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July 7, 1998

Mark McGwire


Q. How are you going to handle the second half?

MARK McGWIRE: Well, same way I handled the first half. I think when I came out and said that I'm going to do the media stuff before the series on the road, I think that's the most sensible thing. I can't let anything affect the way I'm going to play the game. That's why I'm here. I'm here to play the game of baseball. If home runs happen, they happen. There's not a little knob on the bat that says I'm going to hit a home run. I work hard, what I do, I have a lot of hard work in the second half.

Q. What's it like for you when an entire stadium or television audience is watching, expecting to you hit a home run? Do you become disappointed when you don't?

MARK McGWIRE: No, no, because I'm realistic about things. I can't do it every day at bat, can't do it every week. You go through streaks were you hit some, get in a nice groove, then you go in streaks where I hit one every week or so. I've just got to work harder than I do.

Q. Do you think about the pressure that was on Roger Maris, what Hank Aaron went through? Do you think about the pressure or is it too soon at this point?

MARK McGWIRE: I think it's much too soon. My goal is to finish the season, without having gray on my goatee. If this is all gray, I think it's a sign that the pressure hit me.

Q. Are you having fun with this?

MARK McGWIRE: Yes. Great game of baseball. We the players thank the fans for coming back. What we did in '94 stunted the game. I think right now it's on an upswing. There's great, great talent in the Major Leagues right now. I'm glad everybody is coming out to watch us.

Q. If one of you does break the record, whose chances would you like, yours, Sosa's, Griffey's? How would you handicap this if you were an average guy sitting at home watching this?

MARK McGWIRE: Honestly, dead even. I'd do it dead even. You just don't know what's going to happen, how they're going to pitch, what teams are going to be in the pennant race, what teams you're playing in the second half that are in the pennant race. There are a lot of things that can happen. There's a lot of great talent. I'm glad I'm in a class with it.

End of FastScripts….

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