My favorite baseball team, and favorite team in all sports, the Oakland Athletics are going to suck this year. For the first time since the the late 90's I'm going into a baseball season with no hope or optimism. So since my favorite team is going to suck, I hope all your favorite teams suck this year too. Time for a little free floating hostility as I run down the other 29 teams in MLB and why they suck.
(Disclaimer: Don't take any of this seriously)
Angels: John Lackey's arm is about fall off and they'll find out that they wasted another $90 million on another overrated centerfielder. If Lackey does end up having surgery at some point hopefully they'll do something for his face too. God damn is that an ugly mother fucker.
Astros: Hey maybe they can bring back Roger Clemens again! That'll solve everything!
Blue Jays: They still play baseball in Canada?
Braves: No one gave a shit about them in Atlanta when they were good and no one gives a shit about them now that they suck. Move them to Alaska. For that matter move every professional sports franchise out of Atlanta.
Brewers: Anything that makes Bud Selig happy is a bad thing and the Brewers ever getting back to the playoffs will make him happy, so with that in mind I continue to hope for several more years of mediocre Brewers baseball. Signing Jason Kendall will of course help that cause for this year.
Cardinals: Seriously, fucking retire already LaRussa. Once you lucked out with the 2006 World Championship you should have done the George Constanza "Alright that's it for me! Goodnight everybody!"
Cubs: 100 years, no championships and now they are selling Wrigley Field's naming rights. Just kill yourself Cubs fans because it's gonna 100 more years of the same shit.
Diamondbacks: Would somebody kill Eric Byrnes already?
Dodgers: They're gonna trade Matt Kemp for Joe Crede, you just know it. Jeff Kent can't teach these kids how to win ya know!
Giants: HAHAHAHAHA...yes keep convincing yourself Giants fans and front office that you didn't need Barry. God I can't wait for the Summer when they are 30 games out of first place and averaging less than 10k fans a game. It's gonna be great! Seriously if they ever fire Brian Sabean I'm going to cry.
Indians: Seriously eat a fucking dick Cleveland for blowing it against the Red Sox in the ALCS to help that annoying fucking fan base celebrate another championship.
Mariners: Trading for Erik Bedard isn't going to cover up that this team vastly overachieved last year and Bill Bavasi is still the GM which will always lead to failure.
Marlins: Would somebody kill Jeffrey Loria already?
Mets: This team looks like it wants to go out of it's way to out perform the A's in the injury department this year. I personally approve of the failure of all New York teams so hopefully they'll crash and burn.
Nationals: Dmitri Young and Elijah Dukes on the same team...excellent.
Orioles: Batting 4th, Kevin Millar.
Padres: Padres' "fans" gave Barry Bonds a standing ovation when he tied Hank Aaron's record. At the end of the season Tony Gwynn Jr. hits a game winning triple against the Padres that forces them into a one game playoff against the Rockies which the Padres lose in crushing fashion. It's called karma, bitch.
Phillies: Would have been better off trading Kyle Kendrick to Japan for real and thrown Adam Eaton in the deal. Gonna be another cocktease year for Phillies' fans but like they give a shit anyways as they'll be too busy chanting "E-A-G-L-E-S" at the games.
Pirates: Not even worth it.
Rangers: Why does this franchise not get shit on more for being a complete joke? 47 years in existence and not a single playoff series win. They'll have no problem blowing by the 50 year mark and beyond.
Rays: Ooo they have so much young talent! They might be really good in 2010! Who gives a shit? Still going to be 90% Yankees and Red Sox fans at their games.
Reds: The fact that there are Reds fans who actually want to get rid of Adam Dunn tells me they deserve a manager like Dusty Baker.
Red Sox: Hey remember when we all thought it'd be great if the Red Sox won a championship so we could stop hearing all the whining from their fan base about "The Curse"? We never knew how good we had it. Every SAWX fan I see this year, I'm kicking square in the fucking nuts.
Rockies: Like the Indians, fuck you for losing to the Red Sox.
Royals: This team is more painful to watch than George Brett popping his hemorrhoids.
Tigers: Kenny Rogers is an asshole and Todd Jones is a closet fag.
Twins: 1. Trade Johan Santana, 2. ???, 3. Profit
White Sox: Is this team gonna suuuuuuuuuuck? YES!
Yankees: Derek Jeter is a selfish prick who is going to drag this franchise down very soon by his refusal to leave shortstop. This guy is the Lonnie Smith of shortstops. But whatever, Yankee fans deserve any losing season they get and hopefully they'll happen soon.
Well it's been a while since I did one of these. Once I finished the Game 5's I wanted to sit down and watch both Game 6's for 1975 and 1986 in one sitting. With all the other games I'd watch them half hour or an hour at a time but for obvious reasons I wanted to be able to watch those two games without interruption. Problem was I never found a chance to watch either game in it's entirety and ended up forgetting about it for a while but with the 20th anniversary of the Bill Buckner play being today I figured I'd skip ahead to '86 to do an entry on the game and finally got around to watching it yesterday.
1986 World Series Game 6 - Mets 6, Red Sox 5 10 Innings (boxscore and play account)
-With Buckner up in the first we have the apperance of the parachuter with the "Go Mets" banner. If this were today there'd be phony moral outrage by Joe Buck, or any other announcer, about a fan pulling off such a stunt and they'd make sure to have the cameras shoot something else but here the announcers love it. Ron Darling even gives the guy a little dap while he's being escorted away by the cops.
-Good omens for the Red Sox as they score in the 1st and the first five games the team that scored first won. Also Roger Clemens was 9-0 on five days rest.
-The Mets on the other hand could not feel good about their chances early on as Clemens was dominating striking out six through three and didn't give up a hit in the first four. Even though effective, he was incredibly inefficient with his pitch count, throwing 73 pitches in the first four. He'd throw 137 pitches in seven innings.
-In the 5th after a Darry Strawberry walk, just the Mets second baserunner of the game at that moment, they shoot some crowd shots and to a couple of fans who at first glance of foam "#1" fingers but they are actually foam middle fingers that I think said "Boston Sucks." The announcers don't mention it of course.
-In the 6th with Wally Backman on first, Buckner attempts to deek Backman on a throw to first by pretending it got by him with an laughably bad acting job. He wouldn't have to fake it later.
-In the 8th the announcers for the first time mention the Red Sox last World Series win. As I mentioned in a prior DVD entry not in this series or the '75 series do the announcers ever bring up the "curse." Very much in stark contrast to FOX's coverage of the 2004 series.
-In the bottom of the inning we had a mini, but not really, controversy. With the Mets down by a run, with a runner on first and no out, Dykstra lays down a bunt. Calvin Schiraldi tries to get the lead runner, Lee Mazzilli, at 2nd but his throw pulls Spike Owen off the bag. Owen pitches a fit and John McNamara joins him but replays clearly show Owen's foot off the bag when Mazzilli slid in. Mazzilli would eventually score the tying run on a Gary Carter sac fly.
-In the bottom of the 9th the Mets got the first two runners on. Davey Johnson elected to pinch hit for a 22-year old Kevin Elster (who subbed for Rafael Santana after being pinch hit for earlier) with Howard Johnson. Scully and Garagiola assume he's going to have him bunt, which is silly to think because why waste a pinch hitter to bunt? Johnson strikes out and the Mets end up failing to score. Scully especially harps on this for the rest of the game until of course you know what happened. My thought is Johnson didn't trust Elster to even bunt who looked rattled in the field after misplaying two balls (just one scored an error).
-You know whenever a player who's hit a past, "clutch" homerun and he comes up again in said situation they always play the clip of the past homerun. What usually happens is the player doesn't do it again. So they play Dave Henderson's Game 5, Donnie Moore killing (awww) homerun in the ALCS as he leads off the 10th in this game. Two pitches later...gone. Really cool, completely forgotten moment (Hendu had the best homerun trot) and would have likely won the World Series MVP for Hendu.
-And of course you know what happens in the bottom of the inning to cap one of the most exciting innings in baseball history. By now everyone knows that Buckner could hardly be blamed for everything that happened. If Schiraldi just manages to get one more out it was over. If Bob Stanley doesn't throw a wild pitch to let the tying run score, the sequence of events would changed dramatically. Also even if Buckner fields the ball, there's a 50/50 chance Mookie Wilson beats a throw to first and nevermind that even if he's out the game still goes on to the 11th. But in the end it was that moment that I'm guessing that the "curse" talk picked up steam and the Red Sox fans made themselves into martyrs for the next 18 years.
