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October 7, 1998
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: Game One
Q. Tommy, do you get butterflies in a playoff game or are you over that?
TOM GLAVINE: No, I get butterflies every time I pitch. I don't think it's anything
other than I take a lot of pride in what I want to do and I don't want to go out and
embarrass myself. And there's the fear you'll have a bad game and embarrass yourself. For
that reason there's anxiety, but when I throw my first couple of pitches, it's usually
Q. The last time you pitched was a week ago. Does it take a few pitches to get back in
TOM GLAVINE: There's always that possibility. I'm not one that likes to pitch on too
much rest, but I don't think any pitchers do, really. There's always that concern. But
with the off days and whatever, I've had an opportunity to throw in the bullpen three
times. So I think that I should be fine. I should be sharp. But again, the long rest, the
adrenaline, all that stuff potentially gets you to get out there and get a little bit
excited and try to throw the ball too hard. But hopefully with the experience I've had in
these situations, that won't be a problem.
Q. Is there anything short of the World Series to get this city excited?
BOBBY COX: I think the city is very excited. The seats that are available, I guess, are
at the very top of the rim of the stadium, and they're not the best seats in the world.
But we're still going to get 46- to 48,000 in here, if not more, and that's a lot of
people. And I think they're excited. They're great fans; have been for a number of years
now. And they've been very, very supportive, and they were a big part of the Cub series, I
think, the second ballgame. When Javy hit the home run or even before he did, they were on
their feet and cheering us on. I think they're excited.
TOM GLAVINE: I would echo Bobby's thoughts. Whatever seats are available, I'm sure
they're not the best ones here. And it's hard to say if somebody is spoiled, because they
don't want to spend the money they're having to spend on tickets. Who are we to say they
should be spending their money on baseball tickets. But I think there is an expectation
here for us to go to the World Series, and that's based solely on the success we've had
and the things that we've done. We've created a large part of that, but our fans have been
great all year long. You don't draw over three million fans without a lot of support, and
we were able to do that this year.
Q. Bobby, if it rains tonight, would that affect your rotation, and do you think it
would change their rotation?
BOBBY COX: We're probably going to back ours up the way it was, and I was just looking
at the radar before we came in here. And it looks like it's an hour or two away from us or
so. And it looks like it's going to rain a little bit. I don't know how heavy, maybe we
can play through it if it does start. But I don't know what they would do to the rotation.
I think we've got five excellent starters, and they've got four or five good ones,
themselves. So I don't know which way they would go. But if we have to play four in a row,
that's no big problem for our ball club.
Q. Tom, how would you rank this season, and would you rank this the best of your
TOM GLAVINE: Probably, from start to finish, yeah. It was a little more inconsistent
than I'd have liked the first six weeks of the year. But beyond that, I think it's been a
tremendously consistent season for me. And I think for me everybody points at the '91
season where I won the Cy Young award, and I think everything is measured by that. I'm a
lot better pitcher than I was in 1991. So all those things combined made it for a better
year for me. And I think in large part, that's due to staying healthy and feeling good all
year long, and having great defensive and offensive support, that made my job a lot easier
all year long.
Q. What's your thought of closers being considered for the Cy Young?
TOM GLAVINE: I don't have a problem with that. I'm sure that that's in reference to
Trevor Hoffman and the year he had. And I'll be one of the first people to sit here and
admit the guy had an outstanding year, there's no question about that. He had a great
year, Rod Beck had a great year, he saved over 50 games as well, and you don't hear a lot
about him. But closers are a big part of ball clubs. Everybody is looking for them. And it
seems like the teams that have them are perennial are the strongest teams. So it's an
important role. If I think you're alluding to what you're alluding to, how people perceive
that in a Cy Young vote, we'll have to see.
Q. Bobby, are you looking forward to seven 2-1 games?
BOBBY COX: If we can win four of them, that would be great, for sure. There's great
pitching. You never know what's going to happen. You saw it in the Houston series. San
Diego shut down their big hitters almost every ballgame. And we shut down Chicago's
hitters with our pitching. You would think going that it will be a tightly-played affair.
