Posts from — October 2002
As much as I hate to say it, I think Dusty Baker
will not return as manager of the San Francisco Giants.
By Amaury Pi-GonzÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡lez [Read more →]
October 30, 2002 No Comments
The 2002 baseball season came to a close Sunday night in Anaheim. The World Series effectively ended Saturday night when the Angels came back to win game six, 6-5.
Going into the Giants clubhouse after the game, the players all put up a brave front saying that the late inning loss wouldn’t carry over to Sunday night.
They were wrong. The Giants came out flat, notwithstanding the poor pitching by Livan Hernandez, the team didn’t hit at all and barely resembled the machine that scored 16 runs on Thursday night.
Saturday night’s comeback win was one of the top ten games I’ve ever seen and definitely made me feel what a world series really was .
Now, the A’s have a new manager, Ken Macha, and the Giants will probably have a new boss next week.
Click “read more” for some baseball talk. [Read more →]
October 29, 2002 No Comments
While era of Randy Velarde’s ties with baseball and the Oakland Athletics are over, some may feel sad because he never received the World Series ring he wanted before his retirement. Even while he had a brief stint with the Yankees in 2001, it was spoiled by a Luis Gonzalez broken bat blooper over the head of one Derek Jeter.
Although Velarde’s tenure with the A’s was only about 2 and a half years, he became a fan favorite here in Oakland. Whether it was his “Movie Star” l looks, chiseled physique, or his hard-nosed-hustle, he was a player you pulled for.
Velarde was one of the hardest workers on the A’s. Spending countless hours in the weight room and on the field, you knew he just didn’t want a paycheck, but another motivation was stirring in the 40-year old veteran–a world series championship.
Randy had some great moments here in Oakland. From his unassisted triple play against the Yankees in New York, to his game winning homer to clinch the A.L. West in 2000 againts Texas, causing tears to flow down the eyes of his wife in the stands; to hiiting the first pitch he saw after coming back from the disabled list this year for a homerun against the White Sox.
When the A’s signed Velarde this off-season he stated, “Me and the A’s have some unfinished business.” Velarde remembered how the A’s came so very close to beating the Yankees in 2000 and thought 2002 was the year to finally do it.
A big off-season move I questioned after the 2001 season, was trading the Velarde to the Texas Rangers. The A’s wanted to give a shot to the still struggling rookie Jose Ortiz, but we all know how that panned out.
Even during the 2001 stretch run, sources said the A’s were trying to require Velarde from the Rangers again. I was very excited and thought that acquiring him would set the team over the top. However, the Yankees knew how he would help the A’s in the post season and literally stole him from us and never utilzed him at all.
To this day, I still think Randy Velarde would have taken the team over the top in 2001. Just look how Frankie Mennechino did in the playoffs that year.
Excitement was in the air opening day 2002, when Velarde was in the starting lineup, but in his first at bat he was hit on the wrist by a fastball thrown by Chan Ho Park. He was immediately put on the disabled list and Velarde’s playing time was never the same.
Even when Randy came back, the emergence of hard-nosed rookie second baseman named Mark Ellis elimated his playing time. Although he could have been complaining about not playing, he always looked positiive and was always intently prepared for the critical time Art Howe may need him.
Finally, after the A’s lost game five this year to the Twins, Randy was a class act and answered all questions about his retirement and the palyoffs with dignity and professionalism.
Thanks for your stay here in Oakland Randy. Too bad things couldnt work out.
October 29, 2002 No Comments
The Media came from all over the world.
2002 World Series was in 14 different
languages for 200 countries. And two
California teams took center stage.
Games #1 and #2 were in Anaheim,
#3,4 and 5 at Pac Bell in San Francisco
and #6 and 7 back in Anaheim.
Overall it was a very entertaining
series. Especially if you like hitting.
By Amaury Pi-GonzÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡lez
[Read more →]
October 28, 2002 No Comments
Game Six is the third critical game in a seven game series. Already we have seen the Angels win game two in Anaheim evening the series at one game each.
Next, The Giants won the second critical game, winning game four, evening the series at two games each.
Now, the Angels try to even the series at three each, forcing a game seven.
The sixth game is a beautiful game to watch in any series. If the trailing team in the series wins the game, then the ultimate takes place, one baseball game for the championship, game seven.
If the series ends after six games, a sudden chill permeates the air as we realize baseball is gone until the flowers bloom and the sun shines brightly over head next spring.