-Having this game (and the others) on DVD is simply awesome and I'm sure I'll be replaying it in the future. I could listen to Scully's call of the final play forever. The great thing about Scully is that after Knight scores he just shuts up. There's dead air for three and a half minutes with just the sights and sounds of the what just happened playing out. There was no need for words, something today's announcers should learn.
I attended the Mariners/A's game last night. On paper it seemed like a very favorable match-up with Dan Haren pitching for the A's against Jeff Weaver of the Mariners. Haren didn't have it last night, and he really hasn't had it for the last few weeks, but through six innings he had only given up one run mainly due to the Mariners over agressive hitting. He'd thrown 99 pitches to that point and I thought it'd be a good idea to get the hook instead of pressing their luck especially with scored tied 1-1. But manager Bob Geren did press his luck and got the whammy as Jose Vidro would hit a two run double to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead to finally knock Haren out of the game, the Mariners eventually going on to win 7-1. Now this was not the worst game I've ever been to from the standpoint of a heartbreaking loss (that would be this game) but it was one of the worst games I've ever been to from the quality of play by the A's. The A's committed five errors with Marco Scutaro tying an American League record with four errors in one game by a third baseman. Hey I saw history! So for this brief entry I give a brief list of some of the worst performances by the A's that I've seen live in person. The list is brief is I'm doing this off the top of my head and my memories of individual games as a kid aren't particularly good which I'll chalk up to having a short attention span.
June 21, 1987 vs. Texas. Now see talking of not having a good memory, I can't 100% vouch for that I went to this game but it was the second game of a double header and I have an early baseball memory of being at a double header against the Rangers with the A's getting blown out so odds are it was this game. A's lost 13-3 and some guy named Bob Brower for the Rangers hit two homeruns. Ron Cey DH'd for the A's that day. God I feel old.
June 30, 1997 vs. San Diego. The A's hit rock bottom as a franchise in 1997 and this game was pretty much how the season went. The Padres scored seven runs in the 2nd inning, featuring two three-run homeruns by Wally Joyner and Tony Gwynn off starter Don Wengert. He was replaced by Dan Johnson who I thought was good at the time because he had a 2.08 ERA. Not really grasping the idea of sample sizes at that point, he'd only pitched 13 innings so far that season, I would be very dissapointed as he would give up six runs of his own including a two run homerun to Greg Vaughn in the 4th. It was 11-3 at the end of the 4th, 15-5 at the end of the 6th, with the Padres clinging to a 15-6 win.
October 1, 2004 vs. Anaheim. This was an awful game and it was a heartbreaker. It was the first game of the final series of the year and the A's were one game out of first place behind the Angels. Mark Mulder made the start despite having a horrific last two months of the season and clearly needed to be skipped in the rotation for rookie Joe Blanton. Mulder would get hooked after surrendering four runs in the 2nd. Blanton would shadow him and kept the A's in it until the 6th when the Angels figured him out and Alfredo Amezaga (who hit .161/.212/.247 in 93 at bats that year) hit a grand slam to make it 8-0, eventually skunking the A's 10-0. And it was my birthday. Angels clinched the division the next day.
The worst offensive season by a shortstop of all-time was Jim Levey in 1933 with an OPS+ of 24 (.195/.237/.240). Jim was a teammate of Art Scharein on the St. Louis Browns that year who my three readers will remember that he had the worst offensive ever by a third baseman that year thus teaming up for the undisputed, worst hitting left side of an infield in MLB history. Congratulations guys.
Now on to more modern players and the player at the top of this list takes both #1 and #2 spots in back-to-back seasons which is quite the achievement. In case you were wondering, he was considered a great defensive shortstop but me thinks he probably still played more than he should have.
Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Shortstop Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Hal Lanier, 1968 - San Francisco Giants 38 OPS+ (.206/.222/.239)
2. Hal Lanier, 1967 - San Francisco Giants 42
3. Alfredo Griffin, 1990 - Los Angeles Dodgers 43
4t. Neifi Perez, 2002 - Kansas City Royals 44
4t. Ivan DeJesus, 1981 - Chicago Cubs 44
4t. Tim Johnson, 1973 - Milwaukee Brewers 44
7. Hal Lanier, 1969 - San Francisco Giants 46
8t. Clint Barmes, 2006 - Colorado Rockies 47
8t. Mike Caruso, 1999 - Chicago White Sox 47
10. Ozzie Smith, 1979 - San Diego Padres 48
11t. Alfredo Griffin, 1981 - Toronto Blue Jays 49
11t. Marty Perez, 1972 - Atlanta Braves 49
13t. Craig Robinson, 1974 - Atlanta Braves 51
13t. Dick Schofield, 1965 - Pittsburgh Pirates/San Francisco Giants 51
15t. Angel Berroa, 2006 - Kansas City Royals 52
15t. Zoilo Versalles, 1967 - Minnesota Twins 52
17t. Rey Ordonez, 1998 - New York Mets 53
17t. Andres Thomas, 1989 - Atlanta Braves 53
17t. Glenn Hoffman, 1982 - Boston Red Sox 53
20t. Ronny Cedeno, 2006 - Chicago Cubs 54
20t. Gary DiSarcina, 1997 - Anaheim Angels 54
20t. Ozzie Guillen, 1986 - Chicago White Sox 54
20t. Alfredo Griffin, 1982 - Toronto Blue Jays 54
24t. Juan Uribe, 2002 - Colorado Rockies 55
24t. Kevin Stocker, 1995 - Philadelphia Phillies 55
24t. Curtis Wilkerson, 1984 - Texas Rangers 55
24t. Don Kessinger, 1967 - Chicago Cubs 55
24t. Ken Hamlin, 1960 - Kansas City A's 55
The worst offensive season by a rightfielder has stood for over 100 years as Jack Dunn in 1902 had an OPS+ of 56 (.211/.256/.249). But for this modern exercise, 1999 was officially The Year of the Shitty Hitting Outfielder as players from that season have topped the list at each outfield spot.
Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Rightfielder Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Derek Bell, 1999 - Houston Astros 66 OPS+ (.236/.306/.350)
2t. Cory Snyder, 1989 - Cleveland Indians 70
2t. Mike Hershberger, 1964 - Chicago White Sox 70
4. Felix Jose, 1993 - Kansas City Royals 71
5. Mike Hershberger, 1965 - Kansas City A's 72
6. Dave May, 1974 - Milwaukee Brewers 73
7t. Tony Womack, 1999 - Arizona Diamondbacks 77
7t. Hosken Powell, 1980 - Minnesota Twins 77
9t. Jeromy Burnitz, 2002 - New York Mets 80
9t. Steve Finley, 1990 - Baltimore Orioles 80
9t. Glenn Wilson, 1987 - Philadelphia Phillies 80
12. Dave Martinez, 2000 - Tampa Bay Devil Rays/Chicago White Sox/Texas Rangers/Toronto Blue Jays 81
13t. Alex Ochoa, 2001 - Cincinnati Reds/Colorado Rockies 82
13t. Jose Guillen, 1997 - Pittsburgh Pirates 82
13t. Darnell Coles, 1989 - Seattle Mariners 82
13t. Bob Bailor, 1978 - Toronto Blue Jays 82
17. Mark Kotsay, 1999 - Florida Marlins 83
18t. Randy Winn, 2006 - San Francisco Giants 84
18t. Alexis Rios, 2005 - Toronto Blue Jays 84
18t. Juan Encarnacion, 2004 - Los Angeles Dodgers/Florida Marlins 84
18t. Roger Cedeno, 2003 - New York Mets 84
18t. Jose Guillen, 1998 - Pittsburgh Pirates 84
18t. Rob Deer, 1993 - Detroit Tigers/Boston Red Sox 84
18t. Ron Fairly, 1967 - Los Angeles Dodgers 84
25t. Danny Bautista, 2004 - Arizona Diamondbacks 85
25t. Brian Jordan, 2000 - Atlanta Braves 85
25t. Pat Kelly, 1970 - Kansas City Royals 85
25t. Gino Cimoli, 1963 - Kansas City A's 85
Back by popular demand, add another "Worst" list with the worst pitcher seasons since 1961 using ERA+. Checking baseball-reference.com, unlike qualifications for the batting title, it appears the qualification for the ERA title has never changed. In order to qualify a pitcher must pitch at least one inning per team game. Now I could have gone back to 1901 then but again it would been littered with too many early 20th century pitchers that most us have never heard of. The worst ERA+ of all-time was Rube Bressler of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1915 who posted an ERA+ of 56. To put that into context, he had an 5.20 ERA while the league ERA that season was 2.93.
