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October 4, 2001

Barry Bonds


Q. Would you take us through the final at bat?
BARRY BONDS: You guys are going to make me start to cry. Sorry. It happens. (Laughter.) Wow. Two fastballs. It was electrifying. It came with a victory, and that's what really made it really special. We have our work cut out for us, so we are trying to get to the post-season. You know, this team is gutting it out, really, really pushing hard. We got a lot of key hits in a lot of key situations, and we played very well this series as a team.
And we still have three more games to go and we know what we've got to do at home. I hope you guys don't keep me too long because we need to get on a plane and get our rest.

Q. How did you feel when the fans here in Houston were so enthusiastic?
BARRY BONDS: I mean, I feel great. I wasn't really focused on that, because we know that they are a great team. We know that what they did to us last time at home, and we were trying to, you know, really put pressure on them. We they were putting pressure on us. We knew our work is going to be cut out for us. We need to make it tough on them, as well. I think we did a great job all the way around.

Q. Is there a sense of relief or peace?
BARRY BONDS: You know, I have a lot of respect for Mark McGwire, and to me, it's an honor to have this opportunity to share this with him, because he's a great home run hitter. He's always established power and strength, and for me, it's an honor to share this with him. He put the home run record at where it is, and I will always respect that. But, I want the three more victories. I want the playoffs.

Q. When you got the intentional walk with the 8-1 score, did you think you were going to see another pitch until the end of season?
BARRY BONDS: Robby Thompson at first base was really upset because it wasn't really a close game and everyone could understand if the situation was a close game. After that, I just -- and I just went in the dugout and I said, "You know, it's tough being this patient."
I have my father and my Godfather here every single day, saying: "Don't come out of your game, stay patient, stay patient. Do other things to help the team, and that's your job. They are not going to do one thing for you; do something else, get on base, score runs. The main thing is, is winning. Keep winning and keep rolling and if Jeff Kent and the rest of them keep doing their job, eventually they are going to have to come at you," and I might get an opportunity. "But if not, you have always wanted to win and that's been your goal and if it's meant to be, it's just meant to be."

Q. What were you thinking about going around the bases?
BARRY BONDS: I just felt grateful to share something with someone that I really have a lot of respect for. I just felt proud to be in the same level with Mark. I just felt really proud. I don't know how else to explain it. I just -- just felt proud, really proud.

Q. You looked like in your third and fourth at bat you were more aggressive. Were you more aggressive in the fourth at bat?
BARRY BONDS: I was aggressive my second at bat more so than I have been in the series. Other than that, I try to just stay within myself; and basically, if they were got going to pitch, get on base and try to create some runs.

Q. Would you talk about your emotions when your teammates came to greet you at home plate and when you had the curtain call?
BARRY BONDS: I can't. (Smiles). I can't even express those feelings. I think some of them got some cheap shots in on my rib cages. (Laughter.) So many years of frustration, I guess. They kind of got it out on me. I just think we are a really good team and we work very, very well together. It's just great.
Home plate is really good, but then when the guys came from the bullpen, I think that really, really even touched me even more.

Q. If this record is going to be broken, it will now happen at home. Would you talk about the possibilities of that and what it would mean?
BARRY BONDS: No, I don't really care. I just want to win. You know, I just want to win. I want another shot at the post-season.

Q. When you got into the dugout, you and Dusty spoke. What did Dusty have to say?
BARRY BONDS: He just said, "Congratulations. I'm proud of you. I'm happy for you."
He showed a lot of poise, just said, "Congratulations."

Q. Have you had a chance to talk to the fan who caught the ball, and if you haven't, what would you like to say to him or her?
BARRY BONDS: "Congratulations." (Laughs). What else? (Laughter.)
My son said, "We should try to get the ball back."
I said, "I just think that went into the auction or lottery or something." It's gone. It's gone. (Laughter.)

Q. Given the rivalry with the Dodgers, would you expect them to pitch to you?
BARRY BONDS: It doesn't matter, as long as we win. It really doesn't matter.

Q. When you hit it, you obviously knew it was gone. Would you describe making contact with it and what you saw?
BARRY BONDS: I was happy that I made contact because I -- you know, it's hard to just take pitches all the time and you really don't have an opportunity to swing. You feel like you're losing your swing a little bit. When you get the opportunity to swing the bat a lot, you can get your timing and you can stay consistent. It's hard. It's a really hard thing.
But when I got it, I was just -- I was just happy we won, and I was happy that it came at the same time, on a victory, and everyone on the whole team got to enjoy it because of the victory, and that's what I was most proud of.

