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BASEBALL PLAYOFFS | CLEVELAND VS. NEW YORK REPORT /
NOTES

Steinbrenner's Comments Don't Surprise Hendry

October 09, 1998|MIKE DiGIOVANNA

Umpire Ted Hendry, whose controversial call paved the way for the Indians' 4-1 victory over the Yankees in Game 2, had a first-class ticket on his flight Thursday from New York to Cleveland, but there was no limousine waiting for him at the airport. Indian fans, it seems, are not that creative.

Still, Hendry probably will get an ovation from the Jacobs Field faithful before Game 3 tonight. But if the series goes back to Yankee Stadium for Game 6, he might want to take some earplugs.

One New York tabloid ripped Hendry for his liberal interpretation of the strike zone and for his 12th-inning call on Travis Fryman's bunt. "Ump Blue It Big Time," the headline read, with a subhead of: "Clueless Hendry a total disaster."

Yankee Manager Joe Torre said players couldn't hit some of Hendry's strike calls "with a bamboo stick," and Yankee owner George Steinbrenner shredded Hendry, saying his 12th-inning decision "was one of the worst calls I've ever seen."

Hendry was asked if it would be difficult to remain objective for the rest of the series, especially after Steinbrenner's comments.

"What are you going to do?" Hendry said. "George says stuff like that all the time. I've heard it before. You can't pay any attention to it. That's just the way he is."

*

Examinations of the cancerous tumor removed from outfielder Darryl Strawberry's colon Saturday revealed that the margins were free of the disease, and doctors are optimistic that Strawberry will recover and return to the Yankees next season.

Thirty-six abdominal lymph nodes were removed along with the tumor, and only one indicated cancer. An evaluation of the liver revealed no sign of cancer.

Strawberry is expected to be released from Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York on Sunday, and doctors say he will undergo chemotherapy.

*

Fryman's bunt Wednesday, originally scored a sacrifice, was changed to a hit. Had it remained a sacrifice, it would have been Fryman's first since Aug. 25, 1996, a span of 338 games and 1,300 at-bats. . . . The Yankees are 18-8 in regular-season games at Jacobs Field, the best of any Indian opponent, but they went 1-2 in the division series here in 1997.

TONIGHT

YANKEES' ANDY PETTITTE (16-11, 4.24 ERA) vs. INDIANS' BARTOLO COLON (14-9, 3.71 ERA)

Jacobs Field, Cleveland, 5 p.m.

TV--Channel 4

* Update--Indian catcher Sandy Alomar said he thought Colon, a 23-year-old right-hander, "grew up" in last week's division series, when he gave up one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of Cleveland's 2-1 victory over Boston in Game 4. Alomar also said the Indians will need another poised performance out of him tonight. Pettitte, the left-hander who struggled in the last six weeks of the regular season, threw 8 1/3 shutout innings in the Yankees' 3-1 victory over Texas in Game 2 of the division series.

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