Let’s take a look a some of my favorite game six stars from past World Series games and figure out what will happen this year. [Read more →]
October 26, 2002 No Comments
As I have often said baseball is a game where something unexpected happens every day.
Wednesday was no exception.
First, the Giants climbed back into the Series with a 4-3 win over the Angels behind the excellent pitching of Kirk Reuter and company.
Next, the Bay Area lost one of its finest managers when it was learned by the media that Art Howe has accepted the Mets offer to become their manager for the next four years.
Who will succeed Howe is still not 100% certain, but the specualtion I heard at the park was that Ken Macha, Howe’s bench coach will be named the new A’s manager when the series is concluded.
What does it mean to the A’s? Are the Giants now the favorites to win the Series?
Click “Read more” and we’ll talk. [Read more →]
October 24, 2002 No Comments
The weather was defintely not a factor in last night’s World Series game at Pac Bell Park. The story was Livan Hernandez and his inability to throw a good game against the Angels.
The Angels can hit. We all know that after watching them match the the AL West champion A’s all through August and September, win for win.
But, come on, they aren’t the 27 Yankees.
Hernandez had absolutley nothing on the ball, whenever he threw the ball over the plate it looked like batting practice.
Tonight, Kirk Reuter tries to slow the Angels down. If he throws as Russ Ortiz and Hernandez did, it will be difficult for the Giants to avoid being knocked out Thursday night at home.
Usually, in a World Series someone steps up on the mound and distinguishes himself. Right now, the only one doing that is Anaheim’s Francisco Rodriguez who wasn’t needed Tuesday night.
It’s another foggy, drizzly morning in the Bay Area, usually that means a low scoring game in a cold, foggy San Francisco ball park, but who knows what to expect tonight.
The Angels have pounded lefties all year long. John Lackey has been steady, if not very solid for the Angels since he replaced Aaron Sele in the rotation this summer.
I picked the Giants in seven, but I’m worried about my pick because SF has now put too much pressure on its offense by not slowing down the Angels hitters.
Baseball is a funny game, I’m sure tonight will have some surprises.
For the Giants sake they better hope Reuter is one of them.
More on the managerial circus in the Bay Area tomorrow. Stay tuned.
October 23, 2002 No Comments
I’ve watched games in Pac Bell park since it opened and it is tough to score runs there.
Tonight, without the DH, Anaheim will need to hit more doubles than the Giants to win the game. Homers just don’t come easy in this park unless your initials are BB.
Nerves have played a part in both games, with Russ Ortiz, Kevin Appier, and the Angel bull pen (except for the 20 year old Francisco Rodriguez), all looking like a deer in headlights, while on the mound.
Livan Hernandez will not have that problem tonight since he has pitched many big gmaes in his career as an amateur in Cuba and in the NL.
Ramon Ortiz has thrown well at times, I think he is more susceptible to being too high for the game, thus getting out of his normal pitching rhythm.
Ortiz did beat Pedro Martinez two years ago in the best game he ever pitched, he did pitch well in Yankee Stadium in August this year, so he can keep the game close.
So, with no DH, and the game back in the NL, this should be a low scoring 5-4 or 4-3 type game with sacrifice bunts, hit and runs, stolen bases (I think the Angels believe they can run on Benito Santiago) and plenty of pitching changes after the sixth inning.
Click “Read More” for a few baseball thoughts. [Read more →]
October 22, 2002 No Comments
Roy Thomas pitched in the major leagues for over ten years with the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals, and Seattle Mariners from 1977 thru 1987. With a pitching style that intimidated the best hitters of his generation, Thomas was one of the feared relievers of his time. Thomas ended his career with a 20-11 mark, and when he retired he had the Seattle Mariners record for consecutive wins. Roy, whose insight is always on the mark, gives us his perspective on game one of the World Series.
Click “read more” and see the game through the eyes of a major leaguer. [Read more →]
October 20, 2002 No Comments
You can have all the post season records you want, most hits, games in the post season, homers, wins, you name it, but the only records that matter to me are the ones that are set in the World Series.
October baseball is unique and special. Heroes are etched in baseball lore forever, goats are never forgiven.
Mickey Lolich winning three games in the 1968 series for the Tigers, Catfish Hunter shutting down the Reds in ’72, Brooks Robinson destroying Cincinnati with his glove in 1970, and Ron Swoboda, breaking the Orioles back with great catches in the outfield in 1969 for the Miracle Mets.
World Series memories go on and on right through Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez last year in Arizona.
So, what will happen this year between the Angels and the Giants. (click “read more”) [Read more →]
October 19, 2002 No Comments