I elected to go with 1961 since that was the beginning of the expansion era of MLB when the Angels and Senators (ver 2.0) were added to the American League. Now on the player lists there were a lot of ties and there would have been a ton for the pitcher list so to make it slightly less cluttered I break the ties by who threw more innings (as in who sucked in a larger sample). And the top of the list is someone who we could never forget, nor can we ever forget his wife's huge tits.
Top 25 Worst Pitcher Seasons since 1961 (per ERA+)
1. Jose Lima, 2005 - Kansas City Royals 63 ERA+ (6.99 ERA in 168 2/3 IP)
2. Jack Lamabe, 1964 - Boston Red Sox 65
3. Eric Milton, 2005 - Cincinnati Reds 66 (186 1/3 IP)
4. Rick Wise, 1968 - Philadelphia Phillies 66 (182)
5. Mark Davis, 1984 - San Francisco Giants 66 (174 2/3)
6. Bob Knepper, 1989 - Houston Astros/San Francisco Giants 66 (165)
7. Jim Deshaies, 1994 - Minnesota Twins 66 (130 1/3)
8. Warren Spahn, 1964 - Milwaukee Braves 67
9. Matt Keough, 1982 - Oakland A's 68 (209 1/3)
10. Steve Arlin, 1973 - San Diego Padres 68 (180)
11. Phil Ortega, 1965 - Washington Senators 68 (179 2/3)
12. Javier Vazquez, 1998 - Montreal Expos 69
13. Vida Blue, 1979 - San Francisco Giants 70 (237)
14. Frank Baumann, 1961 - Chicago White Sox 70 (187 2/3)
15. Pete Broberg, 1972 - Texas Rangers 70 (176 1/3)
16. Joel Pineiro, 2006 - Seattle Mariners 70 (165 2/3)
17. Terry Mulholland, 1995 - San Francisco Giants 70 (149)
18. Dick Ruthven, 1981 - Philadelphia Phillies 70 (146 2/3)
19. Willie Fraser, 1988 - California Angels 71 (194 2/3)
20. Bob Walk, 1993 - Pittsburgh Pirates 71 (187)
21. Bill Singer, 1975 - California Angels 71 (175)
22. Brandon Duckworth, 2002 - Philadelphia Phillies 71 (163)
23. Terry Mulholland, 1994 - New York Yankees 71 (120)
24. Jack Fisher, 1967 - New York Mets 72 (220 1/3)
25. Joe Coleman, 1975 - Detroit Tigers 72 (201)
The worst offensive season but a leftfielder since 1901 was...wait...just nine years ago!? Speed can kill but it can also keep a guy in the line up who really shouldn't be anything more than a designated pinch runner.
Top 25 Worst Offenisve Leftfielder Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Brian Hunter, 1999 - Detroit Tigers/Seattle Mariners 48 OPS+ (.232/.280/.301)
2. Vince Coleman, 1994 - Kansas City Royals 59
3. Vince Coleman, 1986 - St. Louis Cardinals 62
4. Bill Sample, 1984 - Texas Rangers 68
5t. Billy Hatcher, 1989 - Houston Astros/Pittsburgh Pirates 70
5t. Dan Meyer, 1975 - Detroit Tigers 70
7t. Scott Podsednik, 2006 - Chicago White Sox 75
7t. Luis Polonia, 1993 - California Angels 75
9t. Tommy Harper, 1974 - Boston Red Sox 76
9t. Don Buford, 1972 - Baltimore Orioles 76
11t. Rickey Henderson, 2000 - New York Mets/Seattle Mariners 77
11t. Jeffrey Leonard, 1988 - San Francisco Giants/Milwaukee Brewers 77
11t. Ron LeFlore, 1981 - Chicago White Sox 77
14t. Terrence Long, 2003 - Oakland A's 78
14t. Roger Cedeno, 2002 - New York Mets 78
14t. Ricky Ledee, 2000 - New York Yankees/Cleveland Indians/Texas Rangers 78
14t. Gary Ward, 1987 - New York Yankees 78
18t. Reed Johnson, 2004 - Toronto Blue Jays 79
18t. Lou Piniella, 1973 - Kansas City Royals 79
20t. Dan Gladden, 1991 - Minnesota Twins 80
20t. Tito Francona, 1963 - Cleveland Indians 80
22t. Carl Crawford, 2003 - Tampa Bay Devil Rays 81
22t. Troy O'Leary, 2000 - Boston Red Sox 81
22t. Lou Brock, 1977 - St. Louis Cardinals 81
22t. Jim Gilliam, 1958 - Los Angeles Dodgers 81
A few weeks back I finally decided to purchase a subscription to the Baseball-Reference.com Play Index since I figured it'd be helpful in putting together a few random lists to keep this blog afloat. Of course if I had known there would be a free preview over All-Star week (which ends today) I might I have waited a little longer but oh well. Now several times in the past I've mentioned that all my sports memories begin in 1986 so figured my first random list using Play Index I'd have it centered around that year.
So here are by position the worst hitters according to OPS+ who had at least 2500 plate appearances (about five full seasons) in the Majors since 1986. In fairness the majority of these players lasted as long as they did due to stellar defense. I left off DH because there's only 10 players that qualified with Dave Parker at the bottom with an OPS+ of 104.
.239/.293/.344, 4287 PA, 353 R, 925 H, 190 2B, 9 3B, 67 HR, 443 RBI, 266 BB, 795 SO, 64 OPS+
.257/.301/.386, 3106 PA, 316 R, 733 H, 135 2B, 18 3B, 66 HR, 376 RBI, 181 BB, 552 SO, 88 OPS+
.248/.307/.352, 3138 PA, 366 R, 704 H, 128 2B, 17 3B, 44 HR, 271 RBI, 226 BB, 531 SO, 68 OPS+
.239/.274/.411, 2766 PA, 304 R, 620 H, 128 2B, 10 3B, 99 HR, 377 RBI, 120 BB, 20 SO, 77 OPS+
.246/.289/.310, 3407 PA, 291 R, 767 H, 129 2B, 17 3B, 12 HR, 287 RBI, 191 BB, 339 SO, 59 OPS+
(since 1986 only)
.263/.324/.346, 5278 PA, 742 R, 1255 H, 156 2B, 79 3B, 27 HR, 306 RBI, 427 BB, 845 SO, 83 OPS+
.250/.323/.322, 4652 PA, 607 R, 1021 H, 137 2B, 37 3B, 27 HR, 342 RBI, 403 BB, 514 SO, 72 OPS+
.272/.315/.409, 2718 PA, 317 R, 685 H, 121 2B, 19 3B, 62 HR, 319 RBI, 149 BB, 409 SO, 83 OPS+
Now finally finishing off these Worst lists with designated hitters. Since the DH has only been around since 1973 these are the worst DH seasons of all-time. Unlike every other position, there is no additional value to be provided by DH beyond what they do with their bat. They aren't even expected to be threats on the basepaths either as most DH's are aging veterans or guys who are so slow they couldn't even handle first base. The top of the list falls into the aging veteran category as he was a great hitting catcher, who you can make a legit argument for him being a Hall of Famer, but he fell of a cliff offensively in this season at age 34 and goes down as the worst DH season by a wide margin. Not surprising there are a few all-time greats on this list who were the twilight of their careers.
