Angels don't take anything for grantedPosted: Sunday October 13, 2002 2:26 AM
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Anaheim Angels aren't thinking about the World Series just yet.
"We're not counting anything yet," manager Mike Scioscia said after a 7-1 victory over Minnesota on Saturday gave the Angels a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.
"You don't taste it until you win four games in the series and that last out is made. We've been around long enough to know that. I'm hoping, obviously, that tomorrow will be a big day for us," he said.
With the franchise's first World Series berth just one win away, Angels first baseman Scott Spiezio didn't expect to get much sleep Saturday night.
"I never sleep very well, especially before day games," he said. "So I'll probably get about four hours sleep. But I'm used to it. I'm a guy who likes to stay up until about 6 in the morning."
California Gov. Gray Davis watched the game from the owners' box with Michael Eisner, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co., and actor John Travolta.
Davis probably wasn't too pleased to see a small plane circling Edison Field a number of times during the game, pulling a banner that read: "VOTE BILL SIMON FOR GOVERNOR! GO ANGELS!"
Despite baseball's efforts, airplanes pulling advertising banners are flying above the ballpark during the playoffs.
"They got waivers from the TSA," Kevin Hallinan, executive director of security for the commissioner's office, said Saturday, referring to the Transportation Safety Administration. "We have not achieved all of our goals."
Hallinan is not happy about the waivers and wants the TSA to stop granting them.
"We're hoping for the World Series," he said.
Twins first base coach Jerry White and Angels bullpen coach Bobby Ramos were teammates with Montreal in 1981 when the Expos went to the NL Championship Series and lost to the Dodgers on Rick Monday's home run off Steve Rogers.
"Seeing him again brings back good memories of '81. And it's got to be a great thrill for him, too, being back in the playoffs," said Ramos, who was a backup catcher that season. "We both had the opportunity to do it as a player and a coach, and it's a big blessing."
White was 5-for-16 in that series, including a three-run homer off Jerry Reuss, but also grounded out to end the series.
White spent the regular season as the Expos' fourth outfielder in '81 behind Warren Cromartie, Tim Raines and Ellis Valentine, who were regarded as the best young outfield in the majors. Ramon referred to White on Saturday as the best fourth outfielder in the game.
"He's probably the only one who remembers that," White said with a grin. "With the team we had, we thought, OK, there's always next year. But it never happened. I went to Japan a couple of years after that and came back with the Cardinals -- and they won the year after I left. So now I really appreciate it."
An Angel in his pocket
Joe Navarro has worked at Edison Field for the past 20 years as an usher and a field marshall, and never received a piece of baseball memorabilia. But to his amazement, Rod Carew handed him the ball he threw out for the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 on Friday.
"That really surprised me. I just wanted to congratulate him for throwing the first pitch when he came off the field, and then he handed me the ball," Navarro said Saturday. "I told him, 'Rod, that's your souvenir for throwing out the first pitch,' and he said, 'No, Joe, that's for you for all the help you did for me when I was the hitting coach over here. So appreciate it, enjoy it, take care."'
Navarro appreciated the thought.
"He probably would have signed it if I asked him, but I didn't want to do it on the field in the open," Navarro said. "I did try and run him down, but he was just ahead of me wherever he was going and I missed him."
Carew became pals with Navarro during the Hall of Famer's stint as Angels hitting coach. Navarro was working as an usher down the left-field line in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS and had one leg draped over the fence, ready to assist the security forces that were there to keep celebrating fans off the field.
The Angels never got that final out and lost the series in seven games.
"We all still remember it like it was yesterday," Navarro said. "My main reason for taking a job here was to work the playoffs like this and hopefully get in the World Series. We got pretty close a few times, but this time I think we're going to make it."
Jackie Autry, widow of former Angels owner Gene Autry, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. ... John Lackey's first pitch was pushed back 12 minutes because Game 3 of the NLCS ran longer than the Fox network anticipated. ... Francisco
Rodriguez's two strikeouts raised his postseason total to 15, three more than the previous Angels playoff record set by Bruce Kison in 1982.