|New article on Steve
||[Apr. 18th, 2007|07:47 pm]
Steve Finley Fanatics
|||||"Kryptonite"--Three Doors Down||]|
04/18/2007 8:54 PM ET
Notes: Finley carries no vendettas
Veteran outfielder has played for all five NL West clubs
By Thomas Harding / MLB.com
Veteran Steve Finley led off Wednesday's game with a double for the Rockies. (Ed Andrieski/AP)
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DENVER -- Often you'll read that a player derives special pleasure from excelling against his former team. But you'll not hear that about the Rockies' Steve Finley.
The pinch-hit home run Finley hit on Tuesday night began a five-run eighth inning in the Rockies' 5-3 victory over the Giants, who employed Finley last season.
"I'm way, way, way past that point," Finley said of any possible revenge motivation. "Every time I play in the National League West, I'm playing against one of my former teams."
Finley is the first player in history to have suited up for every team in a five-team division, so revenge could either be a motivator or simply a waste of energy. Finley has shown plenty of energy in his game preparation since signing with the Rockies this spring, so he can use it how he wants.
Rockies manager Clint Hurdle has seen Finley struggle for hits, but still likes the lift the 42-year-old veteran provides. It's one of the reasons Finley was in the starting lineup against the Dodgers on Wednesday night despite a .180 batting average. He led off the bottom of the first with a double.
Hurdle believes the starts Finley gets will keep him sharp for late-game opportunities when Willy Taveras starts in center field.
"It was good for him, good for us -- we hadn't had a whole lot happen, basically nada," Hurdle said of the homer, which ended a 22-inning scoreless skid. "And it just gave us a little, 'OK, we can score a run.'
"That's kind of what we're looking for -- not a home run, but a spark here and there, just a veteran spark."
The rest of the story: Taveras nearly took away the Rockies' comeback chances when he was picked off first base in the ninth. Giants pitcher Vinnie Chulk had made several throws to first, then Taveras "took his eye off the pitcher," Hurdle said.
Asked if Taveras' mistake had something to do with Finely starting Wednesday in center, and reminded that he benched players for mistakes on the basepaths last season, Hurdle said, "I don't need to answer that all the time."
Taveras also misplayed a ball in center field, but Hurdle said that didn't bother him. As for getting picked off, Hurdle said, "You know you're taught in Little League when you get on base you don't take your eyes off the pitcher. He took his eyes off the pitcher, the throw was over. He got caught."
History: Yorvit Torrealba's three-run double not only gave the Rockies a victory Tuesday night, but it marked the first time in club history the Rockies had won a home game after being shut out for seven innings.
Up next: The Rockies will start right-hander Aaron Cook (0-0, 3.86 ERA) against Dodgers lefty Mark Hendrickson (0-0, 1.64) Thursday at 1:05 p.m. MT.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.