Top 25 Worst Designated Hitter Seasons of All-Time (per OPS+)
1. Ted Simmons, 1984 - Milwaukee Brewers 61 OPS+ (.221/.269/.300)
2. Ruben Sierra, 1996 - New York Yankees/Detroit Tigers 75
3t. Alvin Davis, 1991 - Seattle Mariners 76
3t. Tommy Harper, 1974 - Boston Red Sox 76
5. Joe Carter, 1997 - Toronto Blue Jays 77
6t. Scott Hatteberg, 2005 - Oakland A's 81
6t. Dave Parker, 1991 - California Angels/Toronto Blue Jays 81
8t. Larry Sheets, 1988 - Baltimore Orioles 83
8t. Mitchell Page, 1979 - Oakland A's 83
10. Greg Vaughn, 1995 - Milwaukee Brewers 85
11t. Paul Molitor, 1998 - Minnesota Twins 86
11t. Eddie Murray, 1994 - Cleveland Indians 86
13. Eddie Murray, 1996 - Cleveland Indians/Baltimore Orioles 86
14t. Gerald Perry, 1990 - Kansas City Royals 90
14t. Dave Kingman, 1986 - Oakland A's 90
16. Julio Franco, 1997 - Cleveland Indians/Milwaukee Brewers 91
17t. Edgar Martinez, 2004 - Seattle Mariners 92
17t. Rico Carty, 1979 - Toronto Blue Jays 92
17t. Deron Johnson, 1975 - Chicago White Sox/Boston Red Sox 92
20t. Carl Everett, 2005 - Chicago White Sox 94
20t. George Brett, 1993 - Kansas City Royals 94
20t. Andre Thornton, 1985 - Cleveland Indians 94
20t. Reggie Jackson, 1984 - California Angels 94
24t. Carl Yastrzemski, 1981 - Boston Red Sox 95
24t. Hank Aaron, 1975 - Milwaukee Brewers 95
The worst offensive season by a centerfielder since 1901 was Alex Metzler in 1930 with an OPS+ of 56 (.236/.313/.302). The player on the top of this particular list came very close to breaking that record in 1999 (the year of shitting hitting outfielders?) and also made my Worst Hitters since 1986 list. Interesting thing about this list is that most of these punchless performances have happened in the last 20 years.
Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Centerfielder Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Darren Lewis, 1999 - Boston Red Sox 57 OPS+ (.240/.311/.309)
2. Gary Pettis, 1988 - Detroit Tigers 61
3. Marquis Grissom, 2000 - Milwaukee Brewers 63
4. Darren Lewis, 1995 - San Francisco Giants/Cincinnati Reds 64
5t. Endy Chavez, 2003 - Montreal Expos 65
5t. Brian Hunter, 1998 - Detroit Tigers 65
5t. Chuck Carr, 1994 - Florida Marlins 65
5t. Brian McRrae, 1992 - Kansas City Royals 65
5t. Bill Virdon, 1964 - Pittsburgh Pirates 65
10. Peter Bergeron, 2000 - Montreal Expos 67
11t. Juan Pierre, 2002 - Colorado Rockies 68
11t. Gerald Williams, 1997 - Milwaukee Brewers 68
11t. Omar Moreno, 1982 - Pittsburgh Pirates 68
11t. Bill Virdon, 1962 - Pittsburgh Pirates 68
15t. Tom Goodwin, 2000 - Colorado Rockies/Los Angeles Dodgers 69
15t. Tom Goodwin, 1997 - Kansas City Royals/Texas Rangers 69
15t. Eric Yelding, 1990 - Houston Astros 69
18t. Tom Goodwin, 1996 - Kansas City Royals 70
18t. Darren Lewis, 1993 - San Francisco Giants 70
18t. Rick Manning, 1979 - Cleveland Indians 70
18t. Jim Piersall, 1962 - Washington Senators 70
22t. Doug Glanville, 2001 - Philadelphia Phillies 71
22t. Doug Glanville, 2000 - Philadelphia Phillies 71
22t. Chris Singleton, 2000 - Chicago White Sox 71
22t. Bob Dernier, 1985 - Chicago Cubs 71
22t. Rick Manning, 1983 - Cleveland Indians/Milwaukee Brewers 71
Baseball-Reference.com Play Index is saving this blog with more useless lists1 Today I list the 25 worst individual offensive seasons according to OPS+ since 1957, who qualified for the batting title in their given year. Why 1957 instead of all the way back to the beginning modern era in 1901? Because I'm lazy and because the current guidelines for qualifying for the batting title were adopted in '57. The current rule is a player must average 3.1 plate appearances per total number of games played by their team which with the 162 game schedule works out to 502 plate appearances. Here's a copy and paste of the guidelines through out the years from Baseball-Reference.com:
If we took into account players prior to 1957 it would be littered with early 20th century players, who many of you including myself probably never heard of and wouldn't be able to add comments like "Hey I remember him, he sucked!" In case you were wondering, the worst offensive season ever by a catcher who qualified for the batting title was Bill Bergen in 1909 who had an OPS+ of 1 (.139/.163/.156 in 372 plate appearances). Again like with my last entry a lot these guys played a lot due to superior defense (Bob Boone is on it four times) but some probably shouldn't have been playing much at all.
Top 25 Worst Offensive Catcher Single Seasons (per OPS+)
1. Matt Walbeck, 1994 - Minnesota Twins 37 OPS+ (.204/.246/.284)
2. Brad Ausmus, 2006 - Houston Astros 54
3t. Brad Ausmus, 2003 - Houston Astros 55
3t. Jim Sundberg, 1975 - Texas Rangers 55
5. Joe Girardi, 1995 - Colorado Rockies 58
6t. Jason Kendall, 2007 - Oakland A's/Chicago Cubs 63
6t. Bob Boone, 1986 - California Angels 63
8. Tony Pena, 1991 - Boston Red Sox 66
9t. Michael Barrett, 2001 - Montreal Expos 68
9t. Joe Girardi, 1994 - Colorado Rockies 68
11t. Kirt Manwaring, 1994 - San Francisco Giants 69
11t. Johnny Edwards, 1970 - Houston Astros 69
13. Bob Boone, 1974 - Philadelphia Phillies 70
14. B.J. Surhoff, 1988 - Milwaukee Brewers 71
15. Bob Boone, 1985 - California Angels 72
16t. Butch Wynegar, 1978 - Minnesota Twins 73
16t. Randy Hundley, 1968 - Chicago Cubs 73
18. Joe Oliver, 1993 - Cincinnati Reds 74
19t. Pat Borders, 1993 - Toronto Blue Jays 75
19t. Bob Boone, 1980 - Philadelphia Phillies 75
21t. Benito Santiago, 2001 - San Francisco Giants 76
21t. Benito Santiago, 1993 - Florida Marlins 76
21t. Rick Cerone, 1979 - Toronto Blue Jays 76
21t. John Bateman, 1971 - Montreal Expos 76
21t. John Bateman, 1970 - Montreal Expos 76
Out of the way quickly, the worst offensive single season by a third baseman was Art Scharein in 1933 who nearly matched the year with an OPS+ of 34. But we're only concerned with the last 50 years and that mark was set just last season! Why didn't ESPN cover this?
Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Third Baseman Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Nick Punto, 2007 - Minnesota Twins 52 OPS+ (.210/.291/.271)
2. Scott Brosius, 1997 - Oakland A's 53
3. Brooks Robinson, 1975 - Baltimore Orioles 58
4t. Damion Easley, 1994 - California Angels 59
4t. Clete Boyer, 1964 - New York Yankees 59
6t. Jose Hernandez, 2003 - Colorado Rockies/Chicago Cubs/Pittsburgh Pirates 60
6t. Vinny Castilla, 2002 - Atlanta Braves 60
6t. Aurelio Rodriguez, 1974 - Detroit Tigers 60
9t. Terry Pendleton, 1986 - St. Louis Cardinals 62
9t. Bubba Phillips, 1963 - Detroit Tigers 62
11. Aurelio Rodriguez, 1973 - Detroit Tigers 63
12. Terry Pendleton, 1985 - St. Louis Cardinals 66
13t. Tim Wallach, 1993 - Los Angeles Dodgers 67
13t. Aurelio Rodriguez, 1969 - California Angels 67
13t. Don Wert, 1968 - Detroit Tigers 67
16t. Terry Pendleton, 1996 - Florida Marlins/Atlanta Braves 68
16t. Hubie Brooks, 1983 - New York Mets 68
16t. John Kennedy, 1964 - Washington Senators 68
19t. Tim Hulett, 1986 - Chicago White Sox 69
19t. Manny Castillo, 1982 - Seattle Mariners 69
19t. Brooks Robinson, 1958 - Baltimore Orioles 69
22t. Jeff Cirillo, 2002 - Seattle Mariners 70
22t. Cal Ripken, 2001 - Baltimore Orioles 70
22t. Scott Brosius, 2000 - New York Yankees 70
25t. Geoff Blum, 2001 - Montreal Expos 71
25t. Ken Caminiti, 1990 - Houston Astros 71
25t. Aurelio Rodriguez, 1976 - Detroit Tigers 71
In case you were wondering, and you weren't, the worst hitting season by a second baseman since 1901 was by Del Young in 1923 with an OPS+ of 23 (.194/.235/.231 in 386 plate appearances). The top of this list once again shows that a shitty player may one day become a great manager. Also, anybody know who in the Mets' organization was Doug Flynn blowing in the late 70's and the early 80's to maintain an everyday job? (edit: It was Jesus!)
