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October 5, 2000

Tony La Russa


Q. What do you think the odds are of any team knocking out Glavine and Maddux in six innings total?

TONY LaRUSSA: That is a very difficult way to win two games, faced with that. When you face Atlanta, you know you will face outstanding starting pitching. Both days, our offense cranked early before they got into the game.

Q. Talk about Kile's performance today and, also, the confidence you had in making the trade for him.

TONY LaRUSSA: We went against Kile when he was at Houston. And he has so much talent, did such a good job for them, and then he went to Colorado and he struggled some, but there are two things a lot of baseball people noticed: Never made an excuse, never missed a turn. I seen a lot of guys blame this, that and the other, or call in sick, so it shows you the kind of insides he had. To get Kile and Veres, meant so much to our club. You saw Kile today, that has been there so many times this year against a really good team, shut them down, gave us a great chance to win.

Q. What was your thinking on removing Kile after seven innings?

TONY LaRUSSA: The sixth, seventh, he was rolling along great. He threw a lot of pitches, when you have the luxury of a lead like that, we could have accomplished a couple of things, get Christiansen, Morris an appearance. One thing you never take anything for granted, you do not disrespect the Braves if, if we -- have to go to a fifth game, every pitcher that you save, you are better off. We recognize, this is a three-win series, not a two-win. Nobody is celebrating.

Q. No correlation between now and 1996, your team is much better now than in 1996?

TONY LaRUSSA: I liked the '96 club a lot. That club was 6-1 in the postseason. I don't ever think anything negative. I think we had two very tough pitching days against Atlanta in 1996. A lot of people forget who pitched and got beat up in Game 5, pitched very good in Game 2. Donovan Osbourne is who got wrecked in Game 7. Check what he did in Game 3. Same guys, just they were like their two guys, they were not sharp early. Took advantage, turn the page, this is five years later. There is no script, there is nothing about what happened before, controls what happens now; just like winning two games means we have to win three.

Q. Where does Edmonds' catch late in the game rate with other catches you have seen?

TONY LaRUSSA: By him or anybody?

Q. By anyone.

TONY LaRUSSA: I bet you, if you see us play in a series, you will see him do at least one of those every series. It is, to the left, to the right, in, back, I mean, he is just a complete center fielder, because he has range in four directions and I think there is no -- like their guy throws great, he did not throw any better, he is probably the most accurate thrower with a strong arm that I have seen. I do not know how to rate him. He keeps topping them.

Q. Talk about Edmond's offensive day today, keeping in mind he was very sore after falling in Tuesday's game?

TONY LaRUSSA: I think the off day yesterday was a break for us, because he came here and got treatment, had a nice workout without having to push himself. But, what you saw today is the way he built up that first half, in the high .300, pull the ball, can't defend him, very, very tough out.

Q. Team's overall performance, you have to be pleased after two games of the way they played here?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I mean I don't know how to say this, where it does not sound corny or just common sense: The only thing that I look at is, are we ready to play, this and that. We play as hard as we can. That is all I look at. Even if you have a bad day, if the guys are trying, what I looked at, we were ready to play Tuesday, as soon as the first pitch was thrown for nine innings, eight and a half. I looked, you get to know these guys after six months, the guys are ready to play, it was obvious that Darryl was ready to compete, if that is the case just like Saturday, you know they can take care of themselves, we got a heck of a chance to win when we play like that. Somebody beats you, you tip your cap. I am really pleased that our guys are not settling for a six-month championship and we are trying to win this three-win series.

Q. You said Tuesday that pitching is very vulnerable in the first inning, is that something that you focus in on?

TONY LaRUSSA: They scored two in the first. I just -- you can ask starting pitchers and they will tell you that, the way they warm up, they warm up great, come out to the mound, I feel great; warm up terrible, come out, it clicks. There are some guys that seem like they are dynamite in the first inning, the great majority do not know that first inning they are real vulnerable. If your offense capitalizes, you can pick up an edge. We have a lot of guys take at-bats, right from the get go.

End of FastScripts....

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