07/16/2003 12:55 AM ET
Scioscia, Anderson postgame
Q: Mike, we've heard so much about this game leading up to it, about the intensity, the strategy. In your mind, could this have done any more to live up to all of those expectations?
Mike Scioscia: It was a terrific ballgame, no doubt about it. I know the guys on our side, I don't think they were any more intense than any other games that I've been around. These guys were playing baseball. I think it was a terrific ballgame. I think there were a lot of little subtleties in it that were working into the way the game swung, and those guys, those guys played a heck of a game on the other side. Our side came up with some big hits off of some very, very tough relievers to win that ballgame.
Q: Given [Eric] Gagne's struggles, were you surprised Dusty did not bring in [John] Smoltz to face [Hank] Blalock?
Scioscia: I didn't know Gagne struggled much. He's an incredible reliever. I think you could pick any one of these three that Dusty had, [Billy] Wagner or Gagne or Smoltz, and any one of those guys are incredible. I think with the pitchers out there, I wasn't surprised at all that he left them in the game.
Q: With home field and World Series on the line, do you feel you managed the game differently than you would have otherwise?
Scioscia: At times, I think we were more conscious of late-inning matchups than we might have been if it was more of an exhibition game, and that's one reason why I think Hank appeared so late in the game, and I could get him matched up against one of the other guys. It's not great being matched up with Gagne or Smoltz, but better than Wagner. I don't think it was any different. You saw some good pitching and some excellent hitting. You know, we ended up on top.
Q: Garret, the home run thing, was this a warmup for your other heroics?
Garret Anderson: No. Those two things, yesterday was a lot of fun. Today was a competition as far as playing the game of baseball. Yesterday was more of an exhibition, to put on a show for the fans; they want to see the long ball. Today it was going back to playing baseball and doing the things that I'm capable of doing.
Q: Can you elaborate a little bit on the matchup with Blalock in there and why you decided that was a strength?
Scioscia: Well, I think although Gagne is tough on everybody, to go lefty/righty with Gagne, he's incredible. We were trying to keep Troy [Glaus] in the game as long as possible, but the thing we were looking at is to make sure we were by Wagner. Because if we had thrown in Blalock sometime in there with Wagner, I know Hank, we have confidence in hitting him, but it's a tougher matchup. We wanted to get by that one in particular and try to save him. We knew he was going to be facing one of those other two guys.
Q: You guys had Game 7 at home last year and that might have been the difference, home-field advantage in the World Series, because nobody has won Game 7 on the road since 1979. How important was this for these late-inning heroics and everything to basically give the American League, and maybe your team again, home-field advantage in the World Series?
Scioscia: Let me give you a quick answer. I'll let Garret expand on it. I'm not as big on the home-field advantage meaning as much as some people. We lived it last year, and I just know that if you're playing this type of baseball and you're playing your game, you're going to have as much a chance of winning wherever you're playing. We started two series last year without home-field advantage, on the road, lost the first game of each series, played our game and we were fortunate enough to win and get to the World Series. I feel that we played our game. We were just as confident going into Pac Bell in Game 6 and Game 7 last year. I'm just a believer that it is how you're playing, not who you're playing or where you're playing, that is going to determine who is champion.
Anderson: Last year we both won a game in each other's parks, so we took it away from each other. So from that standpoint, like Mike said, playing good baseball in the postseason, doesn't really matter where you're playing if you're playing good baseball. It didn't hurt that we had Game 7 at home at all, but we had as much confidence that we won a game in Yankee Stadium, we won in Minnesota. So, you know, home-field advantage is an advantage because you play more games in your park.
Q: Was the atmosphere different tonight from when you played in previous All-Star Games?
Scioscia: I don't think the intensity was any greater or any less. As a player, maybe you experience things a little differently. I go back to last year as a coach and I just know how much the guys wanted to achieve last year and how hard they played. This year was no different. I don't think anything was turned up because Game 7 was on the line. I do think the pride and the passion that these guys have to play is what motivates them and what puts you out there on the field to be on the field with the best players in the world at this time. I think that's what our guys did. I know that's what the guys on the National League side did. They played every bit as hard, and we came out on top.
Q: What was the umpire's explanation on allowing [Rafael] Furcal to score? And in all of the All-Star Games you've played in or watched, do you remember a manager going out to argue with the umpires?
Scioscia: I'll answer your latter half first. No, I don't remember the call. Maybe some guys have been here a lot longer. Russ might have more insight, but I don't. As far as the call, and Garret could probably comment on it, he was closer, but I thought the fan in the field earlier, we got a late interference called. And at the time the play developed, I believe it was, Furcal was four or five steps from third base when Garret was getting the ball. You know, you're only talking probably maybe less than a 200-foot relay from where Garret was shallow, and I just didn't think there was anyway that Furcal was going to score if there was, if the play was allowed to develop.
Q: You are normally a pretty stoic guy, but when Blalock hit the home run, you gave a pretty big arm pump. What was your emotion at that time?
Anderson: Any time you see, as a ballplayer, when you're going against a tough pitcher and you see something like that happen, you just don't see that every day. That is what's exciting about the game: never knowing what's going to happen, because paper-wise, on paper, we were not supposed to score any runs off Gagne. And to do it in that fashion, it definitely was very exciting.
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