October 19, 1992 |
They will remember this postseason for many things. But they will definitely not remember it as the Year of the Closer. Dennis Eckersley blew the first four-run lead of his life. Stan Belinda couldn't handle the menacing Francisco Cabrera. And then this: Jeff Reardon, the man with more saves than any closer who ever lived, came marching out of the Atlanta Braves' bullpen last night to send the Braves floating off toward the North Country with a two-games-to-none lead in the World Series.
October 11, 1987 |
When they got Jeff Reardon eight months ago, this was the script the Minnesota Twins would have penned for him: Game 3 of the American League playoffs. They've already won the first two. The emotion and the momentum are all theirs after the Twins storm back from five runs down to take a 6-5 lead into the eighth inning. Hand that lead to one of the best short relievers in America. Start dreaming about that three-games-to-none lead as the bottom of the Detroit order steps in to hit. Give the Twins this situation 100 times, and they would want Jeff Reardon out there.
June 12, 1992 |
Any day now, a bearded relief pitcher from Boston named Jeff Reardon is going to become the man with the most saves in the history of baseball. Sounds mighty impressive, doesn't it? Most saves in history. More saves than even the legendary Rollie P. Fingers, the current record holder (with 341 saves, one more than Reardon). But all around baseball these days, many people are scratching their heads over the significance of this seemingly spectacular feat. Is it a tribute to the arm, the guts and the longevity of Jeff Reardon?
February 4, 1987 |
The Montreal Expos traded top reliever Jeff Reardon to the Minnesota Twins yesterday in a six-player swap aimed at strengthening their starting pitching. The Expos sent Reardon and backup catcher Tom Nieto to the Twins for pitcher Neal Heaton, catcher Jeff Reed and minor-league pitchers Yorkis Perez and Al Cardwood. Heaton, 26, a lefthander who compiled a 7-15 record with a 4.08 ERA in 33 games last year, was the main catch for the Expos, according to general manager Murray Cook.
July 7, 1986 |
Bob Horner yesterday became the 11th player in major-league history to hit four home runs in a game, clubbing three solo homers and a three-run shot for the Atlanta Braves. But the six-RBI output by the Atlanta first baseman wasn't enough, as the Braves lost an 11-8 decision to the Montreal Expos. "It's a day I'll always remember," said Horner, who has 17 home runs this season. "Of course, I wish we had won the game, but it's a day in my career as a ballplayer that I'll never forget.
February 6, 1988 |
In a classic case of housecleaning, the Phillies yesterday unloaded pitcher Fred Toliver by dealing him to the world champion Minnesota Twins for minor- league catcher Chris Calvert. As trades go, it was hardly a blockbuster. Toliver won one game in his three disappointing seasons with the Phils, and the club had given up on his chances of harnessing his ability. Calvert, 24, who was used last season in single-A Visalia (Calif.) mostly as a first baseman and designated hitter (batting .290 with seven homers, 68 RBIs and 17 steals)
October 26, 1992 |
It was the World Series of the upside-down flag. And it was the World Series of the triple play that wasn't a triple play. It was a World Series in which the winners were late for their parade. And it was a World Series in which the losers kept refusing to lose. It was a World Series that turned forever for those victorious Blue Jays on a bolt into the autumn night by an unlikely hero named Ed Sprague. And it was a World Series in which a man who lives for these games, Jack Morris, forgot how to be Mr. October.
February 16, 1994 |
With spring training about to begin, Jeff Reardon, Frank Tanana, Rich Gossage and Geno Petralli finally got contracts yesterday. Reardon, No. 2 on the career saves list, agreed to a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees that could earn him as much as $1 million if he makes the major league roster. The 38-year-old righthander was 4-6 with a 4.40 ERA last season for Cincinnati. He had eight saves in 59 relief opportunities and made $1.5 million. The new deal calls for a $250,000 base if he makes the Yankees and five levels of bonuses worth $150,000 each.
October 8, 1987 |
The Minnesota Twins won just 71 games last season and finished a dismal sixth in the seven-team American League West, and general manager Andy MacPhail didn't have to look very hard to figure out why. He had a team that could hit as well and as far as any in baseball, but he didn't have a team that could pitch. Particularly when there was a lead to protect. The Twins' bullpen had the highest earned run average (5.84) and the lowest amount of wins (15) and saves (24) in the league last year.
October 13, 1987 |
It was last February at the Minnesota Twins' spring training base in Orlando, Fla., and Jeff Reardon wondered just what he had gotten himself into. After five very successful seasons with the Montreal Expos, Reardon had been traded to the Twins a few weeks earlier, and frankly, he wasn't crazy about the idea of playing for a baseball team that hadn't won a division title in 17 years and hadn't even finished as high as third in seven. But all of that changed the first time he watched his new teammates take batting practice.