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October 1, 2002

Tom Glavine


Q. The obvious question, how do you pitch to Barry Bonds?

TOM GLAVINE: You know, it's a combination of being careful and being aggressive. You know, you can't be too careful with a guy like that and take away from your aggressiveness or you're going to play into his hands. So you try to be as aggressive as you can. Certainly, the situation and the score of the game dictates a lot about how you go about pitching to Barry. You know, I guess the biggest cliche in pitching is you have to pick somebody on the other team and not allow them to beat you and if anybody epitomizes that, it's Barry. It's not it take anything away from anybody else in that lineup, but Barry has just been so good that you really have to try to do your best to make somebody else beat and you not let him be the guy.

Q. You've done this so many times? How do you keep it from getting old hat? How do you motivate yourself?

TOM GLAVINE: It's easy, really. Playing in the post son season, I don't know if I would term it as being old hat. I've had the opportunity to do it a lot and it's been a lot of fun and it's been great, but I think each year presents new challenges and ultimately every year you're still trying to become World Champions. You know, this series, the next series are all step as long the way to try and achieve that goal. So because of that, it really -- it doesn't get boring. I think it's a little bit easier to deal with each time around. You know what to expect a little bit more each time around. I think that makes it a little bit, like I say, easier to deal with the wholes situation. But ultimately the excitement is still the same. The adrenaline and the will to win is always the same. Like I said, each year, it boils down to you have the opportunity to try to be World Champions and that's what we play for every year.

Q. Barry Bonds has not has success in the post-season; maybe this is his time to bust out?

TOM GLAVINE: The law of averages are probably on his side, but we're hoping to delay that by at least one more year. I don't know how much you get caught up in that stuff. You know, you make that argument for Barry, could you make the same argument for us as a club. So, you know, it just depends on what side of the fence you want to come down as far as that stuff goes. But I think you treat each series for what it is going into it, and, you know, you can't -- obviously, you can't assume that the struggles that Barry has had in the past in the post-season are going to be true this time around because he's a much different player than he was when we last saw him in the post-season. Our team is much different than last year's team or the team before that. So many things are different and so many things change, that I don't know how much you can pay attention to that. I think again, you know, our club has defied that logic as much as anything in the game. You would think sooner or later our opportunities are going to run out, but to this point in time, they haven't. You know, you just treat it for what it is at that point in time, and just know that we are playing a good ballclub and we are going to have to play good baseball to beat them.

Q. Assuming Santiago hits fifth, can you imagine pitching Bonds any different?

TOM GLAVINE: No. Probably not. I think that's what separates Barry. Barry is such a good player right now that the way you approach him is it just -- what he does dictates everything about how you approach him. There are, obviously, other guys in the game that are great players and you try and put yourself in a position to not allow them to beat you. Even still, the success rate that they have, having these great years is still not what Barry has done. That's what separates Barry from everybody else. You know, I don't know if you pitch to Barry if Babe Ruth was hitting behind him right now, I really don't. He's that good of a player. Again, so much of what your pregame plan is changes based on what's going on in the game that you just don't ever know. No disrespect to Benito, but unless something drastically changes with Barry, you'd have to force Benito to beat you in that situation, and I have a lot of respect for Benito and I think he's a great player and he's had a great year, but it's just Barry is just -- Barry is just so good.

Q. You've been in the series so many times with Maddux and the Giants haven't been; how much of an edge is that?

TOM GLAVINE: I don't know. The way I always answer that question when it's asked: I think you would much rather have experience than not have it. How much it ultimately influences the series, nobody knows. I always point to '91. In '91, we had virtually no experience in our club and we went to the World Series and beat teams that people thought we should not have beat, particularly Pittsburgh. So there is no guarantee that having experience is going to mean success. But I think that, again, kind of along the lines of the earlier question, what experience does is it allows you to know how to prepare from this. It allows you to know what to expect, what's going to go on on a daily basis, what's going to go on on a daily basis as far as your preparation is concerned, as far as your media obligations are concerned, the excitement that surrounds all this. You can get distracted by that the first time you go through this. And then ultimately when you get on the mound, I think just having experience just enables you to go out there and trust yourself, trust yourself to do the things you've always done, the things that you have to do to be successful. I think sometimes the reason guys struggle in these type of situations is because they don't necessarily trust what they have done all year long to get them through in the post-season. When you have that experience and you've been through it and you've done it, it's a little bit easier do trust yourself to do those things, and like I say, deal with everything else that surrounds the playoffs on a daily basis.

