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BACK-to-BACK-to-BACK – “JEDI MIND TRICKS”

For Immediate Release
October 24, 2005

TEMPE – Through the rivers of flowing champagne, the tears of joy from family members and screams of jubilation and triumph from the players, Manny Ramirez slowly made his way across the crowded Tempers clubhouse to seek out Tempe owner Chris Douglas who was sitting in one of the corners of the clubhouse following Monday’s 8-2 victory over the Chicago Mobsters before a sellout crowd of 46,621 at Safeco Field.

Manny Ramirez had just won his fourth World Series Ring.  Three in a row, with Tempe (03, 04, 05) and one with the Severn Express back in 2000.   Once Ramirez found Douglass, he poured champagne on him, gave him a hug and said “I love being Manny”.  Douglass had a confused look on his face, but afterwards just said “That’s Manny being Manny”.

Manny ended the series batting .450, (8 for 20) with five Home Runs, eight RBI’s, and was named Co-MVP of the 2005 World Series with fellow teammate and deadline deal acquisition for the Tempers Jaret Wright.

Wright threw 15.2 innings, went 2-0, and had a 1.72 ERA.  Both Wright and Ramirez were in the running, but a winner of the MVP couldn’t be determined.  Both were deserving of this award, and Chris Douglass even said “Pedro Martinez could have been in the mix as well”.

It also took Jaret Wright five words to sum up the feeling on this special day, as he leaned in to hug the soaking wet Tempers leader. “Special,” said Wright to Douglass, repeating himself in case the champagne dripping down Douglass’s face temporarily impaired his hearing. “This is something special.”

Actually, “special” only begins to describe the Tempers accomplishment.

This exciting win completed the Tempers sixth time as the Mid-West Baseball League’s Champions, in the leagues nine year history including a back-to-back-to-back Championship run.  It was the first time in the World Series for Chicago’s baseball team in that same time frame.

But there were 25 guys in the clubhouse who always believed. Not to mention their manager and coaches, a general manager who was the Frank Lloyd Wright of this success story and a supportive group running the show upstairs. “This is the way we ultimately want to celebrate.  But people were saying we couldn’t do this two more times, after 2003. We Enjoy proving them wrong, but don’t get too caught up.  That’s what we have to do. Take it one day at a time, prepare ourselves mentally and physically and don’t get too high” said Douglass.

GAME ONE – Roger Clemens (21-8  2.44) vs. Livan Hernandez (20-7  2.95)

Roger Clemens came out in game one, and proved why he won 20 games at 42 years of age.  The Mobsters scored first after a one out walk to Ivan Rodriguez, who then quickly stole second, one out later an intentional walk to David Ortiz, set up the at-bat for Chipper Jones.

Jones quickly delivered with a two-run triple down the line in right field.  In the top pf the third with one out, Livan Hernandez lost his control, and walked Bonds, Ortiz, and Chipper Jones filling the sacks for Andruw Jones, who singled to right.

Bonds scored, and Ortiz crossed home plate, only to have the Tempers appeal that Ortiz missed third base, which proved correct.  The Mobsters settled for one in the third, and held a 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile Clemens was in complete control, mowing down Tempe hitters like little leaguers.  Three up – three down, mixed in with an occasional walk here and there, Clemens held the Tempers hitless through eight innings.  In the bottom of the ninth, with one out, and Clemens two outs away from a No-Hitter, Manny Ramirez walked towards the plate.

Out of nowhere came Tempe Owner & General Manager Chris Douglass onto the field screaming at the Mobsters dugout.  “I’ve got you right where I want you”, and promptly ran off into the Tempers dugout laughing.  “It kind of freaked me out” Clemens said, Here I am throwing a No-Hitter, were up 3-0 with two outs to go in game one and this crazy owner gets on the field and messes with my timing”.

After the umpires quickly restored order Clemens served up a shutout breaking, No-Hitter breaking, home run to Manny Ramirez.  Clemens just looked lost at that point.  He just stood and stared into the Mobsters dugout and waited to be taken out of the game.  Billy Wagner came in and gave up a single to Hideki Matsui and a double to Javier Lopez, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd, with still one out.

