Williams won't say if Yanks are in his future Padres get curtain call

Brown tops Mussina mark

World Series notebook

October 22, 1998|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

SAN DIEGO THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE. — SAN DIEGO -- New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams took off his New York Yankees uniform after last night's Series-clinching Game 4 victory, not knowing if he would ever put it on again, but he refused to speculate on life after the World Series.

"I'm just enjoying every moment," said Williams, who drove in the decisive run in last night's 3-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Williams is eligible for free agency, and there is every indication that he will leave the Yankees and sign with another large-market team -- perhaps even the Orioles.

"I'm not really thinking about that right now," he had said before the game. "I'll be a fool not to enjoy the time that I have right now, being in the postseason three out of my last four years, having the opportunity to win the World Series this year and having won it in '96. It's been a great time for me. And it doesn't make any sense for me to worry about what's going to happen in the future.

"When that time comes, I'm going to have all the things in front of me to make, hopefully, a wise decision."

The Yankees would appear to be foolish to think about letting Williams get away, but agent Scott Boras asked for the moon during contract negotiations last spring. Williams, who was believed to be demanding a five-year, $50 million contract, finally cut off talks at the end of spring training to return his focus to the field.

He had another strong season, winning the American League batting title (.339) despite a knee injury that cost him 31 games.

When Williams was asked if his first choice would be to remain a Yankee, he was noncommittal.

"I'll say [the chances] are probably as good as any other team," he said.

MVP Brosius elated

Scott Brosius was an unknown commodity to the Yankees when they traded for him last November. What they got was a World Series MVP.

"There's certainly some satisfaction in how this has worked out," said Brosius, who finished the series 8-for-17 (.471) with two homers and six RBIs. "But I also just feel very lucky to be in this position, how things have changed from last year, it's just an unbelievable turnaround."

Brosius, 32, who said he was eating pizza and watching TV when Florida won the Series last October, drove in the Yankees' second run in the eighth inning with a weak single over shortstop Chris Gomez that didn't make it out of the infield.

The hit symbolized Brosius' regular season and postseason. A year ago, a ball he would have hit like that probably would have been turned for a double play.

Last fall, the Yankees finally dumped disappointing pitcher Kenny Rogers off on the Oakland Athletics and got Brosius in return. There were some eyebrows raised at the deal since the third baseman was coming off a miserable 1997 season with the A's, batting .203 with just 41 RBIs.

"I think sometimes it was harder to hit .200 than it was to hit .300," said Brosius, who batted .300 with 19 homers and 98 RBIs in 152 games this season. "It was just a year where if anything could go wrong, it did go wrong."

His season indeed

As if Mark McGwire needed another sign that this was his year, the St. Louis Cardinals slugger caught a foul ball in the fourth inning last night after throwing out the first pitch.

Baseball's new home run king was in a front-row box seat on the third base side, next to commissioner Bud Selig, when the XTC Yankees' Chuck Knoblauch hit a ground foul.

McGwire reached just beyond the railing and one-handed the ball. He proudly held the ball over his head before flipping it into the stands behind him.

Bronx parade set

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that, subject to the approval of the Yankees, a ticker tape parade would be held tomorrow to honor the team. The parade was tentatively scheduled to begin at 11: 30 a.m. and run from the Battery up to City Hall.

"We are very proud the Yankees will be coming up the Canyon of Heroes for the second time in three years," Giuliani said.

Curtain call

Minutes after the loss, the Padres walked back onto the Qualcomm Stadium field to answer a curtain call from their boisterous fans.

There were no tears, no one hanging his head. Wally Joyner went out to the mound and scooped up a handful of dirt. The ominous gongs from AC/DC's "Hell's Bells" -- Trevor Hoffman's theme song -- sounded a few final times, and the All-Star reliever applauded the fans.

"We got close," Joyner told the crowd over the PA system. "It was special because of you."

The only guy who got emotional was owner John Moores. The Padres' future in San Diego hinges on a vote on a proposed downtown ballpark on Nov. 3.

"I'd like to build a field of dreams where they all could go into the corn field," Moores said.

Brown breaks record

Padres pitcher Kevin Brown broke Mike Mussina's postseason record for strikeouts when he whiffed opposing pitcher Andy Pettitte in the third inning. It was his 42nd of the postseason and he went on to extend the record to 46 with his eight-strikeout performance.

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