Q. What does it mean having Gary Sheffield in the lineup for the post-season?

TOM GLAVINE: Having him in the middle of our lineup in the post-season is certainly a big plus for us. It's exactly the position that we wanted to be in when we got him. It's primarily what we got him for. So, we're hoping for big things out of Gary, and it just gives you another dimension in your lineup. Much like the Giants, when you have two guys in your lineup back-to-back like they do and like we do, it makes it awfully difficult on a pitcher to not have to pitch to one of those guys. You know, you're talking about All-Star type players, MVP-type players and when you give those guys opportunities to produce, it's putting the game on the line. When you have, like I say, two guys in the lineup like that, it's a difficult prospect to deal with. Sheff has been -- he's been great for us. He's really been a great player, both offensively and defensively for us. I think we all saw when he was hurt and out of our lineup, how much if hurt us not to have him in there. So we are certainly excited about having him here. I know he's excited about getting another opportunities in the post-season.

Q. You've had great success the last 11 years, but some people in Atlanta certainly consider you underachievers. How do you respond to that?

TOM GLAVINE: I'm not sure I can, to be honest with you. I think that we've had an awful lot of success and I don't think we should have to defend that. If winning the post-season were that easy, then there would be a lot of teams doing it. It's just not an easy prospect. So much of the post-season depends on how you are playing at the time and you get in a short series and one or two mistakes can cost you a series and it makes all of the difference in the world. Our success has been phenomenal. We've done something that nobody else in the history of any sport has ever done; so I think that speaks for itself. Certainly, we are disappointed we don't have more World Championships. I think we all feel like that we could have won more, but we didn't and we haven't. But that certainly does not take away from the success that we've had. It's like I've said and virtually every other player in baseball will tell you, they would love to have the same opportunity the Atlanta Braves have every year.

Q. Are you surprised at how flat the New York Mets fell this year?

TOM GLAVINE: I think you can look at a number of teams and be surprised by either their success or lack of success. What happened with the Mets goes to show you how difficult it is to do what we've done every year, or every year for the last 11 years. You look at them, you look at Seattle, those two situations, I think, should tell people how hard it is to win your division year-in and year-out. It's certainly a credit to what we've been able to do. You know, I think as players, for the most part, you worry about yourself, you worry about your own team and wait and see what everybody else does. I think that we certainly thought the Mets were going to be our toughest competition this year, as far as winning our division, but it didn't work out that way.

Q. Rueter's style, compared to yours, doesn't throw the ball as hard. What do you think makes him successful?

TOM GLAVINE: I think a lot of things that makes me successful. He knows what he has to do. He knows what he has to do in order to get hitter outs and give him and himself a chance to bin and he doesn't deviate from it that much. We would love to have the ability from time to time to throw the ball by people; we don't have it, and that's just plain and simple. So you find other ways to get people out and you find other things to make your strengths. I think for him -- and I know for me -- and I think for him, having watched him, I don't know Kirk all that well, but I think from watching him, he knows what he's trying to do and he stays stubborn with trying to do that. He doesn't give into the game. He doesn't give into the situation. He knows what pitch he has to make and he tries to the best of his ability to make it, regardless of what else may influence that. And that's not an easy thing to do, but I think he is one of the more underrated pitchers in the game. I knew he had a tremendous winning percentage. I think most guys would be surprised to hear that. But to me, year-in and year-out, he's been, certainly over the last five or six years, one of the more steady pitchers in the game in terms of going out there and giving his team a chance to win night-in and night-out. He may not always be the benefactor of that, but as the starting pitcher, your job is to give your team a chance to win and he does that consistently.

Q. Have you thought about your future, your contract situation, going into the post-season, is that on your mind at all?

TOM GLAVINE: Not really. I think it's less on my mind now than it was during the regular season. Now that the playoffs are here, that's what it's all about. That's what everything we've done to this year up to this point is all about. It's to get here and take this opportunity and make the most of it. Beyond that, I'm not concerned about it. Sure, I wonder, obviously, what's out there at the end of the year, but in terms of it being a daily concern or wondering on a daily bases, no, I'm not doing that. I think from time to time I think about it. I don't know how you can help but not think about it when you're in my position. Nobody likes uncertainty, and particularly, for me, in my situation, having been here for so long, the uncertainty is a strange situation for me to be in. You know, being prepared to pitch in the post-season and doing the best I can to take advantage of this opportunity is really what's on my mind the most and, you know, whatever else will happen, will happen and it will work itself out one way or the other.

Q. Consider yourself stubborn in your approach to pitching?

TOM GLAVINE: I think stubborn would be a pretty good adjective to describe what I try to do. Again, I'm not blessed with a blazing fastball, but I think I've been pretty blessed with an understanding of how it is that I need to get people out and then having the stubbornness to trust that. I mean, I hear myself described as a nibbler or as a finesse pitcher and all that stuff, I don't believe that as much as I just believe that I'm stubborn about knowing what I have to do. I know that I have to get guys out and I'm not -- I don't let games or scores or situations try and dictate with me to do something different. I know what I do and I have to trust what I do to get people out regardless of what's going on. Being stubborn in doing that is a big part of I think is what makes me successful and what has made my pitching style successful and it's something that I will have to continue to do. As far as coming in here every day before the games, I don't think the other guys would appreciate that -- well they might, you're right, actually. (Laughter.) I don't know how well that will go over.

End of FastScripts�.

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