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SPOTLIGHT

Selig: Sorry, No New Balls

October 23, 2002|Bill Plaschke | From Staff and Wire Reports

SAN FRANCISCO — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig addressed several issues before Tuesday's game.

On the reportedly juiced baseball: "If I could let my sarcastic nature come out, I would. But I can't, so I will say that I have talked to [Vice President ] Sandy Alderson, talked to everyone involved, and I am convinced these are the same baseballs we have used during the year."

On the number of World Series players who disagree with him on this issue: "With all due respect, this is America, and everybody is entitled to their own opinion."

On his refusal to allow teams such as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and New York Mets to fill their managerial vacancies during the World Series: "We have had a memo in place about this issue for the last four or five years, and I just wanted to enforce it. These two teams worked hard to be here and the focus should be on them, on this World Series, instead of somewhere else."

'STICK MEMORIES: Angel Manager Mike Scioscia, when asked to recall his most vivid memory of Candlestick Park's fans and weather: "The atmosphere of the fans was incredible. I mean, it was electric. Sometimes it really was electric if some batteries came at you. And the weather ... it was incredible.

"I mean, at Candlestick, from the time we took batting practice, it would be beautiful, 70 degrees. We'd go in for a half-hour, a little after 6 p.m., we'd come back out for the game and you thought you walked into the Twilight Zone, it felt like it was 30 degrees below zero with the wind chill. That was the beauty of Candlestick Park."

MONKEYSHINES: Who says the rally monkey is an Edison Field phenomenon?

Replica monkeys were being sold outside Pacific Bell Park before Game 3 for $20.

Of course, they came with gallows ropes around their necks, and several would be seen hanging from the upper decks during the game.

In addition, a "CAGE THE MONKEY" pullout from the San Francisco Examiner was distributed to anyone thinking the celebrated simian's power extended beyond the Anaheim city limits.

SPIRIT OF GIVING: First baseman Jim Thome of the Cleveland Indians won the Roberto Clemente Award, given for exemplary behavior on and off the field.

Thome has helped raise more than $400,000 for the United Way and a children's hospital in his hometown of Peoria, Ill. Also, he and his wife, Andrea, dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus every year and deliver toys to needy youngsters throughout the Cleveland area.

GET IN THE BOX: Giant managing general partner Peter Magowan wasn't happy with the outcome of Game 2 of the World Series. And not just because the Giants lost.

Magowan, who is a big advocate of speeding up baseball, bemoaned the length of the game, which ran nearly four hours,

"One of the biggest problems," Magowan said, "is that batters keep getting out of the batter's box. Some guys are doing it on every pitch. You never see Barry Bonds get out of the box. If he doesn't have to, why would other guys need to?"

GETTING IT STRAIGHT: Most assume that Bobby Bonds asked Willie Mays to be godfather to his son, Barry.

Not so, Mays revealed Tuesday.

Mays and Bonds became friends while they were teammates on the San Francisco Giants from 1968 to '72, but it was actually Barry's mother, Pat, who made the request.

"She wanted me to be the godfather; I don't think Bobby said anything to me about that," the Hall of Famer said. "Barry was always in my locker when I played, he was the type of guy that would eat a lot of candy, chew a lot of gum, and I had it in my locker all the time.

"We would go out on the field and play catch. Actually, he was around me more than [Bobby and Pat]. Maybe that rubbed off on him a little bit."

APPETIZING TARGET: Taco Bell has installed a 15-foot diameter floating target in McCovey Cove. If any player hits it with a home run ball, everyone in America is entitled to a free taco. That's right, everyone in America. The target will remain in place through Game 5.

Associated Press

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