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AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES : California vs Boston : American League Playoffs Notebook : Reggie Is the Straw That Stirs the Fans

October 11, 1986|TOM FRIEND | Times Staff Writer

Reggie Jackson had just belly-flopped into third base Friday night-- dirt flying up his nose, dust smudging his glasses.

He got up and, overcome with emotion, asked the fans to create some commotion.

He extended his arms, opened his palms skyward and begged the fans to scream.

He did this three times.

And they responded.

"It was the loudest I've heard (a crowd) since I faced Bob Welch in that World Series game," Reggie said.

"I think it (cheerleading) helps. It gets everybody going. It lets them (the Red Sox) know who's the home team. It lets the team on defense realize they're under pressure. And I know they hear. I don't care who you are. I've been around 19 years, and I hear it."

And hear this: Jackson says this playoff series means more to him than any other. He has been in 11 of them, and he ranks this No. 1.

"I want to win this more than any other one," he said. " . . . I think when you get to 40, you realize and understand your surroundings a lot more and appreciate things a lot more."

Like that belly-flop into third. It was the eighth inning, and he had been on first base when Wade Boggs booted Doug DeCinces' grounder. Reggie rounded second, and headed for third. Third base coach Moose Stubing didn't signal for a slide, but Reggie did his nose-dive slide anyway.

"I appreciate running and sliding and taking another base," Jackson said. "When I took that extra base (Friday night), I thought it was bitchin'."

Nobody complained about Stubing Friday night. In the sixth inning, when Jackson singled with Wally Joyner on second base, Stubing waved Joyner in successfully.

Stubing, who had neglected to give Bobby Grich a hand signal in Game 2, had jokingly practiced his signals before the game, limbering up as a pitcher would.

Still, he was booed during the pregame introductions.

Or was he? Maybe they were "Moooooosing."

"You don't know what they (the fans) were doing, do you?" Stubing said. "I think they were Moooooosing. Listen, I didn't get any hate mail. My friends have called. It's no problem."

According to Angel Manager Gene Mauch, tonight's starting pitcher Don Sutton was involved in an automobile accident Friday morning. But it was just a fender-bender, Mauch said. Nobody was hurt.

Red Sox Manager John McNamara lost his cap, and then almost lost his mind. Just after the final out, a fan came down and swiped the hat from his head. McNamara pointed angrily at the fan and thought about going into the stands after him.

Instead, police retrieved his cap.

"It (the theft) didn't exactly please me, and if I could've gotten a boost, I would've gone in after it . . . "

During the postgame press conference, Phyllis K. Merhige--the American League's director of public relations--asked all people who weren't accredited members of the media to leave the room.

Said Mauch: "Thank you very much, I will."

ABC broadcaster Al Michaels had a good night.

His best lines:

--On the controversial call on Joyner at home plate, with Boston leading, 1-0: "If this was the NFL, the game would be tied. The replay official would've overruled the decision."

--On one of Gary Pettis' running catches in center field: "Probably two players make that play--Pettis and Carl Lewis."

Angel pitcher John Candelaria on Pettis' defense: "Unbelievable. I thought Omar (Moreno) was unbelievable, but Gary Pettis, without a doubt . . . well, I didn't see Paul Blair in his best days . . . but Gary's the best I've ever seen."

Dennis (Oil Can) Boyd, asked recently about his midseason controversies: "I still think I'm good people."

What a difference a ballpark makes for the American League treasury.

The first two games of the series, in Boston's cozy Fenway Park, produced less than half of the net receipts than did one game in more spacious Anaheim Stadium Friday night. The first two games in Fenway were attended by 32,993 and 32,786, a total of 65,779, worth total net receipts of $1,400,820. Friday night's game at Anaheim Stadium was attended by 64,206, worth net receipts of $1,501,475.

The players' share for Friday night's game alone was $900,855, and the league share $52,551, each more than the total of the first two games.

Friday night's crowd was the second largest in Angel history. The record is 64,406, set Oct. 5, 1982, during the Angels' playoff series against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Joyner was almost a last-minute scratch from the Angel lineup after experiencing nausea and a slight temperature as the result of what Dr. Lewis Yocum, the team physician, diagnosed as an insect bite in the area of his right shin.

Mauch said Joyner began experiencing swelling and discomfort Thursday. He penciled the first baseman into the lineup, but he was uncertain Joyner would be able to play until he ran in the outfield about an hour before the first pitch and then informed Mauch he could go.

Red Sox shortstop Spike Owen's two errors and all-round nervous play in Games 1 and 2 garnered him much criticism in the Boston press. "The Cabbage Patch Shortstop," one newspaper called him.

Owen's reaction?

"Since when did Spike Owen become the center of this team?" he said. "We have Dwight Evans, Don Baylor, Jim Rice, Wade Boggs, Bill Buckner. Just because I make two errors that weren't that costly, there's all this written about me.

"I don't want to hear that. I don't care about the papers. I have enough problems, enough pressure on the field to worry about things like that.

"Everybody's got an opinion. I've got an opinion, too. I've played a good shortstop since coming here. After two ballgames, to make a judgment like that, to me, is ridiculous.

"They'll say what they want to say, but none of them are out there on the field, under those conditions. They've never experienced anything like it. Trying to meet a deadline? That's not even close to this."

Sports editor Bill Dwyre and staff writers Ross Newhan and Mike Penner contributed to this story.

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