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Tony La Russa, workout day quotes
10/06/2004 7:11 PM ET
Q: What do you see in a pitcher like Jeff Weaver that's going to be starting tomorrow?

A: A lot of movement, a lot of different looking pitches, different arm angles, a different competitor. He's sharp. He'll give us a lot of problems.

Q: Does the experience factor come into play even more having a one-game lead playing at home?

A: You know, I wish I could tell you that I believe that it does. I think it's a different game. You just talked to Jason. How sharp is Jason? How sharp is Weaver? I can tell somebody good news. We'll be ready to play. The bad news is so will the Dodgers. Just remember last year the Florida Marlins were not the most experienced team. If you go out and play the game right, and nowadays young guys are doing things better than ever without much experience. I think it's just whoever plays the best.

Q: The last time a team hit five home runs in a game was Oakland which you have a little experience with. Can you talk about that?

A: I've enjoyed them both. The same strategy there you have now. Get so far ahead that manager can't mess it up. That helps. You know, I just think sometimes your offense is limited, and a pitcher can be not sharp and you don't do much damage, but there's a lot of good lineups around. We have one of them, and you know, the first couple innings, the pitches he was making we weren't doing anything. Albert hit one ball in that inning, and he still got two outs. He just made some mistakes, and we jumped him, so I just think when I look at the team we have out there now versus like '89, good pitching will always limit what you do. We have a lot of guys that are capable of starting rallies and continuing and finishing them. You know, we run the bases. We try hard to run the bases and play the game right, so you know, we're going to try to max out nine innings worth of opportunities and hopefully we'll break through, but pitching is the first key.

Q: Was Perez tipping his pitches yesterday?

A: Well, you know, he struck out Jimmy and Larry, right? They hit home runs, but the pitches they both hit, one was a hanging slider and one was a fastball. He just made mistakes. We thought that ourselves, you know. All of a sudden one of our guys gets beat up, you think they've got a read. Usually if you have a read like that, you know, you have that every at bat from the first to the end. That didn't happen. We've been suspicious ourselves when our guys get beat up, but I think you've just got one place where you make some mistakes and we jumped him.

Q: Marquis has a reputation as a bulldog. Can you talk about how you've seen that during the season?

A: Well, we've seen him in games where he's struggled even with men on base, so that bulldog attitude, he just doesn't give in. He doesn't give in. We saw him in some real tough matchups on the road where there's a ostile environment, very good team, good starting pitching against us. He refused not to compete. He refused not to compete, so he really gives us a great chance to win. He got something going and didn't just stop with four in a row. He come out the next time and built a real nice winning streak. I think he's excited about his start tomorrow in the big leagues and his start in the post season. If he remembers to breathe, he'll be all right.

Q: Do you think you'll have to harness his emotions any, or do you think they won't be a problem?

A: You know, my answer is if I saw him tomorrow and I detected that his emotions were a problem, I'd start somebody else because when our emotions are a problem, it's a big deal. Whatever happens, happens, but I don't care. That's not what you want out there whether it's your starting pitcher or your team. I want him excited. You control it. Mostly it's just -- breathing.

Q: Curtain calls, is that a fine line between showing up the other team and showing your fans that you appreciate them?

A: That's a very appropriate question, you know. Like a lot happens -- I always enjoy Mike Matheny. I think his opinions almost always reflect not just our club but really the professionalism. Yesterday, you know, he had a tough time getting up there, but when your fans who you're trying to excite and please, you know, they're screaming. They're not going to shut up. You take a curtain call. He recognizes that, you know, on the other side -- we've been on the other side of those curtain calls. I think clubs nowadays realize it's part of the connection you make with your fans. Isn't that what we're trying to do? That's why you sign auto graphs. That's why you do a lot of stuff. To me, when somebody hits a home run, the thing that's most bothersome is the ball going out of the park and the run going on the board. If the fans get excited and want a curtain call, I don't think it's a big deal. If a guy goes up there and milks it, does a moonwalk or something, that might be, but no. Like I said, I have great respect for the Dodgers. I've watched some those emotional wins that they got in September. They're running out of the dugout during the game because they're excited. That's part of having competitive baseball, getting your emotions into it, getting excited. The fans get excited. It makes for a great scene, so I think there would be a line you could cross -- wow. Actually. That's a fine line to cross.

Q: Have you ever seen a man do the moonwalk on a curtain call?

A: I saw Kline doing it in spring training for us. He stumbled and fell.

Q: Any advantage in getting into their bullpen early yesterday?

A: It's a good question except we're off today. We play tomorrow and we're off. There isn't anybody not available tomorrow from their pen and our pen. The same will be true Saturday, so it's not a plus.

Q: After a game when you've hit five home runs, do you expect more inside pitching tomorrow so the hitters aren't as comfortable?

A: Well, I hope so because there may be six or seven or ten home runs if they start throwing inside. That's when you do more damage, so no. They're going to try to pitch to win, and we're going to try to pitch to win. I don't pay attention to that.

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


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