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October 15, 2001

Greg Maddux


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Greg Maddux, please.

Q. What was the team's reaction when you guys heard you signed Julio Franco?

GREG MADDUX: I think we were all very excited. We knew Julio was an outstanding hitter. We hadn't heard much about him lately, but the memories of him were that, "This guy can hit." I mean,, "He can hit it hard." Defensively, I think he's a lot better than we all thought, too. So I know the pitchers are all excited about that. We're glad to have him on our team right now; that's for sure.

Q. What do you think of having Smoltz out of the bullpen to save a Maddux game?

GREG MADDUX: He's been pitching great. I'd much rather have him pitch in my games than before or after my games, obviously. He's been throwing outstanding. His velocity has seemed to have gotten better. Pitching two, three days in a row, his location has gotten better. I tell you what, he's a very gifted pitcher that not only has way above average stuff, but also knows how to pitch a little bit. When you put those two things together, I mean, it's something special to watch.

Q. What are your thoughts on the difference between your superb regular-season record and your post-season record?

GREG MADDUX: Probably the biggest thing is I don't get to face the last place teams. That has a lot to do with it. The guys you're facing are a lot better, and it's harder to beat good teams than bad teams. You don't get away with the mistakes in the post-season that you get away with during the season.

Q. How do you break down these two pitching staffs, and where, if any place, do you see the Braves having an advantage?

GREG MADDUX: Well, I really don't. I mean, I watch Schilling and Johnson pitch over here, and I enjoy watching them pitch. That's as far as it goes. I mean, I don't try to really compare our staff to theirs. I enjoy good pitching as much as anybody, regardless of who's doing it. That game last night was probably one of the best I've ever seen. That was a great game. That was a lot of fun to watch. I was nervous sitting on my couch back in Atlanta watching that thing. I mean, I didn't know what was going to happen. It was just something I really enjoyed. I'd never really try to compare us to them. Just try to really worry about their hitters and enjoy watching those guys pitch.

Q. Having had the benefit of a few days off, a chance to reset things, Diamondbacks won an emotional Game 5, seem to have a little momentum on their side, is there any particular team you think that favors?

GREG MADDUX: Well, I don't know. I mean, that's a good question. I think what happened yesterday or last week really doesn't matter anymore. I think what matters is how you play tomorrow. I'm sure they're just as excited to be here as we are. I mean, it was easier on us, sitting at home doing nothing, than it was on them grinding and playing an extra two games. But who knows?

Q. What do you remember about the time, one time you matched up with Johnson when he was with the Astros? How much different is it in this setting?

GREG MADDUX: I was trying to think of that (smiling).

Q. September '98.

GREG MADDUX: Yeah. I don't -- who won? I don't even remember who won. Did he get me or I get him? I don't even remember. I just --.

Q. I think he won 3-1.

GREG MADDUX: I think what I remember the most is hitting off him, thinking that if he wanted to slap me on the side of the head when he let go of it, he could. He seems to let the ball go a lot further out in front of the mound than anybody I've ever faced. That's probably what I remember the most. And his slider's pretty funky, too.

Q. Did you keep your routine pretty regular over the weekend, as far as between starts?

GREG MADDUX: Well, I mean, yeah. I mean, we had a couple workouts here and there, threw a little bit, ran around a little bit. Got to spend a lot of time with my family. That was nice. Pretty much same thing. I mean, you know, you're more in a routine when you go to the ballpark at 2 o'clock and get home at midnight. It's more of a routine. But I enjoyed the quiet time around the house probably more than anything.

Q. John was in here before and said what you guys have accomplished in the last ten years may never happen again. He knows it's not going to go on forever. That said, is there any sense of urgency on this team this year to win it?

GREG MADDUX: I don't feel any. I mean, I know we want to win. I know we want to win as bad this year as we have in years past. It's enjoyable. When you've been to post-season as much as we have, I think you learn to enjoy it more and realize that it does take a lot to get here. But, I mean, I don't feel like we have to win any more this year than we have the last seven, eight years.

Q. This is not a driving force that, "We've done so much all these years and yet we haven't got but one big prize to show for it"?

GREG MADDUX: I think knowing what that prize feels like is the driving force. Otherwise, we wouldn't have been here since '95 every year. Obviously, we've come up short, but I think we've had a taste of it and we enjoy it and we want to keep having our shot at it. We're doing it again this year. We've got our shot, and we're going to try to make the most of it.

End of FastScripts....

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