Wednesday, January 07, 2004


Besides the many reactions from reporters and columnists in today's papers, the Daily News's coverage of Tug McGraw's death includes an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Ya Gotta Believe! My Roller-Coaster Ride as a Screwball Pitcher, Part-Time Father and Hope-Filled Brain Tumor Survivor. McGraw writes devastatingly about his World Series revelry while the son he had yet to recognize -- some country singer, apparently -- was watching with a pal in a basement in Louisiana:

When I threw that final strike, Tim was loving it. He knew I was his dad -- even if I hadn't acknowledged it -- and I was sitting on top of the world. He was enjoying the moment with me.

Then, as the champagne was flowing in the clubhouse and the reporters were circling around, I was asked on television how I felt about the moment. I babbled on and on, then ended it by saying I couldn't have done it without my family. "I want to mention them," I said. "Thanks to my wife Phyllis, my son Mark and my daughter Cari. You're the best!"

Fifteen hundred miles south, Tim got up quietly, walked over and turned the TV off. He went to bed without saying a word to Lance. I had crushed him once again.

As one might expect, the coverage of McGraw's passing has been uniformly respectful, and occasionally reverential. After all, dictators aside, you don't generally publicly flog those no longer around to defend themselves. Yet McGraw himself, who eventually reconciled with his son, seems to have recognized the immense pain he caused, and took what must have been very difficult steps to atone for his shameful behavior. Are you paying attention, Mr. Rose?


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