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October 9, 2002

Tony La Russa


Q. What was Matt's problem?

TONY LA RUSSA: Not sharp. Location. His stuff was good. He just made a lot of location mistakes, and they are a good club and made him pay.

Q. When they pitched inside to Lofton, it seemed to spark your club.

TONY LA RUSSA: Well, you know our club, our club is going to play nine innings with or without that. That was very unnecessary. It's a trick I've seen him pull before, caused a lot of stirring around and people saying nasty things to each other. He's done that before. You throw the ball inside and he's always reacting like you're trying to hit him. He's just trying to change the way the game is played and not have anybody pop him inside. It was really unnecessary. You know, Dusty said it didn't look good. I said, what the hell, Renteria hit .500 against him and you didn't hit Renteria. It's a trick that Lofton does that we don't appreciate.

Q. That wasn't a purpose pitch that was related to his trip around the bases?

TONY LA RUSSA: Absolutely not. Just a pitch -- I've been trying to throw the first pitch inside for a strike just to get ahead, and absolutely not.

Q. When Vina was close to second in the second inning, was that a call play for a pick-off or was that him looking for the daylight play?

TONY LA RUSSA: That was him with the daylight. He saw -- he's very good on it and Matt's very quick and accurate. Just Matt had a breaking ball in his hand and threw the breaking ball. You know, to Aurilia's credit, he put it into play into an open area. That was a play that Fernando reads.

Q. Is getting Tino going a key to this series?

TONY LA RUSSA: Well, if Tino has the uniform on with the Birds and the Bat, then he's one of our keys. That comment is going to be the same for Fernando; Jimmy had a good day and Pujols and Edgar. Whoever plays for us, they are keys. There's no extra pressure on Tino.

End of FastScripts...

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