Partly because Oakland's kookiness and cockiness don't always sit well with its opponents, these playoffs ended bitterly. When A's closer Dennis Eckersley, who finished all four A's wins, entered in the ninth inning of Game 5 with a 4-2 lead, Gaston asked the umpires to check Eckersley's glove for a foreign substance. "He dropped something on the ground," said Gaston afterward, "then stuffed it down his pants. But they wouldn't check his pants."
Gaston claimed Eckersley and A's third baseman Tony Phillips then called him obscene names, and Gaston stood in foul territory between third base and home plate, challenging them. "I said, 'Come across the white line, if you're man enough,' " said Gaston.
While the game was being delayed and the umpires were milling around the mound, Henderson, Hendu and Canseco stood together in left center, looking toward the upper decks of the SkyDome. Three outs from the World Series and a major controversy brewing in the infield: What were the three outfielders staring at? "Girls," said Hendu. "What do you think outfielders do between pitches?"
But in the playoffs? "Better girls," said Hendu. "More fun."
And what was Henderson saying out there? "I couldn't understand him," said Hendu. "He was singing."
He may never stop.