2006 NEWS

2006 News > 10/10/06


By Adam Rubin, NY Daily News

Tom Glavine talks about Albert Pujols, a cooking mishap and later fields a question from his catcher, Paul Lo Duca.

Q. Can you talk about, the question is, how do you pitch to Albert Pujols or do you pitch to Albert Pujols?
Yes, and carefully.

Yeah, so much of it depends on the situation in the game obviously. I mean, Albert is a great hitter. The guy that obviously we're going to identify in their lineup as trying not to allow him to beat us.

You know, what's the saying, the best laid plans go awry sometimes. The game is a game and things happen and you can't always execute your plan as perfectly as you'd like to. So you know, in a perfect world, Albert comes up with two outs and nobody on, or leading off an inning. But there's a pretty good chance before this is all over we're going to have to face him with runners on base, and if we do, if you're pitching around him, obviously you have to be careful and if you have to try to get him out. He's really no different than anybody else; you have to be aggressive. If you try to be too timid, you're going to make a mistake and he's going to make you pay for it.

Q. I imagine it took a little longer to get here than you thought it would when you came over here, but does it feel even more special now that you are here, and I don't want to use the word vindication, but does it make the decision feel a lot better now?
You know, in terms of how it feels, I mean, it's great. It's awesome. There's nothing better than being here this time of year regardless of where you are.

You know all of the years I played in the post-season in Atlanta were too awesome, too, and I enjoyed them, too. This obviously is a different atmosphere and a different place and because of that, it's a little bit different. I can't sit here and say that any one was any better than the other. They are all great and fun for their own reasons. I'm sure enjoying the opportunity to experience this here in New York. That's obviously why I came here, or at least what I wanted to have accomplish when I came here.

So I'm enjoying it. As far as vindication, no, I don't feel like there's vindication. I mean, I came here out of a series of circumstances and obviously, leaving Atlanta, coming here, I thought that this is a team that would have an opportunity to win during my time here. And you know, here we are, a little bit longer than, like I've said before, probably me or anybody else associated with this organization would like to wait, but so far it's been worth, it's been fun.

Q. Just talk about the opportunity to pitch in a big game.
It's fun. But, you know, I guess you just try not to make too much of it. I understand that it's a big game and certainly a lot of interest in this game locally, nationally, all that stuff.

But in the end, I think from my standpoint or from all of the other players' standpoint, to a degree, you try your hardest to treat it like any other game. Because I think that we get into trouble as players when we make the game become bigger in our minds than it is or bigger than it should be, and in the end, it all boils down to try to go out there and just relax and do what we've done all year long. And the best way to do that is not try and think so much about what the game means or how big the game means; it's a game, obviously, that we want to win and I'm going to do my best to go out there and give us a chance to win it.

Q. Can you talk about Rick Peterson and the effect he's had on you as a pitcher and maybe the younger guys, too.
I am a big fan of Rick Peterson's. He's helped me a lot. I've changed a lot as a pitcher over the course of time that he's been here, and all of the changes that he's talked to me about making and encouraged me to make have worked out well for me.

So, you know, I'm extremely thankful and appreciative for all of the help that he's given me personally. You know, as far as the young guys and the staff go, what's great about him is takes the time to try to help everybody get better. He obviously has a vested interest in us doing well, but he has a genuine interest in guys that come over here and helping them get better and he takes a lot of pride and satisfaction out of watching guys that come here doing some of the things that he's trying to get them to do and see them get better. For me personally, he's been a huge help for me at this point in my career and really got me back on track to being a good pitcher again and having hopefully a realistic chance of trying to win 300 games.

Q. Other than maybe wanting the challenge of going after Pujols and trying to get him out, is there a real reason to actually pitch to him? In other words, even if there is a guy on base, if you operate under the reality that, hey, this guy is so far and away the best hitter in the lineup and the guy is most likely to hit a home run anyway, in a sense does it make sense to just walk him every time, like unless the bases are loaded?
Again, I think so much of it just depends on the situation. You know, if I've got a four-run lead and he's up with a guy on first base or whatever, I'm going to be hard-pressed to stand on that mound and put aside my competitive side and say, I'm just going to walk this guy.

You know, there's a competitive side that we have as pitchers, as well, that want to try to get him out. You know, I think you have to factor in obviously the situations in the game. You have to factor in what you have out there on the mound on a given night, and you have to factor in maybe the previous at-bats during the course of the game that you've had with him and how he's looked or how he may or may not be swinging the bat. All of those things come into play.

But I can assure you we're not going to stand on the mound and just stupidly say, the better side of me wants to get him out and I have something to prove or something like that. That's not going to happen. Sooner or later, we're going to have to pitch to him before the series is over. He's not going to walk every time he comes up there, I can assure you of that.

