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GRISSOM STRIKES AN MVP BLOW FOR TIMELY HITTING

Marquis Grissom was a better candidate for a benching than an award.

He was 0-for-4 with four strikeouts as Cleveland won the AL pennant Wednesday. He was just 6-for-23 in the six-game series, driving in just four runs.

With a performance like that, no wonder he was surprised after receiving the Most Valuable Player award of the AL Championship Series.

"Kind of strange to give the MVP to a guy that just struck out four times," he said. "It's not logical."

Grissom whiffed nine times in the series, also fanning four times in Game Three. Not exactly a Ruthian performance.

But with Baltimore four outs away from a 2-0 lead, he hit a three-run homer off Armando Benitez that gave Cleveland a 5-4 victory in Game Two.

"I think the momentum did shift when Marquis Grissom did hit the home run," Cal Ripken said after the series ended.

AL spokeswoman Phyllis Merhige said the voting "was very split," but wouldn't give a breakdown. The decision was made in a vote among Fox television, CBS radio, Jim Ingraham of The (Lake County) News-Herald, Peter Schmuck of The (Baltimore) Sun and Orioles official scorer Mark Jacobson.
Brian Anderson was a diehard Indians fan growing up in Geneva, Ohio.

Being only 25, he had only seen the Indians win one AL pennant in his lifetime.

Now, his name is in the record books as the winning pitcher of the clinching game as the Indians beat the Orioles 1-0 in Game Six of the ALCS.

"Doug Jones, Joe Carter, Pat Tabler, Andre Thornton, Duane Kuiper," said Anderson, ticking off the names of Indians who suffered through so many losing seasons. "It's a thrill to be able to clinch one for Cleveland."

Anderson pitched a scoreless 10th to give Tony Fernandez a chance to win it with a homer in the 11th. He was an unsung hero of the series (he wasn't even on the roster for the division series), pitching 6 1/3 scoreless innings, 3 1/3 one-hit innings in Game Four.
Shirley Povich, the 92-year-old columnist for the Washington Post, collapsed at Camden Yards as he arrived to watch Game Six.

Povich became ill as he entered the lobby at the media entrance to the ballpark. He was treated by paramedics at the scene and was taken to nearby University Hospital.

Povich, father of television broadcaster Maury Povich, celebrated his 75th anniversary with the paper this year, and he was still writing up to 50 columns a year for the Post after announcing his "retirement" in 1973. He covered the Washington Senators when Walter Johnson pitched them into the World Series in 1925.
Charles Nagy was finally a big-game pitcher in a big game.

Nagy was hit hard in Game Two of the AL Championship Series and Game Three of the division series. The 31-year-old right-hander, tied for the third-most wins in the majors since 1994, was beginning to get a reputation for wilting in important games.

After pitching 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles and Mike Mussina in Game Six, that should be behind him.

"Charlie wasn't as pretty or dominating as Mussina, but he was very effective and worked out of trouble," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "He didn't try to nibble and started throwing solid strikes."

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