October 11, 2001
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Workout Day
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. Describe your range of emotions being here, not only being up 2-0, but being in the situation itself.
MARCUS GILES: It's a lot of fun. You know, this game has been a lot of -- there's been a lot of pressure in this game already. I think if you put more pressure on yourself, you're going to do worse. So you just go out there and have a lot of fun. Getting two in a row helps it to be a lot more fun. But you just go out there and play hard and just try to keep our hot streak right now. Momentum is a lot in a five-game series, and we're just going to try to keep that going.
Q. Did you honestly, honestly think you'd be up 2-0? Not just yourself, but the feeling in the clubhouse, being up 2-0?
MARCUS GILES: Well, I think going in, you definitely want to split at least at the worst. But I think you go in and try to win both games - always. Especially after you get that first one, you got to go to the next one. Going up 2-0 in a five-game series, like I said, is huge. I don't think we're surprised, but we would definitely accept a split. But 2-0 is definitely better than a split. So we're happy where we're at right now.
Q. Have you had any conversations with your brother Brian about the extra pressure or intensity in this situation?
MARCUS GILES: You know, he's talked to me about the post-season and what it's like. But he says the same thing I've been saying all along. Pressure is only what you make of it and what you put on yourself. Like I said before, if you put pressure on yourself, I think your performance is not going to show as well. You just go out there and do what you've done your whole life. It's the same game. Just because you're in the playoffs, everything is magnified, you don't have much room for error and plays need to be made. But you just go out there and have fun, do what got you here. That's all the advice he's given me, is just do what I know.
Q. Can you talk about the ups and downs of this year and going back down to Richmond after hitting a grand slam?
MARCUS GILES: Well, when I was here for the first time I expected to be here for two weeks. As it was, I ended up being here for just about a month. When they made their decision to send me down, they were making room for John Smoltz. So, I mean I think you know as well as I do, I'm going to pick John Smoltz over Marcus Giles especially at that point in my career, and even now. At any time. But, you know, I had a couple choices. I could take that, I could go down to Richmond, feel sorry for myself, lick my wounds down there and not try to get any better and probably stay down there the rest of the year. Or I could learn from it, take what I learned up here and use that in Richmond and try to get better down there and get up here as quick as I can. That's what I did, and I think it's working out all right.
Q. You seem like your really enjoy yourself. I mean, from the goggles in the clubhouse to the way you play to the way you are. Have you always been like that? Are you having as much fun as it looks?
MARCUS GILES: Yeah, I've always been kind of a clown. Yeah, it's probably funner than what I make it look out there. It's the best thing I've ever done in my life. It's everything I've always wanted to do. So why not enjoy it? You don't know how long this is going to last. This could be my last year, I could have 10, 15 more years after this. You never know. So you got to take care of your game like it's your last. That's what I do out there. I think that's what makes it so enjoyable. It's hard not to have a smile on your face out there. It's a game; have fun.
Q. How much influence has your brother had on you and your baseball life?
MARCUS GILES: A ton. You know, since I was about 12 or 13, when I'd get off school in the summertime, when he was in the Minor Leagues, I'd go out and hang out with him, go on road trips, take the bus trips, 14-hour bus trips, hit batting practice with them, shower with them, have my own hitting group. I got to do the whole nine yards. I think that alone right there gave me an idea what to expect when I signed and went into pro ball. I think it's helped me. In the wintertime, I go to the gym. We work out together. We hit together every day. We go to play golf after that. But he's been there for me all my life. We've been pretty much like best friends all my life and he's been a ton of help.
Q. What were some of the Minor League towns you got to visit?
MARCUS GILES: Geez, I know we were visiting Kingston, Watertown, Charlotte. I remember those places were dumps. They didn't change when I got there. I used to sleep up in the luggage rack in the bus. It worked out all right.
Q. I know your best buddy from high school was here last week when you clinched. He's good luck. Is he coming back? Is he going to be visiting you if you make the NLCS?
MARCUS GILES: He'll be back. I think he's trying to work on a ticket right now as we speak.
Q. What's his name?
MARCUS GILES: His name is Matt. I think he might try to get out here, try to be here hopefully when we clinch this. Yeah, he'll be back. And he'll be back if we get to the next series. He'll be there, too. Everybody will be at the next series.
Q. After visiting all those Minor League towns, were you looking forward to a career in baseball?
MARCUS GILES: Yeah, you know what, I was. Seeing the lifestyle, the struggle, you know, you make about 25 cents an hour in the Minor Leagues. To see him go through that and to see him get where he is now and the hard work he had to go through and the struggles he had to go through to get there, it makes what you got now so much better. It makes you grow up a lot, going to live on your own and eating, drinking water and eating bread every day to try to survive. Makes you learn a lot and makes you grow up. I don't regret anything I ever experienced in the Minor Leagues.
Q. When you came back from the break, you struggled for a few games. Can you talk about how you kept working through that and working through that? What was it like when you were struggling, and now what it's been like the last week and a half of the regular season so far?
MARCUS GILES: A lot of fun, that's for sure. You know, it's a rough time, though. That part was, we were trying to clinch a division title. I've been in that slump before plenty of times in my career. Believe me, I've been there and you just got to battle through it. It's not fun, but you got to keep working hard. You're not going to do any good if you just sit on your hands. I tried to get out of it by working on it. But I've been there before. The only bad thing about it was it was kind of unfortunate about the timing of this slump. That's what really got to me most. You can't really let it get to you that much. Like I said, you're not going to do any good. But just the timing of it, and it hurt me not to be able to help the team in the week before the end of the season or whatever to help us clinch. But I had the guys to pick me up, though, so that was good.
Q. The last week and a half of the season, guys picking you up, can you assess Brian Jordan's play down the stretch?
MARCUS GILES: The guy's clutch. Brian Jordan is a tremendous competitor. He plays the game the right way, and that's hard. That's 100 percent. That's the way he plays it, like it's his last game. I think you can tell that from watching from the stands. I think anybody can tell that. I think he's an unbelievable guy to have on your team, especially in a clutch situation. He's been so clutch for us down the stretch, I don't -- I think anybody in the clubhouse would tell you if we didn't have him, we'd be in trouble.
Q. Is your brother a little envious after their disappointing season to see where you are right now?
MARCUS GILES: I think I made a comment about that the other night on the phone, saying it could be worse. It could be where I could be where he's at. But that was kind of mean. I didn't really mean that (laughter). But, you know, sure. He's an athlete, and I think any athlete wants to win. That's the bottom line. That's what we're here for - is to win and try to go get a ring. When you can't do it, you had a tough season like they did, I don't think anybody likes that. I don't think anybody on their team likes that. I don't think any of their staff likes that. But you got to roll with the punches and try to go get them next year. Sure, he'd like to be where I am right now just like I'm sure a bunch of other teams would like to be where we're at right now. But those people, they just got to work hard and try for next year. That's what Brian's going to do.
Q. We asked Burkett before, since his locker is next to you, exactly how tall you are. He said you're 4'12", but you're playing like a 7-footer.
MARCUS GILES: Okay (laughter).
Q. How tall are you?
MARCUS GILES: I'm not gonna say. No, I don't know. I don't know. 5'8" soaking wet (laughter). In lather. I don't know (laughter).
End of FastScripts....