Q. When someone walked, I think Brett was walked with the bases loaded a number of years ago, what was your reaction when you heard that? Could you believe that a player was walked with the bases loaded?
No, probably not. You know, I guess over the years now, you've seen a little bit more of crazy stuff like that, whether it's a guy walked with the bases loaded or guys -- you saw Ryan Howard I think late this year getting walked leading off an inning in extra innings. So I think you see more and more of that.

I don't know if that's good or bad or right or wrong; I don't know. You know, it seems to be more of the going by the book so to speak, because you don't want to let somebody beat you, even though it may not be going by the book to walk a guy in those situations, but at least you can explain away that you didn't let that guy beat you. I guess that has to factor into the equation somewhere.

But you've seen a little bit more of that with some of the guys in the game today. There's some pretty remarkable hitters in the game today, and obviously, you try and assess each situation for what it is. But, you know, like I said, you can lay all the groundwork you want, but sooner or later, you have to pitch to these guys.

Q. With El Duque and Pedro down, do you assume a little bit more responsibility, having pitched so many post-season games that you might have to do a little bit more without those guys on the roster?
You know, maybe I guess from my standpoint, I go in thinking that I obviously -- it's important for me to get as deep into the game as I can to try and give our bullpen a little bit of a break. We're going to lean on our bullpen heavily. Our bullpen is fantastic and they have been fantastic all year long, and certainly in those short series where you have so many days off, you can really utilize those guys.

But there are certain times during the course of the year where you know your bullpen is taxed and you go out as a starting pitcher and you know that sometimes the most important thing is maybe not winning the game, but giving those guys out there a break. And to a degree, sure, I feel a sense of responsibility to try and get the game as deep as I can and minimize the amount of outs that those guys have to get.

But on top of that, you know, I don't feel like there's any added pressure on me. Like I said in the first round, you know, losing Pedro and losing El Duque certainly hurts us. It's not the ideal situation going in. But that's the responsibility of all 25 guys on our team to try and make up and pick up the slack, not just a starting pitcher here or there or a hitter; it has to be everybody.

Q. Is there any carry-over from start to start in the post-season for pitchers?
If you pitch well, yes, and if you don't, I'll tell you no. You try and dismiss when you have bad ones. I've been on every side of the coin as far as that goes. Certainly you feel better about your next start if you've pitched well previously.

But that doesn't mean that if you've had a poor start that you can't bounce back. I mean, I had one of my worst starts in the post-season in Game 6 in '92 and ended up pitching a great game in Game 1 of the World Series that year. Certainly, you try and have a short memory when it's convenient for you, but believe me, you'd much rather be coming off a good outing going into your next one. You'd feel a lot better about it.

Q. This late in the season, does anything in your routine preparing for a game change?
Maybe a little bit in between starts, depending on what you're going to do in terms of rest. And I haven't thought this far ahead obviously, but there's a possibility you're coming back a day early and obviously it alters your workout in between starts or it alters for me how many times I'll throw in between starts, that kind of stuff.

But you know, as far as everything else goes, no, it's pretty -- everything's pretty much the same in terms of once I do work out and decide what I'm going to do or once I do get on the mound and decide I'm going to throw, all of that is pretty much the same.

Q. This is probably old news but I haven't seen you in a while and I notice the wrap on your left index finger, is that anything new?
No, actually I burned my finger a little bit before my last start and it's just starting to heal a little bit. So just trying to keep it from splitting or bleeding or cracking or any of that stuff on me.

Q. And how did you do that?
Cooking dinner. You know, I'm a bachelor right now. My wife's at home. (Laughter.)

Q. What was the dinner?
It was something out of the microwave. It wasn't that good. (Laughter.) What are you going to do? Things happen, you know.

Q. They have cooks, you know.
I know. I'm not going there. I learned it from Smoltzie, some of the stuff he does.

Q. With what has happened and the success you've had this year and the way this is ending, the situation with other pitchers, does any of that play in the likelihood to your desire to come back next year?
It really hasn't. I've been so focused on what we're doing now and trying to enjoy this and trying to get through this and trying to win a World Series here that I really haven't even begun to think about what's going to happen when the season's over and where the Mets may or a not be in terms of me returning and all of the conversations that go along with that.

Certainly with Pedro being hurt, and hurt for a long time into next year, you know, El Duque, who knows what his status is going to be going forward. I mean, there's certainly some questions that would lead you to believe that they would want me back here with open arms, but who knows, there's still a lot of money. I'll sit down and have that conversation with Jeff at the appropriate time. But hopefully it won't be for a couple of weeks.

LO DUCA: Is Paul Lo Duca the best catcher you've ever had?
I tell you what, you're the best catcher I've had on my team this year. (Laughter.)