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World Series | BETWEEN THE LINES

They Can Still Win It for the Cowboy

October 20, 2002|DEAN CHANCE

Right-hander Dean Chance was an Angel for the team's first six seasons, then pitched five more seasons with the Twins, Indians, Mets and Tigers. His finest year was 1964 when, at age 23, he won the Cy Young Award by going 20-9 with a 1.65 earned-run average, 11 shutouts and 15 complete games. He was also a 20-game winner with Minnesota in 1967. His career record was 128-115. Chance, now a boxing promoter, is guest analyst for The Times in this World Series.

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I remember back in the mid-'90s, I spent a spring working with the Angels. And one of the guys who stuck in my mind was J.T. Snow. I thought he was just phenomenal at first base.

And that defensive ability may have been the difference Saturday night.

I think that play where he slid in foul territory, got up and still caught the ball was the key play of the game. I don't know many, if any, other players who could slip like that and get up and still make that play.

That could make him the best defensive first baseman I have ever seen.

As far as the Giants' runs are concerned, those home runs that Jarrod Washburn gave up came on high fastballs. The one Barry Bonds hit wasn't cheap. But when you throw those high fastballs, the risers, you've got to come inside. I think it's better if you keep it down, but if you come up you've got to stay inside.

I remember I got Reggie Jackson once by getting two strikes on him and then throwing the high fastball. With two strikes, they can't lay off it.

But the Angels came back with two Troy Glaus home runs and both of those were on fastballs. So they showed they'll be able to get their share of home runs in this series.

Ultimately, this game came down to the closer, Robb Nen. But I'll tell you something, I wouldn't trade him for [Troy] Percival. Nen may have a better slider, but Percival has the better fastball.

Overall, I really like this Angel club. I like the way Mike Scioscia uses the hit and run, the way he keeps them aggressive.

And most of all, I love their heart. They came back Saturday and lost by only one run. And they'll be back today. All you can do is forget about the last game and move on.

I'm predicting the Angels will win this series, but I think it will go seven games.

To me, the most touching moment was when Jackie Autry threw out the first pitch. I couldn't help but think of the Cowboy, Gene Autry. When you mention the Yankees, you think of all those stars from Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig on down. But when you think of the Angels, you think of only one guy, Gene Autry. He was the star. Then, you had your ballplayers.

The rest of us only shared a little of our careers with the Angels, but I'll tell you this, anybody who ever played for Gene Autry has a special place in his heart for the Cowboy.

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