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October 6, 2002

Russ Ortiz


Q. Millwood flew out this morning. Did you want to do that?

RUSS ORTIZ: I think, first off, they are guaranteed to at least play back in Atlanta. I think the most important thing for us is to concentrate on today's game and make sure we get through this first. I believe our game tomorrow will be in the evening, and so it's all in my head, I would have no problem with the team. To me, it's no big deal to do that. You never know. They may need me, who knows. We may need to win this game to have a Game 5.

Q. The last few games you pitched in Atlanta you've been very successful. Do you draw from that or do you start all over?

RUSS ORTIZ: No, I definitely think you do draw from that. One thing I've tried to do is to continue to pitch well on the road or continue to improve to pitch well on the road. That's very important. Especially in a place like Atlanta, especially during this time of the year. So, I can just kind of feed off of that and just go off of how I felt in that park the last couple of times. And I felt good. I felt pretty comfortable going in there. That's what I want to be able to feel, comfortable on the road.

Q. It's no secret that this could be Dusty's last game. Has there been any talk about that in the clubhouse and let's keep it going for Dusty?

RUSS ORTIZ: I mean, as you know, things in the clubhouse are not discussed. This team has always been about let's concern ourselves with concentrating on today. I would not imagine anybody is really at all concerned about what's going to happen next year or during the off-season at this point in time. I think everyone is just trying to focus on now. Like I said, what goes on in the clubhouse is not really discussed. But as far as -- I haven't really read much -- I don't read the papers much, but I haven't really read much about that stuff or heard about that stuff, so I think that's a good indication that we're just trying to focus on each game.

Q. Would you be disappointed if Dusty were to leave?

RUSS ORTIZ: I mean, he's been the only manager I've had. It would be tough to have someone different. To be disappointed and all that stuff, it's not my call. If there was someone else or Dusty was -- if I was not able with Dusty next year, it would be a weird situation for me because he's the only person I've known as far as a manager. I think I would be more sad than anything. But that's one thing, I try not to get involved in. Personally, I would hate to see him go just because we've become so close over the last five years. I think we've developed a good relationship, a good mature relationship, that has increased as far as, I guess if you want to call it the love we have for one another, throughout the years. I think it is that type of relationship. So I would be sad to not have him here, yeah.

Q. What is the biggest game you've pitched in previously and what do you look for tomorrow?

RUSS ORTIZ: Gosh, I use every game as motivation. I try to put each game on the same pedestal. So it's kind of hard to say. I mean, one person will say, hey, what's the biggest game you've ever pitched, and the next week, it will be the same thing. To me, any ballgame that I help the team win is big. Especially I think the bigger ones are in the second half, and now in the playoffs. It's hard for me to rate them, but if I were to pick one, I would probably say last Wednesday was probably the biggest one that I've pitched because it did help us get off to a start and allowed us to continue to play today and hopefully tomorrow

End of FastScripts...

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