Thursday, November 03, 2016
And then in the post-season, the tension gets ratcheted up another level. You don’t have 162 games to make your mark, you have seven. Or five. And Bill Murray comes to every game. (I wonder how many Cubs-Diamondbacks games he attended this year.)
Unlike with other sports, momentum for a series can change drastically from game to game depending on the starting pitcher. You could score ten runs one game then be shut out the next. Tom Brady is going to throw his touchdown passes on a pretty consistent basis (regardless of how much air is in the ball).
So I point that out to all the people who think baseball is just dull. It’s not (most of the time).
Harry Caray story: Whenever I would go on the road I always brought a transistor radio and listened with an earpiece to the other team’s broadcast during the innings I wasn’t on. I picked up a lot of great nuggets, which is a nice way of saying I stole information from the other broadcasters. But we were in Chicago playing the Cubs. The visiting radio booth at Wrigley is very small. I was wedged into the front row along with my partner, Ted Leitner. Ted is on the air and I’m listening to Harry in the next booth.
Theo Epstein secured his spot in the Hall of Fame last night. Breaking the longtime Red Sox curse and now the longer-time Cubs curse? Welcome to Cooperstown. The Mariners should hire him now. They’ve never been to the World Series even once.
But before you anoint Theo as the undisputed genius of baseball, he also paid a fortune for Jason Heyward, the biggest bust in the game.
For my money, the MVP of the series was John Smoltz. A-Rod's analysis was also very good. Pete Rose is the Bud Melman of Fox sports.
Did the Cubs deserve to be World Champions? They had to beat two Cy Youwng winners – Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber. They had to come back from a three game deficit. They had to walk a mile from their bus to the Progressive Field clubhouse. You bet they deserved to win.
They’re probably still partying at Wrigleyville (even if you read this on Saturday).
How not to celebrate in Chicago: In 1959 when the White Sox won the pennant, Mayor Daly sounded the Civil Defense alarm (the world’s loudest party noisemaker). But this was during the heat of the Cold War and there was mass hysteria as Chicagoians thought they were being attacked by nuclear missiles.
I think managers today over-manage the shit out of these games. It’s absurd that starting pitchers now only go five or six innings. In 1965 when the Dodgers beat the Twins in Game Seven of the World Series, Sandy Koufax only had one pitch working, was pitching on two-days rest, was on fumes, and hurled a complete game. That’s what starters DID. It kills me to hear announcers fawn all over a guy for only giving up two runs in five innings. “He was brilliant tonight.”
The end result is that both managers overworked their bullpens and paid the price. There's only so much you can whip those horses.
Aroldis Chapman gave up the two-run homer to Davis to tie the game in the eighth, but was the pitcher of record when the Cubs scored so he was the winning pitcher. In baseball we say he “vultured” that win. (Although, credit where credit is due, he did go back out and pitch a scoreless 9th).
When the TV guys mentioned that Chapman had been suspended earlier in the season for Domestic Abuse (and I’m sure he was thrilled that Joe mentioned that) I was glad they didn't follow up by saying “So he’s a little more rested than the rest of the staff.”
Wasn't it nice to see baseball on a channel we could all get?
It’s hard to really root when you have laryngitis.
Does David Ross know how to make an exit, or what? To answer your next question: I checked and I don’t think he’s Jewish.
It's always a "Ross", isn't it? David Ross. Cody Ross.
Home field disadvantage: The home team won only two of the seven games.
Nice to see Bonnie Hunt. I thought she was in the witness protection program.
Like I said on Twitter, I can’t root for any Ohio team with Trump leading in their polls. Sorry Indian fans. Otherwise, I love everything about your team and ballpark. And you have a great announcer in Tom Hamilton.
Did you take advantage of your free taco?
This will be the highest rated World Series in years. I’m sure it obliterated all late night competition. Seth Meyers, James Corden, THE GOLDEN GIRLS – all were left in the dust. Stephen Colbert probably finished way behind the rain delay.
I would let Steve Bartman ride in the parade. And I fully expect to see Ferris Bueller in there singing “Twist & Shout” on a float.
Not a great umpiring crew. Sam Holbrook was missing calls all night. And when you see how many calls are overturned during challenges you have to wonder how different the results of other World Series would have been had they had In-Game Reviews. I know Cardinal fans since despise Don Denkinger.
Last night was pretty much a “must win” game. And yet, I hear idiot announcers say that in June.
Happy for Pat Hughes who has been a world champion Cubs announcer even when they were in last place (which was often).
My son, Matt, is a great baseball fan and what a treat for this classic game to fall on his birthday. Cub fans will remember your birthday forever.
I’m always a little depressed at the end of the World Series because it means no more baseball. But for folks in LA, you can still get your fix by going to my play, GOING GOING GONE at the Hudson Theatre until November 20th. (Wasn't that shameless?) This weekend (like last weekend) is completely sold out, but some tickets remain for the last two weekends. Come on out. You’ll laugh a lot more than at anything Pete Rose said during this series. Here’s where you go. Thanks.
Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs and their fans. And a tip of the cap to the Cleveland Indians and their fans who are not voting for Trump.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM