"Number one, you've got to trust yourself," said Glavine, who was voted Most Valuable Player of the World Series. "I've got so much confidence in my changeup that I can stand on the mound and tell you it's coming and, if it's a good one, you're not going to hit it."
The Indians never did adjust to the way Atlanta pitchers worked away from them, particularly with changeups. "They knew not to challenge our hitters," said Vizquel, whose .174 Series average contrasted with his brilliant play in the field. "They didn't come inside against them."
Cleveland scored more than five runs 69 times in the regular season, winning all but three of those games. They scored that many just once in the World Series, in Game 3—the only time an Atlanta starter, John Smoltz, came at them with fastballs and sliders instead of good off-speed pitches. The best hitting team in 45 years was held to six hits or fewer in all four losses, and batted .179 overall.
Maddux and Glavine put ornate bookends on an otherwise ordinary Series (only once did the winning run score after the seventh inning, and only one player, Cleveland second baseman Carlos Baerga, drove in more than two runs in a game). Maddux opened it with a two-hitter, and Glavine closed it with the combined one-hitter. Not until they ran into the Braves did Cleveland have fewer than three hits in any game this year. "That says more about their pitching than our hitting," said Indian coach Buddy Bell. "They pitched that well. They should get the credit for this."
Baerga, who made the last out of all three losses in Atlanta, was not as gracious as Bell. "I think we have a better team than them," he said. "It's hard for me to take." That was typical of the tough talk of the Indians, the kind of team you would not want to bring home to Mom. Hanging in their clubhouse is a framed and matted essay called The Art of Getting Along, by Wilfred Peterson. Now if only they would read it.
Cleveland's comportment took some of the shine off Game 3, a tense 7-6 Indian win, in which the two closers, Wohlers and Jose Mesa, combined for 5⅔ shutout innings and 92 pitches—most of them unleashed at or near 100 mph. The night began with one Indian, Albert Belle, unloading a profanity-laced tirade at reporter Hannah Storm of NBC, one of baseball's national television rights holders, and ended with another Indian, Eddie Murray, refusing to talk to reporters about his game-winning hit in the 11th inning. From his training-room bunker Murray issued an innocuous statement through the team's p.r. director. Two little Indians.
On the same day as his altercation with Storm, Belle snapped at a photographer near the first base line during batting practice. "Move your ass out of the way," Belle said. When the photographer did not move quickly enough for him, Belle added, "I said move your ass out of the way."
Then, after banging six straight pitches over the leftfield wall, Belle ordered a TV cameraman to move away from the batting cage. "And turn the——— camera off," he said. The cameraman did not move. Belle poked him in the shoulder with the butt of his bat and said, "Put the damn camera down."
This was the first World Series in which a team's general manager (Cleveland's John Hart) fielded a question in the interview room before the deciding game about whether his cleanup hitter required psychological testing. The commemorative World Series patches on the sleeves of the Cleveland uniforms, which included baseball's hollow slogan WELCOME TO THE SHOW, needed an addendum stitched underneath: NOW GET THE——— OUT OF MY FACE.
On those occasions when the Indians did choose to talk, they didn't know when to shut up. Pitcher Orel Hershiser annoyed the Braves with his proselytizing, his chirping that Atlanta felt pressure from not winning the 1991 and '92 World Series, and his public scolding of Maddux in Game 5 for buzzing a fastball that nearly trimmed the whiskers of Murray's mustache. Murray glared at Maddux as if he were a sportswriter, causing benches and bullpens to empty. Hershiser approached Maddux on the grass near the mound and asked, "Did you try to hit him on purpose?"