Jays' Morris back again as closer?TORONTO -- Right-hander...

October 22, 1992|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Staff Writer

TORONTO — Jays' Morris back again as closer?

TORONTO -- Right-hander Jack Morris is in a familiar situation, but it won't be business as usual when he goes for the gold tonight in Game 5 of the 89th World Series.

Morris also will be going for his first victory of the postseason, which makes this a very unusual situation for a pitcher who has been defined Notebook

by his tremendous postseason achievements. He was 0-1 with a 6.57 ERA in the playoffs and he lost despite a decent performance in Game 1 of this World Series.

Morris carried the Minnesota Twins to a world championship last year, winning four games in the postseason and winning MVP honors in the World Series.

This year, he's down to his last start and still doesn't have anything to show for his encore performance.

"I'm not exactly thrilled that I am 0-2 in the postseason right now," Morris said, "but I have to hold my head up and thank the good Lord that I am here right now. I think I contributed along the way. You can never be perfect. You strive to be, but you do the best you can."

Morris has a chance to gain further World Series distinction with a victory tonight. He would become only the fourth pitcher in baseball history to be the winning pitcher in the deciding game of the Series in consecutive years. The others were Art Neff (N.Y. Giants, 1921-22), Lefty Gomez (N.Y. Yankees, 1936-37) and Allie Reynolds (Yankees, 1952-53).

Morris also could become the second player to win the deciding game for two teams. The first was Catfish Hunter, who did it for the 1972 Oakland A's and the 1978 Yankees.

Gaston's future

Cito Gaston apparently will be back in the dugout next year, but he was coy about his future yesterday.

"I want to do this for a while," he said, "but I don't want to do it much longer. I want to spend some time with my family. I want some quality time for Cito. I want to be a little selfish and do some of the things that I haven't had a chance to do in my life. Hopefully, in a couple of years, I'll be able to do them."

Like what?

"Like around 5 o'clock, going outside and having a barbecue."

White on White

Center fielder Devon White was being mentioned in the same context as Hall of Famer Willie Mays after his spectacular -- and perhaps game-saving -- Game 3 catch, but he shied away from comparisons.

"I would never compare myself to Willie Mays," White said. "It [the catch] may have saved the game, and it's important because it's the World Series, but I would never compare myself to someone like Mays."

Key statistic

The victory by Jimmy Key was the first by a left-handed starter in World Series play since Frank Viola won the seventh game for Minnesota in 1987.

Edifice complex

Here's the most off-the-wall note included in the pre-game information package distributed by Major League Baseball: The tallest building in Toronto is the 1,821-foot CN Tower, and it is 758 feet taller than the 1,063-foot C & S Plaza, the tallest structure in Atlanta.

The team whose city boasts the tallest free-standing structure has won six of the past 10 World Series.

Note to Orioles fans: Baltimore bucked that trend in 1983, when the Orioles won the Series, overcoming the severe handicap imposed by the USF&G Building, which at 529 feet was 19 feet shorter than the City Hall Tower in Philadelphia.

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