Pitcher Steve Trachsel came into run for Lopez.  Facing Jeff Kent, Wagner threw him a 2-0 fastball and got Kent to pop up on the infield to Doug Mientkiewicz for the second out.  Doug Mirabelli stepped into face the left-hander, in place of Craig Counsell.  Mirabelli took two 12-6 curveballs from Wagner and then took a 98 MPH fastball on the outside black that was called for strike three to end the game.

The Mobsters visibly shaken by Tempe General Manager Douglass’s “Jedi Mind Tricks” were not sure if they had just stole game one, or earned it.  Clemens said “They have great hitters and I always say, there’s something about them that brings out the best in you.  When you’re facing as many dangerous hitters as they have, you have to be on your ‘A’ game. It worked tonight, but we still have a few more games against these guys and we have to keep bringing our ‘A’ game out there, I just hope they can contain their owner”.

GAME TWO – Carl Pavano (14-10  3.08)  vs. Pedro Martinez (20-9  3.53)

The Tempers and their “Jedi Mind Tricks” were working wonders on the Mobsters players in game two.  “We came out not knowing what to think, expect or even if we should be on the same field with this great team.  They totally had us in the palms of their hand” said long time Mobster Chipper Jones “We just couldn’t get their ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ out of our heads”.

The Tempers got out to an early lead in the bottom of the third inning when Chone Figgins mishandled a grounder off the bat of Pedro Martinez, allowing Martinez to reach first base.  After two quick outs Manny Ramirez was drilled in the helmet and went down like a ton of bricks.  Manny wandered vaguely down to first base, and was not at all pleased by what Manny called an “intentional beaming” for breaking up Clemens No-Hitter, Shutout, and Complete Game in game one”.

Hideki Matsui then connected on double to right field scoring Martinez, and Ramirez for a 2-0 Tempers lead.  Tempe went early to the pen, bringing in closer Brian Shouse to shut down the Mobsters, who had the top of the lineup coming up in the 5th.  In the bottom of the 5th after a walk to Dunn, and a Ramirez single, followed by a fielder’s choice on Matsui, Javier Lopez singled in Dunn for a 3-0 Tempers lead and leaving runners at 1st and 2nd with one out.

After an infield fly off the bat of Jeff Kent, Eric Chavez took Carl Pavano 2-2 offering for a long cab ride deep to right field and a 6-0 Tempers lead.  Shouse let up a Chipper Jones solo shot and Vernon Wells hit one off Steve Trachsel in the 6th, cutting the lead to 6-2.  Tempe put a solo shot on the board courtesy of Adam Dunn in the bottom of the 6th, and the score held up for the Tempers.

In the top of the 7th, Ray King was pitching in a two out, man at first situation facing the left handed and most feared bat in the Mobsters line up Barry Bonds. King delivered a 0-2 fastball that plunked Bonds right in the elbow.  Bonds went down in a heap of pain and was taken out of the game and sent for X-Rays. X-Rays proved negative but Bonds was icing the elbow the following day as the teams traveled back to Chicago.

“We just wanted out of that place and to get back home to Chicago, we felt the split was earned, but the ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ by the Tempers owner were still in the back of almost every Mobsters mind” said Chicago’s owner and General Manager Stray Corrado “We now knew why Chris Douglass was the most feared yet respected owner in the Mid-West Baseball League, he’s downright scary when you think about it”.

GAME THREE – Jaret Wright (16-12  2.82) vs. Mark Mulder (18-6  3.54)

Frank Thomas lead off the game with a double to right, that startled Mobster starter Mark Mulder.  “He hit my best 0-2 fastball like he knew what was coming, he wasn’t looking curveball and Thomas sat on that fastball and just laced it out there for a double” said Mulder.

One strikeout later, the most feared hitter in the Tempe lineup stood at the plate.  Manny Ramirez took the first pitch he saw from Mulder, and sent it downtown over the left field wall, which gave the Tempers a quick 2-0 lead in game three.  “We were behind right from the start” said Mulder, “I knew I’d have to settle down and hope our bats came alive”.

A triple off the bat of Vizquel in the top of the 3rd and a sacrifice fly from Rob Quinlan gave the Tempers a 3-0 lead.  Mulder was pitching effective but the Mobsters bats weren’t doing anything against right hander Jaret Wright.

