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October 2, 2003

Greg Maddux


THE MODERATOR: We've got Greg Maddux here.

Q. In your mind, is this like a home game coming back and pitching in Wrigley Field?

GREG MADDUX: It's not like a home game. It's been over a decade since I pitched here last. I do know the ballpark probably as well as any road park in the league. Sometimes it's the best place in the world to pitch. Sometimes it blows out, and it could be tough.

Q. Mark Prior mentioned he was 12 years old when you won your first Cy Young here. What's it like going against a guy in the next generation?

GREG MADDUX: He's easily one of the best pitchers in the game. He's one of the few that has great stuff but also pitches. You know, I'm trying to beat the lineup, not necessarily the pitcher. You have to beat lineups to win; not the opposing pitcher. And there is no question he's very good at what he does.

Q. You turned down $27 and a half million in '92. What kind of numbers do you think Mark Prior is going to turn down?

GREG MADDUX: I've got no idea. I would like to be his agent. I don't know. I have no idea.

Q. Dusty Baker characterized as a young lion versus a veteran lion. How do you feel about being a veteran lion?

GREG MADDUX: It's better than being just old, I guess.

Q. Thoughts about coming in and pitching this game when the team is 1-1 instead of 2 -0?

GREG MADDUX: You know, we have a little momentum on our side right now, and we need to try to keep it down to a 3-game series. I only know one way to pitch. I'm going to go out there and pitch the way I know and give us a chance to win.

Q. What do you appreciate about Cubs fan?

GREG MADDUX: I think Cub fans are probably the most loyal around in baseball. They don't turn their back on you as a player. Through the bad times, they support you; and through the good times, they support you even more, and as a player, it was very enjoyable playing with the fans here. You know, it's been a long time since they won, and I'm sure it means a lot to their fans. I've always felt this city has probably wanted to win more than any other city we go to. I'm going to try not to let it happen.

Q. What effect does the cold wind have on the game and on you?

GREG MADDUX: Really, there is not going to be any effect. I might change a little bit where the ball carries or things like that, but just put on a sweatshirt and go.

Q. A few years ago you gave the impression you might be retired by now. What keeps you going?

GREG MADDUX: You're very lucky to play this game, and I've always felt it was a privilege to play, and I enjoy it, and I still feel like I can compete at it. As long as I feel like I'm worthy enough to wear the uniform and still enjoy the game, who knows.

Q. You mentioned that fans here do not turn their backs on players. What kind of reaction do you expect coming back?

GREG MADDUX: I'm sure I'll get called a few things. I'll go out there and try to pitch. The fans here support their team very well, and part of being a Cub fan is beating on the other team. I would be very surprised if there weren't things said to me when I'm warming up or before the game. It's perfectly normal to be called something before the game starts, during the game and after the game. Some of them are funny.

Q. Dusty Baker said that one factor tomorrow night might be which umpire is behind the plate. What is your reaction to that? You have been thought to get some calls from certain umpires.

GREG MADDUX: Whatever. I've never felt like my strike is any better than the guys I'm pitching against. Whoever throws pitches on the corner the most gets a lot of calls. I take it as kind of a compliment. I watch my tapes. You know, I'm getting the same calls the opposing pitcher is getting. Hopefully, I'll make more than him so it looks like I'm getting more pitches.

Q. You have been very successful over the years. What is the key to your longevity?

GREG MADDUX: Just being fortunate. You know, I think the biggest key is I want to play. That's wanting to go out there, and just being fortunate enough to stay away from injury is probably the biggest reason for it.

THE MODERATOR: The last one.

Q. Your experience in '89 with the Cubs wasn't very good, and '98 you came back and completed the win. How much does your experience here play in the game tomorrow?

GREG MADDUX: You get out there and you have been there before, and when something happens, you can reflect back on, hey, I have been through this before and maybe that's what experience means, but, you know, it's not what you know or what you've done or what you didn't do. It's how you pitch. And that's what's going to matter the most is how I pitch and how they do the same three things too.

Q. Smoltz yesterday said if this team didn't win the World Series, there were going to be a lot more changes than ever. Any thoughts on that?

GREG MADDUX: I really don't know. It's about this series. It doesn't go beyond that for me. I've never worried about next year until Spring Training. So, just go out and play and do the best you can, and whatever happens, happens.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Greg. Bobby Cox will be here shortly.

End of FastScripts...

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