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Cox pregame quotes
10/06/2004 10:06 PM ET
Q. What is different from yesterday?

BOBBY COX: Not much difference. Yesterday, I think we talked early, didn't we, before the workout. Thomson threw. I thought he had a real good side session. It indicated to me he can probably go Saturday.

Q. Mike Hampton, how is his knee? Were you surprised he could pitch so well with the brace on his knee?

BOBBY COX: Maybe he can pitch better with extra days, I'm not too sure.

But his knee, he's going to have to have it operated on right after the season. We're trying to get him through this month. Right now, he's able to go tomorrow. Hopefully, won't have any problems with it. I can't guarantee anybody that he won't. We got our fingers crossed that he'll be good for at least seven innings.

Q. With Mike, he's an all-around player, he can hit, field. How valuable is that?

BOBBY COX: I think it's very valuable to a starting pitcher to be able to do that. He can go longer in the game, for sure. Mike's one of the fastest runners we have on the team when he's healthy. Right now, he's not. He hit a home run off Kerry Wood the other day and made the difference in the game. He's a great fielder, he can bounce around. He's a good bunter and hitter. Even more so, he's a better pitcher.

Q. How's Chipper? I know he's in the lineup.

BOBBY COX: I would say Chipper is about 80 percent, nothing more than that. Able to play. Chipper plays with aches and pains all year long, always has his entire career.

He swung the bat really well yesterday, hit some balls out. He's not 100 percent. He swung good again today, so he'll be right there in the middle of the lineup.

Q. In this day and age when so many players, especially pitchers, can't play with nicks and aches, how is Hampton able to do it?

BOBBY COX: I think it goes back to the medical people we have here, Dr. Chandler and Jeff Porter and Jim Lovell are two trainers staying on top of him every single minute, and they have. He has to have his knee drained periodically. He comes in for treatment often. So a good training staff can keep you in there.

Q. Do you think there's something to be said that guys in the bottom of the order are coming through because the other teams aren't focusing on them as opposed to the Chippers and Andruws?

BOBBY COX: I think that happens more often than not, probably. The star of a series could be Bobby Richardson or Billy Martin or Mark Lemke, wasn't Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris or Dave Justice sometimes. Sometimes, it can be the guys down in the order or your little leadoff hitter or whatever really helping you win a ballgame. Wouldn't surprise me.

Q. Does the resolution of Rafael Furcal's situation take a load off your mind?

BOBBY COX: Yeah, he's fine. I talked to Rafy this morning, he's good to go, in a good frame of mind. He's looking forward to getting everything taken care of when all this is done. He's willing to do it, wants to do it. He's a good kid and we'll be there to help him.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.