You never know. And somebody was asking me out on the field who I thought we had to
contain to win, and my answer is: You know, in these things, we had two hitters that were
cold going into the divisional series with the Cubs, Klesko and Tucker, and they were the
hitting stars. So you never know. It could be the one guy that's never talked about to
jump up and do something sensational. We also know they have a guy over there by the name
of Tony Gwynn, that's a great hitter. Still, and we have to be careful with him.
Q. What do you, as players, do during a rain delay?
TOM GLAVINE: There will be a lot of card games, I'm sure. And for other guys, just
watching TV or whatever is on the TV. So I think you're always -- no matter what you're
doing, you have an eye on the game resuming, and in your mind you're mentally prepared for
that, and so you kind of stay in that mode a little bit. But in order to pass the time I
think, again: Cards, crossword puzzles, whatever is in there, guys will be doing it to
keep themselves somewhat relaxed and not wondering every minute when are we going to
started playing again).
Q. What do you have in mind in terms of Smoltz's elbow, if it goes to a rain delay?
BOBBY COX: The question to Tommy, what do we do during rain delays. Tommy did it in
Denver: He threw under the stands, and they can throw for a while. Fortunately, these new
stadiums, we can throw off mounds that are underneath, and keep our pitcher nice and warm
and loose; where years ago you didn't have a chance of that. They would stiffen up and
you'd have to take them out. John has done it before, and his elbow is 100 percent. You
just have to be careful. Common sense always prevails. We'll talk to the pitcher, if that
happens, to one of our guys.
Q. Tommy, you said you're a better pitcher now than in '91; is that just in your head
or is it experience?
TOM GLAVINE: It's a combination of things. There's no question that experience makes me
a better pitcher, I think anytime you go through situations and either succeed or fail,
you have something to draw back on, the next time you're in that situation. You learn from
that and that hopefully keeps you from making the same mistake again. It's not a hundred
percent that that won't happen. But when you have success in a given situation, you have
something to draw on, and it makes it a little easier. I think the physical side of it is
-- I use all my pitches more than I did in '91. I think '91 I was basically a
sinker/changeup guy; didn't use the inside part of the plate nearly like I do now. A lot
of people don't think I use the inside part of the plate now; so that tells you how much I
didn't use it in '91. And then I think that my breaking ball is more of a weapon for me
now than it ever was. So I guess, again, it's just a combination of a lot of things,
experience, and just using more of my pitches and both sides of the plate more than I did
Q. What are your thoughts on Jim Leyritz back in the postseason here again?
BOBBY COX: He seems to be a good luck charm, I guess. He's had a great playoff so far:
Four hits, three homeruns, and he's always been a tough hitter. It's not so much the home
run. I was asked that question a couple of days ago, the two things that stood out in my
mind during that inning were the chopped base hit by Charlie Hayes to third that nobody
could make a play on, and the pop-up to right field that died and couldn't get around the
umpire to catch. The home run is part of the game.
Q. Tommy, do you feel comfortable when you turn it over to the bullpen?
TOM GLAVINE: Right now, yeah. During different points of the season, I don't know.
There's probably times where I go through a rut where they're not real comfortable with me
going out as a starter. We all go through ruts during the course of the season. Our
bullpen takes an unfair amount of criticism. When you're following the starting pitchers
that our guys are following, when you have an offense and defense that is as sound and
solid as ours is, you point the finger at our bullpen not being as strong. So every time
those guys blow a save, it's headlines, and there's no getting around it. When they do the
job, you don't hear much about it. It's a no-win situation for them. But you don't get to
this point in the season without having the guys in the bullpen help you. I pitched 34
games, and I don't have 34 complete games, and you don't get to this point in the year
without having a good bullpen. They're young, inexperienced, but anybody that knows those
guys knows that not one of them is intimidated when they go out there. So I don't know
that them having experience would make them any different. They think that when they go
out there they have no fear, and they can get the guy out, as long as they feel that way,
it's hard for us not to feel that way about them.
Q. Bobby, with your series just starting, how much do you pay attention to the American
BOBBY COX: We're like fans. We like to watch the games, too. And quite honestly, I
didn't watch the game last night very long. I don't know why. I got bored with it. I took
a lot of notes home, and tried to do a little bit of homework and I did that. But, yeah,
we follow them like crazy. It's on inside the clubhouse right now. And we have about 10 or
12 TV's in there; so every room you go in, you're going to see the game. I love to watch
Q. Tommy, is there a sense of urgency with the players to get to the World Series and
possibly get another ring?
