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July 9, 2001

Luis Gonzalez

Thomas Knepp


JEFF IDELSON: We have Luis Gonzales and Thomas Knepp from Potters Mills, Pennsylvania.

Q. Barry says you are not laying in the weeds anymore.

LUIS GONZALEZ: I tell you what, this was exciting out here for they today. I'm kind of that fog, especially compared against up to those guys, going into the last couple rounds against Barry, and then against Sammy. I'm extremely excited. I'm more excited for you because you won a house. I'm hoping you invite me and my three kids and my wife for dinner. They might demolish your house before they get it up. This has been an incredible day for me today. I was so nervous coming out into my first home run derby and to get past the first round and second round, I was thinking, geez, I hope I can fair well out there and hit one or two. All of you guys are easy but you have to walk into a clubhouse with 35, 40 guys, those are the guys you get ribbed by. I can go in there and hang my head proud. I'm happy that I got to bring my own BP guy, Jeff Motuzas, and we'll be happy guys when we get back to the locker room on Wednesday or Thursday.

Q. What were you thinking when you saw Giambi hit 15 bombs in the first round?

LUIS GONZALEZ: I was thinking that trophy had his name on it. It takes a lot out of you. I'm sure he hit all of those early, and then he got to sit around for about another 30, 45 minutes and you get back out and your heart is racing so much. There's no batting cage and the crowd want to see home runs. There's a lot of pressure for you to do that. I was just trying to keep it simple and not get too excited out there but at the same time I felt like a little kid going, this is me standing here instead of watching it on TV. So it is kind of a neat feeling.

Q. Needless to say, you are not a Diamondback fan?

THOMAS KNEPP: I am now. In fact, Century 21, I'm now a fan of theirs, too and Major League Baseball. This is just fantastic.

Q. How much did you know of Luis Gonzalez?

THOMAS KNEPP: Didn't know him at all, to tell you the truth.

LUIS GONZALEZ: Neither did a lot of people, I guess.

THOMAS KNEPP: And I'm sure he didn't know Tommy Knepp.

Q. Luis, you really woke everybody up in that stadium today.

LUIS GONZALEZ: Well, you know, the way the crowd has been here in Seattle, this is unbelievable. You can go man-to-man in both locker rooms and I just tell you that because that's in the air in Seattle. The city has adapted well, the team is doing great, and to the accommodations, to us as players. We're excited to be here. We want to put on a good show. You could see this was not even a game, and the fans were excited with all the stuff going on, the home run derby. It is a beautiful ballpark. It's just a lot of fun. We can't wait to get out here tomorrow for the first pitch of the All-Star Game.

Q. Luis, your home run total has been overshadowed by Barry's this season. Now you're in the spotlight. What does it feel like?

LUIS GONZALEZ: Well, I think what helps me in Arizona is I have two big horses in Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson and we've got Mark Grace, a lot of big name guys over there, so we are on the same page. It is exciting to do what I am doing. I just want to continue to be consistent. That's the main thing, just trying to go out there and be consistent. I'm in the middle of a good lineup. The home runs have been coming. It's kind of streaky for me. I kind of like where Barry is at right now, because we are continuing to win games, and at the same time, it has not been a distraction to our ballclub of what I've been doing in the first half. So I'd just assume keep it that way. I know that if I continue to hit home runs, obviously, the media stuff is going to pick up, but that does not affect me. Hopefully, the thing it won't do is hinder our ballclub. I'll try to accommodate as many of the reporters and things like that as we can, but at the same time, I don't want to interfere with my teammates doing their job out there.

Q. You started slow in the last couple rounds. Were you tired or nervous?

LUIS GONZALEZ: I think it was a little bit of both. Once I got past that first round, I was kind of a little bit more at ease, because your first fear in the first round is that you are not going to hit any, and once you get one or two -- and I could not get past five in the first two rounds and then I hit six and knew I was going up against Sammy and I didn't know what to expect because he can get on a roll and hit a ton in a hurry. I think everybody's favorite after the first round was Giambi. But when you sit around for a long time like that, and then have to crank it up in a hurry, you get kind of tired and winded, especially when your heart is beating a thousand times a second out there.

Q. Has your reputation changed now to being more of a home run hitter?

LUIS GONZALEZ: I hope not. I still want to be consistent. The home runs are nice, but to me I would just assume be the total package. The home runs are nice, but I enjoy hitting doubles, driving in runs. I want to do a little bit of everything. If I can continue to did that, in the middle of our lineup, hopefully our ballclub will do well and get to the playoffs again.

Q. You had a 30-game hitting streak, hitting for the cycle, how does this compare?

LUIS GONZALEZ: This definitely ranks above all of that because you are out here amongst your peers. The whole world is watching, and this is actually where you get, you know, recognition for doing something like this. I'm excited. I know my family back in Florida, my in-laws in Texas, and everybody in Arizona, I'm just excited to bring this back with me, back to the valley.

Q. Jeff must have thrown 300 pitches out there.

LUIS GONZALEZ: Yeah. I was more worried about him, because I just wanted to make a good showing. To me, that's the biggest reward. It is a lot of fun to be able to win somebody a house, and to bring my own guy with me, over here, this guy has been awesome to me for three years, throwing to me day-in, day-out, getting me locked in before games, any time I need extra throwing and stuff, and then to go ahead and be rewarded by being able to bring somebody over here with you to throw to you, that means a lot. And I just told him as we got deeper in the rounds, I said, "Okay, we've already passed that stage where we are going to be accepted by the guys when we get there. Let's just keep it going." Then when we started get to go that finish line, I just said, "We can smell it out here. Let's try and finish strong and see what happens." I know he was nervous because he had to throw for Sammy, too. I'm happy for him, because he's been one of the unsung heroes for me the last three or four years in Arizona.

Q. How would you have felt if he had given up more homers to Sammy?

LUIS GONZALEZ: I mean, he's -- obviously we would have ribbed him in the locker room. Schilling was telling him to try to throw cutters and things to Sammy like that. He's a great guy. If I'm going to go to war, that's the guy I want to go to war with. I told him before, I said , "You've never done something like this, I've never done something like this. So if I get one home run after the first rounds, we are already advanced as far as we wanted to go." So to win this whole thing and everything, it is a lot of fun and it is extremely exciting for me and I'm more excited for him, too, because he was a part of it with me.

Q. Let us know what Glaus is going to face from his peers?

LUIS GONZALEZ: He's a prolific home run hitter. This guy led the League last year. You've seen Piazza do it, you've seen Bagwell do it. In the back of my mind, you kind of set yourself up for that, just in case. But those guys, they do it in the game, and that's where it really counts. When the game is on the line, I'm sure Troy Glaus is probably one of the guys you want at the plate, so I'm sure he'll be able to live with himself. The guys will probably give him a hard time, but that's the part of the good nature of baseball, being around those guys. They are like your second family, because those are the guys you live with day-in and day-out.

End of FastScripts�.

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