October 11, 2003
MIAMI, FLORIDA: Game Four
Q. Do you have Clement under strict orders not to go after Jack McKeon if a fight breaks out?
DUSTY BAKER: No, I'm not going to do that to Jack. What are you talking about, Bruce?
Q. Did you see Zim?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I saw Zim.
Q. Can you clarify, now that it's over, what all went into your thought process on the Game 5 starter?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, you want to know my thought process? I didn't want to go with the kid on short day's rest. Plus it's Zambrano's turn. This guy has pitched well all year, except for the last few starts. And just like basketball, it's manager's decision.
Q. I meant the other way.
DUSTY BAKER: What do you mean?
Q. Had you not gone with Zambrano?
DUSTY BAKER: I was going to go with Zambrano, I just didn't tell you, that's all. I mean I wasn't going to tell anybody. Suspense is good sometimes.
Q. If you're comfortable talking about it, what's your relationship with Dontrelle's family? I understand your wife knows his parents.
DUSTY BAKER: I don't have a relationship. My wife does. My wife went to school with his -- played basketball with his aunt. And then my wife knew his mother Joyce, through her and went to his baby shower when she was still pregnant with him. And they talk sometimes, especially my wife and his aunt, Sharon. So that's the relationship. Everybody is from San Francisco.
Q. In all seriousness, what was your reaction when you saw Zim running out toward Pedro, and Pedro throw him to the ground?
DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. Guys were kind of kidding me that that will happen to me when I'm 70 years old. Sometimes you're 70 in your body, but you still think you're 40 in your mind. And that's Zim. He was upset I guess about the series of events that happened. I hope he's not hurt. But Pedro appeared he was defending himself. He didn't swing at Zim or nothing, just sort of threw him off to the side. That was my reaction to it.
Q. Dusty, you seem to have a strong feeling about having experience on your bench. Why are experienced players so much of an advantage over youth on the bench?
DUSTY BAKER: I learned from my Dodger days that an experienced bench won us a lot of ballgames. We always had experience on the bench. And I've learned that that job is the hardest job to do. And a young player with a 0-for-1, that's like 0-for-20, he may not sleep for a week until his next at-bat. But the more experienced player, that 0-for-1 is not going to bother them as much as the younger players. We had experienced players on the bench, like Manny Mota. And then when I came to the Giants here in '89, I came in '88, but in '88 and '89 we went to the postseason, and we went to the World Series, we had Harry Spilman, Phil Garner, Chris Speier and Joel Youngblood. And so these guys knew how to hit, they knew how to prepare. They know when they might be used. And those are very, very valuable people on your team.
Q. Talking about Zambrano, again, preparing him for the start. He's a young guy and first full year as a starter. Is there anything you and Larry have to do to better prepare him or get him better prepared for a playoff start, when there's extra pressure on a kid like that?
DUSTY BAKER: The main thing you have to do is you have to realize that the only pressure really is the pressure you put on yourself. You can't control the pressure that other people put on you. You can't control the pressure that the world puts on you. As long as you don't put pressure on yourself, then you really don't feel pressure. And I told him the only people you have to satisfy in those situation are God, family and yourself, because those are the only ones you can't fool. And if you're emotionally, mentally and physically prepared.
Q. Are you able to use Borowski today? I know he went more than two innings yesterday. Is he available?
DUSTY BAKER: We're in the same situation as the Marlins, using Urbina for two innings. Hopefully we don't need him, and if we do, he said he could go. It would be short, and if I got him up I'd have to get him in the ballgame, the one time I got him up, or I wouldn't use him at all, because the one time he gets up he gets hot, that's probably all the gas he has in his tank for today.
Q. Why did you choose to use Borowski last night and take out Farnsworth during the inning, was it a match-up issue?
DUSTY BAKER: Definitely. It was a match-up issue, number one, and No. 2, Cabrera just hit a bullet up the middle. Conine hit a bullet to centerfield and you get a succession of bullets, and things ain't looking too good. Plus Gonzalez was 7-for-12 off Farnsworth. I thought that was the situation to use Borowski, to close out the game.
