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SPOTLIGHT

Nothing Beats It for Making a Real Splash

October 24, 2002|Diane Pucin; Mike DiGiovanna; Bill Plaschke | From Staff Reports

SAN FRANCISCO — McCovey Cove is more than just a place for kayakers to dive for home run balls. It is a good place for TV cameras to turn if a Giant game gets boring.

At least that's what Giant President Peter Magowan said.

"Sometimes when you have a blowout or a game where people's attention wanders, you can show the Cove," he said. "I remember one game, where things were a little out of hand and somebody in the Cove hooked a halibut. It was a great shot."

Instead of the rally monkey, maybe Giant fans can get behind the hooked halibut.

Magowan also continued his crusade for quicker games. His rant focused on the fact that, as he said, "What do you tell a father who takes his son to the baseball game and after two and a half hours, only four innings have been played?"

After singling out Angel pitchers Ramon Ortiz and Kevin Appier as slow workers who dallied too long between pitchers, Magowan admitted that "our guy last night" also was culpable. Livan Hernandez was taking upward of 60 seconds between pitches.

"I believe the commissioner is taking this very seriously," Magowan said. "Something needs to be done."

--Diane Pucin

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MY TWO SONS: Shortly after the Angels lost to the Boston Red Sox in the 1986 American League championship series, which they were one strike away from winning until Dave Henderson's devastating Game 5 homer off Donnie Moore, Angel owner Gene Autry took general manager Mike Port and manager Gene Mauch out to dinner.

The conversation that night, as Port, the current interim Red Sox GM, told Boston Globe baseball writer Gordon Edes this week, went like this:

Autry: "You know how important it is that we're a family, that we have camaraderie, and I love you two guys like my sons. Next year, I want you to do everything you can to win it all."

Mauch: "Well, Mr. Autry, that's great, and I appreciate that, but a lot of things can happen over the course of a season -- you can have injuries, slumps, some guys might not perform as well as you expect. What happens if we don't win it all? Will you still love us like sons?"

Autry: "Yes ... but I'll miss you."

--Mike DiGiovanna

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NOT-SO-FOND MEMORIES: It may be the Giants against the Angels, but ultimately, the older, deeper, far more bitter Giant-Dodger rivalry always seems to surface, even in the midst of the World Series.

When Kirk Gibson's pinch-hit home run in Game 1 of the 1988 Series was voted baseball's ninth-most memorable moment in a credit-card promotion, the fans booed loud and long while chanting the familiar, "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!"

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IT'S A CELEBRATION: Odd enough that the Angels' John Lackey was the starting pitcher Wednesday on his birthday.

Odder still, he is the second pitcher from a Southern California major league team to start a World Series Game 4 on his birthday.

In 1988, Dodger Tim Belcher beat the Oakland Athletics in Game 4 on his birthday.

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ANOTHER FIRST: Renal Brooks-Moon of the Giants, only female African American public address announcer in the major leagues, became the first woman to serve as a public-address announcer in the World Series.

--Bill Plaschke

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