World Series Notebook
Several Braves had ties to Payne Stewart
Posted: Tuesday October 26, 1999 08:00 PM
Crash victims Robert Fraley and Van Ardan had worked with Chipper Jones early in his career. AP
NEW YORK (AP) -- Chipper Jones was shocked to learn that his former agents, Robert Fraley and Van Ardan, were killed in the plane crash that also claimed the life of golfer Payne Stewart.
Fraley and Ardan worked with Jones when he signed his first professional contract in 1990 and were still associated with the player on marketing deals.
"I'm in shock right now," said Jones, who found out about Monday's crash after he took the field for a workout at Yankee Stadium. "It's hard to keep your mind on things. You're talking about two colleagues, two friends who've been a part of my life ever since I turned pro. I guess it's just one more distraction we've got to overcome."
Several of the Braves were friendly with Stewart, one of six people killed when a LearJet flew uncontrolled for hours and crashed in South Dakota.
"It's a sad thing," Game 3 starter Tom Glavine said. "We are all sitting here talking about a World Series and that seems like the most important thing in the world right now, but it's something like that that makes you realize there are a whole lot more important things in the world than a baseball game or a sporting event for that matter."
Added Game 4 starter John Smoltz: "He exemplified how all of us want to be viewed. The only saving grace for his family is knowing he's in heaven."
Switching to AL rules
With the shift of the World Series to the American League ballpark, the Braves must insert a designated hitter into their lineup.
"Neither of them are power hitters, I suppose, but Jose Hernandez is going to DH tomorrow, and probably Keith Lockhart against the righties," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
The Yankees are happy to be home -- especially the pitchers who don't have to hit.
"We're definitely a stronger team with the extra hitter in the lineup," Darryl Strawberry said. "We don't lack anything without the DH. It just adds more punch when Chili (Davis), (Jim) Leyritz or I can have three or four at-bats."
After missing the first two games of the World Series to take the body of his father to Venezuela for burial, Luis Sojo intended to rejoin the New York Yankees today.
Yankees manager Joe Torre decided to use Sojo as a late-inning defensive replacement for second baseman Chuck Knoblauch, who made 26 errors during the regular season and has thrown erratically at times during the postseason.
Sojo's father died Thursday, and New York decided to keep him on the active roster and play a man short in Atlanta.
Since Game 3 starter Andy Pettitte joined the Yankees in 1995, the team has made the playoffs every year and gone to the World Series three times: 1996, 1998 and this year.
"We just assume now that we're going to play 'til the end of October when the season starts," Pettitte said Monday. "In '97, for me I had a real bitter taste in my mouth, getting knocked out in the first round. I lost two games in the postseason there to Cleveland. You always remember that stuff and games like that."
During the past two postseasons, the Yankees are 20-3, including 9-1 this year. They have won 16 of 17 playoff games overall, and 10 straight World Series contests since 1996.
Last year's mark wasn't surprising, given New York's record-setting 114-48 record during the regular season. But the Yankees were 98-64 this year, good for first in the AL East but a drop of 16 wins, the most of any AL team.
What's the difference between now and the regular season?
"Obviously, the intensity level is a little higher," Derek Jeter said. "Every pitch counts. I'm not saying it doesn't during the regular season. The fans are into it. It's an entirely different kind of baseball."
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