Work in Sports
World Series notebook
Abbott, Reed, Franco take subway to Yankee Stadium
Updated: Sunday October 22, 2000 4:28 AM
NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Vizcaino did his best Jim Leyritz impersonation, and became the New York Yankees' latest hero.
Vizcaino, acquired by the Yankees in June for Leyritz, went 4-for-6 and drove in the winning run early Sunday morning in a 4-3, 12-inning victory.
"I wasn't tired at all," Vizcaino said. "I was really happy that I was able to play in my first World Series."
Vizcaino, who joined Darryl Strawberry as the only players to play for the four teams that have called New York home at one time -- the Yankees, Mets, Giants and Dodgers -- didn't expect to come up in a situation to win a World Series game.
"I was thinking that I was going to be able to go to the World Series, but I didn't think I was going to be the hero in my first game," Vizcaino said.
Vizcaino, who had the first four-hit World Series game by a Yankee since Thurman Munson on Oct. 21, 1976, was given the start by manager Joe Torre because of his success against Mets starter Al Leiter. Vizcaino is 11-for-22 against Leiter in his career, including 1-for-3 Saturday night.
But Vizcaino's biggest hit came against Turk Wendell to end the game.
What better way to get to the Subway Series.
New York Mets infielders Matt Franco and Kurt Abbott, and Game 3 starter Rick Reed rode the rails instead of the team bus to Yankee Stadium before Saturday night's Game 1.
Franco got on the No. 6 train at 96th and Lexington Avenue at around 2:30 p.m., and changed at 125th Street to take the No. 4 up to the Stadium.
"I got recognized by one guy in a Mets jersey who said, 'Good luck,"' Franco said. "I just wanted to experience it. Tomorrow, I'm taking the team bus to experience that."
Franco said the pregame buzz was just building.
"It wasn't too crazy; kind of quiet," Franco said. "I'm sure it's a lot more heated out there right now."
Mets GM Steve Phillips chose to drive in from Connecticut.
Phillips pulled in front of the Mets' two team buses as they arrived at the stadium at 4:45 p.m., but police asked him to clear the way.
"I said, 'I'm the GM!' But they just said, 'Get out of here anyway,"' Phillips said.
Yankees manager Joe Torre thinks the weeklong hype surrounding the Subway Series is justified.
"The hype is allowed now," said Torre, who managed the Mets from 1977-81. "I thought there was a little too much hype for just interleague games. That drove me nuts because -- so you win four out of six. Big deal."
Torre, raised in Brooklyn, is the first native New Yorker to manage the Yankees, and joined Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra and Dallas Green as the only men to manage both the Mets and Yankees.
"This is something to brag about," Torre said. "This is great for the city. It really is."
Some fans should beware whom they root for, especially if they know Mets GM Steve Phillips.
Phillips was at one of his children's soccer games in Connecticut early Saturday and saw an 11-year-old family friend wearing a Derek Jeter T-shirt and Yankees cap.
"I drove the kid home. Then I wrestled him, and almost put him in a trash can," Phillips said with a big smile.
New York Mets reliever Dennis Cook, whose status was uncertain because of kidney stones, was cleared to pitch in the World Series.
"He pitched yesterday and felt very good," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "He had another -- it might have been an MRI, whatever it is they do to check for those stones. A large matter that was in his kidney was no longer there, so he was pain-free all day yesterday. We called him earlier this morning before we finalized the roster. He said he had a great night's sleep, he felt good and was ready to go."
Cook had not allowed a run in 16 career postseason innings.
The buck stops here
Buck Showalter, fired as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this season, was at Game 1.
Showalter, replaced as manager of the Yankees by Joe Torre following the 1995 season, has interviewed with the Pittsburgh Pirates to become their manager.
"I talked to them once," he said. "They said I won't hear back from them until after the World Series."
Missing his swings
Mike Hampton would like to take a few swings during the World Series.
The Mets left-hander, who is likely starting Games 2 and 6 at Yankee Stadium, has developed into one of the best-hitting pitchers in baseball.
"I'd like to hit because I have a lot of buddies on a lot of different teams who have never been to the World Series," Hampton said. "So, if I got a hit in the World Series, that would be some good ribbing there."
A few of the more original signs seen around Yankee Stadium:
Around the basesThe ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Don Larsen to Yogi Berra, the battery in the only perfect game in World Series history -- in 1956, baseball's last Subway Series. Berra failed to catch the pitch. ... Billy Joel, a native New Yorker, sang the national anthem. ... Two bomb-sniffing dogs, Labrador retrievers named Jake and Tucker, toured Yankee Stadium before the game. ... Subway Series scene: On the Major Deegan Expressway, a Porsche convertible painted in Mets blue and orange on side and Yankees pinstripes on the other. ... Director Spike Lee was decked out in a Yankees cap and jersey, and filmed batting practice. "The last four World Series, I've been doing this," Lee said. "One day, I'll cut it all together." ... Bob Sheppard, the public address announcer for the Yankees the past 50 years, handled the PA duties for his 56th World Series game. His first World Series assignment was between the Yankees and New York Giants in 1951. ... The 17 sailors killed in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen on Oct. 12 will be honored before Game 4 at Shea Stadium.