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September 7, 1998

Mike Morgan

Jim Riggleman


Q. What went through your mind?
MIKE MORGAN: I came in here to do a job for the Chicago Cubs to give my team a chance to win. I think I did that for the most part. And I didn't make the pitch I wanted to. I wanted the ball down and away from him. I got it up and down the middle of the plate. I was hoping it would go foul. It was looking a little bit. It didn't. I am more concerned about winning the ballgame than giving up the home run. It is in the books now. That is the way it goes.

Q. What pitch was it?
MIKE MORGAN: It was a fast ball.

Q. How do you feel now in retrospect?
MIKE MORGAN: We lost the ballgame. We are in a wild card chase. Came in here to give my team a chance to win. I did it for the most part. Obviously like to have a pitch or two back, I could have easily popped him. You have got tip your hat every now and then, I will just tip my hat.

Q. Him coming up for the second time, was there a thought of him hitting another?
MIKE MORGAN: No, I am still trying to pitch my game. I have never been a home‑run pitcher in my career. I give them up. I am a groundball type of guy and I am still trying to make a pitch there at 2‑0 and he hit it on the ground. Next time up he came up, first pitch cutter away, he pulled up and popped it up. So I was in trouble out there the whole game. I walked a lot of guys. It was hot. But for the most part, I got deeper into the game what they expected of me when they traded for me. Going to try and give them a chance to win every time I go out there like the other four guys that are behind me.

Q. Would you give your reaction to the home run and what it meant?
JIM RIGGLEMAN: Pretty much just like Mike SAID, really caught up in the game, trying to win the game. And I would just like to say that I am just so proud of Mike the way he competed out there today. It was hot, and tough day out there and a lot of things going on, but Mike and our whole ballclub, I just couldn't be proud of the way they competed. We got a long way to go yet and if we compete like that, we are going to be in good shape.
But the home run, in respect of the history of the game, I just have such respect for the game and I think it is something that I will look back on and be proud that I was there when it happened maybe. But it was agonizing as it happened because it makes it that much tougher for us to come back and get the ballgame.

Q. It looked like Sammy grabbed his leg in his last swing. Did he hurt himself running the bases earlier?
JIM RIGGLEMAN: I don't think too much. I saw what you saw, though. And Sammy is just one of the most aggressive, strongest people I have ever been around. He is just such an animal. What a pleasure to be around and watch him go to work everyday. You can't get him out of a ballgame, so I know your guys are looking forward to seeing him here in a minute to answer some questions, he will be here, maybe he can give you a better answer to that one.

Q. Did get the sense with all this drama going around here that his last time up Sammy was going to hit one?
JIM RIGGLEMAN: I never forgranted anything like that because it is so tough to do; that is what is so great about what is Sammy and Mark are doing. It is tough to get basehits, much less home runs. And I do appreciate what you are saying though because it has been that type of year for Sammy where he has done some of those things like that at that time. But Acevedo was throwing the ball very well. There is a lot of mini‑battles that go on in the war out there. And they won that one.

Q. What is it like seeing your teammates high‑five someone who just hit a home run against you?
MIKE MORGAN: First of all, I didn't see it so i can't really ‑‑ it is hard to answer that question. I didn't see him do that. But, like Jim said, what Mark and Sammy have been doing all year, it is amazing, first of all, and still a tough thing to do is hit a baseball out of the ballpark. They both have exceptional power. So, hopefully Sammy can do it too. He is one away, Mark is, from breaking it.
Hopefully the Chicago Cubs can win the wild card and go to post‑season because I have been playing this game for 20 years and never been there, I am hoping I can contribute and be a part of it in this uniform and go from there.

Q. Mike, have you thought at all about the historic part of this, how you will be linked with this record tying home run and what that means?
MIKE MORGAN: Well, you know, he tied it; I am on the other end of it. I haven't given up too many home runs over my career. Never been a home‑run guy, but I do give them up. There have been a lot of solos and two‑run shots. I'd like to have the pitch back. I like to have Marrero's pitch back. Because both times they hit a solo shot, there was two outs. I'd like to have that pitch back. When you're talking one or two pitches over the course of a ballgame, you have just got to tip your hat sometimes.

Q. Jim, if you are in a similar situation with the potential tying run on third in the 9th, do you pitch to McGwire?
JIM RIGGLEMAN: Well, the game situation were dictated if that situation was there ‑ you know the possibility would be that we would make Lankford hit off a lefthander if that came up. We would have Heredia available if that situation had come up for us. But Ray has really hurt us all year. Mark has hurt us. Ray has hurt us. Brian Jordan has hurt us. So, sometimes you just pick your poison a little bit. But ‑‑ I probably ‑‑ being in the situation we are in, I probably would have had Heredia pitch to Lankford in that situation. In their situation, I would have done it the way they did it.

Q. Difficult to pitch to Jordan with the crowd still cheering McGwire for as long as they did?
MIKE MORGAN: No. Standing around waiting for, you know, the moment to finish and get back there, I lost my rhythm a little bit, but, no. I have been in this game a long time. I know how to pitch for the most part. I wasn't happy about my control today. I walked a lot of guys, so I was kind of lucky for the most part to only give up two runs today. I mean, I was in jams every inning. So, turned out to be a 3‑2 ballgame, they won, but in terms of facing BJ after the home run, no, I know what I have to do as a major pitcher to give my team a chance to win.

Q. Did you shake off a pitch at all to Mark McGwire?
MIKE MORGAN: Yeah, I shook off. I wanted to go with my string through with my fast ball down and away and keep it out there, but it ran back over the plate, but he had to hit it. It was hooking foul. I think it hit the foul pole if I am not mistaken. It was just another foot and it would have been foul and I would have gotten another pitch. It is in the books now. Unfortunate part, they won the game.

Q. What is the pitch that was ‑‑ that he singled on?
MIKE MORGAN: 2‑0 slider. I tried to keep it down and away and he hit it on the ground which is my game, next time was a cutter, he popped up, so...

Q. You have seen all the attention this home run chase has garnered this year. Do you think 10, 20 years from now you will have trouble thinking back on this?
MIKE MORGAN: I hope I live that long for the most part. And secondly, I hope the Chicago Cubs win the World Series, Mark McGwire goes on breaks Maris' record, you know, we are crowned world champions; that would become a dream come true.

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