PHILADELPHIA -- Ed Rendell, the mayor of Philadelphia, didn't show much respect for Todd Stottlemyre, who will pitch Game 4 of the World Series for the Toronto Blue Jays here tonight.
During a visit to Toronto, Rendell was critical of the Blue Jays' pitching staff, particularly Stottlemyre. "I could envision them [the Phillies] getting swept by a combination of the White Sox's pitching and the Blue Jays' hitting," said Rendell.
"But not this pitching staff. If Frank Thomas could hit a ball 430 feet off Stottlemyre, I could hit one 270. I'd like to bat against him."
Stottlemyre was unaware of the comments, which were published Monday, when he came to the interview room before last night's game. "How did the mayor get into this?" he later asked Howie Starkman, Blue Jays public relations director.
When he was initially asked about the mayor's remarks, Stottlemyre was diplomatic. "Well, Philly is a beautiful place," he said.
As the questioning persisted, however, Stottlemyre began to play along. He was asked how he would pitch to Rendell.
"I'd like to hit against him," was Stottlemyre's initial response. "I guess I'd throw the first three behind his head and then paint the outside corner."
When the subject was broached a second time, Stottlemyre had a curt reply. "I'll tell you what," he said. "When this thing [the World Series] is over, I'll go into my pocket for a ticket and fly to Philly.
"Tell the mayor to put on a uniform and we'll see what happens."
Gillick on DH rule
Blue Jays general manager Pat Gillick would like to see Paul Molitor and John Olerud in the lineup at the same time in Philadelphia, but he refused to use the loss of the designated hitter in the National League city as an advance alibi for any misfortune that might befall his team at Veterans Stadium.
Asked last night whether he was worried that it might cost him the world championship, Gillick said, "No.
"I knew what the rules were when we started the season. Last year, we were set to play four games under the same conditions. We ended up playing three, and we got by."
Nevertheless, Gillick restated his dissatisfaction with the current system and called for a standardization of the rules that govern each league.
"One way or the other," he said. "Either have it or don't have it. I think it's stupid to have one set of rules throughout the season and all of the sudden play by a different set of rules now."
Pitching to pitchers
Pitcher Tommy Greene has shown he can swing the bat, which should give the Philadelphia Phillies an advantage in Game 4, but he doesn't think it would be wise for anyone on the Phillies pitching staff to take the inexperienced Blue Jays pitchers lightly at the plate.
"To me, anybody with a bat in their hands is capable of hurting you," he said. "I have seen someone 1-for-50 get a hit. To me, I don't like the DH rule. Everyone on the field should hit. I'm glad I'm in the NL. That's the way I grew up playing baseball. It's fun for me, and I enjoy it. A pitcher who can put the ball in play can help."
Lest anyone forget, the Blue Jays pitchers outhit the Atlanta Braves pitchers last year, going a combined 2-for-7; the Braves pitchers went hitless.
Umpires go public
The Major League Umpires Association released a statement of protest yesterday, decrying the use of overhead cameras to show whether a pitch was in the strike zone.
"The Major League Umpires Association denounces the use of CBS' 'overhead camera' to second-guess some of baseball's very finest umpires and to denigrate their efforts," the statement read. "Viewers are deceived into believing that the camera is positioned directly over home plate, whereas, in fact, the camera in Philadelphia is positioned more than 200 feet behind home plate and in Toronto 127 feet in front of the plate."
The umpires said the angled shot gives a distorted view of the pitch.
There were rumors earlier in the World Series that the umpires might threaten a boycott if CBS did not discontinue use of the overhead camera, but union director Richie Phillips settled for the statement.
The NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Islanders was moved back from tomorrow to Friday because of concern about traffic congestion in and around the Philadelphia Sports Complex. The move figures to backfire if there is a rain makeup game Friday.
Last night's game conflicted with a concert by Madonna at the Spectrum, but that show went on as scheduled.
Mike Schmidt, invited to throw out the first ball for Game 3, expects the Phillies to win the World Series.
"I thought all along that the Atlanta Braves were the best team in baseball," said the former Phillies third baseman. "If you beat the best, you are the best. I think the Phillies will win two games here and win it all in Toronto."