Thursday, March 15, 2007

Steve Finley Is a Diplomatic Fellow

Jerry Crasnick at profiles Steve Finley and his quest to play for all five NL West teams. Finley manages to get in some good words for every team he's played for, including:

Best individual memory: The Wayne Franklin encounter

Finley's grand slam off San Francisco's Wayne Franklin capped a seven-run ninth inning to clinch the NL West title for the Dodgers on the final weekend of the 2004 season. Strangely enough, Finley had envisioned hitting a walk-off homer to win the division title two weeks earlier.

"I wanted that moment so bad," he said. "I was on deck, and I told myself, 'You hardly get any opportunities in your career like this, so enjoy this moment.' On the replay, you'll see that I don't even look at the pitcher or the catcher. I walked to the plate looking at the crowd all around. I knew I was going to get the job done. There was no doubt in my mind."

Finley lists Dodger Stadium and Chase Field née Bank One Ballpark as his favorite stadiums to hit in, and Los Angeles wins the "worst traffic" crown. A real shocker, that.