Q. Had you heard of Wilfredo Rodriguez until an hour or so ago?
BARRY BONDS: No, not at all. (Laughs).

Q. What goes through your mind when you finally have a pitcher finally challenging you when he throws you two fastballs?
BARRY BONDS: When he threw the first one, I just was "Wow." It's really rare when you see left-handers that throw harder than Billy Wagner or Randy Johnson. He doesn't throw as hard as them, but he's not that far off. When he threw the first pitch, I was like, "Whoa, this guy throws harder than it looked like when he was warming up." I just got a good pitch to hit. I really just got a good pitch to hit.

Q. You were walked here so many times in the last few games; how were you able to keep your swing?
BARRY BONDS: I go into the batting cage with John. He's been throwing to me pretty much since I've been here. Just in the cage before the game, I hit on the field and I go in the batting cage and hit with him and just try to keep that realistic environment going. You know, him throw fastballs, curveballs and have him throw a little harder, just so I can keep my swing.

Q. In the last few years, McGwire and Sosa have been the home run hitters and the king. Are you prepared for next year?
BARRY BONDS: I just want to get to my 38th birthday. (Laughter.)

Q. With the game out of hand, did you do anything different in the at-bat in the ninth inning than you would have if the game was close?
BARRY BONDS: No. I have the same swing all the time. Sometime when you're in slump, people say, "It looks like you are swinging for home runs." But I have the same swing all the time.

Q. You've taken some shots in your career for not being the one who gets the big hit in October. How vindicated do you feel tonight?
BARRY BONDS: This is just a season. I haven't done it in the playoffs. I've done it during the season. I want to get to the playoffs and do it.

Q. Joe Lewis had a line, "They can run but they can't hide." They obviously were running from you. Do you feel that eventually you would catch them?
BARRY BONDS: No, I don't have feel like that. You know. I don't believe one man can do it, know. Sometimes it just gets frustrating because if a person hit a home run every single at bat, that would be incredible. So to assume that would happen, that part gets very frustrating. The only time -- I think you want to participate in the game, you always want to feel like you are contributing to your team's victories. But every single day I felt like that. Jeff Kent kept driving me in, Galarraga kept driving me in, Vander Wal kept driving me in.
I felt good because we were winning and I was contributing. I was getting on base and I was scoring runs, so I felt good. I didn't have a chance to feel really discouraged at any point in time because we were winning and we were all playing good as a team. So I felt good, like when Richie -- he felt really bad that he hit a double and I'm going, "Dude, what are you mad at, man? Don't put that much pressure on me. That's your job. You hit the ball, don't take away the game. Don't take away the game." If Jeff Kent can do it, so can the rest of them. That's your job. It would be embarrassing if you stopped at first when you could make it to second.

Q. Even though it just happened, what do you think you will remember most about No. 70?
BARRY BONDS: Probably Robby Thompson's frustration at first base. (Laughter.) It takes a lot to make Robby mad, and I think that's the first time I've really seen him upset.

Q. Mark McGwire said awhile ago that the pressure on you was less than it was on him. Now that are at the 70 mark, do you think that was the case?
BARRY BONDS: I agree with that to a point because Maris's home run record, there was so much time in between it, and something that people didn't believe was going to happen. When something like that happens and the whole world just goes "Whoom," at you like that, I'm sure he's probably gone through a little more than I have. I think 70 home runs is a lot harder than hitting 71; but what he went through personally, I think was a little hard he than what I had to go through and I think Sammy helped him get through it a little bit. But definitely because there was such a long span in between what he accomplished and what I've accomplished.

Q. You had the walk record before the home run record, which means you didn't have as many chances to hit the home runs. Does that seem even more incredible to you?
BARRY BONDS: It doesn't matter either way. They are both done. It really doesn't matter.

Q. You talked about the pressure. Did you talk with Mark or Sammy about how they dealt with it?
BARRY BONDS: No, I didn't. We're on two different sides of the States and most of the time all we really talk is: "Hello, how are you doing, how is the family, how are the kids," things like that.
A lot of times players don't really talk about the game. We talk about how we are doing personally and our families because many times people are trying to pick your brains about everything else in baseball; it's the one time we get the opportunity to relief and say, "How are you doing" and "It's good to see you again."
You know, right now we are in a pennant race. The one thing that I was -- would have asked Mark if we were not in a pennant race is: How do you enjoy something when you are not in a pennant race.

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