Q. Carlos said you wanted him to be himself. Have you talked to him about being himself?
DUSTY BAKER: No, I'll talk to him tomorrow. I mean, I've got to talk to Clement today. And then tomorrow I'll talk to Carlos briefly. I'll not make a big deal out of it. And I'll think of something tonight.
Q. Did you feel like you've been getting a breakthrough this series with Lowell on the bench? Were you disappointed seeing the lineup today?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, Cabrera has been playing pretty good. I don't know if it's a break or not. Mike Lowell is an All-Star. This guy is a big time producer. It's probably synonymous to us last year in this same situation not having to face Scotty Rolen, because he was there. But he's in the lineup tonight and we've got to figure out a way to stop him.
Q. You had a night last night where just about every move you made as a manager paid off, from Simon to Goodwin to Glanville, to having Remlinger come in and save the game. You know what it was like as a player when you knew you were having one of those nights. Do you ever have that feeling as a manager where every time you throw the dice you're going to throw a 7?
DUSTY BAKER: Not really. If it was in my control I'd feel like that. But as a manager, you're in control of the players. If they do well, it looks like you had a good night. And if they don't do well you have a bad night. As a manager, you play the odds or who you think has the best shot on who to hit this guy at the time. After that it's out of your hands. I can put a guy up there and he can hit a rocket out, and that was a good move, because he hit a rocket. But it was a bad move because the rocket didn't fall in there. Another guy might hit a blooper, and looks like a great move because he got a hit, but a lot of it is really how the ball bounces and how the ball falls.
Q. As a manager, when you look at tonight where the guy in the other dugout brings in Lowell, you have to interpret that as trying to spark his team and give his team a lift. Do you prepare your team or do you draw that to their attention on the level of what's going to happen tonight?
DUSTY BAKER: No, I don't know what's going to happen tonight, and I don't alert my team to anything, really. I just put them in a position to succeed and I let them play. That's the main thing I do. My main job is prepare them to play before the game, before they leave the clubhouse, and then let them play during the game with my direction and just follow the signs and follow whatever directions that I give them.
Q. We talk about experienced players and youthful players, what's the difference between those two and mature baseball players, and is this the type of team that you have right now?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, I have a mixed team. I have some mature players and I have some young players. Age is not always a sign of maturity. There are some guys that have been around 15 years and they're really no better than they were 14 years ago. And you've got other players that just came on the scene, like young Cabrera, you'd think he'd been playing for 15 years. A lot of that is due to confidence, a lot due to concentration, and a lot of it has to do with whoever can stay relaxed and poised in that situation.
Q. What do you remember about Dontrelle from the two games you faced him this year? One he was effective against you, and one he wasn't. What was the difference?
DUSTY BAKER: The difference was probably he didn't get a slider over the time he wasn't as effective. And he was missing with his inside fastball, where in the first game whatever he had it set up for he made that pitch in the location where he wanted to make it. I think that was the main difference that I saw between the first time and the second time.
Q. You talked about Cabrera's maturity. Can you talk about Prior's, too? Have you ever seen a player as developed in his Big League career?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, the only two that come to mind are Fernando (Valenzuela) and Doc Gooden.
Q. Do you think a key to tonight's game is how Matt responds to the two guys at the top of the order, and if they try to make him move a lot off the mound?
DUSTY BAKER: If you can stop those two guys, you've got a pretty good chance of at least slowing down their offense. That's one of the keys in this series. Those two guys get on, you're worried about their stealing, they can steal second and third, those two guys at the top of the order, it's like cartoons, I hate those meeces to pieces.
Q. Do you think they're going to test him?
DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. They're going to test everybody. Those two guys are going to -- you don't know what they're going to do. They can blooper one, flare one, bounce one, they can bunt. They do everything they can to get on base, and they're pretty good at it.
End of FastScripts...