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It's Enough to Make Mauch Come Back

October 21, 2002|diane Pucin | Times Staff Writer

It felt good to Gene Mauch, sitting in the box belonging to Jackie Autry, watching the Angels playing in the World Series.

The noise, all the red, all the emotions, it made Mauch's skin tingle, it brought goose bumps to his arms.

"When I tried to imagine a World Series in Anaheim," Mauch said, "I'll tell you what. I never quite envisioned this."

Mauch swept his arms out, pointing to the exuberance that filled Edison Field, even in the top of the fifth, while the Giants were scoring four runs.

When Mauch was managing the Angels during the 1986 playoffs, Mauch said the noise level never approached what he heard Sunday night at Edison Field.

"I know this," Mauch said, "I could talk to my catcher, Bob Boone, and he could hear me. And we had over 60,000 people."

Mauch, who managed the Angels in both the 1982 and 1986 playoffs, had chosen not to attend the American League championship series against the Minnesota Twins because he had worried that his presence, especially in case of a loss, might reinforce the idea that he contributed to some so-called jinx.

And when asked if he'll be back for Games 6 and 7, should they be played, Mauch said that it depended.

"Only if the Angels win tonight," he said.

Mauch didn't mean that he thought the Series would be over if the Angels lost. He meant that he would have felt he had brought some bad luck.

"When the Angels scored five in the first," Mauch said, "and everybody in here was jumping around, I told them I've seen a lot of guys who birdie the first hole and shoot 80."

In other words, don't get too excited was Mauch's message.

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