- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2002

ANAHEIM, Calif. The 2002 World Series may not have surpassed last year's for sheer drama and context, but the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants did put on a seven-game thriller that will rank among the most exciting in baseball history. Even if no one east of the Mississippi seemed to be watching.
"This has been a heavyweight fight," Giants manager Dusty Baker said before Game7 last night. "It's been the ups and downs. Overall, it's been very fun and very gratifying."
Baker couldn't have thought the events that took place late Saturday night were fun. He was a first-hand witness to the Angels' stunning 6-5 win at Edison Field, the biggest World Series comeback ever by a team facing elimination.
Through five games and 6 innings, this was shaping up as a fun World Series but hardly one for the ages. But when Anaheim rallied from five runs down in the seventh inning to pull off an improbable victory and send the Series to a deciding seventh game, it became an instant classic.
There were four one-run decisions in the first six games. There were unlikely heroes, from 39-year-old Giants designated hitter Shawon Dunston to 20-year-old Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez. There were record-setting offensive numbers from Angels sluggers Troy Glaus and Scott Spiezio. And there was one man, Barry Bonds, putting on a display of power that may never be seen again on this grand stage.
"I knew we were going to put on a show, these two teams," San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti said. "I didn't know what kind of show it was going to turn out to be."

Banged-up Benny
Benito Santiago's left hand might have been throbbing, but there was no way the Giants catcher wasn't going to play last night.
Santiago, the man who gets so many pitches to hit behind Bonds in the Giants' lineup, was clubbed on his glove hand by a wayward bat during Game6 on Saturday. Baker came out onto the field to check on him, but Santiago remained in the game and told his manager he was going to start Game7 no matter what.
"I don't know what kind of bones and muscles this guy has, but he heals quicker probably than anybody I've seen," Baker said. "He did take a beating. You try to take him out of this lineup today, you might get a beating."

Pedro who?
Dusty Baker reached deep into his bag of tricks again last night and made little-used infielder Pedro Feliz his starting DH for Game7.
Feliz, a 25-year-old third baseman from the Dominican Republic, was the Giants' third different DH in four games at Edison Field. Baker used Tsuyoshi Shinjo in Game1 and Dunston in Games2 and 6.
Even though Feliz was 0-for-2 in the series and 0-for-4 for the postseason entering last night, Baker had no qualms about throwing him into the fire.
"I think he can handle it," Baker said. "I think his swing and where he likes the ball in his happy zone is most conducive against [Anaheim starter John] Lackey. Plus, they don't know a whole lot about young Pedro Feliz. He's going to be a star."

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