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Kennedy Seizes the Moment

October 14, 2002|Dan Barreiro | Minneapolis Star Tribune

And so, the fellow who was supposed to bunt the runners along -- small ball, baseball insiders like Doug Mientkiewicz love to call it -- drilled a high slider from Johan Santana into the right field stands. With one swing, Adam Kennedy had given his team the lead, and jolted the Twins so badly that their relievers would yield seven more.

This is what Mientkiewicz had said Saturday night in response to the suggestion that the Twins could use a momentum-shifting power ball every now and then: "The last couple games we've had too many guys who want to be the hero every time you step up to the plate. I read a story today about us and home runs. That was the worst story at the worst time in the history of the media for us. We didn't get here by hitting home runs."

Neither did Kennedy, by the way. But you know what, Doug? The Angels' second baseman is living proof that you don't have to be Babe Ruth to become Babe Ruth for a single postseason series. Or a single game. Or even a single at-bat.

You either take the moment and run with it, or you don't.

Here was a fellow who, when the opportunity presented itself, didn't say "Whoa ... whoa ... whoa. This isn't what got us here. This isn't my game. I'm supposed to settle for a nice, quiet base hit up the middle."

Instead, he attacked that hanging slider by Santana to pull the Angels back ahead and send a Rally Monkey-lovin', Thunder-Stix-clappin' crowd of 44,835 into hysterics.

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