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October 17, 2007

Bob Knight


PETER IRWIN: We are now joined by Coach Bob Knight from Texas Tech University. Welcome, Coach.
BOB KNIGHT: Well, the Cardinals are out of it. We've got to root for the Indians. Eric Wedge is my next best friend. So doing pretty good. Anybody got any questions about the American League Championship series?

Q. How important do you think it is for them to win Game 5 and not go back to Fenway Park?
BOB KNIGHT: I think it would be damn important. I mean they've got to go against Beckett. But what kind of tickles me about sports is that -- that game is tomorrow night, isn't it? So we will now see everything on television geared for two days to where Beckett should have pitched last night. If Wakefield had pitched well it would have been the greatest decision in baseball. I always get a kick out of TV people, because a play works. A guy runs a trap, you know, or runs a delay and it gains 12 yards, boy, what a great call that was. Well, it was a great call because somebody blocked well. It wasn't like it came out of divine intervention somewhere. And if they run it and it gets thrown for a three yard loss, boy, that was a bad call. And that always kind of intrigues me about people that work the TV angle on sports. And I think that will be huge. If Beckett were to win tomorrow it will all be about he can't pitch another game.
But the decisions that are made and things like that are really made by the people, i.e., Francona and his staff, that really put the thing together. It isn't like they're trying to lose. And that's why watching other sports has always been a very intriguing thing for me, just to see why or how or what.
Last night my question, when I'm watching the game last night was I think you get stuck, whatever the sport is, you get stuck with some things that are, for lack of a better word, traditional or expected. So at the end of the 8th inning, I was with two guys watching it and I said I wonder if Bettencourt will pitch the 9th inning, which he did. Which to me was a great decision because he had just gone through three guys like a hot knife through butter. And when he pitched the 9th inning, I thought maybe they'd bring Borowski in, because that's the thing to do. It was good. So I like that part of it.
I used to tell Bill Parcells that football ought to investigate the guy that had invented prevent defense. We may get through this whole thing and never mention basketball.
Anybody got anymore baseball questions?

Q. Do you think the Royals have any chance to get Tony LaRussa to be their manager next year?
BOB KNIGHT: I think that what LaRussa does, I think it will depend on what he thinks would be the best situation for him to have a team that can defend, which might leave the Royals out. But who knows? And I think that -- I would think that -- well, let me put it this way, of all the sports and the things that I've followed over all the years I've been around this, I have never seen two guys better than Jocketty and LaRussa were. They're the best I've ever seen, not just in baseball, but the best administrator and the best coach or manager that I've ever seen. I think what they did over 12 years in St. Louis was remarkable. And to split that up it was kind of interesting.

Q. Talk about your friend Lucas?
BOB KNIGHT: Lucas doesn't have anything in the Breeders Cup, which I think is the first time ever. I think he's probably working on recruiting a little bit right now. He's told me that he's got -- he's got either one or two horses that he bought at auction that he thinks are going to be pretty good.

Q. Just wondering about bringing in a guy like Ricardo, and your thoughts on whether he can have immediate impact on your club?
BOB KNIGHT: We've practiced four times, and I think that's impossible to tell after four practices. When you sign a kid you think he can play. Now you're not always right. But everybody -- somebody says to me, well, you signed Billy Jones, do you think he can play? What the hell do you think we signed him for? We didn't sign him to be a cheerleader. We brought him in here to play. So you always think guys can play. But you're not always right.

Q. I'll go back to baseball. If you were Terry Francona, would you have gone with Beckett last night?
BOB KNIGHT: I don't know enough about it. But then apparently last night Beckett had some back problems, and wasn't in the best of health to play. So now you use him and he further hurts himself then maybe he doesn't pitch at all. Now he may get enough rest to take this back to Boston, which I think would be huge for them, if he can do that tomorrow night. I hope he can't, because as I said, I'm really rooting for the Indians. But I'm sure that putting everything together he did exactly what -- and, you know, for four innings Wakefield was untouchable last night. It just kind of caved in on him.
That's the problem with coaching instead of writing or analyzing, you know. You have to make the first decision, then all you guys can make the second decision.

Q. Can the Indians beat the Rockies?
BOB KNIGHT: If I knew whether the Indians could beat the Rockies or not George Bush would be asking me how the hell do you get out of Iraq right now. If I was that smart. What is intriguing about both teams is, I think, they've both done a great job, not just with the season but with the way they've put their teams together and how they've done it and where those players have come from. They've gone out and apparently -- and the Yankees to a certain extent, too, but apparently the Indians and Rockies are teams that have had great scouting decisions, that have brought players along in their own organizations.

Q. You grew up an Indians fan in Ohio, where do you stand on Chief Wahoo?
BOB KNIGHT: I think the Indians have had a great run as the Indians. I think that what they're doing really -- and I think people get a little bit bent out of shape with things like that. I think there's a real long history of Indian culture in the state of Ohio. And half a dozen different tribes, from the lake down to the Ohio River. And I think that that's something that -- I can't speak for anybody other than myself, but I think I would be kind of proud of that, that here's a Major League franchise that uses the name Indians and I think that kind of reflects on the whole heritage of the various Indian tribes in the state. In fact one of the tribes was the Miami tribe. We have Miami University, again, which I think is something that could be very proud of.
PETER IRWIN: Coach, thanks very much for your comments. We appreciate it. Have a great season.
BOB KNIGHT: I enjoy being here. I appreciate your recognizing my exceptional talent in analyzing baseball here this morning. I want to thank you for that. And we'll enjoy anything that you want to discuss relative to baseball during the coming months, just give me a call.
PETER IRWIN: Thank you, Coach.

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