more sad because it was a similar situation, similar game, similar everything. Then I got a call on, I guess, Friday and asked me to come here to accept the award. That sort of picked me up. I was excited about coming to New York, excited about going to the World Series, excited about getting my spiritual strength back here by coming to Yankee Stadium, which I've been many times, and to see the excitement in the crowd and to take some of that excitement back with me and use it for next year.

Q. As a manager, among many advices that you give your players because you're a father, brother to them, do you talk to them about this type of thing, about taking care of themselves because, later on in life, this might be a problem?

DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I talk to them about it. I didn't talk -- well, I always talk to them about taking care of themselves. I mean, I took care of myself the whole time. Like they said, the risk factors that I was -- I mean, I was sort of surrounded by all of them, being African American, number one. Number two, my dad had it, other family members. I was really like surrounded by this situation. This is about awareness, hopefully, where we can head these things off in the past for the future. I'm sure my son's in the same risk factor, my brothers, other people that I know. So hopefully we can do something about this and we can get a message out there through the MLB Manager of the Year Award in order to piggyback each other to get the word out there to all men, and especially African American men.

Q. How long did it take you to get over the "why me" stage? Do you feel that you and Ozzie, everyone else, because you're famous, can help people actually approach this?

DUSTY BAKER: Good question. I mean, it didn't take me long to get over that. I mean, never takes me long to get over "why me." I mean, I even had "why me," come to Chicago. "Why me" happened with this. "Why me," we had to lose. Doesn't take my mind long to get over the "why me" stage. If you accept your responsibility, accept things, the main thing that you have to do is get away from the "why me" and get to the solution - and as soon as possible. Because you know the problem, then you have to just deal with the solution. That's what my dad taught me. No sense dwelling on the problem; you have to deal with the solution as soon as possible.

DR. RICHARD ATKINS: Let me just add, if I can, let's step back once from "why me" to "why"? The "why" is what we're here about, again, about prostate cancer risk. "Why me" is down the road. If you'd know what your risk factors are, you can talk to your doctor about your prostate health, and you can take care of yourself. That's the first and most crucial thing to do.

OZZIE SMITH: For me, it's a great way for Dusty and myself and people like us to be able to use our celebrity to make more people aware. That's part of the reason that I'm a part of this program.

Q. After Game 6, the fan game, there were a lot of comments about how that particular incident cost the Cubs, kept them out of the World Series, whatever. Now that you've had a couple days to reflect on it, where do you put that in perspective? Were there not other circumstances that conspired to keep your team out? Was that just overblown?

DUSTY BAKER: I mean, there was no guarantee that we were gonna get there, even if Mo catches the ball. Still would have been two outs. We. Had another situation where Alex Gonzalez, who only made 10 errors all year, he made a very costly error at that point - which I have nothing bad to say against this guy. This guy saved us many times. Aren't many who have made 10 or less errors. Ozzie, what was your lowest?

OZZIE SMITH: Somewhere about there, Dusty. I don't know (laughter).

DUSTY BAKER: I think it's very unfair to that young man, actually, for a person to want to go to the ballpark to have a good time. That would be synonymous to anybody in this room here going to a ballpark to see a game, to have a great time and to change your whole life in a matter of hours. I'm just glad that we weren't in a cowboy movie and they had vigilante parties, because they would have hung him from the highest tree. That's a bad human emotion that was displayed, period, throughout everywhere. So I feel very badly for the young man. I think it's a natural, instinctive thing to reach for the ball. I saw the replay. After I saw the replay, he didn't even see Mo, it didn't look like to me. He was looking up at the ball. Mo was looking up at the ball. It was one of those unfortunate things that happened. Hope we can make amends to that next year and go for it.

Q. Doctor, could you tell us a little bit about how you came to the concept to start the coalition with Major League Baseball?

DR. RICHARD ATKINS: We're very grateful for Major League Baseball's interest in getting the word out to men about this often very devastating disease. In particular, their interest with us in talking to men about risk factors. There's so much that gets talked about or an increasing amount that gets talked about about prostate cancer and how to deal with the disease. The best way of dealing with the disease, for the majority of men, is to know the risks of the disease so that they can take appropriate action.

Q. Dusty, in terms of your experience in talking with others about it, it seems to be the big thing is just getting men to go to the doctor for the examination. Has that been the biggest obstacle you could see? How do you hope to correct that?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, yeah, I mean, I agree with you. The biggest obstacle is for men, period, myself being a man, and, thus, being macho and strong, to realize that it could happen to any of us or to go to a doctor in the first place. Then to let the doctor examine you, to then come up with a solution for whatever the problem is at that time or may be in the future. I mean, that's the biggest thing. I mean, I've had family members who, especially ladies, that had breast cancer. It seems like they're more apt to take care of it, go get examined, than we are as men. So the whole thing is to get the word out for the men to go and check on it. I think that's the hardest thing to do.

Q. Dusty, you think there's any momentum carry-over from one series to the next, as opposed to one game? Like with the Marlins, coming from behind 3-1?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, it helps. I mean, if you get behind the next time, you know you can come back. You know you have the personnel and talent to come back. I don't know if it's a momentum thing. Momentum goes daily, I think, in the hands of the pitcher. He can either continue that momentum or stop it in its tracks. The Marlins have a good team. They have a very, very good team. I think a lot of people don't know a whole bunch about the Marlins. I mean, they have speed, they have defense, they have pitching, they have power, and they don't quit. I mean, they're relentless. I think this is gonna be a heck of a series, and you know, the Yankees; the Yankees are still the Yankees. They always been the Yankees. Part of the reason why I'm here, too, is to figure out why that ghost is for them (laughter)... Because I heard Boone talk about -- Derek said the ghost is gonna show up. He showed up on us a couple times when I was playing in the World Series. Try to get rid of our goat that's against us and try to get something that's for us. I got my eyes open. I'm gonna be checking it out tonight (laughter). See if I can take some of this back to Chicago with me (laughter).

DR. RICHARD ATKINS: Again, we want to remind you that knowing your risks for prostate cancer and having regular conversations with your doctor about your risk is crucially important for men's health. If you want more information, please visit our website again at www.PCAcoalition.org. Thank you all.

End of FastScripts�.

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