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October 15, 2006

Tom Glavine


Q. Any difference in your preparations with one less day of rest, and can you recall doing this in the post-season before?
TOM GLAVINE: Preparation-wise, you know, you're a day short. So I have one less bullpen session. I have one less workout day in between.
Aside from that, everything else is pretty normal. And in terms of, you know, recalling doing it, yeah, I've done it a bunch of times, certainly in the post-season. I did it earlier this year during the regular season. It's something that I've done. I mean, I guess I understand how to make the subtle changes I need to make in order to prepare for a short rest.
But 99% of it depends on how you feel, and I feel good, so hopefully that will be a big plus on my side.

Q. There's so much made of the difference between three days' rest and four days' rest. Do you feel different when you have that one day less rest, do you feel less strong, is it something that's noticeable?
TOM GLAVINE: There are times where it's noticeable. You know, probably more during the regular season than it is now.
I think this time of year, your adrenaline is so high, you're so fired up about getting out there that I think that takes away from a lot of the feelings on the negative side. And most of it revolves around just, yeah, being a little bit tired. You don't have that extra day that you're accustomed to so maybe you don't have as much zip on your pitches as you're accustomed to or maybe you're physically just not feeling the way you're accustomed to. But like I said, this time of year, I don't really think that's as much of a factor. I think the physical side of it is taken care of by the adrenaline.
It's just the kind of thing that, I mean, we haven't been accustomed to doing it most of the time in our career, so there is a little bit of adjustment.

Q. The Mets had such a big lead all season and then you never trailed in the Division Series against the Dodgers and now you're down 2-1. Would you say this is a moment of truth for your team, and how do you see the team reacting to a situation you haven't been in before this year?
TOM GLAVINE: I mean, I don't know, it's hard to define, you know, what it is, whether it's a moment of truth or I'm sure there's some talk out there that this is a must-win for us, all that stuff.
But, I don't know, it's not like we went through the year without any adversity whatsoever. You don't play 162 games without facing some adversity during the course of the year. I think most of the time, we faced the adversity pretty well. Judging from the way the guys are right now in the clubhouse, everybody's pretty loose and ready to go. I mean, we don't like the fact that we're down two games to one, but we are, and there's not a lot obviously we can do about that now other than trying to play better going forward. And we still feel very much like we're alive in this thing and we certainly have a good chance to win this thing. But, you know, there's no question our backs are against the walls a little bit and this is a big game for us tonight.

Q. A few days after the fact, how did you feel about what Albert Pujols said after Game 1?
TOM GLAVINE: You know what, I don't have a whole lot of reaction to it to be honest with you. I've been asked about it a lot. A lot of people have joked with me about it. But, I mean, I don't know Albert well enough to know where that came from. And I know that a lot of things that we say as athletes in the heat of the moment, either isn't what we meant to say or doesn't come out the way we meant it.
You know, I have a ton of respect for Albert. He's a great player. It's a great challenge when I face him individually. If he truly didn't think I pitched well the other night, then I hope I do something tomorrow night to really impress him. That would be a good thing. (Laughter.)

Q. Do you think the team is looking at tonight's game as let's just find a way to win this game tonight and let Tom take it tomorrow?
TOM GLAVINE: To a degree, sure. But I think first and foremost we have to concentrate and figure out a way to win tonight's game. You know, because we win tonight's game, obviously there's no guarantee we're going to win tomorrow night's game just because I'm pitching. So many times in these series, you talk about, you know, well, a certain guy is pitching in this series, all the talk is about me and Chris Carpenter. There's no guarantee that we're going to win the games. You expect based on track record that you're going to get a certain performance but you never know what's going to happen. And I think from our standpoint, we can't assume anything beyond tonight. We have to go out and take care of business tonight hopefully we'll be in position tomorrow night when we take the field and the series is even and I can go out there tomorrow night and give us a chance to win the game.
Like I say, I don't think our team has the mentality right now that, hey, if we win tonight, we're going to go home for sure up three games to two, because you just don't know what's going to happen.

Q. There's been a lot of discussion about pitching in New York, especially with the struggles that Jeff Weaver had there, I'm just curious if you noticed anything different when you first got to New York and anything that sticks out that would make it harder for somebody than any place else.
TOM GLAVINE: It's a hard place to play. It's harder than most other places. You know, you just have a higher concentration of media outlets that cover your team, and because of that, you know, there's more attention paid to both the good side of it and the bad side of it.
If you do well in that town, then there's nothing better than doing well in that town. But if you don't do well, there's not a whole lot worse. It's a tough place to play when you're not doing well, because there's no -- I mean, there's nowhere to hide. There's ten newspapers covering you and 15 TV channels. There's no other place like it in terms of the amount of coverage that sports teams and athletes get in that town.
But you know, I think it's the kind of thing that you have to -- I think if you as an athlete go in there and understand your responsibilities as an athlete and you are accountable for your actions both good and bad, then I think it's a tolerable place to play and you're treated fairly. But if you have a hard time being accountable when you don't do well, then it's going to be a miserable town for you to play in.
You know, I've seen both sides of it. I've been booed off the field, and I've been carried off the field by people cheering me. So I've seen both ends of it, and I can tell you the bad side of it gets a lot more attention than the good side does, but the good side is pretty darned good when it's on your side.

