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Jim Tracy pregame quotes10/10/2004 8:11 PM ET
Q. How much can you guys feed off of last night, not just the win, but the crowd energy, what Lima did for you?
JIM TRACY: I think we can definitely do that. I think the key to having the opportunity to implement that will be how we start the game. Can we recreate some of the things that we did last night, get off to a good start, get the lead, and let the crowd get as involved in the game as they were last night? I think that that's the way that you have to do it, and not allow the opposition to put themselves in a position where it may look like they're going to try to take you out of the game.
Q. How long did it take you to wind down after last night's game? Did you get any sleep?
JIM TRACY: I got some sleep. It took me a while to wind down. However, the house that's normally fairly empty these days was filled with a son from Santa Barbara, one from Pepperdine, and a friend of his, a high school junior from Claremont. They ask a lot of questions. They like to replay the game. Then they wanted to watch the Bad News Bears on HBO, so we had to watch that.
Q. For Odalis Perez, do you think watching Jose Lima was more instructive for him than an hour of talking?
JIM TRACY: It can be very much so. I think that it's a combination of two things. I think it's observation from what you witnessed and what took place last night, and also the opportunity to step back and self analyze how you as an individual went about your business in the game that he started last Tuesday in St. Louis.
Regardless of how it turned out, it started out very well. Playing on some of those things and realizing where you were at more so the first time through the lineup, and then what went awry as you got into that lineup and went through it the second time, recognizing some of those things.
You know, I think the other thing, too, is the fact that the guy that is catching him recognized how successful you have been with him as your catcher over the course of a couple of late season starts, a huge start a couple of Fridays ago in San Francisco, and then another big one the following Thursday against the Colorado Rockies.
He's very capable. Odalis Perez is the type of pitcher that is very capable of dominating a game. He has that ability. We have seen that. A couple years ago we saw him be near perfect twice. One spectacular play that was almost made by Cesar Izturis, I believe it was in May a couple years ago, pitching a perfect game against the Chicago Cubs. He knows how to do it.
You know, a club that we had here two years ago that won 92 games, we had two very instrumental starting pitchers during the course of that season, Hideo Nomo, the other Odalis Perez.
Q. Do you think the way the season turned out your team was in a little better shape to continue going, even being down 0-2?
JIM TRACY: A lot of people like to suggest that we really relish the fact of having our backs pinned to the wall and having to come off. If we had an alternative plan that we could follow, I'd much rather try that.
But, you know, the first three games are over. Regardless of who leads the other by one game, what is important is tonight's game. It's obviously very important to us to have the opportunity to get on an airplane and go play a fifth game. It's also very important to the St. Louis Cardinals because I would think if you're in their position, you don't want to play a fifth game because if you get through four, you know, then it's one game for the right to go to the National League Championship Series. That's what it would boil down to.
Q. Is Odalis one of your more superstitious guys? What do you think he worked on?
JIM TRACY: I don't think he's any more superstitious than I am. I really think that Odalis -- I'm very interested to see how things start out tonight because, as I was finished with my first wave of media in my office earlier today, as I was going to the field for batting practice, he was passing me on his way to the training room. The face that I saw was very interesting. It had a very interesting look to it. I've seen that face before. I was very intrigued by what I saw as I walked and moved on and out to the field for BP.
Q. Do you find yourself handling players differently in a short series like this, so much on the line? Is it different in a situation like this than it would be in a regular season?
JIM TRACY: I don't handle my players any differently. My players, I think several of them that have been here with me for quite a while, they're very well aware of what I'm all about and what they can expect from one day to the next when they walk in.
I certainly wouldn't want to change something and have them walking around wondering, "What's different about the guy that's in charge of us?" I don't do that.
But the other thing is, with regard to the second part of the question, the difference from a managerial standpoint is obviously handling pitching. How you do things differently as far as handling your staff, especially in a game like this where you either know, as I was just stating a moment ago, that you create an opportunity for yourself to play another game or you begin your offseason.
So that being said, some of the guys throughout much of the course of the 162 game season that are considered setup men and short relievers and closers, et cetera, find themselves warming up at a little bit of a different time of the game than they're accustomed to going through a regular season, but they expect that.
Q. The Giants rivalry is still fresh in your mind. Will you be interested, as the rest of the country is, in watching the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry?
JIM TRACY: I thought you were going to ask me how I was going to pitch Barry Bonds opening day next year (laughter).
I think the correlation you're trying to draw is the Dodger Giant rivalry vs. the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry. It's very interesting, to say the least. I think that the expectation with all the different moves that were made by those two respective clubs over the course of the winter was that they would have the opportunity to play against one another in the ALCS for the right to go to the World Series. That wish pretty much has been fulfilled.
You know, I think that it will be a great series, to say the least. I think that one difference in this series as it unfolds, to keep on eye on vs. in the past, is the addition of Curt Schilling up there at the front of their rotation along with a Pedro Martinez I think changes the landscape for the Red Sox a little bit more so than it has been in the past.
I think the other thing, too, that you would look at, we, having played both the Yankees and the Red Sox in June, the biggest difference I see between the two clubs stems more from the Red Sox side from the standpoint of acquiring the defense that they acquired in Cabrera and Mientkiewicz, to where now not only can they do a lot of the things they were able to do from opening day, and that's obviously slug and pitch well. But when they get the lead and you get to the middle part, latter third of that game, they can really defend against you. When you have an infield that involves Mientkiewicz, Cabrera, Damon in centerfield, Varitek behind the plate, they become very formidable.
Q. A player said you could probably walk into a restaurant in Hollywood and eat your meal in peace. Is that true or has your profile changed?
JIM TRACY: I go to Denny's a lot. You know from the standpoint of being recognized or anything like that, if people see me and recognize who I am and want to approach, they're free to do so because I feel like I'm very in tune to, number one, the fact that the fans of this game play a major role in the success of it. So I'm not one to shy away from anyone that wants to come up. But I can't sit here and say that they flock in my direction.
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