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October 14, 2002

Dusty Baker


Q. After you all that you've gone through this year, the surgery and so forth, the contract talk, what are you thinking about right now after just winning this pennant?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, No. 1, right this minute, I just thank God, really, for life and everything that's happened this year and everything happening for a reason and a purpose. Boy, that's what I'm thinking right this minute. I'm just so happy for the players here, you know, for the fans, for the organization, my family, and I don't know, these guys are a special group of guys. Without them, none of this would ever be possible.

Q. How appropriate was it for Lofton to win the game against the Cardinals?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, it started before Lofton. It was appropriate that Tim Worrell was pitching, his brother had pitched for the Cardinals. It was appropriate that David Bell who had played with the Cardinals got the two-out knock and Dunston, who played for the Cardinals got another big knock. And Kenny Lofton got a hit, who, you know, had a tough couple of days there. I thought about pinch-hitting for him, and I said, "no, don't be crazy, let Kenny win this game." It was very appropriate, at the end, for Kenny Lofton to win this game. My soon, Aaron B. told me, "we're going to win this game. Kenny Lofton needs just one more hit and we can win this game." And that's what happened.

Q. From your heart, from your soul right now, what's going through your mind that finally you've achieved this great achievement?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, right now, I'm just in a state of, like, shock and disbelief. I'm just happy. Very happy, very content and tired. You know, I think this last week with our arrivals at 6:00 a.m. 4:00 a.m. and then 4:00 a.m. back in here, we need this off-day bad tomorrow. We really didn't want to go all the way to St. Louis again. We haven't had a real bonafide off-day, it seems like, in about a month. So that's what this team needs, a little rest before we start the next series.

Q. Much has been made about Barry never making it to the World Series. He's finally done it. Your thoughts about him finally doing this?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I mean, I'm happy for Barry and his family and his mom and dad. His dad went through a lot of stuff, too, and never made it to the World Series. His dad, you know, came through a cancer operation. I'm just happy for Barry and all of the Bonds family. Man, I'm just -- geez, I really don't know what else to say more. Just right now our focus is to beat L.A., southern L.A., Orange County. But right now, let's beat L.A..

Q. What about Kenny Lofton, he went through that cold spell after the first game incident; can you talk about that?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, I just knew Kenny was focused and I know you can't keep Kenny down too long. I just know in my heart that Kenny is going to -- he was going to get a hit right then. I knew big time. I just felt it, and our whole team was believing it. That just shows you the power of positive thinking and the power of belief. That's why we got Kenny over here. He's a big-game player and he's been great in the playoffs. Man, it was awesome. I don't want to forget the job that our MVP in this playoff did, Benito Santiago, because he's been waiting a long time too to get to this World Series. And he's a major part. He's the MVP. He had a big part in getting us to this World Series.

Q. Would he have scored, if not for what happened at third base?

DUSTY BAKER: Quite frankly, I would have to say, no. I think the umpire made the proper decision at that time. He called obstruction, but in his mind, he didn't think Benito was going to score, and the only problem I had was how can he tell he wasn't going to score. But in my mind, I didn't think he was going to score either. So I was out there, really, just for nothing.

Q. People talk about Bonds and Kent, but it seems without Worrell you guys were not going to come this close.

DUSTY BAKER: Well, that's true. I tell you, he had a heck of a year. He had a heck of a series. He's been throwing the ball great. I was hoping we would not have to stretch him and Felix too far because they have been pitching the last two days, this is the third day in a row. Worrell, he's our Felix Rodriguez of last year. Seems like when he comes in a game, we find a way to win it. I think his record is 8-2 or 9-2, and his dad is here, his mom is here. I know they are super-happy for him, as well as his brother, Todd. Tim Worrell did a great, great job.

Q. What effect did the crowd have on the team?

DUSTY BAKER: Well, they have a very, very positive effect. I mean, they were into it. Nobody left. Nobody went home. That game, if you can't get into that game, then you don't really understand or like baseball, and they were into it. They were making a lot of noise. Everybody was in black, with white towels. I like to see that spirit in the ballpark, that spirit of positiveness here and in this city. That was good for everybody. This is going to be a heck of a World Series.

Q. What does it mean to win the city's third National League pennant after all of the years in San Francisco?

DUSTY BAKER: I don't know, it's great, but we got some unfinished work. We've got some work from Willie McCovey to Cepeda to Mays, McCormick, Tito Fuentes, Bobby Bonds, all of the players that played here before us. We would like to bring the whole thing on, not just the National League pennant, we want everything for the city and for the players that preceded us and allowed us to be in this situation and position.

End of FastScripts...

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