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Volume 68, Issue 46, Tuesday, October 29, 2002


Autry must be singing to the Angels

Strike Zone 

Geronimo Rodriguez

Baseball in October.

You canit beat it. Even the larger-than-life Barry Bonds couldnit swat down the demons who visit the diamond every fall, bringing along a mystique and phenomenon that overwhelms the gameis finest players.

But like every other team, the Anaheim Angels just call it baseball.

Some might even say the teamis original owner Gene Autry was above the clouds shouting "Ride, Angels, ride."

Autry, shiny spurs and all, pushed the Angels past the San Francisco Giants to win Game 7 of the World Series by the score of 4-1.

Again, the Angels would call it baseball.

So what happened? One team outplayed another thatis about all anyone is left thinking when the last out of the season is made.

Not even Bondsi .471 batting average and 1.294 slugging percentage could sway the Angels from hitting their stride.

The World Seriesi Most Valuable Player, Troy Glaus, who batted .385 with three home runs, may have been the main reason why the Giantsi bat boy and son of manager Dusty Baker wept while being carried out of the dugout.

It was sad, but thousands of Giants may have wept the same way Sunday night while putting their Giant bobble head dolls away until next season. 

Millions of the pastimeis most devoted fans have done the same year after year; to think that the world is about to end when your team loses is part of being a fan of the game.

For the Angels, it has been a long time coming 42 years to be exact and thereis hardly a baseball fan out there who dreaded the sight of red and white jerseys celebrating a World Series win.

Weive seen the rally monkeys. Remember Atlantais tomahawk chop, which grew to irritate non-Braves fans in the years that followed.

And itis safe to say weive even seen the Anaheim Angels before; theyive come in the form of the pastis many gritty teams, overcoming all the odds to be the last ones standing. 

The question is whether the Angels will grow into Americais team in the coming years.

Will fans grow to loathe seeing them line up in the playoffs? Why not? It happened with the Braves and the New York Yankees. 

Thatis just baseball.

For the Angels, the way Mike Sciosciais team denied any opposing team the chance to steal their glory deserves a toast for now, or would the scrappers prefer a keg of draft beer instead? 

Either way, the sweet never seems that big a deal until your team is jumping up and down on the field like kids winning their first game of the season.

Is the singing cowboy still singing? If he wasnit before Sunday, Autry is sure to have belted a tune or two by now.

World Series round-up

The Angels knocked around the Giantsi pitching staff for most of the series, batting a collective .301, with Tim Salmon hitting two home runs and batting .346, second only to Glaus.

Glausi three home runs and eight runs batted in were both one shy of all-time World Series records.

But the Angels werenit the only ones breaking records.

The Giantsi 14 home runs broke the 1956 New York Yankeeis record of 12. 

Bonds led the team with six home runs, The Associated Press reported Monday.

The two teams also broke the previous record of runs scored with 85. 

Pittsburgh and New York had set the previous record of 82 in 1960, the AP reported Sunday.

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