Top 25 (or so) Worst Offensive Second Baseman Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Sparky Anderson, 1959 - Philadelphia Phillies 43 OPS+ (.218/.282/.249)
2. Tommy Helms, 1970 - Cincinnati Reds 44
3. Billy Ripken, 1988 - Baltimore Orioles 48
4. Hal Lanier, 1965 - San Francisco Giants 51
5t. Mike Lansing, 2000 - Colorado Rockies/Boston Red Sox 54
5t. Doug Flynn, 1981 - New York Mets 54
7. Jose Lind, 1992 - Pittsburgh Pirates 56
8t. Mike Chapman, 1977 - San Diego Padres 57
8t. Julian Javier, 1970 - St. Louis Cardinals 57
10. Horace Clarke, 1968 - New York Yankees 59
11t. Delino DeShields, 1996 - Los Angeles Dodgers 60
11t. Rodney Scott, 1981 - Montreal Expos 60
13t. Doug Flynn, 1979 - New York Mets 61
13t. Sandy Alomar, 1973 - California Angels 61
13t. Glenn Beckert, 1965 - Chicago Cubs 61
13t. Billy Gardner, 1958 - Baltimore Orioles 61
13t. Bobby Morgan, 1957 - Philadelphia Phillies/Chicago Cubs 61
18t. Brent Abernathy, 2002 - Tampa Bay Devil Rays 62
18t. Doug Flynn, 1978 - New York Mets 62
18t. Julian Javier, 1960 - St. Louis Cardinals 62
21. Len Randle, 1976 - Texas Rangers 63
22t. Bret Boone, 1996 - Cincinnati Reds 64
22t. Ted Sizemore, 1975 - St. Louis Cardinals 64
22t. Dave Campbell, 1970 - San Diego Padres 64
25t. Ray Durham, 2007 - San Francisco Giants 64
25t. Duane Kuiper, 1979 - Cleveland Indians 64
25t. Sandy Alomar, 1975 - New York Yankees 64
25t. Sandy Alomar, 1969 - Chicago White Sox/California Angels 64
25t. Tony Taylor, 1958 - Chicago Cubs 64
Continuing with more of the worst. Now there are positions in baseball where clubs are very willing to sacrifice defense for offense, middle infielders being most common. If you have an excellent defensive shortstop or second baseman you can often overlook their offensive shortcomings. First base is not one of those positions. Sure a great defensive first baseman is nice to have but if they can't hit, it's not wise to keep them in the line up everyday if you have a better hitting alternative who isn't at least a complete butcher in the field.
The worst hitting season for a first baseman since 1901 was by Ivy Griffin in 1920 who posted a blistering hitting line of .238/.281/.274 for an OPS+ of 47 in 505 plate appearances, which means he'd qualify under the modern rules for the batting title. Now Griffin played on a horrific Philadelphia A's team that lost 106 games. On the other hand the man who posted the worst hitting season for a first baseman since 1957 played on a team who made it to the World Series and you might have heard of him too, no offense to Mr. Griffin. Actually there was a tie for first/worst so the tiebreak was who had more plate appearances.
Top 25 Worst Offensive First Baseman Seasons since 1957 (per OPS+)
1. Pete Rose, 1983 - Philadelphia Phillies 69 OPS+ (.245/.316/.286)
2. Pete Runnels, 1957 - Washington Senators 69
3. Enos Cabell, 1981 - San Francisco Giants 72
4t. Kevin Young, 1993 - Pittsburgh Pirates 73
4t. Whitey Lockman, 1957 - New York Giants 73
6. Darin Erstad, 1999 - Anaheim Angels 74
7. Dave Stapleton, 1983 - Boston Red Sox 76
8t. Mike Squires, 1981 - Chicago White Sox 78
8t. Tony Taylor, 1967 - Philadelphia Phillies 78
8t. Lee Thomas, 1963 - Los Angeles Angels 78
11t. Kevin Young, 2001 - Pittsburgh Pirates 80
11t. Dale Murphy, 1978 - Atlanta Braves 80
13t. Ron Coomer, 2000 - Minnesota Twins 81
13t. J.T. Snow, 1996 - California Angels 81
13t. David Segui, 1994 - New York Mets 81
16. Bill Buckner, 1973 - Los Angeles Dodgers 82
17t. Cecil Cooper, 1986 - Milwaukee Brewers 83
17t. Vic Power, 1957 - Kansas City A's 83
19t. Ken Harvey, 2003 - Kansas City Royals 84
19t. Keith Moreland, 1988 - San Diego Padres 84
19t. Willie Montanez, 1979 - New York Mets/Texas Rangers 84
19t. Rusty Staub, 1963 - Houston Colt .45's 84
19t. Vic Power, 1961 - Cleveland Indians 84
24t. Pete O'Brien, 1983 - Texas Rangers 85
24t. Frank Thomas, 1960 - Chicago Cubs 85
Starting off topic, but are the Red Sox cursed again or something? Seriously stop with this “Boston Massacre” shit ESPN. Oh my god they won’t win the East…just like the last 10 years. They still have a shot at the Wild Card and a shot at ruining the playoffs for me again with another Yankees/Red Sox ALCS.
1975 World Series Game 5 - Reds 6, Red Sox 2 (boxscore and play account)
-As mentioned before the video quality of these games has not held up very well. The first few innings of this game the video is waaaaaaaaay too bright but the quality is fairly decent the rest of the game.
-Graphic flashes that Joe Morgan has led the league in “on base average” three of the last four years. Gowdy brings up a quote from during the year, or supposedly it was, that a writer saying something to Joe in the effect of “you get on base a lot” and Joe replied “that’s what I get paid to do.” Wait it’s not hitting a ground ball to the right with a runner on first and less than two out? Say it ain’t so Joe, say it ain’t so.
-What the hell died on Tom Brenneman’s head?
-In the 6th with Morgan on first, Red Sox starter Reggie Cleveland throws over to first base 15 times. Ya that’s just a bit excessive. Not surprisingly Cleveland gives up a single to Bench and then a homerun to Perez and gets knocked out of the game, no doubt tiring after all those throws to first.
-Hey a Dick Pole sighting. The announcers mention that Pole had his jaw broken earlier in the year by a line drive. Got to watch out for those balls to the face Dick.
-They bring up that Don Gullet once scored 11 touchdowns in a high school football game. I wonder if Don does any Al Bundy type reminiscing about that game or pitching in four World Series?
1979 World Series Game 5 - Pirates 7, Orioles 1 (boxscore and play account)
-Yay, the original network graphics show up on this game’s footage after they were missing from Game’s 2 thru 4.
-Jim Rooker was the surprise starter over Game 1 starter Bruce Kison for the Pirates. Quite the risk going against the eventual A.L. Cy Young winner in Mike Flannagan with the Pirates season on the line. Rooker kept them in the game though and then Bert Blyleven, who apparently has never been good a big game supposedly or whatever lame reason he’s kept out of the HOF, pitched four shutout innings out of the bullpen to pick up the win.
-The special Sunday Night Football game on ABC that night between the Rams and Cowboys is hyped through the whole game. Dallas blew out the eventual NFC champs 30-6.
