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October 17, 2004

Tony La Russa


THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Tony LaRussa.

Q. Just wondering how disappointing it was to have such good at-bats against Oswalt, score that many runs, and not come away with a victory.

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I mean, if you're not disappointed then you didn't care about winning the game. Put a lot into finishing with more runs than they did. It is disappointing. But, you know, that's why we're having the series we're having. I think everybody expected a close series. Sometimes you break their hearts; sometimes they break yours.

Q. Has Beltran reached the point where it's the consideration to give him the Bonds treatment?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, depends on what you think the "Bonds treatment" is. Our Bonds treatment was we challenged him when they're playing. We don't like telling our players they're not good enough to get hitters out. You treat him with respect. Also, if you look at what's happening behind Beltran, there's a lot of reasons to -- you have to pitch him tough and pitch him careful. You can't just say four balls. You have some very tough outs, a lot of producers behind him. We got him out - one time. The ball he hit for a home run, that ball was on the ground. That's a tough one to figure. I think he's very smart. Calero got him with a big breaking ball away. Maybe he looked out there, who knows.

Q. Your bullpen was good all season. Except for Izzy (Isringhausen), a lot of the guys are struggling. Are you surprised by that?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, you know, Kiko comes in in the fifth and had a great fifth. Then he gives up a home run. The fifth run, the blooper, that's a tough one, that's baseball. Tavarez, he gives up one. So how many runs did our bullpen give up? I mean, I think it's just like when people are on their bullpen. When you have tough hitters at the plate, you have a chance to have somebody break through against you.

Q. I think yesterday you might have even made mention of this after the game, that you guys made Lidge threw a lot of pitches. He threw a lot of pitches against you yesterday. Were you surprised at all when you saw him get up in the eighth?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I come from St. Louis and not too many days go by you don't hear about Bob Gibson pitching on two days' rest in 1964. So this time of year, where guys are heroes, the adrenaline is pumping, we'd like to give him two days off tomorrow and the off day, but we control that as far as who can take the lead and keep it.

Q. Did you see Tavarez out there pitching on adrenaline today or did you see him losing control of himself?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, he wasn't in control when he came in the dugout. But out there, I think he got the leadoff hitter out. He made a nasty pitch that Beltran hit 400 feet. Then he just missed Bagwell; overthrew the one pitch. That looks like crap, but that's ridiculous in a one-run game. Wild pitch. You know, we end up with 0-2 and he hits Kent with a breaking ball, gets a double-play ball. So I think he kept himself under control except in the dugout.

Q. I don't know if you noticed this, but the Astros replayed his little dugout tantrum up on the videoboard. How do you feel about that?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I think ever since I've been around, since 1996, the Astros are as classy an organization as anything I've met in the National League. But even Sinatra clears his throat, and I think that was below their standards and that was disappointing.

Q. Could you talk today about what was wrong with Jason (Marquis) today, what he wasn't able to do?

TONY LaRUSSA: That's why Dunc (Dave Duncan) and I went out a couple of times. We were reading him from the dugout. These guys are professionals; a lot of veteran hitters. Some of their swings, a good chance they were reading him, too. So Dunc went out there. It's tough enough in this league to get outs. But when they know it's coming, and they may say they didn't know it, maybe they didn't, but we knew what he was throwing. I think that was a big issue.

End of FastScripts...

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