Scioscia uses comic relief to face second-guessers

Angels-Yankees notebook

October 03, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK - His first chance to manage in the playoffs has brought all the second-guessers to Mike Scioscia's doorstep.

Scioscia knew what was coming yesterday as he entered the interview room at Yankee Stadium before Game 2 of the American League Division Series. He reached into Anaheim's bullpen three times the previous night, but never touched closer Troy Percival.

Left-hander Scott Schoeneweis gave up the tying single to Jason Giambi in the eighth inning, Bernie Williams followed with a three-run homer off Brendan Donnelly, and New York celebrated an 8-5 victory.

It remained a hot topic yesterday, and Scioscia decided to have some fun with it. As he sat down in front of reporters, he said, "Before we get started, who would have brought Percival in? Give me a show of hands. Everybody's hands have to go up."

Giambi was 0-for-5 with five strikeouts against Percival, but Scioscia went with the percentages by calling upon his left-hander. And he didn't want to bring Percival into a tie game after Giambi's single.

"Eight hours last night tossing and turning, I finally came to the conclusion that I would have done the same thing," Scioscia said. "We're not a one-man bullpen; we're a bullpen that definitely has roles. I felt very comfortable about where we were in the game and who we had in the game, and it didn't work."

If the Angels lose this series, Scioscia isn't concerned about the focus staying on him.

"I'll talk about this all winter if you guys want to keep calling my home. I don't care," he said. "There was some reasoning behind what we did, though a lot of you in this room don't agree with it. That's baseball and it's beautiful. I have no problem with that."

Yankees' White injured

A hamstring injury has removed Rondell White from the Yankees' lineup indefinitely.

White, who homered as the designated hitter in Game 1, was hurt while running to first base and didn't start last night.

Yankees manager Joe Torre said White was available to pinch hit last night, but he did ont play.

Rookie Juan Rivera stayed in left field, with Giambi serving as the DH and Nick Johnson playing first base.

By the seat of his pants

Giambi kept his old pants last night, with some new stitching.

Superstitious about his uniform, Giambi refused to change pants in Game 1 after ripping them below his left buttocks while sliding into second base in the first inning. He later hit a two-run homer and a game-tying single, so maybe he's right.

"I've always been like that," he said. "I know it drives Mr. [George] Steinbrenner crazy and gets [equipment manager) Rob Cucuzza in trouble. [Steinbrenner's] calling down, `God, tell him to change his pants.' They're patched up pretty good right now."

Et cetera

Last night's game was the first time New York has lost a postseason game at Yankee Stadium when leading after the seventh inning, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... . Anaheim has six homers in the first two games of the series.

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