-ABC producers for no apparent reason go back to their Game 1 strategy of showing every single player’s wife that they can. Cosell I’m pretty sure got fully aroused when showing Rich Dauer’s wife as went into creepy old man mode about how he’d like to sit next to the wives.
-Fidel Castro apparently picked the Pirates to win the Series. And who says communism doesn’t work?
-Chuck Tanner’s mom died the morning of this game. Now in none of these DVD sets is any pregame coverage included but in the actual game they don’t mention this until the 5th inning. Can you imagine if a manger or player’s mom died the morning of a World Series game today how much Fox would play up that angle through the whole game? A little later Cosell accidentally says that Tanner’s wife died and takes a little bit before he (or probably a producer) corrected him.
-Cosell’s gushing over Willie Stargell through out this series really reached Tim McCarver/Derek Jeter type levels. Funny enough though late in the game with Stargell up and Cosell in the middle of again talking about how Stargell is saving the city of Pittsburgh or something, he brings up Stargell being 0 for 6 with RISP so far. So in one minute he goes from being Jeter to A-Rod.
-Here’s a rule change, in the bottom of the 8th with runners on first and second Doug Stanhouse’s pick off throw trying to get Tim Foli hits Foli in the helmet and bounces all the way into the crowd. The runners are only awarded one base while today it would have been two bases.
1986 World Series Game 5 - Red Sox 4, Mets 2 (boxscore and play account)
-I guess in 1986 they still weren’t having the ceremonial first pitch be thrown for the mound as Ted Williams throws it here from the stands. Williams as you see was with his son John Henry. Did they freeze his head too?
-Another lackluster outing for Gooden here. He never gets in any rhythm as he seems bothered by the relatively cold weather as he’s constantly blowing on his hands after almost every pitch. He takes so much time the Red Sox hitters then start to mess with him in the 4th and 5th but constantly stepping out of box right before he gets set.
-Dave Henderson was a having a huge series to this point going 8 for 18 with a two homeruns and then adding a double and a triple (although should have been a double as Strawberry made a weak effort to get to the ball) in this game. He likely wouldn’t have been playing if Tony Armas wasn’t hurt even though he was the better player at this point.
-Overmatch of the Night: Sid Fernandez vs. Rich Gedman. Six pitches, six swings, six strikes.
-After Strawberry pops out to end a mild Mets rally in the 8th the Sox fans greet him with the “Darrrrrrrrrrrryl” chant. He mockingly tips his cap to them. Joe Garagiola says he hates to see this happen to a young player and wonder what it does to him. Trust me Joe he had bigger problems.
-After three straight drama free games, Mets bring the tying run to the plate in the 9th with a two out rally but Dykstra goes down swinging
-Red Sox up 3-2, Clemens going in Game 6. This one is in the bag…
1975 World Series Game 4 - Red Sox 5, Reds 4 (boxcore and play account)
-The Cincinnati crowd audibly groans when starter Fred Norman gets behind 2-0 to the first batter of the game. Man, tough crowd.
-The announcers throughout the series have been talking about the possibility of Rico Petrocelli retiring after the Series. He’d retire after the following season.
-Announcers do a promo for the reunion of Simon & Garfunkle on Saturday Night Live that week.
-The video quality is very good for the first six innings and then in the 7th goes to shit. It’s such a dramatic change that for a second it almost seems like it’s a completely different game.
-They show Luis Tiant’s wife a few times and she’s waving some giant noise maker and the announcers say she does it for every game during the entire game. Now why didn’t the crowd around her rise up and slay her, I have no idea.
-In the 9th inning Tony Kubek thinks Tiant is at almost 200 pitches. Errr not quite. He did throw 163 pitches which is a lot of fucking pitches. Given his shutout in Game 1 and another complete game victory here he was definitely the MVP of the series so far. He even has a couple hits and runs scored in the series although he was just a .164 career hitter.
1979 World Series Game 4 - Orioles 9, Pirates 6 (boxscore and play account)
-Once again no network graphics for this game which is getting annoying. This game was played on a Saturday so they run a bunch of college football scores during the game which would have been kind of neat to see, if only to me. Cosell seems more excited about reciting the scores to the college games than this game itself.
-They hype the Red River Shootout game which was to follow the telecast of Game 4. Texas beat Oklahoma 16-7, the Sooners only loss of that season.
-It’s mentioned that the Pirates and Tim Foli have agreed on a new five-year contract. He’d spend just two years of the contract there as he was traded to the Angels after 1981. In Game 3 and this game the Pirates fans do a “Foli, Foli, Foli” chant. I’m not aware if Tim ever lost part of his ear during a game or landed on some thumbtacks while diving for a groundball.
-In this series and the ’75 Series there are several check swings that in today’s game would always be called strikes that are almost always called balls here. There must have been some rule change or evolutionary change in how umps call check swings in the last 30 years. In the Orioles huge 8th inning Doug DeCinces checks his swing on a two strike pitch that 99.9% of the time would been called a strike in today’s game but is called a ball here without question. He would draw a walk and be followed by pinch hit doubles by John Lowenstein and Terry Crowley.
1986 World Series Game 4 - Mets 6, Red Sox 2 (boxscore and play account)
-A potential great storyline never happened in this series as Tom Seaver would have been the Game 4 starter here for the Red Sox but an ankle injury caused him to miss playoffs. Jerry McNamara decides to go with Al Nipper and his 5.38 ERA here instead of having Bruce Hurst on three days rest. Nipper was solid in this game though and the Red Sox missed several opportunities against Ron Darling who didn’t give up an earned run in his first two starts.
-The crack researchers at NBC note that Danny Heep, who was at DH for the Mets, is the first DH in World Series history with the initials DH. God I hope that doesn’t end up on his tombstone.
-Lenny Dykstra’s homerun in the 7th goes off Dwight Evans glove. They compare it to Dave Henderson’s play in Game 5 of the ACLS where a Bobby Grich flyball went out of his glove and over the wall for a homerun but this wasn’t nearly as bad. Evans had it on his webbing and it would have been a snow cone job if he caught it. If he timed his jump better he would have had it.
-Classic series or not, the last three games haven’t been very competitive.
1975 World Series – Reds 6, Red Sox 5 10 Innings (boxscore and play account)
-Like Game 2 this game is incomplete on the disk. With one out in the bottom of the 7th a screen comes up acknowledging that a portion of the game is missing from the archives. Now when the action returns I have no idea what part of the game until a couple minutes later when the announcers mention that it’s the top of the 9th. It would have been nice for them to add a graphic telling you what part of the game they had jumped to. Thankfully the Dwight Evans’ game tying homerun in the 9th isn’t missed.
-The video quality is the poorest so far of any of the games. Makes me wonder if they’ll be able to put together any pre-70’s World Series sets or not.
-Curt Gowdy wonders aloud if Pete Rose can get to 3000 hits or not. Considering he’d already cleared 2500 that year at age 34 I can’t imagine to many people thought there’d be much doubt about that.
-I’m amused again by the fact that Joe Morgan apparently didn’t like runners trying to steal when he was up. That’s not SMARTBALL~ Joe!
-Clay Carroll comes into pitch in the 7th with the Reds up 5-2 and Tom Brennaman (part of the rotating announce crew that I mentioned in the Game 1 entry) calls it a “saving situation” which tells you how much the role of relievers has changed. Carroll wasn’t the Reds primary closer though as he only had 7 saves during the regular season.
-1975 technology gone mad: With Johnny Bench up in the 9th, NBS puts an image of Bench's wife over the upper righthand corner of the screen (see the screencap) and continue to shoot a side camera angle of Bench for the first three pitches with his wife looking on. I hope Fox producers have never seen this.
-Big controversy in the bottom of the 10th as with Cesar Geronimo on first and none out, Ed Armbrister comes up to pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot specifically to bunt. He lays down a terrible bunt right in front of home plate. As Carlton Fisk tries to get to the ball Armbrister gets in his way. Fisk gets to the ball but uncorks a wild throw to second that gets by the bag and Geronimo advances to third while Armbrister ends up on second. Fisk is furious and rightfully so as it should have been interference. A couple of batters later Joe Morgan ends it with a base hit (sorry, "manufactured a run") and the Red Sox drop a second straight heartbreaker.
-During all of this the crowd was rather subdued for a World Series extra inning game.
