October's heroes: Twenty-five who have stepped up in the playoffs
Several players have enhanced their reputations this October, though none more so than the top two guys on this list -- the unheralded
1. Ross. The former rodeo clown wanna-be was acquired by the Giants for nothing. Not only that, but they claimed him off the waiver wire partly just to block the Padres. The Marlins let him go only to save a measly $1 million, and at the time he looked like nothing more than an extra in the Giants' crowded outfield. Now he's earning folk hero status. He has shown: 1) that he's clutch, 2) that he can beat the best pitchers, and 3) you don't ever want to throw him an inside fastball. Has all three of the Giants' home runs in the NLCS.
2. Lee. No one has been more dominant in postseason play, ever. He's now up to 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight starts, a few of them against the vaunted Yankees lineup. This year he's 3-0 with an 0.75 ERA, 34 strikeouts and -- get this -- one walk. On top of that, he's a free agent. Bidding is likely to start at $120 million, and go up from there. My latest guess is $150 million for six years. But some are wondering whether the Yankees will stop at anything. On second thought, when they had a chance to get Lee from the Mariners this summer they should have relented on
6. Lincecum. Tiny Tim whiffed 14 in his first game, then beat Halladay in his next game. Looks like a child, but pitches like a man.
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