TOM GLAVINE: You know, a sense of urgency, no. A desire to get back there and win,
absolutely. I don't think that there's anybody in our clubhouse that isn't disappointed in
the fact that we've only won one World Series, but I don't think that consumes us like it
might consume other people outside of our clubhouse. I think we understand how tough it is
to get there and how tough it is to win. And we're not wanting to go back there and win so
that we can quiet people that doubt us or label our team a dynasty or any of that stuff.
We play this game to be champions, and that's -- regardless of what anybody else says or
what anybody else predicts, you put on the uniform in Spring Training to get to a World
Series and be a champion. And that's what we've wanted to do from day one. And again,
we're disappointed that we only have one. But we're also extremely proud of everything
we've accomplished, and we're also -- we also realized that we're fortunate to be in the
situation we're in: And that is to have a legitimate chance every year. Most players that
play the game can't say that. And we've been in this position for seven years, and it's
been more fun than winning two or three and then disappearing for six or eight years.
Q. Tom, would you agree that new players have brought a new spark to the Braves?
TOM GLAVINE: I would agree with that. I think that's a legitimate concern for front
office people, for Bobby and the coaches, that every year you have to make some changes.
And you wonder if the people you're bringing in are going to be a spark plug for you, and
I think that's definitely the case with the guys we brought in. With Weiss and Galarraga,
these guys have been around a long time, but haven't played in this kind of thing very
much. So their excitement definitely carries over to us. Some of the younger guys:
Ligtenberg, Rocker, some of these guys that are here for the first time, their enthusiasm,
absolutely it carries over to us. And anytime you have a change, you bring in a new
excitement level it carries over to everybody, no question about that. But I guess those
of us who have been here, even though we may not have the same giddiness, I guess, that
some of those guys have, we're still excited about it. But I think we try to maintain the
even keel that you need to have to go out and play the game so everybody is not an
emotional wreck every time they take the field.
Q. What do you think about Tony Gwynn and some of the battles you've had?
TOM GLAVINE: It's like any one-on-one confrontation in sports: When a guy of that
caliber steps in, it's a challenge. And it's a challenge that you want to rise to the
occasion. Much like the time McGwire or Sammy Sosa stepped in against us, it's a different
challenge. There's always a challenge or a confrontation when you're pitching. But when
one of those guys steps in the batter's box, it takes it to another level. And Tony does
that. He's regarded as one of the best, if not the best hitter, of our generation. You
want to see how you measure up against this guy. You want to get them out. Tony has had a
fair amount of success against us. He's done it against everybody, I guess. I think Denny
Neagle is one of the few guys he's struggled against. Every time he steps in, it's a new
challenge and a different situation, and you're trying to figure something out or at least
one that one battle at that time. In a strange kind of way it's a lot of fun.
Q. Would you agree that one of the keys of this series is to keep guys off base in
front of Tony?
TOM GLAVINE: Yes, but you also need to do that in front of Vaughn and Caminiti, as
well. That's the thing about their line-up. If you want to pitch around Tony, you have to
face Vaughn or Caminiti. There's not a whole lot of room to relax, if any, in that
line-up. But I guess you probably would try and do everything you can to keep guys off
base ahead of Tony. And if he gets a base hit, take your chances with the other guys, not
let Tony beat it if you can help it. You can't always help it.
Q. Tom, can you talk about Kevin Brown?
TOM GLAVINE: Yeah. I mean, I have an appreciation for all the good players in the game
and what they're able to do. In one sense, I'm envious that Kevin can throw the ball as
hard as he does and make it move the way he does. It's a talent I don't have, but when
he's on, he's fun to watch pitch. You just hope he's not on in a game against your ball
club. I enjoyed watching him pitch that first game against Houston. He was dominating. For
me as a pitcher that's fun to watch. But you're right, he's got a style that works for
him. I have a style that works for me. And when the two of us pitch tomorrow night, you're
definitely going to see contrasting styles. But that's part of what makes this game so
fun, because there's so many different ways to get the job done. And again, I just hope
that I'm not too envious of what Kevin does tomorrow night. Hopefully he won't be on.
End of FastScripts