NEW YORK - It's October 31, Halloween. There's a full moon and Yankee Stadium has quickly become a house of horrors for the visitors from Phoenix. Coming into this game, the D-Backs had a 2-1 lead and their ace Curt Schilling on the hill. It should have been an early Christmas.
However, in the South Bronx, the stars were aligned and a little Yankee black magic proved to be the difference. One out away from winning the game, Tino Martinez tied it up and set the stage for Derek Jeter's heroics in the tenth. Though the game ran past the witching hour and into November, the fans stayed 'til the last. And as Frank Sinatra howled into the night, the D-Backs better hope they can call some ghostbusters to rid themselves of that Yankee spirit that just won't go away.
When I was growing up, for Halloween I was Darth Vader a couple of times and a baseball player once. When ideas were tight, my mom roasted a few corks over the stove and dirtied me up, gave me some oversized clothes and tied a little bag on a stick and viola! I was a hobo. But what do the players go as? Can they go as themselves? If they grow goatees, can they be Mark McGwire even if they play for the Cubs?
Yankees utility man Clay Bellinger said, "To be honest with you, the only thing I remember from Halloween is throwing eggs and toilet papering people's houses. I don't ever remember any costumes." Well Clay, as a benefit to you, and the rest of the players, here are my suggestions for costumes the players could wear for this Halloween.
David Justice: The Invisible Man. In mid-summer of last year, the Yanks added Justice to their lineup and he went on to hit more than 20 pinstriped homers in just a couple of months.
This year, until his infield "hit" in the ninth inning, he had fanned eight consecutive times in the World Series. If this were just a four-game series, that would be a record. At least if he were the Invisible Man, he could tell Joe Torre that maybe the balls just flew through him.
Derek Jeter: Derek Jeter. Who else would you want to be? Maybe he could be Frank Sinatra. He's definitely made it here and everywhere. He almost had to go for a fitting for an Invisible Man costume but his 10th inning game-winning blast once again shows why he's the king of New York. Oh, as a topper, he's never had a walk-off home run before. Congratulations Derek, maybe next year you could be Mr. November.
Don Zimmer: Look at the guy. Popeye, obviously. But wouldn't it be funny if he dressed up as Calista Flockhart?
Mariano Rivera: Mr. Sandman. Like his theme music tells us, when he's in the game, it's definitely lights out. He's one of the most dominating pitchers in postseason history and realistically, there just isn't any other costume that would fit him. Jeez, he's skinny. Maybe someone could dress him up as a toothpick or matchstick.
Shane Spencer: Superman. He's got that midwest thing about him and the muscle to back it up. He threw out Tony Womack at the plate and knocked a Curt Schilling pitch out to right. And let's not forget his flying catch last night.
Luis Gonzalez: Gonzo. I know it's his nickname but I can't think of a better costume than everyone's favorite alien muppet (was he an alien?). Well, maybe Boober Fraggle.
Tino Martinez: Jelly. Sure, peanut butter gets the top billing, but jelly just makes the sandwich. I just wanted to say that but I have my own things going on.
Luis Sojo: The Mummy. Thousands of years old and still around. Scary.
Bernie Williams: Venus di Milo. A work of art in every way. Bernie glides to the ball, makes the tough catches and can hit the ball a mile. Too bad he's missing an arm.
Curt Schilling: Tony Soprano. He's definitely the leader of this "family" but more importantly, just like Tony, he's unhittable. In five postseason games this year, he has a 0.88 ERA and has allowed only two runs in two starts this World Series. He threw 88 pitches tonight, 63 for strikes in seven innings. Just so you know, Byung-Hyun Kim threw 62 pitches TOTAL, in two and two-third innings.
Randy Johnson: Yosemite Sam. Come on, with the mullet, he's perfect. Give him a couple of six guns and some wascally wabbit, and he's set.
Byung-Hyun Kim: The shower that Daniel LaRusso wore at the dance in "The Karate Kid." After giving up the tying homer to Tino Martinez and the winning homer to Derek Jeter in his first World Series appearance, he probably should hide his face at the big dance.
And finally ...
Clay Bellinger: Rudy. When you get your first World Series at bat this year, everyone is going to cheer for you. Try not to sack the pitcher, though. That's illegal.
Chris Franchino is covering the World Series for MLB.com. Tonight, he dressed up as a reporter.