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September 29, 2003

Brian Sabean


KATY FEENEY: We'll take a few questions for Brian Sabean.

Q. I want to ask you about Felipe Alou. What is it about the older managers?

BRIAN SABEAN: It's obvious he's a big reason we won a hundred games. When you've been around a long time, there isn't much that's going to faze you. You're pretty much the person you're going to be and the manager you're going to be. Now, in his case, he brought a great reputation, but also at 68, I don't know of anybody that wants to arm wrestle him or chase him around the block. So in that regard, I think when you're longer tooth in life, in baseball years, it's really an advantage because in some ways every situation that comes up almost on the field or off the field with the player, you've seen it, you've done that, you're able to do it at a high level. And, again, we won a hundred games because of him.

Q. Talk about when Robb Nen went down at the beginning of the season and Tim Worrell stepping in as the closer.

BRIAN SABEAN: I don't want to speak for Felipe, the coaching staff or even the pitching staff. I think we felt we were probably going to do it by committee. But Timmy stepped up. That shouldn't surprise us, because he stepped up in the setup role. And really has been the savior in the last two years. In some ways, as he probably convinced himself, or we understood, the game is in the balance in the eighth inning just as much as it is in the ninth inning. He has the mindset more so to get that kind of delivery, he's going to throw strikes. You're going to have to beat him by swinging the bat. You're in the going to beat himself. I think it was him earning it, and him kind of evolving into the position itself.

Q. When you make the final roster overnight, how much is the match-up a consideration as opposed to how your team is playing?

BRIAN SABEAN: That's a good question. As well as how we've done it all year. I mean, we I think have been very successful in how we've handled the pitching staff, and we've done that with, you know, 12 pitchers. Now, having said that, Florida isn't really a team, as they're constituted, where the lefty relievers might come into play, but that's not to say you don't want to have the luxury of having them. The other thing we're going to have to weigh is, in a five-game series, even with a day off, if you end up playing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to survive, hopefully try to win the thing, you may be deep in that bullpen, including early in the game, to stabilize a game, or later when you need to win it. So we're going to have to weigh how we've done business, which has been with a lot of choices, as well as you all know that anything can happen in a game. Schmidt has been outstanding, obviously, but he's had his problems earlier, as well as Rueter. I think you have to kind of protect yourself in that regard, too. It's a raging battle of, you know, ideas, I guess.

Q. Is 12 pitchers a possibility?

BRIAN SABEAN: It sure is. That's how we've done business.

Q. Can you talk about how you feel taking this team into October as opposed to how you felt about last year's name?

BRIAN SABEAN: Probably from an expectation standpoint, I think Florida and the Cubs remind me a lot of us last year, where you charged in, you earned it, you know you're going to their home field, you know you need to make a statement. I think Game 1 in all the series to be played, including the American League, is going to be a huge game. If you can get that game, home or road, it's an important one. Might not be a very pivotal one, but it's a very important one. So I think after you win a hundred games, you win the division by the margin we did, believe it or not we really didn't coast, we had our problems, as crazy as it sounds, on and off the field, on with the injuries, off with people's personal tragedy. But now the expectation is higher. With that comes some responsibility of taking care of business. But in this game, as we've seen, in a short series, anything can happen. You know, I'm sure Florida feels that way and the Cubs feel that way, and rightfully so.

Q. How much of an impact do you think the Marlins' speed has?

BRIAN SABEAN: It remains to be seen. It's something as simple as if they don't get on, you don't have to worry about it. We do a pretty good job of holding runners. But by the same token, if it's somebody like Pierre, he's going to steal bases. And that's what they do best. So I'm sure, if given the opportunity, they're going to try to take it.

End of FastScripts...

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