Q. Coming back tomorrow night in a short series against the same team, it seems like it's going to be a unique challenge for you coming back in such a short amount of time against the same team, something you haven't had to do all year, is that going to involve a lot more thinking and more of a cat-and-mouse game for you?
TOM GLAVINE: I don't know. I think that there's no question that when you have to face a team right away again, especially in these kind of situations, I think the advantage swings towards the hitters. When they are seeing you again so quickly, I think that's to their advantage, and it's something that as a pitcher, I don't really like to do during the course of the regular season, and you know, I don't like it any more during the post-season. Maybe a little bit simply because you know you're in the post-season and it's part of the equation.
But you know, I think often times as pitchers we make the mistake of thinking that because we just pitched against a team a short time ago that we somehow have to go into this next start with a different approach or a different game plan. You know, my game plan for the most part is not going to change a lot. I mean, the foundation of what I have to do to be successful isn't going to change. There may be some things that in the back of my mind from the last game I want to do better or I want to do a little bit differently, but you know, there are not wholesale changes. I guess at least for me anyway, I'm going to say, geez, I'm going to pitch against these guys this time and throw 100 miles an hour. I can only do so much within my game plan.
I think the important thing is my game plan has to remain the foundation of what I do. And sure I'm going to have to make some little adjustments along the way, but I think I have to wait for the hitters to tell me what those adjustments are before I have to start doing a lot of things.

Q. I don't know if you saw the video of Magglio hitting the homer yesterday, but Atlanta being a team that was downtrodden for so long and finally went to the World Series, do you have a sense of what the players in Detroit are going through right now and the city is going right now?
TOM GLAVINE: Yeah, there's nothing better than a team that comes out of nowhere and finds themselves in the World Series. With all of the experience that I've had in the post-season and all of the teams I've been on and everybody wants to compare, what's one team like compared to the other and what's it like and all that stuff, there's no greater feeling than winning a World Series. I'll tell you that. That's what we play for.
But it was a close second for me in 1991 when we went from being a 100-game loser, from worst to first, and finding yourself in the World Series in a year that nobody in their wildest dreams including the players would have envisioned. That was great. That year in a lot of ways was so much fun, because so many unexpected things happened. And when we won in '95, obviously the end result was awesome and there's nothing like it, but it was obviously much more expected than where we were in 1991.
And it's like anything you do. When you do something unexpectedly, there's a different sense of satisfaction and pride and fun that's associated with that. I'm sure those guys in Detroit are having a blast, and I'm sure their fans are having a blast and it's been a long time coming. It's good for the city and I think it's good for baseball. It's good for baseball when you have the underdog find their way into the Big Dance, so to speak. I think that gives renewed hope for everybody that, you know, organizations can turn things around, because the Tigers certainly did.

Q. After being his teammate for a short time, do you have a read on Perez's emotional makeup and what does he have to do tonight early?
TOM GLAVINE: I don't get the sense that he's intimidated by anything. You know, I think he has a lot of confidence in himself and a lot of confidence in his ability. You know, it's just a matter for him of going out there and getting it done.
He's got great stuff. In the short period of time he's been in New York and certainly in the short period of time he's been in the Major Leagues, he's at times displayed lights-out stuff. The battle for him, like so many young players, especially pitchers, is finding that consistency time in and time out. That's been a struggle for him.
I think the most important thing for him tonight is to go out, get off to a good start, get through that first inning, get through those first couple of innings unscathed and kind of establish himself and kind of establish a little bit of a rhythm and try to give us an opportunity where we can play from ahead instead of having to come back like we did last night.

Q. You've seen David Wright since he came around and it seems like he's the same guy no matter what the highs are, what the lows are, where does that come from, and are you seeing that now from him?
TOM GLAVINE: Where it comes from, I would imagine a lot of it has to do with his parents, his upbringing.
I know, I hear the same thing about me, and I know that's my parents. My parents are very even-keeled. You know, just kind of steady as she goes. I'm sure that for David he's had to have some of that influence from somewhere in his family.
For him, it's really remarkable for me as a veteran player to watch David and watch how he goes about his business and watch how he handles himself. To be a young kid, an inexperienced kid in this league, playing in the city that he's playing and having the success that he's having, you wouldn't know it. He's just a very level-headed kid that goes about his business in a tremendous way every day.
You know, I'm sure he'll be the first to tell you that he wishes he was hitting a little bit better than he has in this series. He's hit some balls hard and that haven't found the holes but you would not know from his demeanor or in the clubhouse that he has any concern in his game. He goes out there every night trying to do something special to help us win.

Q. Do you have any sort of analysis of why the Cardinals seem to be vulnerable to left-handed pitching? In this series alone, except for the inning they had against Wagner, you and Oliver have been able to shut them down.
TOM GLAVINE: I don't, to be honest with you. I mean, you know, most of the time, you have a situation like we have with our team, where you have a heavily left-handed batting order. They don't obviously. So you know I'm not sure what it is. I'm not sure why they have struggled a little bit so far in the series. You can only hope that it continues tonight and certainly tomorrow night and we can take advantage of that if there is something to be taken advantage of.

Q. The absence of the pitchers who are not on this roster, Pedro and El Duque, seems to hang over this series right now. Do you personally feel the weight of their absence?
TOM GLAVINE: Not really. It's like I've said before, them not being here doesn't make me do anything differently or make me pitch any differently. I mean, I understand that you know, there's a different feeling when I take the mound now because, you know, I guess with those guys not being here, I've assumed a little bit more of the No. 1 guy, so to speak.
There's a different feeling when those guys take the mound. There's a different feeling for the Cardinals when Chris Carpenter takes the mound. I understand that. But that doesn't change what I do or what I try to do out there on the field. I mean, all I can do is try my very best to give our guys an honest chance to win the game.
You know, so far I've been able to do that in the post-season. But I honestly believe it's because I've resisted that temptation to go out there and try to be something more than I am because of the absence of those guys. I mean, I am what I am, and it's not going to get a whole lot different than what I've done for the last 20 years, and that's what I have to continue to do to be successful, and I just know, like I said, that everybody looks at my games a little bit differently, but that doesn't change and can't change the way I pitch.

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