In the bottom of the 4th the Mobsters struck for a single run on a Rodriguez double, followed by a Bonds single making the score 4-1 after four innings.  Both teams exchanged home runs in the 9th Dunn for the Tempers, and Ortiz for the Mobsters, but the lackluster offensive attack by the Mobsters put them down 2 games to 1 and the Mobsters sure didn’t look like the American League Champs.  “We looked more like T-Ball Champs” said Barry Bonds “We couldn’t hit a lick, and we’re still hung up on those Jedi Mind Tricks”.

GAME FOUR – Pedro Martinez (20-9  3.53) vs. Roger Clemens (21-8  2.44)

“I’ve pitched for him (Douglass & the Tempers) Hell, I’ve won two World Series MVP’s playing for him.  He’s the best darn General Manager in the Mid-West Baseball League period.  I don’t have to like him though, especially right now when I am playing against his team, but I respect him”.  Clemens said in a press conference before game four of the World Series.  Douglass responded with “Clemens is someone I’d look to get this off season – if I could say that now before he goes out and pitches game four here tonight”.

Four batters into the 4th game of the series, Clemens was down 4-0, and hadn’t recorded a single out.  Frank Thomas doubled, followed by a Quinlan single, put runners at 1st and 3rd for Manny Ramirez who singled home Thomas for a 1-0 lead.

Hideki Matsui followed up blasting a 3-run Home Run to right field, which Vernon Wells didn’t even turn around on.  “I knew from the sound of the bat the ball was 20 rows deep, I found out later that I was 14 rows short, as it went 34 rows deep in right field” said Wells.

Clemens was dumbstruck.  Here he was pitching in a World Series game and in his head were the “Jedi Mind Tricks” of Tempe owner Chris Douglass saying “Clemens is someone I’d look to get this off season”.  Clemens couldn’t shake those thoughts.  “Why would Douglass say something like that before I went out to pitch against his Tempers?” Clemens said in a post-game interview.  “He was in my kitchen all night long”.

Chipper Jones doubled in Derek Jeter who lead off the bottom of inning one with a walk, making the score 4-1 after one. In the top of two, Manny Ramirez doubled and took third after Barry Bonds threw out Quinlan at the plate.  Bonds then made a gun like gesture, pretended to put his hand gun in his holster and showing off his cannon like arm.

Chicago scored a single run on a double by Andruw Jones and a throwing error by Eric Chavez leading to a 4-2 score after two innings of play.  A Quinlan double in the 5th, followed by a two-run Home Run for Adam Dunn which gave the Tempers a 6-2 lead.

But the Mobsters struck back and got one of their own in the bottom of the 5th. A Jeff Kent error allowed Bonds to reach first base, followed by a David Ortiz triple deep into the gap in right field, allowing Bonds to score from first base uncontested.

Chone Figgins picked up a sacrifice fly in the 6th, scoring Andruw Jones, who had doubled and moved to third on a Vernon Wells ground out making it 6-4 Tempe.  In the top of the 7th Manny Ramirez faced Mobsters right hander Eric Gagne with the bases empty and one out and Ramirez socked one way high, way deep, way out of here to deep left center to put the Tempers up 7-2.  Gagne the served up another solo shot in the 8th, again with one out as Eric Chavez stroked one to deep left, leaving it 8-4 for Tempe.

Vernon Wells doubled in the bottom of the ninth, and Derek Jeter hit a two-run Home Run to make the score closer at 8-6, but the ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ were still in every Mobsters head, most of all Clemens and they were now staring at elimination in game five if they couldn’t put Douglass’s ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ to rest.

GAME FIVE – Livan Hernandez (20-7  2.95) vs. Carl Pavano (14-10  3.08)

Manny Ramirez walked confidently to the plate with two outs in the top of the first and pointed skyward towards either a beer vendor, hot dog man, or playing another ‘Jedi Mind Trick’ and promptly smacked a solo shot just inside the foul pole in right field to give the Tempers and early 1-0 lead and put the Mobsters heads down thinking “Here we go again”.

With two outs in the bottom of the first after a Barry Bonds walk, David Ortiz stopped half way between the on deck circle and the batters box and said “Screw Jo-Boo and these Jedi Mind Tricks – I show you and your Voodoo crap what I think of it”.

With the Tempers players laughing in the dugout, Oritz did just what he predicted.  Ortiz laid into a 2-0 offering from Livan Hernandez depositing it over the right field fence for a two-run Home Run.  Oh his way around the bases Ortiz shimmed & shaked and did a little dance, as to ward off any evil spirits or “Jedi Mind Tricks” the Tempers had left.

