Jays' Morris gets his last shot at some '92 postseason...

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

Jays' Morris gets his last shot at some '92 postseason glory

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.

"I think he might not be getting away with some of the things he did during the regular season," manager Cito Gaston said. "You have to take into consideration that we're playing the best teams in baseball. We really haven't been scoring enough runs for him to get away with some of his mistakes. But Jack is a winner. We wouldn't be here without him."

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.

"I have said all along that if I was a robot, I would go out there and throw perfect games every time and at the end of the year when I was 37-0, I would retire, because I would be bored to death."

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 in history to win the deciding game for two different teams. The first was Catfish Hunter, who did it for the 1972 Oakland Athletics and the 1978 Yankees.

Gaston's future

Gaston apparently will be back in the dugout next year, but he was coy about his future again 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 Willie Mays."

Teammate Dave Winfield did. He compared White's catch to the famous catch made by Mays to rob Vic Wertz of an extra-base hit in the 1954 World Series.

"He made the comment that instead of watching it in black and white, you could watch it in color now," White said.

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.

Jays to rebuild?

Blue Jays front-office officials caucused before Game 3 to discuss the future of the club. The team has 11 potential free agents, and there apparently is some sentiment in favor of letting them all go.

But general manager Pat Gillick said the focus of the meeting was on four personnel decisions the club must make soon after the Series.

"We have to make decisions on two people within 48 hours of the World Series and two more within five days of the end of the World Series," Gillick said. "We're better sitting down and talking about things right now when we have all of our scouts here."

The club has 48 hours after the final game of the World Series to offer salary arbitration to Winfield and Candy Maldonado. They have five days to decide whether to pick up the options on Dave Stieb and Mark Eichhorn.

More research

Game 3 was the 100th game in World Series history to be decided in the winning club's last at-bat. Of those 100, 44 have been decided on the last pitch and 65 have been won by the home club.

History on Jays' side

The Blue Jays are the 17th team to lose the first World Series game and come back to win the next two. Of the other 16 teams to do that, 13 went on to win it all. The three that didn't were the 1920 Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1960 New York Yankees and the 1964 Yankees.

Edifice complex

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