Thursday, May 10, 2007

Selby Article from The New York Times

April 16, 2007, 4:03 am
Bill Selby, Meet Marco Scutaro
By Tyler Kepner

Tags: Mariano Rivera, Yankees

Five years ago in Cleveland, my colleague Jack Curry was covering for me at Jacobs Field when Bill Selby smashed a walk-off grand slam to beat Mariano Rivera. It was shocking to hear about, and ever since, if a light-hitting bench player comes up with the game on the line against Rivera, someone in the press box usually shouts Selby’s name.

Marco Scutaro (No. 19) leaped home after his walk-off homer gave the Oakland A’s a 9th-inning victory over the Yankees. (John G. Mabanglo/European Pressphoto Agency)No one has ever replicated Selby’s blast. Sure, Bill Mueller and Vernon Wells have beat Rivera with walk-off homers, but a true Selby shot takes a special kind of player. Marco Scutaro, it’s pretty clear, is that kind of player.
Consider this: before his game-ending, three-run, foul-pole homer to beat the Yankees 5-4 today, Scutaro was 1 for 20 this season, an .050 average. Dating back to the ALCS against Detroit, Scutaro was 2 for 35.
But he’s a folk hero around here, and his homer off Rivera was his ninth walk-off hit in four seasons with the A’s. Not bad for a guy whom Bobby Valentine didn’t even recognize when he was first called up to the Mets. Scutaro joined the Mets in 2002 in Cincinnati. He reported to the team hotel, saw Valentine in the lobby restaurant and extended his hand. Valentine thought he was an autograph seeker. Turned out he was his new infielder.
Today, he’s a hero. And it’s one of those very rare days when a closer bound for Cooperstown is a goat.