Reed now feeling at home in Minnesota

Former Met finally gets New York off his mind

ALCS notebook

League Championship Series

October 10, 2002|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS - It has taken awhile, but pitcher Rick Reed finally is comfortable in Minnesota. He just needed to get New York out of his system.

Reed, who opposed the Anaheim Angels' Ramon Ortiz in Game 2 last night, exercised his right to become a free agent this spring after the Twins acquired him from the Mets in 2001. He had been dealt in the middle of a multi-year contract, and Reed wanted out of Minnesota almost from the moment he got there.

"I was just seeing who was interested. Nothing came up and here I am, still a Twin and happy to be here," he said.

"That was the first time I'd ever been traded. I think I was just a little nervous about coming over to a new team, having to get to know a whole new team, a whole new league. I made a lot of friends in New York. I'm starting to make friends here in Minnesota."

As doubts remained in spring training whether Reed would stay with the Twins, he used the time to become more acclimated with his teammates.

"Spring training was the big steppingstone," he said. "I got to know a lot of guys and they got to know me."

Eyes on Weber

None of the Twins looks forward to hitting against Ben Weber, the Angels' reliever known as much for his eyewear and unusual herky-jerky delivery as his assortment of pitches.

Weber struck out both batters he faced in Game 1, Torii Hunter and Doug Mientkiewicz. Before last night, Weber had allowed one earned run in 12 1/3 career innings against the Twins.

Asked for an explanation, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "His glasses. Glasses are really tough. We won't talk about that nasty sinker and slider. We'll talk about those glasses he wears."

Turning more serious, Gardenhire said: "He's nasty. I mean, he's not just tough on our baseball team, he's tough on everybody. That double hitch that he does out there ... as a little kid you emulated players growing up, like Willis Mays and Mickey Mantle. This guy's going to have people doing him for a long time.

"He's fun to watch. He's got great stuff. That's why he gets people out. But we like those glasses a lot."

Game 3 switches due

Both teams went with the same lineups last night as Game 1, but don't look for duplicates tomorrow.

Right-handed-hitting Matt LeCroy is expected to replace David Ortiz as the Twins' designated hitter in Game 3 against Angels left-hander Jarrod Washburn. And with left-hander Eric Milton starting for Minnesota, the Angels most likely will replace second baseman Adam Kennedy with Benji Gil and designated hitter Brad Fullmer with Shawn Wooten.

LeCroy, who also serves as the Twins' backup first baseman and third catcher, went 4-for-9 in the Division Series.

"He'll swing the bat. He's not afraid to let it fly," Gardenhire said. "He has a chance to hurt you if you make a bad pitch."

Brotherly glove

They don't view it as anything special, but brothers Bengie and Jose Molina are a unique pairing in baseball history.

The Molinas, who play for Anaheim, are the second siblings to catch for the same major-league team in the same season. Amos and Lave Cross were catchers for the Louisville Colonels of the American Association in 1887.

"It's just like playing in the back yard of the house when we were little," Jose said.

Bengie, the starter, and Jose have a younger brother, Yadier, who's a catcher in the Cardinals' system.

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