Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mattingly's Season Ends in Early October - Again

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mattingly's Season Ends in Early October - Again

Article excerpt

A week ago, as the New York Yankees streamed into their clubhouse after an improbable 4-3 triumph over the Boston Red Sox, a single voice could be heard above the joyful din.

"This is our season," proclaimed Don Mattingly again and again. "This is our season."

While his teammates celebrated the sheer absurdity of the victory, aided and abetted by a trespassing teen-ager, Mattingly, who delivered the tying and game-winning runs, saw an omen.

If the Yankees could win a game after what should have been the final out, why couldn't they win it all? At the time, it seemed like a logical enough conclusion.

But Mattingly was sadly mistaken. The postseason is coming, and Mattingly and the Yankees aren't going. Again.

Mattingly's baseball resume is impressive. He's been American League MVP and a batting champion. Seven times he has won Gold Gloves for his play at first base.

But Mattingly, in his 10th season, never has played for a champion, and the Yankees' performance the last two weeks has assured him another October out of the spotlight.

Every Yankee is disappointed over the September slippage, but Mattingly's sense of disappointment is more acute. Ask Wade Boggs.

"You get so close, you can taste it," said Boggs, who had three postseason opportunities with the Red Sox. "You can see when he's had a bad game, gone 0 for four; it really eats at him. He wants to do so well, to help us win and get to that elusive postseason play."

It is the cruelest kind of omission. Everywhere Mattingly looks in the clubhouse, he can find a teammate who has played late-October baseball. Second baseman Mike Gallego, relievers Steve Farr and Steve Howe, shortstop Spike Owen, right fielder Paul O'Neill, pitcher Jimmy Key and Boggs have experienced the World Series.

Mattingly's baseball calendar always stops on the first weekend of October.

Pennant winner? …

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