Say It Ain't So!

Wednesday, October 30 2002 @ 05:54 AM EST

Contributed by: Coach

(transferred; posted Oct. 20)

This is where I'm supposed to eat a morsel or two of humble pie. My admiration for Jason Schmidt has grown. I love him in fantasy ball; got him on waivers in the second half of 2001 and traded for him this year, just in time for the 13-K blowout of the Yankees. But I wasn't sure he could blow that ol' speedball by the Angels on his most glorious day, and I questioned his poise. Wrong, Coach. Both counts.

Barry Bonds singlehandedly changed my mind about interleague play this year. The show he put on in the game (fans booed the home team for trying to win; does this happen only in Toronto?) included a ninth-inning, opposite-field rope off a high Cliff Politte heater. (Halladay repaid Barry for the two intentional walks a couple of weeks later in Milwaukee.) I got more than my money's worth that night watching Bonds take batting practice, an awesome display by an almost superhuman talent. An interleague game, I am sorry to admit, now ranks among my most memorable "moments" in four decades of baseball. It does not surprise me that Barry, a vastly superior hitter these last two years, has already given the Series a defining moment. J.T. Snow shocked the hell out of me; he is in quite a groove.

Anyway, the title doesn't refer to Game One, and this will go the limit now; I've amended "Angels in 5" to "Angels in 7" and I'll stop believing that only when Barry hugs Jeff.

It's about the report in the Toronto Sun by Bob Elliott, still the only guy in town who ever seems to get a scoop, that Buck Showalter wants to steal Butter from the Jays! That's third-base (and infield) coach Brian Butterfield, who I consider more responsible for the club's second-half improvement than manager Carlos Tosca. It didn't take long for Bucky, who I think is extremely smart, to start a chess game with Ricciardi, but with Butter's signature on a two-year deal, J.P. must deny Texas permission to raid the key member of his dugout staff. It's a compliment to a great coach, just like it's been for Ken Macha. I doubt there's room for Showalter and Hart in one organization, but one way or another, the Rangers are about to improve.