Ex-Expos boss Williams elated by Canada debutTORONTO...

October 20, 1992|By Jim Henneman | Jim Henneman,Staff Writer

TORONTO — Ex-Expos boss Williams elated by Canada debut

TORONTO -- Among those who says he's delighted to see a Canadian team in the World Series is former Oriole Dick Williams, who played 13 years in the big leagues and managed for another 19 seasons.

Williams began his managing career with the International League Toronto Maple Leafs in 1965 and later managed the Montreal Expos for five years.

Williams told the Toronto Star he would've liked to have seen an All-Canadian World Series.

"Nothing would have pleased me more than to see Toronto and Montreal meet in the World Series," said Williams, 63.

After spending two years as manager in Toronto, Williams took over in 1967 as manager in Boston, winning a pennant his first year.

"The Blue Jays won't have a bigger supporter than me," said Williams. "I'll never forget my days managing in Toronto -- and I have a connection with the Blue Jays. I had Galen Cisco [Blue Jays pitching coach] with me in Montreal and San Diego and Gene Tenace [Blue Jays bench coach] played for me in Oakland."

Borders works on mechanics

Pat Borders took advantage of the optional off-day workout yesterday to work on his arm. There's nothing physically wrong with the Toronto catcher, but he felt his mechanics had gone haywire.

"I've got to try not to rush," said Borders, who had five bases stolen against him and the Toronto pitching staff in Game 2. "I don't want to be throwing the ball in the dirt -- that I don't need."

Borders had three hits in six at-bats in the first two games, but his offense was overshadowed somewhat by his erratic throwing. In his defense, all of the Blue Jays starters in postseason play (Jack Morris, David Cone and Juan Guzman) are known for their inability to hold runners on base.

Twisting heroic road

There's an interesting sidelight to Damon Berryhill's game-winning home run in Game 1. He was acquired late last year, along with right-hander Mike Bielecki, as an insurance policy for the last weeks of the season.

He wasn't needed, and neither he nor Bielecki was eligible for last year's World Series. This year Bielecki, who grew up and still lives in the Baltimore area, was knocked out of postseason play by shoulder surgery.

Pete Smith replaced Bielecki and won seven straight games, and then regular catcher Greg Olson broke an ankle, leaving Berryhill as the Braves No. 1 catcher.

What a relief

The Blue Jays have gotten a big boost from their bullpen in the first two games. Todd Stottlemyre, David Wells, Duane Ward and Tom Henke have combined to pitch 6 2/3 scoreless innings.

Stottlemyre and Wells have appeared in both games.

"That first night I had the jitterbugs like you wouldn't believe," admitted Wells, who didn't even get a chance to warm up during the playoffs. "It's a scary feeling, you can feel so alone."

Ward agreed that the World Series atmosphere is definitely charged.

"It's a different ballgame," said the right-hander. "I asked Stott how it felt [after Game 1] and he said he didn't even feel the mound. I know how he felt -- I almost took [Jeff] Blauser's head off with a pitch before I regrouped."

Wells was particularly pleased by his performances in the first two games. "I hadn't pitched in a couple of weeks, maybe once in a month," he said. "But I threw on the side all that time and did my work. I'm proud of myself. I hope they know they can rely on me."

Bell rings up praise

Ed Sprague commanded all of the attention after winning Game 2 with a pinch-hit home run, but he didn't overlook the guy who batted in front of him.

"Derek Bell had a great at-bat [drawing a walk to set up the game-winner]," said Sprague. "That was a great job of hitting."

No Game 7 for Morris

In deciding to use a fourth starter (Jimmy Key), Toronto manager Cito Gaston has opted not to use any of his pitchers on three days' rest, as he did during the playoffs.

Gaston could have scheduled Key for Game 5 and used Morris in Game 4, thereby having the veteran available along with Guzman for a possible seventh game.

But, suddenly, there appears to be concern about Morris, even though he pitched well in Game 1, except for the home run by Berryhill. Morris had gone three straight postseason games without a win -- matching his longest such streak this year (April 26 to May 7).

Gaston's decision to pitch Morris in Game 5 removes him from Game 7 consideration.

Gillick to step down?

Pat Gillick, who started his baseball career as a left-handed pitcher in the Orioles' organization, says he'll retire after two more years as Toronto's general manager.

"I just think it'll be time," said Gillick. "I don't want to be one of those guys who hang around too long."

Gillick said his wife (Doris) may have some misgivings about those plans. "She sees it as getting twice as much husband -- and half as much money," said Gillick.

Life on the farm

The Blue Jays have generally been credited with having the best minor-league system in the American League, but you wouldn't necessarily know that by looking at their World Series roster.

In Game 1, Borders was the only product of the farm system in the starting lineup. In Game 2 he was joined by first baseman John Olerud.

Pitchers Mike Timlin, Key, Stottlemyre, Wells, outfielder Derek Bell and catchers Randy Knorr and Sprague are the Blue Jays' other home-grown players.

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