CHICAGO -- Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa was asked if Thursday night's game against the Dodgers was "do or die" for Chicago in the best-of-five National League division series.
"Yeah, I think it's pretty do or die," he said. "I do. You don't want to get on that 4 1/2 -hour plane flight [to Los Angeles] down 0-2."
But Cubs Manager Lou Piniella strongly disagreed.
"You've got to win three ballgames in these things," he said. "Obviously, [if] you go down 0-2 the advantage really swings, but [it's] not do or die."
Piniella rhetorically suggested that if the Cubs lost again, "well, [we] might as well just stay home and forfeit the game in Los Angeles. I don't see us doing that."
Silence is golden
DeRosa also was asked if Piniella said anything to the club after their loss in Game 1 on Wednesday night.
"He didn't say anything," DeRosa said. "He doesn't have to say anything. When you look down at the end of the bench, you can tell how we're playing just by how he's sitting on the bench and the look on his face.
"We police ourselves," DeRosa added. "We've got a veteran team, so we don't really need any motivational speeches."
Television cameras caught a Greek Orthodox priest spreading holy water in the Cubs' dugout before Game 1, apparently to offset any of the number of "curses" that purportedly account for why the team hasn't won a World Series in 100 years.
But Dodgers Manager Joe Torre was unmoved.
"To me, I think any time you get caught up in the fact that there are reasons that the other team isn't winning, it better be because the team that they're playing is beating them," he said.
Today is a "travel" day for the teams before Saturday's third game, but they'll work out at Dodger Stadium after arriving in Los Angeles.
Piniella mentioned to reporters that the Cubs had consulted a sleep doctor about the best time to fly west after Thursday's game.
"He said that we should stay overnight [in Chicago] tonight -- instead of travel after the ballgame and leave tomorrow -- so that everybody can get their full balance of sleep, as opposed to sleeping all day tomorrow and not being able to sleep the night after," he said.
Added Piniella: "We'll see if he's right or not after the third game in Los Angeles."
With his home run in Game 1, DeRosa became only the third Cubs second baseman to homer in a postseason game. The others were Billy Herman in 1935 in Detroit and Ryne Sandberg in 1989 against San Francisco . . . Owing in large part to the Cubs' long history of losing, this is the first postseason meeting between the Cubs and Dodgers in their 118 years of mutual existence, according to the Cubs.