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October 1, 2002

Tony La Russa


KATY FEENEY: Questions for Tony LaRussa.

Q. Would you talk about Morris tonight.

TONY LaRUSSA: I thought early on, you know, talking after innings with Mike, I mean, he was really strong. I mean, his stuff was plus. You know, he was excited. His arm is fresh. He had trouble getting the ball down. They were very aggressive. They hit a lot of balls hard. He made a couple adjustments, started getting the ball down, curve ball, making a few change-ups. I think early on, if he wasn't excited, he's not human. He's been doing better and better with experience. He just learns to back off a little bit.

Q. You went with your lefties in the lineup, but it was obviously successful. Do you think the fact that Randy faces so few during the season, that helped make it the success it was?

TONY LaRUSSA: I guarantee, we had no strategy that works against Randy. I mean, this guy is a great pitcher, and he is tough. We looked at the numbers. He's been getting right-handers out just like he gets left-handers out. The thing is, our left-handers hang in there. I mean, they're tough outs against left-hand pitching. We knew they would belly. Everybody that went up there was going to try to compete to the best of their ability. But he's really nasty. Just had some balls fall, then the game got away.

Q. Did you think that at some point Randy thought you guys knew what he was going to throw and he changed his mechanics, put his glove up in front of his face?

TONY LaRUSSA: The best thing that can happen for us every time we face him from now is for him to think that we really got something, because that's just a distraction that's going to help us and hurt him. But no, I mean, everybody in the big leagues, you know, that's part of the big leagues. Guys are looking close, that's something you deal with. But, you know, if you look, the same guy that got a base hit, the next time, I remember Eli is at-bat, 2-0, boom, boom, boom, punched him out. I mean, all we did is I just said we were going to go out there. We saw the ball. We were going to compete. Our hitters were going to compete. I know it was speculated and I heard it mentioned. You know, it's a distraction. You know, whenever one of our pitchers thinks it's happening, it's a distraction. We don't have anything on Randy. All we have to do, we have a bunch of good hitters that respect him and try as hard as they possibly can. Today we got some hits.

KATY FEENEY: Thank you.

End of FastScripts�.

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