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July 12, 2005

Tony La Russa


Q. No runs through six innings, can you talk about such a potent lineup just not getting anything on the board there?

TONY LARUSSA: Well, probably the biggest difference was we had some chances. We hit, what, three double plays in the first six innings. They made the pitches, made the plays. To me, that's the difference in the game. They hit into one first inning, but we had something going, a couple of them were hard-hit balls. I'm trying to remember who it was, Cabrera hit the worst play, Beltran hit one. I like the fact we kept playing them in. I think we made them a little nervous there. We had a shot. So that's a real good sign for our league.

Q. Is the National League starting to get a sense of frustration now?

TONY LARUSSA: Well, I think we understand that we haven't won in a long time. But, you know, we had real good group, some first-timers, they hadn't lost before. I thought there were a lot of winning players in that clubhouse. Like I said, pitchers were about even, they had a couple bigger flies and a couple double plays. Doesn't look to me like a frustrated club; just got beat.

Q. Roger Clemens hinted that the young guys would pitch; did he ask you not to put him in the game tonight?

TONY LARUSSA: He said from the get-go, he's had his share of opportunities and experience like this and he didn't want to take an opportunity away from a young guy. You know, my response was, that, first of all, I mean, I don't know, I hope he retires because he pitches for the Astros and this may be the last chance. The fans wanted to see him. This is their game and they had a chance to see him. As it turned out, the young guys that we were going to save for the game, if it was real close was Jay Peavy, the only guys we didn't use were three relievers and warmed up Fuentes twice and I was not going to use him. I appreciated his sentiment and I agree, it's a good idea, but this game -- I just wanted to make that point to him. He needed to pitch and he did.

Q. Speaking at the Cardinals level, with the whole "this one counts" and last year you didn't have the home-field advantage, now you look forward to the second half, as a team, do you just say, you know what, put this behind us and we'll go on as a team, get back, if we go get back to the World Series, don't worry about this whole "this one counts," you have to play them?

TONY LARUSSA: I guarantee you that we won't have one thought or conversation about not having home-field advantage. Because, you know, it's an American League, national thing, wasn't a Cardinal thing. Secondly, we've got to do so much to get a chance to play in October, that you've got to do so much to have that problem. Whoever gets there from the National League, just, the Florida Marlins are our heroes. It's an edge you give up, but it's an edge and you can't overcome it. Phyllis better quit gloating, she's over there laughing. (Laughter.)

Q. Could you just, you've been through a couple All-Star Games, can you address the experience and how the last couple of days have gone?

TONY LARUSSA: I think the city, whatever the organizing committee or just the Tigers, whoever put this thing together was outstanding. I really think, I've been in a few of them and players get a feel when the host city is excited about the game and they do the little extras. You know, I've had a couple really good ones and a couple that you thought, hey, they had it and they didn't really appreciate us being here. I think this was on the plus side. Our guys were definitely treated great and I think we all congratulate Detroit, the Tigers, whoever put this thing together, it was outstanding.

End of FastScripts...

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