10/23/2002 8:04 pm ET
MLBeat: Family ties for Spiezio
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ever since he was a little kid growing up in suburban Chicago, Scott Spiezio has dreamed of playing in the World Series.
The Angels' first baseman's father, Ed, played in three World Series as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Ed's team won in 1964 and 1967 and lost to the Detroit Tigers in 1968. Spiezio, a reserve infielder and outfielder, was 1-for-2 lifetime in World Series play.
Now his son is part of the Angels' offensive machine in this postseason.
Overall, Scott is batting .364 in the Series and is tied for the team lead with five RBIs. He also has played spectacular defense at first base.
After a two-hit, two-RBI night in the Angels' 10-4 win over the Giants in Game 3, Spierzio reminisced about Ed's playing days.
"It was a different time," Scott said. "There weren't that many teams. I think he went right to the World Series. His team was basically an All-Star team."
To get Scott ready for his lifelong dream, Ed built a mini-practice facility in their basement.
"He basically has been preparing me my whole life for this moment," Scott said. "We had drills that we'd do. He'd pitch me batting practice every day, and we'd always end it with a situation where I'd be in the World Series. I think that's probably the reason I feel comfortable here, because I've done that in my head so many times as I grew up, from age 3 'til probably a couple of years ago is the last time we did stuff like that."
Mo' better without Mo: In March, Angels closer Troy Percival was asked if the Angels missed former first baseman Mo Vaughn, who was shipped to the New York Mets in the offseason for right-hander Kevin Appier.
Percival responded by saying, "We may miss Mo's bat, but we won't miss his leadership. Darin Erstad is our leader."
When told of Percival's comments, Vaughn launched a profanity-laced tirade at a New York reporter, saying, "Let me say this: Who the (bleep) is Troy Percival? What has he done in this game? Has he led his team to a pennant?
"Has he ever (bleeping) pitched in a big game that meant something? ... And he's a (bleeping) pitcher, too. You don't even (bleeping) play every day and you're sitting there talking about position players who play every day. ... They ain't got no flags hanging at friggin' Edison Field, so the (bleep) with them."
Now that there is a flag flying at Edison Field for the Angels' AL championship and the team is two wins away from an even bigger flag, Vaughn is suddenly part of conversations again.
Game 5 starter Jarrod Washburn was asked Wednesday if he thinks it was a relief to the team that Vaughn was gone, and Washburn responded with some strong words.
"Well, I think it was good to get Mo out, just simply because I think he made it well-known to everybody that he didn't want to be there," Washburn said.
"I don't think we really wanted a guy on our team that didn't want to be on our team. So any time you can rid yourselves of a problem or a possible problem like that, I think it's good for a team."
Washburn also alluded to the fact that the Angels are better off with Spiezio, a Gold Glove candidate, manning first.
"I don't think anybody expected Spiezio to step in and do the job he has done, but he has been unbelievable over there at first base," Washburn said. "Obviously, it's a big improvement defensively."
Ortiz injured: Ramon Ortiz said he felt fine Wednesday, and that's nothing new. "I feel good" and "I'm happy" are staples of his interviews and casual conversations.
But the Angels might not feel so good or happy if Ortiz is unable to start a possible Game 7 after team doctor Lewis Yocum discovered that Ortiz is suffering from extensor tendinitis in his right wrist.
X-rays were taken Wednesday and were negative. Ortiz will resume conservative therapy and is expected to start Game 7.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.