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October 3, 2000

Brian Sabean


Q. Can you talk a little bit about the impact Dave Righetti has had as your pitching coach this year?

BRIAN SABEAN: Well, fortunately we had David in the minor leagues. He made his first imprint on the organization at that level and we were very impressed. And I think he was charged up by the possibilities. He had to clear all this with his family, which he's very close, and that situation is dear to him. Although they're local, he's got some challenges there. And once he was able to juggle that, he was very interested in the position here. But we did have a feel for what he might do for the organization, because of his work in the minor leagues. In general, here, on any given day he's been a guy that's been through it all, or a big brother of sorts. And he brings a lot of expert knowledge. He's very good with mechanics, in my mind, as well as the mental side of the game. That combination is a little unusual. I think his greatest strength, other than his personality, which is very intense, but light-hearted at the same time, is his ability really to turn back the page and kind of pass on his ideas, having been a starter and reliever. He's got a way to get to anybody on staff. It's a unique situation.

Q. Is there any one pitcher in particular you feel he has helped?

BRIAN SABEAN: No, not necessarily. For all these guys to turn the corner, like he did, he obviously helped with all of them, and he was very patient early. He didn't come in jumping on a soap box and stamping both feet and showing everybody how smart he was. He took his time with all these guys. I think they respected it. And when he needed help, either they went to him, or he went to them with specific ideas. But I think in general if you look at the relative overall success and the improvement, man to man, his footprint is on everybody, really.

Q. Did you have a sense from way back with the Yankees that he had that kind of personality that could be a good pitching coach?

BRIAN SABEAN: Not necessarily. More so when I got to know him, ironically, a little bit different in the Giant organization. He's the guy a lot of people respect in the game. We had the unfortunate experience of not renewing his situation here. He didn't want to go out that way, and as we all know he made it back to the big leagues, and he went out on his own terms. I think what flattered all of us is somebody that had a name like his, as well as with his challenges at home, wanted to consider doing this. And you'd have to talk to him. But I know the kids got him hooked, and once they do that, it's an easy thing to get caught up in.

Q. I was just wondering if you've made your roster decision regarding the last pitcher?

BRIAN SABEAN: Yeah, pending us getting through this healthy, Dusty is going to have that, at the end of the work out. We hope someone doesn't take one off the squash and get hit by a foul ball.

Q. Is John Johnstone going to be available for this series?

BRIAN SABEAN: I don't know. I saw him earlier, but whether he will or not, that's up to him.

Q. Brian, Livan and Shawn Estes have had excellent records here at the Pac Bell. Is there anything here at the park that you think complements their pitching style?

BRIAN SABEAN: Well, I think anybody that's pitched here found out that it's a fair park, and that if you throw strikes, you stay ahead of hitters, you can run your stuff through the strike zone. And I think Shawn especially has been more at ease with that. And fortunately, both of them really have, especially at home, kept us in the ballgames, and pitched deep into games. But I think in total, whether you're a pitcher on our staff or somebody that's been in here more than once as the opposition, you find out it's a fair park. You don't have to be intimidated by the dimensions.

Q. Brian, is this the best year in a long time maybe for a team to get in the playoffs, considering maybe the Yankees and Braves maybe aren't dominating the League as much as they have in recent years?

BRIAN SABEAN: You never know what's going to happen, once the bell rings. And they've got all the experience in the world, that accounts for a lot. But to answer the question, the parity is apparent. I think if we polled everybody in this room or in both clubhouses, it's like a shotgun start. Anybody that gets through the first round might have a chance to win the thing. I think the first-round matchups are going to be dog fights. I'd be surprised if they don't all go to the bitter end. But you have to respect their experience. And in our League obviously the Braves are the team to beat.

End of FastScripts....

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