No disadvantage at DH for deep Diamondbacks

Brenly has wide choice, opts for Durazo

wrist of Gonzalez only bruised

World Series

October 31, 2001|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - The choices are plentiful for Arizona manager Bob Brenly, who brings a well-stocked bench to the World Series and no concerns about finding a designated hitter for the games at Yankee Stadium.

Isn't the DH rule supposed to benefit the American League clubs, which are better constructed for it? Brenly's options for Game 3 last night included former Oriole David Dellucci, Erubiel Durazo and Midre Cummings, all capable left-handed hitters, to match up against New York starter Roger Clemens.

Brenly chose Durazo, whose two-run homer in Game 5 of the National League Division Series broke a 1-1 tie with Atlanta.

"We have several guys on our bench that would probably be starting for a lot of ballclubs. They are that talented. But because of the veteran nature of our starting lineup, they find themselves as role players," Brenly said. "Rather than pout and take it as an insult to their professional abilities, they take great pride in being secret weapons off the bench."

Brenly wrote out his "American League" lineup, with Tony Womack lowered to ninth and Craig Counsell moved atop the order. Womack has been leading off, with Counsell batting second.

Gonzalez stays in lineup

Luis Gonzalez remained in Arizona's lineup despite being hit on the wrist by Andy Pettitte leading off the seventh inning of Game 2.

Gonzalez escaped with only a bruise, so the Diamondbacks retained the services of a player who hit 57 homers in the regular season and three more in the playoffs.

"I've been hit three or four times this season on my hands, pitchers trying to pitch up and in to me," Gonzalez said. "I'm thankful [Monday] was an off day because it would have been sore, but I probably would have ran out there anyway. A lot of us have been waiting our whole career to get to a World Series, so it takes a lot more to get us out of the lineup."

`El Duque' gets call

No matter what happened last night, Yankees manager Joe Torre planned to use Orlando Hernandez in Game 4 rather than bring back former Oriole Mike Mussina, who lost Game 1, on short rest.

"Once you do that, you start a domino effect," Torre said. "I have confidence in `El Duque,' as long as he's healthy."

Grace pays homage

Arizona's Mark Grace made his first visit to Yankee Stadium, which he anticipated with the enthusiasm of a small child. "It's perfect. It's more than I ever imagined," he said.

Walking through Monument Park, with plaques honoring legendary players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio, reminded Grace of something his father once told him.

"He taught me to remove my hat in the presence of greatness," Grace said, "so when I went out there I made sure to remove my hat and pay my respects to all the great Yankees that have made history and made baseball the great game that it is today."

Ground zero visit

Brenly visited ground zero on Monday and was shocked by what he saw.

"I don't know if I am able to process the things that I saw," Brenly said. "It was surreal. It almost seemed like something from a bad movie set. It's hard to fathom that it's real, but the thing I drew from it more than anything else was the tremendous attitude of the workers down there in that area."

Gonzalez, Grace, Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling were among a group of players who also traveled to the site.

"We did it out of respect to the families and to show our appreciation to the firefighters, to the police officers, to the many volunteers that have worked hard out there," Gonzalez said.

My aching D'back

Brian Anderson started last night's Game 3 for the Diamondbacks. It's amazing he still was in one piece, or able to find anyone brave enough to stand close to him.

Anderson, who went 4-9 with a 5.20 ERA in 29 games, has battled through an assortment of injuries and illnesses this year. There was a virus that brought a 104-degree fever, a sprained ankle, a bruised elbow, a cut finger - from trying to open a cologne bottle - and a line drive that smacked his thumb.

And this was only spring training.

Anderson also had a strained back and groin after the regular season began. "And heaped on top of that was plenty of ineffectiveness," he said.

This is the same guy who once pressed a hot iron against his face because he wasn't sure if it had heated up. Last season, Anderson locked himself out of his hotel room while not wearing any clothes.

Just an average Joe

Torre was subjected to the same security checks as everyone else at Yankee Stadium, where fans and media entering the ballpark were searched and bomb-sniffing dogs roamed the premises.

"I insist on that," he said. "We all have to have patience for what's going on in the world today. We certainly want the world to be a safe place to live."

Hazardous-materials specialists and about 1,500 police officers, some in plainclothes, were assigned to the game, in which President Bush threw out the first pitch.

Ratings are a mix

World Series television ratings were mixed, with the average for the first two games up 6 percent from last year even though Saturday night's opener set a record low.

Fox's coverage of Arizona's two wins averaged a 12.7 rating and 21 share, Nielsen Media Research said yesterday. That's up from a 12.0/21 for last year's first two games between the Yankees and the New York Mets.

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