Was flipping through channels here in the living room and I swear on my honour that Game 4 of the 1993 World Series is on a free preview of ESPN classic. Sweet! The Jays ended up winning this epic see-saw battle at the old Veterans' Stadium 15-14 after putting up 6 in the 8th inning. This was also the scene of Todd Stottlemyre's famous chin-first slide into third, leaving him with a giant, pusy scab for the victory parade in Toronto (which he used as a platform to tell the mayor of Philadelphia to kiss his ass). Ah, memories...
Zooming forward to the current millenium, Blair checks in on Mr. Lyle Overbay, who has been banging the frig out of the ball all spring. That's significant because a) he's recovering from a broken hand and b) usually starts off slow-like.
"I don't have good springs," Overbay said yesterday, knocking on rhetorical wood after a brisk workout with the rest of the regulars who lucked out of not making a trip to Lakeland to face the Detroit Tigers. "But the truth is, I don't feel a thing. I haven't since I started swinging the bat in November and December.
"The thing that's always let me know that I'm ready is being able to hit off-speed pitches, and I've done that earlier than normal this year. I'm staying back, and that's let me hit those pitches and hit them up the middle. That's probably why the average is where it is."Stottlemyre gives up a second inning two-run shot to Lenny Dykstra. Leiter starts warming in the bullpen. "In my opinion it's too late," says Tim McCarver, who's calling this one for the Phillies. Oh you fool...
Reed Johnson considers himself a big swinging dick and doesn't mind tooting his own horn for any potential trade suitors:
"I don't see it as a case of me being showcased," Johnson shrugged. "But, can I play centre field every day? I tell people Aaron Rowand won a Gold Glove last year and when we were in college together, I was the centre fielder and he was the right fielder. I feel that's one of my qualities, to be able to move around anywhere."
Haha, right on, brother! Bastian notes that the LF steel cage deathmatch between Sparky and Shannon should finally (mercifully?) be settled over the next few days. The final roster should be set by the clubs March 28-29 exhibition series in Philly.
Molitor's up now in the third. So Cito went White/Alomar/Carter/Olerud/Molitor to start the order pretty much like clockwork through '93. (With Rickey Henderson added to lead-off in July). Any manager assembling that talent in that order in the interweb era would (rightly) be shorn a new one. I suppose this was a nod to the run-challenged 1991 Jays, a team that really only had three hitters: White, Alomar and Carter... Still...
Mike Wilner has a big soft spot for young Jesse Litsch, who "Litsch slapped" the Tigers yesterday afternoon. Best Wilner-ism ever!
Borders spanks a hanging breaking ball to LF for a single driving in Molitor. Greene gets yanked, Jays within one...
* Andy Pettitte is suffering from back spasms and was scratched from his last scheduled start. Not reading too much into this, but Chien-Ming Wang was also just named the Yanks Opening Day starter.
* It's official: World Baseball Classic games will be played at the Rogers Centre next year.
-- Johnny Was