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Notes: Millwood's gesture
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09/28/2003  9:05 PM ET 
Notes: Millwood's gesture
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PHILADELPHIA -- The gesture seemed innocent, as Kevin Millwood flipped his glove 10 rows in the stands, then tossed his cap in another direction.

It just may be a case of poor timing.

Millwood had just been taken out of the game after allowing five runs on 11 hits in four innings, his fourth poor start against the Braves. The crowd booed him as he walked toward the dugout, and had seemingly begun to cheer when the glove came off.

Then the cap.

Initially, it appeared as if the gesture was an angry one, coming from a frustrated, soon-to-be free agent.

That isn't the case.

"I was going to do that anyway," he said. "I wanted to give something back to the fans."

He then reiterated his stance from earlier this week, when he said it was a "possibility he would return to Philadelphia."

"I just want to go home and relax for a while," he said. "Then we'll take it from there."

He'll spend some of that time hunting, before considering his options. His season wasn't the best he could have imagined. While his overall numbers are good (14-12 4.01), including an April 27 no-hitter, he struggled down the stretch when his team needed him the most.

"It was a disappointment for me," he said. "We're all disappointed that we didn't go further. I don't think I did anything different [from previous seasons]. It just didn't work out all the time."

If this is it: Eighteen years worth of memories flashed in front of Dan Plesac during his 10-second jog from the bullpen.

"It was very emotional," he said. "I thought this could be the last time and I wanted to go out the way I came in, with a strikeout."

Ryan Langerhans obliged.

For the second straight season, Plesac has two choices: retire or play for the Phillies. Playing for another team isn't an option.

"If I play next season, it will be for the Philadelphia Phillies. You can take that to the bank, and I'm a man of my word," he said.

Plesac, who by the way has never closed a ballpark in his 18-year career, said he met with manager Larry Bowa on Saturday and planned out his retirement speech. It just never came out of his mouth.

"I had a meeting with him yesterday, and pretty much thought of everything that he could possibly say. I was going to say, 'It's been great, and you treated me great, and it's time for me to say goodbye. Then he said, 'Can you give me 20 minutes?' and I went, 'Oh (shoot)'

"I walked out of there more confused than when I went in."

Almost history times two: Jason Michaels didn't realize the potential significance of his eighth-inning double, at least not while he was standing on second base.

A half-inning later, with Dan Plesac pitching, it him:

"I could get the last hit in two stadiums," he thought. That would be cool."

Last year, Michaels stroked a single for the final hit at Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. Thanks to good friend Pat Burrell, who singled in the ninth, Michaels had to settle for the second-to-last hit at The Vet.

"He got that hit up the middle and looked at me," said Michaels, with a laugh. "Oh well. He's my boy, so it's OK."

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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