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World Series 2001
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11/01/2001 01:49 AM ET
Muskat: D-Backs dealing with ghosts, rats
Mark Grace saw a giant rat at Yankee Stadium. Will ghosts be next?
NEW YORK -- There are a lot of ghosts at Yankee Stadium.

No black cats or haunted corridors. Just strange, weird ghosts. It doesn't matter that it's Halloween.

The D-Backs will be returning home with scary nightmares of Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and Phil Rizzuto.

Wait, that was Berra, Ford and Rizzuto on the field. They're alive.

It's the current Yankees who are starting to scare the D-Backs.

Arizona was one out away from taking a three-games-to-one lead in the World Series when Tino Martinez belted a two-run, game-tying home run in the ninth. And then Derek Jeter, vying to be the first Mr. November in baseball, slugged a walk-off homer with two out in the 10th. Yankees win 4-3 and the Series is tied at two wins apiece.

It's now best-of-three and headed back to Arizona.

It has been a scary trip. The Diamondbacks got their first Yankee Stadium fright on Tuesday. As the players were coming off the field, they saw a giant rat in the dugout close to where Arizona Manager Bob Brenly stands.

"It was a Massachusetts-sized rat," D-Backs first baseman Mark Grace said. "He was a steroid rat. They threw a box over him and the police took him away."

Why was that?

"He didn't have a credential," Grace said.

Ba-dum bum.

"He wasn't bothering anybody," Grace said. "He was just hanging out." Sorry, no credential, no go.

Grace has seen rats at other ballparks, like Wrigley Field, Shea Stadium and the Astrodome. Cats used to roam the 'Dome to try to keep the rats in check.


"The rats there are like, 'Ha, cats. Yeah, right,'" Grace said.

Other than the slight fright, the D-Backs' first visit to Yankee Stadium has gone OK, except for the two losses. They did finally get the heat turned on in the visiting dugout for Wednesday's Game 4. Someone accidently "forgot" to do so in Game 3.

Grace was greeted by the fans along the first base line in true Yankee fashion. What did they say?

"For the record? Not many I can tell you," he said. "There were hundreds of 'Grace, you suck.' That's original."

The excitement of playing at Yankee Stadium against the Yankees in the World Series kept Grace up until 4 a.m. Wednesday.

"Then you sleep until 1," he said. "Those were my good single days."

Who's sizzling: If Curt Schilling wants to pitch in Games 5, 6 and 7, let him. The right-hander was sharp in Game 4, giving up one run on three hits over seven innings. Jeter expects to see Schilling in Game 5.

Who's fizzling: Matt Williams went 0-for-4. He struck out in the first to strand three runners and hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice in the third to strand two more. When he grounded out in the eighth, it was with one out and a run did score from third. Still, too little, too late.

Fearless prediction: Miguel Batista is well-educated and well-read. But can the Game 5 starter pitch? Probably not as well as he can write.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for