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CLEVELAND VS. BOSTON REPORT / NOTES

Vaughn Ponders Uncertain Future With the Red Sox

October 04, 1998|TIM KAWAKAMI

Though many in the Fenway Park stands stayed around after the game, chanting his name one last time, Mo Vaughn stayed in the clubhouse, hugging his teammates, one by one.

Minutes after Boston's series-ending loss to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, Vaughn said he was proud to be a part of this team, but acknowledged that he might never wear a Red Sox uniform again.

Vaughn, who has been involved in contentious negotiations with the Red Sox all season long and who becomes a free agent 15 days after the end of the World Series, left the game in the bottom of the eighth when Donnie Sadler pinch-ran for him after Vaughn's one-out double.

"A lot of things came to my mind," Vaughn said of coming out of the game to a rousing ovation. "It's been a long drawn-out process, so I've kind of gotten used to the situation, know what I mean?

"I'm not going to sit here and say I know what's going to happen. Because I don't know. I do know that this is one of the best teams I've ever been on. I'm just going to get some sleep, take it easy. . . . It's been a long year. . . .

"I've had a lot of great times here in this town. But I'm a realist. I've just got to wait and see what happens."

*

Everybody wanted Pedro Martinez to come back on three days' rest, and there was nervous rustling in the stands when Pete Schourek gave up long fly balls to the first two Indian batters he faced.

But Schourek settled down, gave up only two hits and no runs in 5 1/3 innings, and after the game he made a point to credit Manager Jimy Williams for sticking with him despite the pressure to go with Martinez on short notice.

"I just want to thank Jimy, he put his butt on the line for me," Schourek said. "And I feel like he made the right decision. It just wasn't in the cards for us today. There's not a whole lot else you can say."

Williams, who had grown very defensive about the decision, wasn't in the mood to crow.

"I really haven't made any types of statements to say, 'I told you so,' so why would I start now?" Williams said.

*

How do the Indians match up with the New York Yankees, their opponent in the American League championship series?

Last season, Cleveland knocked out the defending World Series champion Yankees in a divisional series.

"We feel very good about ourselves and that we can match up with anyone," Cleveland Manager Mike Hargrove said. "The Yankees won 114 games this year, and they didn't do it by being lucky. They have terrific players, a wonderful manager and they are a first-class organization."

*

Indian closer Mike Jackson saved all three Cleveland victories in the series. . . . Boston shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who hit his third home run of the series on Saturday for the Red Sox's only run, had 11 runs batted in this series, the most ever in a division series. "I could find a place for him on our ballclub," Hargrove said.

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