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October 9, 2002

J. T. Snow


Q. Do you have any explanation why there are so many more runs scored in the division series this year than last? It's almost twice as many.

J.T. SNOW: Not really, to be honest with you. I think all of our games, except the last game with the Braves, was pretty much one-sided, which was kind of odd. And the fifth game was a real close game. I really don't have any explanation for it. Nothing I can tell you.

Q. Is the strike zone smaller?

J.T. SNOW: Not necessarily. I thought the umpires did a real good job in our series with the Braves. Overall, I think they did a good job.

Q. In the ninth inning with Chipper Jones coming up you were playing the line. Does that call come from Dusty and did you play that all year?

J.T. SNOW: Yeah, we do that in a situation where we don't want to let that run from first score, because they will tie the game. So we were playing no doubles. I pretty much knew that I was going to play the line. I was just looking in the dugout to double-check. A lot of times when Robb Nen is pitching, his slider is so hard and so sharp to left-handed hitters that the majority of the time they pull the ball to the right side, and Chipper is a guy that in the past has been able to keep that ball through the hole between first and second, between Jeff and I. I knew I was going to play on the line. I was just looking in the dugout to confirm it.

Q. Were you surprised how many of your teammates were unaware you had stepped on the bag first?

J.T. SNOW: Yeah, I stepped on the base and then got Julio Franco in the rundown. Then when I threw the ball to Rich Aurilia and he tagged him, I think I was the only guy that knew the game was over. I guess guys sitting there in the dugout were wondering what I was doing, why I would get him in a rundown, rather than try to get him in a double play. I think guys were not quite sure what had happened. I told the guys in the dugout, "I've got a pretty good idea of what I'm doing out there. So don't worry about it. I'll take care of it."

Q. Just your thoughts on the Cardinals in general from afar, and then secondly, the pitching staff which didn't get the kind of recognition of Schilling and Johnson, but obviously handled the first series well?

J.T. SNOW: I think the Cardinals have the type of team that we do. I mean, they play the game the right way. They have a great manager. They don't make a lot of mistakes, and in a lot of ways, I see our team and their team being very similar. That includes our pitching staff and their pitching staff. They are going to have four solid guys that start in the series, and so are we. Like you said, they probably don't get the recognition that Johnson and Schilling do, but those two guys get the recognition because they win so many games and strike so many guys out. I think our teams are very similar. I think it's going to be a good series.

Q. Would you talk about how your defense as a first baseman is underrated, and do you see this as a showcase to show what you can do?

J.T. SNOW: I think if you follow the playoffs, I think you realize how much pitching and defense comes into play. It seems like the only time defense gets noticed is when guys make errors or guys screw up or make a bad play. We have got a solid team defensively. I think it's just one of those things where the other night, a lot of people were talking about that play in the game, and I said that -- I've made that play a lot of times. It just happens to be that you're in the playoffs and a lot of people are watching and you're on a stage. Through the course of the year, those plays are made all the time. It's just a matter of more people watching now and taking notice. I think in our series, there's a lot of good defensive plays made. It comes down to pitching and defense. Guys are going to get key hits. Someone is going to hit a home run. Certain guys will get hits to drive in runs. I think the teams that win and play solid are the ones that are strong and in the pitching and defense category.

Q. First of all, would you relish the idea of playing the Angels in the World Series, and second of all, what does your dad say when people talk about you, people from St. Louis?

J.T. SNOW: I would love to play the Angels in the World Series. That's a little ways off. I played with Tim Salmon and Garrett Anderson and Darin Erstad and Troy Percival. There's a lot of ex-Angels in the playoffs, myself and Chuck Finley and Jim Edmonds and Randy Velarde with the A's. There's quite a few guys that I've played with. It would be neat. I'm real happy with those guys over there because back in the mid-90s, we had a pretty big letdown in '95 when we thought we were going to the playoffs and it didn't happen. So I'm pulling for them. I'd like to see them do well. And if we could get there, I think it would be a good match-up. As far as the other question, my dad has a radio show here in St. Louis. He's the color analyst for the Rams, so he does a call-in show on Mondays. He said he's had a lot of people call in asking who he was going to root for. He just kind of chuckles and laughs, and he said, "Of course, I'm going to root for the team my son plays for." I think it just kind of shows you what kind of people call in sometimes to talk shows and radio shows. They might not be the brightest people, but he's kind of stunned that they would even ask that question.