1979 World Series – Orioles 8, Pirates 4 (boxscore and play account)
-Like Game 2 the network graphics are missing from the footage of this game. Hope it’s not this way the rest of the series.
-Al Michaels fills in for Keith Jackson as Jackson has to do a college football game the next day. It’s been too long since I heard Michaels call baseball.
-Both teams are wearing classic whites and greys for this game rather than the usual softball uniforms.
-Michaels calls Three Rivers a beautiful ball park. Well this was 1979 and it was very much the age of the giant, multi-purpose stadiums so maybe Three Rivers was considered nice for the time, what do I know?
-Unfortunately Cosell still hasn’t said anything particularly interesting in the entire series although he goes on a couple of mini-rants about the baseball writer’s blaming ABC for the bad weather or something, couldn’t quite figure out what he was talking about.
1986 World Series – Mets 7, Red Sox 1 (boxscore and play account)
-Vin Scully mentions that Oil Can Boyd has hepatitis. Well that’s good to know.
-Now in the ‘75 Series in Cincinnati when Carlton Fisk homered in the 2nd there seemed to be a decent number of Red Sox fans in the stands. Now for this series for the first two games in New York when the Red Sox would make a big play there was seemingly not a single Red Sox fan in the stands. This took me by surprise as today at every Red Sox road game there are thousands of bandwagon…uh I mean lifelong SAWX fans in the stands no matter where the game is played. Then what is interesting as the ’86 Series goes to Boston after Lenny Dykstra leads off the game with a homerun there is a noticeable number of Mets fans in the crowd and even a very light “Let’s Go Mets” chant starts.
-Oil Can Boydism: Quoted earlier in the year after a game that was fogged out in Cleveland as saying “What do you expect when you build a stadium near the ocean?”
-With the Mets up 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth the Red Sox fans start doing…the wave!? The wave in Fenway Park? Who knew?
-Scully makes a somewhat interesting parallel from the previous World Series where another high strung pitcher in Joaquin Andujar made the start in Game 3 and lost the game that let the Royals back in that series.
I've finished watching Game 2 of all three series so here are some of my notes.
1975 World Series Game 2 - Reds 3, Red Sox 2 (boxscore and play account)
-This game is incomplete on the disk. Apparantly the top of the 2nd is missing from the film archives. Thankfully it was just a 1-2-3 inning for the Reds.
-OBP gets it's first notice I think in all three of the series here although it's referred to as "on base average" as they have a graphic when Joe Morgan is up mentioning that he led the league in that category although the announcers don't mention it.
-They hype several times during the game a feature Sunday Night special NFL game between the Raiders and Chiefs that was following the game. Chiefs beat the Raiders 42-10 that night.
-Morgan continues his whining from Game 1 here and even tries to fake getting hit by a pitch in the 6th by claiming the ball grazed his jersey and then pitched a fit when they wouldn't give him the base. Replays show it didn't hit him. Two games of watching him and I'm already hating him as a player. I took joy in him getting thrown out trying to steal in the 7th right after Tony Kubek said he probably shouldn't be stealing with Johnny Bench up. SMARTBALL~!
-Speaking of SMARTBALL~ this game ended up being decided on what Joe would refer to as "manufacturing runs" but was really more luck than anything. With the Red Sox up 2-1 going into the 9th, Bench led off with a double. Tony Perez would hit a soft ground ball to short which allowed Bench to move to 3rd which I'm sure Perez was trying to do. George Foster would pop up to left, which was not deep enough to score Bench. Then with two outs Dave Concepcion hits a slow chopper up the middle that Red Sox second baseman Denny Doyle has to eat and allows Bench to score the tying run. Ken Griffey would double next to give the Reds the lead. Just think if Concepcion hits a line drive right at Doyle, the Red Sox would have been up 2-0, maybe won the series, and saved the world from being subjected to Fever Pitch.
1979 World Series Game 2 - Pirates 3, Orioles 2 (boxscore and play account)
-The graphics are missing from the footage of this game.
-I forgot to mention this in the Game 1 notes but sitting right directly behind home plate in both games is that John 3:16 guy who wore a rainbow colored wig. Never holds up any John 3:16 sign here though. What's funny here is that ABC puts a camerman right directly in front of him during this game to try obstruct the view of him. You never once see a shot from the behind homeplate so clearly the camera wasn't turned on.
-ABC thankfully cut back on the number of player's wive shots in this game but they do show Ken Singleton's wife for the first time and she knocks out Doug DeCinces' wife for the hottest wife of the series.
-Several Pirates have stars on their caps that were given by Willie Stargell during the season which were called "Stargell's Stars." Bert Blyleven, who started this game, had none. Man fuck Willie. Even by his peers Blyleven was undervalued. They'd play an interview with Blyleven before the game and it's brought up how baseball writers didn't think he could win a big game.
-The announce during the game that J.R. Richard had signed a four-year contract to stay in Houston rather than test the free agent market. It would be that following year when he'd have his stroke.
-Sorta like game Game 2 of '75 this game ends up being won on some fortunate bounces. Game was tied 2-2 going into the 9th, with two out Pirates catcher Ed Ott hit a groundball to 2nd which takes a bad hop right before Billy Smith can field it and it bounces away from him. Phil Garner would walk and then Manny Sanguillen hit a pinch hit single that would be the game winner.
1986 World Series Game 2 - Red Sox 9, Mets 3 (boxscore and play account)
-I can't even imagine the hype that when into this game as it was a match-up of Roger Clemens vs. Dwight Gooden which was about as epic of a pitching match-up you could get in 1986. As you can tell just looking by the score it didn't live up to the hype although they did have to follow up a 1-0 game. Neither pitcher had much of anything going for them in this one.
-Howard Johnson started at 3rd for this game in place of a slumping Ray Knight which ironically enough Dickhead Knight would end up being the World Series MVP.
-The Mets were just crushing Clemens but every deep flyball they hit seemed to die at the track. You knew it wasn't their night by what happened in the 4th and 5th. Dave Henderson led off the 4th with a homerun for the Sox. Then in the bottom of the inning Darryl Strawberry and Howard Johnson both hit balls that looked like and sounded like homeruns when they left at the bat but both barely stayed in the park. Davey Johnson then decideds not to pinch hit in the inning for Gooden, who was already looking bad at that point, and then top of the 5th he gives up a two run shot to Dwight Evans.
-It's kind of tough to tell in the screencap but in the bottom of the 6th some fan threw a ball at Jim Rice while he was catching a flyball.
-Strawberry struck out twice in each of the first eight postseason games.
-Everytime I here Scully say "a little roller up along first" I expect the next words to be "BEHIND THE BAG! IT GETS THROUGH BUCKNER!"
-Interesting to note that in this series and the '75 Series not once has the word "curse" come up yet. I really wonder if the "curse" nonsense didn't really pick up steam until after this series. Forgetting what happened in Game 6 it's amazing when you think about that the previous year the Royals became the first team ever to lose the first two games in the World Seires at home and comeback to win the series. What were the odds that the same thing would happen two years in a row after never happening before? The Red Sox had to feel good about themselves at this point and this particular game wasn't even as close as the score indicated.
I've finished watching Game 1 from each DVD so as I mentioned before I'm taking little notes while watching each game. Of course as i read some of my notes I'm not even sure what I intended on bringing up. Of course I won't go over every detail of the game as there is no point.
Interesting to note that for all three of these World Series that the winner of Game 1 was the team that ended up losing the series. Backs up Al's entry on playoff odds on how Game 1 is the least important game.
1975 World Series - Game 1 - Red Sox 6, Reds 0 (boxscore and play account)
-Announcers for Game 1 are Curt Gowdy, Dick Stockton, and Tony Kubek. Stockton was not a network announcer at this time as he was the local t.v. announcer for the Red Sox. They will be rotating announcers during the series as there will be a Reds announcer for Game 2. I guess this must have been common in the 70's as I remember watching Game 7 of the '73 Series on ESPN Classic a few years ago and old A's announcer Monty Moore was doing the play-by-play.
-Secretary of Treasury William E Simon threw out the first pitch. The crowd was shockingly unexcited by this.
-When Pete Rose is up in the first it is amusing how they bring up him being a huge fan of the game and always knowing what's going on in other games. If only they knew at the time why he was doing that.
