This week in baseball

By on October 24, 2002

The all-underdog league championshiop series has stunned the baseball world. Whoever would have thought one month ago during the A’s 20 game win streak that the Twins would defeat them and advance to the AL Pennant?
Whoever would have thought the Yankees would fall apart in Yankee Stadium to the Angels?
There was no way Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson could ever lose in the post season, right?
When people think of the Giants they think of Barry Bonds, and there was no way the team Bonds plays for could beat the stacked Braves with Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, Sheffield and the Jones’, right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Every baseball analyst got it wrong in the first round of the playoffs.
This makes for great stories.
You have the Cardinals playing for their fallen teammate Darryl Kile.
Barry Bonds has won his first ever post season series.
The Angels have won their first ever post season series and they have been in existence since 1961.
And finally, every time the Twins win a game it’s a slap in Bud Selig’s face. Signs in the Metrodome read “Contract This,” geared towards the commissioner who said it was “a happy day in baseball” when referring to the contraction of the Twins. Of course, that doesn’t look too likely now.
The Tiger’s hiring of Alan Trammel as their new manager is an excellent move for both the damaged Tiger public relations and a struggling team.
Trammel was every bit the short stop Ozzie Smith was, and as far as being selected to the Hall of Fame is concerned, could benefit greatly from a successful managerial tenure. If Trammel can bring a World Series to Detroit, he’ll be on the same plane as Gil Hodges, both having great success as players and managers.
The rumor from Cooperstown is that under the Veterans Committee Hodges may be the first to be elected. Hodges would be a great choice and belongs in the Hall of Fame, but I’d like to see Buck O’Neil, the 90 year old former Negro League star and modern day Negro League ambassador elected while he is still alive.
It’s a shame the Red Sox fired Dwight Evans as their hitting instructor. This was his first Major League coaching job and the Sox had a great year, winning 93 games. What did Dewy do wrong?
He was misreated by the Sox front office staff when he was let go and became a Baltimore Oriole after nearly 20 years as the Sox right fielder.
Dewy is a legendary Red Sox figure. One of only two players that played on both the Sox 1975 and 1986 AL Champion clubs, Dewy hit more home runs than any right handed batter in the American League in the 1980’s, and was perhaps the finest right fielder in the game. He deserves to be treated with more respect.
Finally, it’s a shame Mike Piazza was too proud to move out from behind home plate and become the Mets first baseman after John Olerun departed. Todd Pratt could have stepped in as the catcher and saved the Mets millions of dollars, who would go on to acquire Mo Vaughn.
Baseball’s greatest all time catchers eventually moved to less demanding positions to prolong their careers and sustain their potent offensive numbers. Yogi Berra moved to left field and Johnny Bench moved to third base. In other positions, Carl Yastrzemski moved from left field to first and Ernie Banks moved from short stop to first.
Mike Piazza is a Hall of Famer, but it would have saved the Mets a lot of trouble if he was playing first and Pratt was behind the plate.


About Andy Zides