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October 13, 2003

Grady Little


Q. Do you think that the pitchers had to bat, beanball wars could be subsided a little bit?

GRADY LITTLE: To answer your question, probably. There would probably be a significant difference.

Q. Is Lowe going to pitch Game 5 now?

GRADY LITTLE: Yes, Derek Lowe will be our pitcher tomorrow. I'm sure he'll be in in a few minutes to talk to you.

Q. Any theories on why he pitches so well at home?

GRADY LITTLE: I don't have anything I can pinpoint on that with Derek Lowe. But each year, some pitchers have some idiosyncracies that you just can't figure out. But this year, he's been very good at home, so we hope that continues tomorrow here.

Q. Other than the familiarity and liking the fact that Mirabelli and Wakefield work together consistently, is there anything that Mirabelli does technically with Wakefield or as a knuckleball catcher that you like about him in a situation?

GRADY LITTLE: Mechanically, he's as sound as anyone I've ever seen catching a knuckleball, and he's just so comfortable doing it. The combination of he and Wakefield, this has been very productive for us all season long, so we hope it remains that way today.

Q. In approaching against Mussina, are you aggressive at him early, try to wait him out, what's the way to go with him?

GRADY LITTLE: We're going to try to beat him. The other day we were fortunate in Yankee Stadium. His command of his pitches wasn't quite as well as it has been in many of his other outings against the Red Sox. He's a tough competitor out there on the mound. He's got good stuff. We know we have a battle ahead of us every time we take the field against him. If his command is there, he's very, very tough.

Q. The last time that we spoke to you in here, they had not handed down the fines yet from the things that happened the other night. Given that the fines for the players on your club were significantly greater than the fines for the people on the Yankees, who they penalized; do you think Major League Baseball has assessed your team as more to blame for these events?

GRADY LITTLE: If you go by those numbers it certainly looks like it. But that's something the individuals will have to take care of themselves, and I'm sure if there's an appeal process, I'm sure that will be taken in it's course, also.

Q. If you had a relief pitcher who had an unhittable streak like Rivera in the post-season; how much of an advantage does that give his team?

GRADY LITTLE: It gives him a tremendous advantage. Right now, Mo is throwing as well as he has in his whole career, I think, and we are just kind of catching him at that time. So our game plan is try to keep him out of the picture. We have to try and get a lead early and try to keep him from being a factor.

Q. Do you sense any frustration from the players on your team that are not Manny and Pedro, having to talk as much about an incident that they were not directly involved in because those two players don't talk to the media?

GRADY LITTLE: Well, there is a lot of discussion about that in our clubhouse and hopefully in the future we can get that rectified. It's a shame that that happens, but that's the way it is right now; we've got to deal with it.

Q. Yesterday John Henry mentioned that he was grateful for Don Zimmer's apology and he thought perhaps there would be one forthcoming from the Red Sox side. Did he talk to you about that at all?

GRADY LITTLE: We are very grateful for it, Zim's apology. We're all sorry that what took place on the field happened the other day. That's an unfortunate circumstance that we are trying to put behind us right now and play baseball here tonight.

Q. Have you given any consideration here to potentially starting Pedro on three days' rest if it comes to a Game 6?

GRADY LITTLE: I can tell you right now, definitely, that will not happen.

Q. Do you believe that the day off did anything to help cool off tempers a little bit?

GRADY LITTLE: I don't think it hurt any. I don't think it hurt any. But I think in either clubhouse, I think that you'll see a bunch of players that are just anxious to get back on the field, whether it be last night or in this case, tonight, to get back to just playing baseball and leave the other stuff behind us.

Q. Getting back to what you just said about Manny and Pedro and their silence, it sounds like you think they are going to be talking soon; does that mean somebody said something to them and we'll be hearing from them in the next 24 hours?

GRADY LITTLE: After they saw those numbers on that sheet of paper, I think that will make anyone start talking. (Laughter.)

Q. Could you elaborate on what you were saying about how there would be a significant difference in baseball if pitchers had an at-bat? And a follow-up question to that would be hitters in this day age, are they too sensitive to inside pitching?

GRADY LITTLE: I think individually, it could be different, individually with a lot of different hitters. But as far as the pitchers hitting, I think there's a lot of conversation about that; that may be the case, you would see a whole lot less of it if they had to hit. But these players are all teammates and if they are not the ones going to the plate, someone else may have to take the heat for an action. That's the way baseball has been played for a long time. I don't think that's going to change.

End of FastScripts...

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