Single page view By Tim Keown
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Bear with this for a second because there might be an important point about the mechanics of managing a baseball team in here somewhere.

On Saturday night, the Dodgers were tied with the Diamondbacks in the bottom of the ninth: The D-Backs are in first place, the scuffling Dodgers need a win – hey, this game means something. And now the D-Backs have the bases loaded and nobody out, thanks to a mess created by Dodger reliever Giovanni Carrara.

The situation is fairly simple: The Dodgers need one strikeout, and preferably two, to keep the D-Backs from winning the game. Understand, this isn't a save situation because the game is tied.

Among the Dodgers' relievers, who is best equipped to get one or two strikeouts? If you said Eric Gagne, you're right. So why not bring Gagne in to clean up Carrarra's mess? Well, because it's not a save situation, that's why.

So Carrarra – by all accounts a heck of a guy – stays out there and walks Kelly Stinnett to lose the game.

That's right – four balls to Kelly Stinnett with the bases loaded. You think Gagne would have done that?

And answer this: If Carrarra had gotten out of that mess, and the Dodgers had scored three in the top of the 10th, and Gagne had pitched the bottom half without giving up the lead, who would you say saved the game?

The statistics would say Gagne saved it, but logic would say otherwise. The guy who truly saves the game is the one who gets the most important outs, no matter the inning. That's why the save is and will continue to be the most overrated statistic in the game.

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More importantly, what does Rev. Benny Hinn think about all that twisting and shaking?: Good for him, I guess, but what does Evander Holyfield want with that upcoming ballroom-dancing reality show on ABC?

There are maybe five of you who care, but since I've got the keyboard it must be said: The Cal Bears, with a better record and a higher finish than Stanford in the Pac-10, got robbed in a big way when they didn't make the NCAA baseball playoffs and the look-what-we've-done Cardinal did.

There are times when you realize 60 feet just isn't that far away to stand from a guy swinging a bat: Mark Prior and Rick Helling.

Just for the heck of it: Joel Chimelis.

It's comforting to know in these trying times that there's a chance Twins owner Carl Pohlad might soon become the world's richest welfare recipient: Contrary to previous years, there's a chance the voters of Hennepin County might vote for a sales tax that would pay for roughly 75 percent of a new stadium for the Twins; the 25 percent Pohlad would contribute will be quickly recouped by his sale of stadium naming rights.

Hold on a second while I vociferously declare my ignorance: Giants GM Brian Sabean, always quick to deliver unchallenged bluster to the pliant Bay Area media, outdid himself last week by decrying the "National Enquirer" tactics of ESPN and house organ for their coverage of Barry Bonds' injury and extended convalescence.


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