10/08/2002 7:21 pm ET
MLBeat: Lamb ready for action
Twins ready for Anaheim's Weber and double-pump
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ever hear of Brian Doyle? How about Billy Bates? Unless you're a die-hard baseball fan, it's unlikely you know much about these former baseball players but you might remember their historical contributions.
Twins rookie utility infielder David Lamb, added to the ALCS roster for the injured Denny Hocking, may also get a chance to contribute something in the playoffs. It's quite an opportunity for a September call-up that spent most of the season in Triple-A. He played in just seven games with Minnesota in 2002.
"He's our backup infielder," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "If something happens to (Luis) Rivas or (Cristian) Guzman or (Corey) Koskie, he's going in the ballgame."
Obviously, Lamb doesn't know if that situation will arise against the Angels in the best-of-seven game series, but is preparing for the moment.
"You never know what's going to happen," said Lamb, who hit .309 with 10 homers and 72 RBIs at Edmonton. "You could come up with the big hit and just like that, you could be apart of history."
Doyle was a replacement on the Yankees in the 1978 World Series for an injured Willie Randolph. He had played just 39 regular season games that year but hit a clutch .437 to help New York defeat the Dodgers. Bates played in just eight games for the Reds in 1990 but scored the winning run in the 10th inning of Game 2 of the World Series against the A's.
Although he was not on the roster in the ALDS against Oakland, Lamb was on the bench in uniform and worked out just in case he was needed in the later rounds of the postseason. He expects to feel the jitters his teammates felt in their first postseason game last week.
"It'd be stupid to say I won't be nervous if I get into a game," Lamb said. "It's an atmosphere I have not been apart of. I'll do whatever I can to slow myself down if I do get out there."
"If I get an opportunity to get him in there in one of these games, that would be great," Gardenhire said. "I'd like to be able to stick him out there and let him get his feet wet."
Lamb is a native of Thousand Oaks, Calif., which is about an hour away from Anaheim. He relishes the chance of possibly playing in playoff games against a team he grew up near.
"You couldn't have dreamt it up any better," Lamb said. "But it sucks for Denny."
Hocking was injured during the celebration of winning the ALDS in Oakland. A teammate stepped on his throwing hand, splitting the fingernail and requiring stitches. He said he is getting focused on being ready if Minnesota advances to the World Series and will try and enjoy the ALCS.
"It could be worse," Hocking said. "I could be in my living room watching -- 26 other teams are doing that."
Lamb did not get into the Twins' 2-1 victory over Anaheim Tuesday.
Watching Weber: Among the players the Twins were preparing to see was Anaheim relief pitcher Ben Weber, who features a unique double pump with his arms while in his windup.
While the pump been known to throw off many hitters, the large eye goggles Weber wears on the mound amuse the Twins.
"We have a lot entertainment imitating and emulating him all the time," said Gardenhire while showing off his best imitation from behind the desk in his office. "We just don't have the glasses. We know his he's tough."
Weber faced two batters, Doug Mientkiewicz and Torii Hunter, in the eighth inning Tuesday. He struck both of them out.
"That guy is nasty," Hunter said. "When he pumps, I'm looking at it. My head is going up and down. He's a good pitcher. Either he gets me or I get him. He got me today and a couple of times in the past."
Mientkiewicz said the pitches are harsher than the pump move. He referred to them as a "95 mph shot put."
"It's ridiculous," he said. "It's supposed to be physically impossible to make a ball move that much and be thrown that hard.
"The ball moves from about chest high to about ankle high. You end up looking the way Torii and I looked. Then you sit back and laugh about it because you realize that we've been facing him since Triple-A and we didn't get a hit off him there either."
Need Mohr bats: A quick glance at Twins outfielder Dustan Mohr's bat showed something strange. On the bat head, the label had his name printed above "Montreal Expos."
Mohr received the bats in mid-season and said that the Easton Company, which provided them, apologized for the misprint. He has a total of 12 bats that feature the error and now just uses them for batting practice.
"These are going to be worth a lot of money someday," deadpanned Mohr before heading to the cage to take his practice swings.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at
email@example.com. This report was not subject to
the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.