Saturday, October 29, 2011
Of course I’m being facetious, but this was the World Series I never wanted to end. For sheer action, drama, suspense, improbable events, rainouts, anthem singers, heroics, miscues, triumph, and heartbreak I can’t think of another Fall Classic that comes close. And don’t tell me 1911 because I was at most of those games and with the exception of game five when Bonehead Merkle drove in Laughing Larry Doyle with the winning run in the 10th, this year’s Series was better.
The highlight (or lowlight if you’re a Rangers fan) was Game 6. 4 1/2 hours of the most riveting theater you’ll ever see (or -- if you were lucky enough to be tuned in to Rangers’ broadcaster Eric Nadel -- ever hear). Texas blew the lead five times and twice was within one tantalizing strike of winning the World’s Championship. Even if you’re a diehard Cardinal fan your heart has to go out to them. To come so very close only to suffer such a catastrophic end. I feel for those players. I also feel for the poor clubhouse attendants in the Texas locker room. Can you imagine? Game 6 -- they had the champagne all ready, the plastic over the lockers. Suddenly Freese hits that walkoff homer in the 11th and they’re like, “Uh oh. We got two minutes to get all this shit outta here!”
On the other hand, the Cardinals played like champions, and have been playing like champions since the end of August. I’ve always believed that if a Wild Card team gets into the World Series they should be favored because they’re so used to pressure games and fighting and clawing that they go into the competition with a real head of steam. They knocked off the heavily favored Phillies, the tough Brewers, and powerhouse Rangers. Forget their regular season record – they deserved this championship trophy.
Some random thoughts:
From my time calling games in the National League, Cardinal fans are among the very best in baseball. Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and respectful. Somehow they manage to create a real comfortable family atmosphere in a ballpark where more Budweiser is served than any place in America.
Ranger fans are also great. When I did a Mariners-Rangers series in early August it was 104 degrees at game time every night, and still 40,000 people came out to see them. Even Bush showed up (once but still…).
Maybe now the Cardinals can afford Albert Pujols.
The last day of the regular season was pretty spectacular too.
If you’re rooting for a team based on their manager, you have to root for Texas.
I thought it was a brilliant homage to his father when Joe Buck called the game-winning home run in Game 6 the same way his dad did in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. “We will see you tomorrow night.” Very classy, Joe.
Everyone today talks about what a classic call that was by Jack Buck. They forget that CBS fired him right after that World Series.
Without the rainout before Game 6, Carpenter doesn't pitch in Game 7. I'm just sayin'.
You can’t allow two runs in Game 7 by walking a batter and hitting a batter with the bases loaded.
Had the Rangers won the World Series on Friday night there's a slight chance their story would be on the front page of the Dallas sports sections. After all, it is high school football and Cowboys season.
From comedy writer Danny Zuker: When you think about it the World Series is like the Superbowl of baseball.
From truebluela blogger Eric Stephens: Overheard in some small African village next week: "World Series Champions Rangers t-shirts, AGAIN? Ugh"
Ohmygod! The All-Star Game really did count.
The final score of the now-classic Game 6 was 10-9. The score of the classic Mazeroski Game 7 of the 1960 World Series where the Pirates defeated the Yankees – 10-9.
At least for the Rangers there was no one Bill Buckner.
I miss Jon Miller on the radio.
The last team to win a Game 7 of the World Series was the 2002 Angels. And they too had to come from behind in a thrilling Game 6 to avoid elimination. Does anybody remember that? Sure but you all remember Bonehead Merkle.
I still say Texas in six – just not this year.
116 days until pitchers and catcher report. I can't wait.
By Ken Levine at 6:36 AM