© St. Petersburg Times, published September 30, 2002
CHICAGO -- Bruce Kimm got the opportunity he'd always wanted, the job he'd envisioned during the long road trips in the minor leagues.
But his stint as a manager in the majors was only on an interim basis and it didn't last long.
Kimm was fired Sunday by the Cubs before the final game of another 90-loss season.
Informed before the game he would not be retained, Kimm stayed on to manage the regular-season finale against the Pirates, a game he knew would be emotional. The Cubs sent him out with a 7-3 win.
"I'm the type guy who cries at movies and cries at funerals if I know them or not. It's a tricky day, but it's part of the game," Kimm said, adding he was just glad for the chance.
"I'd rather be able to manage and things not to work out than never get the opportunity," he said. "Disappointment? Yeah. But I know I went about it in a professional way."
Kimm replaced Don Baylor on July 6, managing the Cubs to a 33-45 record. Chicago won nine of it first 13 under Kimm but couldn't keep it up.
Chicago was 34-49 under Baylor and lost one game managed by bench coach Rene Lachemann.
BALTIMORE -- Roger Clemens gets the Game 1 assignment, and Orlando Hernandez is the odd man out in manager Joe Torre's starting rotation for the Yankees' playoff series against the Angels.
Torre said Clemens will start Tuesday in the opener of the best-of-five series against AL wild-card Anaheim. Clemens will be followed by Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina and David Wells.
Clemens went 13-6 with a 4.35 ERA in 29 starts, but his numbers didn't influence Torre as much as his experience and leadership.
"I'm as confident with Roger as I am with somebody else. I really can't come up with a reason for it," Torre said. "Roger is Roger. He's been a leader for us. There is a certain step up when you hit the postseason."
HARWELL'S FINALE: After 55 years of broadcasting big-league baseball and a season full of honors, Ernie Harwell nearly got one last going-away present in his final game.
In the ninth inning, Detroit's Eric Munson hit a foul that nearly reached Harwell's booth.
"That would be neat to get a foul ball!" Harwell said on the air.
The Tigers lost to Toronto 1-0. Then, the man who has announced Detroit games for 42 years wrapped up his last broadcast by paying tribute to several generations of listeners.
"Rather than goodbye, please allow me to say thank you," the 84-year-old Hall of Fame announcer said. "Thank you for letting me be a part of your family."
ASTROS: First baseman Jeff Bagwell finished two RBIs shy of his seventh straight 100-RBI season. He also had 31 homers, his fewest since 1996.
A'S: Left-hander Ted Lilly likely will make the postseason roster as a reliever.
BREWERS: Shortstop Jose Hernandez sat out the season finale and finished with 188 strikeouts, one short of tying the major league record. Bobby Bonds struck out 189 times in 1970.
DODGERS: Leftfielder Brian Jordan, eligible for free agency after playing most of the season on a gimpy left knee, is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday and expects to be ready for spring training.
PHILLIES: Pitching coach Vern Ruhle won't be asked to return next season, general manager Ed Wade said.
PIRATES: First-base coach Tommy Sandt was suspended for the final game of the season and fined for a confrontation with umpire Paul Emmel last week. ... Bench coach Bill Virdon won't return to that post. He will be a spring training instructor but wants to spend more time with his family.
RANGERS: Manager Jerry Narron met with general manager John Hart to discuss his future and left not knowing if he would return next season. "I want to stay here. I love this organization. I want to see it succeed," said Narron, who finished his first full season as manager. "But I'm a baseball guy. One thing I do understand is how the game works."
ROYALS: Third-base coach Rich Dauer said he is leaving the organization to spend more time with his family. ... First baseman Mike Sweeney sat out the season finale with a bruised left shin, ending any chance of winning the AL batting title.
TWINS: Minnesota will keep right-hander Tony Fiore instead of Bob Wells in the bullpen for the postseason.