Q. How would you characterize the mood of the team going into this series, as compared to the last? Is there anything different, more relief?

J.T. SNOW: You know, I think we've been pretty loose all year. I think the last game in Atlanta the other night, it was real noticeable how loose our guys were. Guys were having a good time during batting practice. Benito Santiago and myself were challenging Barry Bonds in a home run derby the last couple of rounds. Benito and I team up against Barry two-on-one because he's got over 600 in his career and Benito and I have only around 300. It's been real loose. We've been that way probably the last two months of the season. We played a lot of big ballgames down the stretch, a lot of close games, and I think it helped us out in the playoffs and in the series against Atlanta when we were down. We had to win the last two games. There was no panic. Guys are real loose. Although we know they are not your average game like they are during the season, I think guys keep that same attitude and try not to get too high or too excited. We've got a lot of guys that have been in the playoffs before and know how to handle it and take it for what it's worth.

Q. Can you talk about facing Woody Williams, what you've seen from him in the past?

J.T. SNOW: I don't think we've faced him this year. I'm not -- yeah, I don't think we have. But in the past, he's a guy that's going to be around the plate. He knows how to pitch. He's going to spot his fastball. He's going to throw it in, throw it away, throw it up, throw it down. He's a thinking man's pitcher out there. He doesn't necessarily throw the hardest, but there's a reason, I think, that he's done as well as he has; they got him back in the rotation in this series. He's even dangerous with the bat. That's a big concern when he comes up to the plate. I know when he was with the Padres, Bochy had him pinch hit in certain situations. He's a competitor, like a lot of the Cardinals and a lot of the guys on our team; he's going to go out there and compete and try to beat you any way he can.

Q. In the context of the loose clubhouse, how would you describe Jeff Kent? We've heard so many different stories about him.

J.T. SNOW: Everybody's different. Jeff is a pretty quiet guy and keeps to himself. We've got a lot of guys on our team that when we come in the locker room, even though it's a loose group and we have a good time, guys kind of get into their own little routine and guys do what they need to do to get ready for the game during the year on a daily basis and for the playoffs. You know, Jeff keeps to himself a lot, but that's what gets him going for the games. That's just the way he is. Everybody's different. Everybody's personality is different; that's the way Jeff has been. I've known Jeff a long time. I played against Jeff in high school, in college and in the Minor Leagues. I played against him in the big leagues and now I've played with him in the big leagues. He has not changed. He's the same guy. That's just who he is. He keeps to himself, and when the game starts, I think he's like the rest of the guys on our team; we go out and we lay it on the line for three hours and play as hard as we can. If the job doesn't get done, we come back the next day and try to get the job done.

Q. Has your father passed on any advice about being on the national spotlight?

J.T. SNOW: We talk more about the mental side of sports, even though he played a different game. I always kid him a lot and tell him that football is much easier because they play once a week and we are playing every day. I think in the big scheme of everything, professional athletics, there's one common denominator, and that's the mental side of the game. Everybody is here, physically, for a reason, because they can play. And it's the guys that stick around that play long careers because of the mental side of the game. From the time I was a kid, the only thing he really told me was when you step on the field, give it 100%, play as hard as you can, and that's all you can control. That's basically what we talk about and we don't really talk about the numbers of the games or statistics. We just talk about the mental side of the game and staying sharp and giving 100% and playing hard. Like I said even though it's two different sports, there is a common thread amongst professional athletes and the way they go about their business and handle the mental side of the game. That's probably the biggest thing we talk about.

End of FastScripts...

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