A's Howe causes flood of controversy as New York media storm engulfs him

October 11, 2001|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - A's manager Art Howe yesterday learned the first lesson of New York's media reality: Drop a pebble in a pond and the next morning brace for the tsunami.

Howe found himself the star attraction in the media circus before last night's 5-3 win over the Yankees in Game 1 of the Division Series. Howe stated honestly and accurately that the three-time world champions would have to play well to beat his team, which finished the season with seven more wins and a 6-3 advantage head-to-head.

"It's going to take a great series by the Yankees to have a shot to beat us," Howe said.

He awoke yesterday to back-page stories and even a critical column from the typically more sedate New York Times, which called his statement silly, among other things.

"I'm going to use sign [language] today to answer these questions," Howe said jokingly before last night's game.

"I thought I was very complimentary of the Yankees all day [Tuesday]," said Howe. "And like I said, I think the World Series goes through New York. I guess I didn't realize what I had said when it came across the way it was written in today's paper."

No action for Heredia

Howe's most difficult roster decision involved pitcher Gil Heredia, who won last year's Division Series opener against the Yankees before imploding in the decisive Game 5. Heredia was 7-8 with a 5.58 ERA and finished the season in the A's bullpen.

"It was the toughest roster move I had to make, hands down," Howe said. "He's a quality human being - a quality pitcher - it was just tough."

Torre, Boss talking

Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner met again yesterday and it seems that the two are nearing a new deal for the manager, the New York Daily News reported.

Steinbrenner has made Torre an offer for either two or three years worth about $5 million per year, the newspaper said. Torre is said to be considering the offer.

Steinbrenner also met with GM Brian Cashman, whose contract expires on Oct. 31 - the same day as Torre's. The paper said Steinbrenner has made Cashman a multi-year offer.

Still no sting

The Killer Bs still aren't delivering any playoff sting for the Astros.

The Bs - Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman - went a combined 2-for-10 and Houston lost to the Atlanta Braves, 1-0, yesterday dropping into an 0-2 deficit.

Bagwell and Biggio have slumped throughout the Astros' 1997, 1998 and 1999 playoff games. Berkman, making his first postseason appearance, has joined the fizzle. After two games, Bagwell is 3-for-5, but Biggio and Berkman both are 1-for-8.

Wire services contributed to this article.

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