TORONTO -- Minnesota Twins right-hander Jack Morris continues to battle an upper respiratory infection, but he apparently will take the mound for Game 4 of the American
League Championship Series.
Morris, who lasted 5 1/3 innings in Game 1, still looked and sounded miserable when he attended a pre-game news conference yesterday, but he said that it will not be a factor when he faces Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Todd Stottlemyre tonight at SkyDome.
The Blue Jays reeled off five consecutive hits to knock him out of Game 1, but Morris would not blame the early exit on his ill health.
"I don't think it was a factor one way or the other," he said. "I made a couple of pitches that they hit. That's why they are in first place."
He'll be facing them for the second time in four days, which
could work to the advantage of the Blue Jays, especially if the chest cold continues to bother him.
"It's tougher than the first time," he said. "I think that there is more of an advantage to the hitter. They have more at-bats against you in a short time, and that gives them a chance to adjust."
Morris added that he doesn't mind pitching on three days' rest, even though he has spent much of the season working in a five-man rotation.
"I personally have enjoyed it," he said. "I usually don't have quite as much velocity, but better control and movement. So, it's kind of a wash. I've talked to guys who used to pitch a lot on short rest, like Jim Kaat, and they agree with me."
Blue Jays Game 4 starter Stottlemyre said he hopes his playoff experience in 1989 will help him remain on an even keel during his first postseason start of 1991.
"The one big help that I had then was that Mike Flanagan was on the club, and he was somebody who had been through it and been on a world championship team," Stottlemyre said. "I remember the things he said to me were to have fun with it.
"The situation was that we were down, 1-0, to the A's, and he said to me: 'You don't have to do anything. You don't have to feel like you have to win. Just go there and have fun. Enjoy it and relax, and that way you will allow yourself to pitch to your capabilities.' The biggest thing is that I have to control my emotions and myself."
Stottlemyre worked five innings in that game and gave up four runs on seven hits to take the loss, but he returns to the playoffs a much more polished pitcher after his 15-8 performance during the regular season.
Blue Jays coach Gene Tenace, who is considered most likely to succeed Tom Trebelhorn as Milwaukee Brewers manager, has shied away from questions about his future, but he did talk
yesterday about the managers who have influenced him over the years.
"I was lucky," he said. "I played for four good managers and learned something from every one of them. From Dick Williams, I learned that fundamentals win a lot of games. Chuck Tanner was great motivator. Whitey Herzog was great in everything, especially handling the pitching staff. John McNamara was a great person. He treated everybody equal."
Vincent on equal opportunity
Commissioner Fay Vincent said yesterday that he will continue to monitor the hiring practices of the 26 major-league clubs, but pointed out the difficulty of trying to dictate policy from the commissioner's office.
"I think there are some good black managerial candidates," he said. "For me, it's important that they be given a decent chance. I'm not saying that a club should hire a certain person, but there has to be opportunity."
The problem is trying to use his influence without being dictatorial.
"It would be difficult to push a particular person," Vincent said, "because no one would want to be that person."
Vincent said there seemed to be a rush to judgment by some clubs seemingly in a rush to replace fired managers.
"I don't think we've done as well as I would have liked. I think there are a number of clubs that immediately hired replacements without the search process I would have liked," he said.
Blue Jays 1B John Olerud tied an LCS record with 3 walks, and Twins reliever David West tied an LCS record with 2 wild pitches in the same inning (fifth).. . . . OF Candy Maldonado is playing in his fifth championship series. He has appeared in the LCS every other year since 1983. He went to the NLCS with the Dodgers in 1983 and '85 and with the Giants in 1987 and '89 before making his first ALCS appearance this year.