10/21/2002 03:02 am ET
Grich: 'What an incredible game'
By Bobby Grich / MLB.com
There is a good reason Bobby Grich is in the Angels Hall of Fame. From 1977 to 1986, he was one of the best second basemen in the American League. His best season with the Angels occurred in 1979 when he hit .294 with 30 home runs and 101 RBIs.
Grich was also a winner, helping the Halos to three Division titles in 1979, 1982 and 1986, his last year in baseball.
Grich has always remained close to Angels organization and, in fact, was one of the models for the new uniforms which were unveiled in February. MLB.com caught up with Grich after Game 2 of the World Series and he was happy that the Angels evened the series against the Giants and that Tim Salmon was the hero.
What an incredible game. That moment couldn't have happened to a more deserving player than Tim Salmon, of anyone who has ever worn an Angels uniform. He's one of the nicest guys, a quiet leader who goes about his job. He's definitely the leader of this team, and he's been the most persevering player out there.
Everyone is so happy for him, so happy for this team. They're a good bunch of guys, they get along, everyone plays a selfless type of strategic team game that is really paying off.
Everyone around me was saying, with a two-run lead in the ninth, "Just don't let anyone get on base when Barry Bonds comes up." And he did hit one out, but you can breath a sigh or relief, just admire it and say, "Nice going."
If there's a man on base when he hits it, it breaks your heart. He hits it deep into the bleachers off one of the toughest closers in baseball, throwing 96-97 mph. So you tip your hat to Barry Bonds, what an incredible player. But I noticed Troy (Percival) forgot about it right away; he asked for a new baseball even before that one landed.
It was like Jarrod Washburn the night before. He says to me, "I'm going to throw to Bonds. If he hits one, that's the way it is." So today Washburn comes up and says, "Well, he hit one."
You really hope a game isn't decided on a close call. You like to see it played out without an umpire's judgment being the critical factor, so I'm glad the Angels overcame that play in the fifth, when Adam Kennedy made that great diving stop and flipped to David Eckstein but J.T. Snow was called safe at second.
It was an extremely close call. You couldn't argue vehemently, it was so close. But more often than not, when a player makes a spectacular defensive play, he'll get the call on a close play. But AK didn't -- and the Giants got two runs out of that. And that does stick in your craw.
Francisco Rodriguez has been a major shot in the arm for this team. Just what the doctor ordered, some new energetic young blood to come up and be a power pitcher, the perfect set-up man for one of the best closers in baseball. So now we've got the championship type 1-2 knockout punch.
This World Series is extremely exciting for every individual in the Angels organization. It's the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people. I walk around and see front office personnel, ushers, elevator operators, trainers, equipment managers, writers ... all the people who've worked here for years. All these people who have invested a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the organization are thoroughly enjoying this moment.
I know I am. It's been a long time since I've been to a World Series. Oooh, let's see, I was at a game in '77, Dodgers and Yankees, when I went to Dodger Stadium. That's the last time I was at a World Series game.
Bobby Grich's column was told to Tom Singer, a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.