Oct. 11 Dusty Baker pregame interview
Q. I like your shirt.
DUSTY BAKER: Thank you.
Q. I'm curious, you've been in elimination games a number of times. What kind of sense do you get from your team?
DUSTY BAKER: I got a good sense. I just came from the lunch room and it's business as usual. Everybody seems the same. You know, we got a very, very calm team.
We have a team that doesn't panic, and a team that sometimes, you know, you never see a sense of urgency in our team. You know, looked like to me, like I said, the guys are the same.
Q. Watching Joey Votto play, he's still gettin' hits, hitting the ball hard but not getting the home runs, I guess. It seems logical that his knee would still be an issue. Is he fully healthy, do you think?
DUSTY BAKER: Anybody that's ever had a knee problem, especially during the season, you know, I mean Joey Votto works as hard as anybody out there. It's just that, you know, he's healthy but he's not as strong as he was before and he probably won't be as strong until into next season. Right now he's doing what he can do, and he's healthy as he can be.
Q. Back to the first question for a minute, would you like to see a little bit of a sense of urgency?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, yeah, once the game starts. But you can't be in there all uptight and a sense of urgency right now with two hours to go from the game starts, do you know what I mean?
You want your guys to be loose. You want your guys to be the same, and we are tied. I think this is what people forget. We're not ahead and we're not behind. Right now we are tied, and we haven't lost a thing! So you want to have clinched this thing, but you're not there. You look at other divisions, other games, this is the playoffs. These teams are not going to quit. Hey, man, we are exactly where we started. This is a one game playoff at the moment.
Q. Going into a deciding game, pitching wise is it kind of an all hands on deck? Is anybody not available? Would you go to everybody?
DUSTY BAKER: You hope that Latos takes us deep into the game. Naturally we're not just saying it's all hands on deck, but right now it's Latos' game and we hope that he can take us deep, deep, deep into the game and we can have a big offensive day. That would be primo right now.
Q. You mentioned you're tied in the series, there is one game left. The fans get nervous at things like this. Do you try to shut that out? They're suddenly really...
DUSTY BAKER: Well, you got to shut it out. I mean, you gotta play your game. You can't think like the people think, because the people think, oh, no, you've lost two in a row, you know, versus you're back to even.
The average person, I think not only fans but the average person tends to think that the glass is half full, all the time. Right now we're back to one game. This is a very, very important game.
But, hey, we're in our ballpark. Where else would you rather have this game played? I mean, look at our record in day games, our record at home here and things point toward us winning the game today.
Q. How do you logistically handle this? I know it's only an hour difference, but you guys are playing at 1:00, did you tell your guys to come early and be prepared for the early game? How do you handle that?
DUSTY BAKER: For sure we told everybody to come early today. We're not going to hit on the field. We told them to prepare for the early game and it's better than 5:00 game or 6:00 game, you know what I mean?
Plus Rob Butcher sent everybody an e-mail. My wife got it, early this morning on what time the game is going to start. I tried to stay up and watch the Oakland game, but I couldn't. I had to go to sleep.
Q. Not just this series but throughout baseball so far, the home field has meant so little. Any explanation why it's meant so little in the postseason?
DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. Everybody is talking about home field advantage. It really hasn't come into play a whole bunch.
Look at us, we go out there and win two games and they come here and win two games here. There is no explanation. A lot of it has to do with who is pitching. Most of it is who is in charge of the game, and the guy in charge of the game is the guy that's holding the ball all the time. The better pitched game you get the better chance you have to win.
Q. In this Division Series round, until the last couple years we went through a period where there were a lot of sweep and short series. Last year there were three that went five games. This year it looks like it's about the same. Is that a reflection of the fact that the teams are super competitive?
DUSTY BAKER: It appears so. There are no dominant teams. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day, and I think that makes for good baseball because I don't think baseball likes a bunch of sweeps. I think baseball likes four or five games, you know what I mean? I think it's good for baseball. Now, I would rather sweep.