In the top of the 6th Manny Ramirez singled home Omar Vizquel to tie the score at two runs apiece.  In the 7th, after a Figgins walk, an error on Quinlan allowing Derek Jeter to be safe at first and an Ivan Rodriguez single loading the bases, Ray King got Barry Bonds for the second out of the inning.  David Ortiz walked confidently to the plate with the bases loaded; Ortiz smiled and said “F-U Jo-Boo”.

Ortiz smacked a Ray King 1-1 pitch into the right field corner, plating all three runners and leaving Ortiz at third base with a sliding triple for the big man.  Billy Wagner pitched a one-two-three (All strikeouts) 9th inning nailing down the save and giving the Mobsters a fighting chance in the series, yet still down three games two.

GAME SIX – Mark Mulder (18-6  3.54) vs. Jaret Wright (16-12  2.82)

Mark Mulder was sitting at the post-game press conference after game five when Tempe General Manager sat down in the group of reporters while wearing a cheesy mustache and glasses (The Bobby Valentine Look).  Mulder didn’t notice the Tempe General Manager with the lights all focused towards the stage, which prompted Douglass to stand up and ask Mulder one simple question.  “When you are out there on the mound in game six and the Tempers start knocking the cover off the ball, will you remember me?”  Douglass then laughed, and ran straight out the door into a waiting bus headed to the airport.

Chicago General Manager Stray Corrado was not impressed with the ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ of Douglass.  “I respect what he’s done, but don’t like the way he goes about it”.  After a long flight back to Tempe and a day off, the Mobsters settled in for game six.

After a scoreless 1st for both clubs the Tempers got a solo Home Run from Eric Chavez to start the 2nd.  Mulder then walked Kent, followed by a perfectly executed hit and run with Omar Vizquel, put runners on the corners for pitcher Jaret Wright.  Wright looking to sacrifice Vizquel to second, took four straight balls from Mulder, and trotted down to first on a four pitch walk.

Mulder looked like his control had deserted him at the time. Mulder seemed like Douglass had once again got into the head of the Mobsters.  Frank Thomas popped out and the Rob Quinlan drove one deep to right field that Vernon Wells took in for the second out of the inning, but Kent scored and Vizquel moved to third.

This brought up the feared Manny Ramirez who Ivan Rodriguez simply put up 4 fingers and Mulder walked him intentionally.  So with the bases full, two outs in the top of the 2nd Hideki Matsui hit a perfectly placed ground ball with eyes to right field between Figgins and Nevin, scoring two, leaving Manny at second and Matsui at first.

Javier Lopez then singled to left field allowing Manny to score making it 5-0, for the Tempers.  Mulder walked over to the Mobsters dugout and said to the manager “Get me out of here, it’s like Douglass is in my mind”.

C.C. Sabathia came on, to record the last out of the 2nd, as well as pitch a perfect 3rd.  After being hit by a pitch in the 3rd, Jeter scored on a Chipper Jones single to put the score at 5-1 Tempe.  A 4th inning double by Andruw Jones and a ground out RBI by Chone Figgins cut the lead to 5-2, but in the bottom of the 4th, Tempe sent up Manny Ramirez to face Josh Beckett.

Beckett said afterwards “I thought about plunking him, but we couldn’t afford to get any further behind”.  Instead Beckett threw a 0-2 curve, which Manny crushed over the left field wall to make it 6-2 after 4 complete innings of play.  In the 8th Chavez walked and Grudzielanek doubled leaving runners at second and third with no one out.  An Error by Chipper Jones allowed two runs to score and putting the game out of reach at 8-2.

In the 9th Brian Shouse pitched a one-two-three ninth and the Tempers players and coaches came streaming out of the home dugout at Safeco Field, exchanging hugs, pats on the back and simple looks of accomplishment. After a Back-to-Back-to-Back three Championship run, the party on the field should have seemed a be a bit more intense — although it certainly picked up in the clubhouse, with champagne and beer being sprayed in every corner, even the one where Tempe General Manager Chris Douglass was already planning his off season moves and ‘Jedi Mind Tricks’ for 2006.

                                           2005 World Series Most Valuable Players

Manny Ramirez – Tempe Tempers

HR
5

RBI
8

AVG
.450

 Jaret Wright – Tempe Tempers

W
2

L
0

ERA
1.72

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