-They say Johnny Bench has 50 foul ball homeruns in 1975. Now that sounds like bullshit to me. Who'd even keep track and how do you truly determine if a foul ball would have been a homerun?
-Why you can never predict the future: Bring up the great future of Reds starter Don Gullett who's career would end just three years later at age 27 due to shoulder problems.
-Joe Morgan sure did whine a lot to umpires when he played, not that I'm surprised.
-Kubek suggests that umpires should all be under one umbrella instead having seperate umps for A.L. and the N.L. which wouldn't change for another 20 years.
-God damn Sparky Anderson was only 41 in 1975? He already looked to be in his 60's.
-Luis Tiant started for the Red Sox and he was a lot fun to watch pitch...with no one on base. When someone was on base he is incredibly slow going to the mound.
-I had heard that was problems with the older stock footage and it shows up in the 6th inning as the audio suddenly is about five seconds ahead of the video and doesn't synch up again until the bottom of the 7th, thankfully when the biggest action of the game happens. The Red Sox scored all six runs in that inning.
-Gowdy does a promo for the first ever Saturday Night Live hosted by George Carlin that was to debut that night.
1979 World Series - Game 1 - Orioles 5, Pirates 4 (boxscore and play account)
-Announcers for the series are Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, and Don Drysdale.
-As you see in the picture the field is absolutely ripped to shreads and good example of why it's for the best that muti-purpose stadiums are almost now a thing of the past. It didn't help matters that Game 1 was rained the night before and it snowed over night. Game time temperature was 41 degrees and it most likley dipped below freezing by the end of the game. Many of the players just look miserable out there.
-Oh ya the black tops with yellow pants for the Pirates was not a good look. Although the Orioles orange unis would make a decent third jersey today.
-Pirates starter Bruce Kison came into the game 4-0 with a 0.41 ERA in his career in the postsason. He'd get knocked out after just recording one out in this game as the Orioles scored all their runs in the first although it was broken open by a bad throw by Phil Garner at 2nd.
-Not much of surprise that Cosell really brings nothing to the telecast except name dropping athletes who he had dinner with. One story that amused me was he brings up that he ran into Mike Flanagan's wife in Montreal and saying that she was visiting Flanagan's former teammate Ross Grimsley. Maybe it was just the general sleaziness of Cosell but the way he tells the story it almost sounds like he Flanagan's wife was cheating on him with Grimsley.
-They talk about Dave Parker's house and car being vandalized early in the season by fans because he signed a huge contract before the season. Yes how dare the defending MVP get paid! Anyone gone after A-Rod's house yet?
-Speaking of Paker I remember when he was with the A's towards the end of his career having a huge gut but here there is no sign of one. Guess cocaine is indeed slimming.
-Holy crap does ABC go overboard with showing player's wives. I should have kept count but I'd say they showed about 15 different players wives. Did the world really need to see Jim Rooker's wife? I'll give Doug DeCinces the award for having the hottest wife of the night although it was slim pickings. Everyone knows the groupies are hotter.
-I'm doubting Drysdale's analyst skills as in the bottom of the 8th Orioles second baseman Rich Dauer gets on base and Drysdale thinks he should steal. Jackson and Cosell both correct him pointing out that Dauer didn't steal a base all year. Nice research there Donny.
1986 World Series - Game 1 - Red Sox 1, Mets 0 (boxscore and play account)
-Announcers for the series are Vin Scully and Joe Garagiola.
-In the top of the first Garagiola brings up the Red Sox not being known for manufacturing runs. Now if this were Joe Morgan or most other ESPN anlysts this would be said with much disdain and followed by a mini-rant on why that doesn't work. But here Garagiola says it without being condescending and says it's worked for the Red Sox all year.
-Early in the game Scully brings up that he's surprised the Mets haven't tried to drag bunt down to first to take advantage of Buckner. How about a ground ball?
-It really is painful watching Buckner run as he has to hobble with every step.
-I didn't know Dwight Gooden had a gold cap on his front tooth. Don't think he wore it when he pitched.
-They mention that Darryl Strawberry was 0 for 45 in the August that year in Shea Stadium. Hmmm you think he was booed at all that month?
-In the 5th inning Scully mentions that there is a Mets pitcher who hates throwing to first base but he doesn't want to give that name away because he doesn't want to give a scouting report to the Red Sox. Maybe it was naive but it was kind of refreshing. Garagiola does get Scully to say the pitcher's name the following inning, that being Sid Fernandez.
-What everyone forgets about this series is the way the Red Sox won Game 1 on a play eerily similar to the final play of Game 6. In the 7th with Jim Rice on 2nd, Rich Gedman hits a ground ball to 2nd and it goes right through Tim Teufel's legs. Rice comes around and scores the only run of the game. There is a bizarre play at the plate which is what that screencap is of. When Rice comes home, Ron Daring goes to back up the throw at the plate while Dave Henderson tries to get into position to signal Rice to slide. The two don't see each other and completely wipe each other out. Both appear to be injured but both stay in the game.
-NBC producer's have a sense of humor as during Red Sox starter Bruce Hurst at bat in the 7th, they flash a graphic saying that Hurst has struck out in every at bat in his career. It was the first game he'd ever hit in. He struck out a 3rd straight time here.
-Red Sox manager John McNamara does in the 8th inning here what he didn't do in Game 6, replace Bill Bucker at first base with Dave Stapelton. Stapelton would make a play in the 9th inning on a Ray Knight bunt to get the lead runner at 2nd that there would have been no way for Bucker to have made the play and it possibly prevented the Mets from tying the game.
As I've mentioned I have purchased the 1975, 1979, and 1986 World Series box sets released by MLB this year. I decided to start by watching the bonus disks on the 1986 set before viewing the World Series games. The DVD sleeves are very cool as they have little facts on the cover of them and then on the back they have the boxscore to the game on that disk, then on the inside they have a completely play-by-play account of the game. There's two bonus disks on the 1986 set, one featuring the classic Game 6 of the '86 NLCS that went 16 innings and the other featuring a few clips and interviews. Here are the complete list of features on that bonus disk:
1. Mets Clinch Division Title (final out of game against Cubs on 9/17)
2. NLCS Game 3: Lenny Dykstra's Walkoff HR
3. NLCS Game 5: Gary Carter's Walkoff Single
4. Lenny Dysktra: Red Sox Premature Celebration
5. Keith Hernandez: Perspective On Game 6 Rally
6. Keith Hernandez: Nerve-Wracking Game 6
7. Kevin Mitchell: Coach's Tip Before Scoring in Game 6
8. Mookie Wilson: Mindset Of His Historic At Bat
9. Mookie Wilson: Unfair To Blame Buckner
10. Bill Buckner: Mookie Wilson's Gronder And The Error
11. Bill Robinson: Perspective On Buckner's Error
12. Ray Knight: Game 6 Memories
13. Lenny Dykstra: Full Team Effort
14. Mike Piazza And Mookie Wilson Discuss Game 6
15. Inside The Moments Of Game 6 (has a clip of Dave Henderson's Game 5 ALCS homerun)
16. Ray Knight: Confidence Entering Game 7
17. Keith Hernandez: Mound Conversation With Jesse Orosco
18. Gary Carter: Catching The Last Out
19. World Series Last Out, Clubhouse Euphoria
20. Trophy Presentation
21. Championship Clubshouse Interviews
22. 1987 Opening Day Ring Ceremony
The N.L. East clinching out was interesting because it gives a you a glipse of what no longer is allowed, fans storming the field like it was a college football game. Probably for the best as it looked like a riot was ready to breakout before the clip ends.
Of course the real treat is that other bonus disk with the complete Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS. The game itself clocked in at 4 hours and 42 minutes but with the commercials cut out the game and the postgame coverage clocks in at just about 4 hours on the disk. The game went so long that ABC's postgame coverage is short as they had to switch coverage to Game 7 of the ALCS that night.
I took down some notes as I was watching the game (no I didn't watch it all in one sitting). Keith Jackson and Tim McCarver were the announcers and McCarver was not nearly as annoying back then as he is now. I'm not going to go over every moment of the game of course so here's the boxscore and play account from retrosheet.org
-Bob Knepper started for the Astros on three days rest. They threw out a stat at the beginning of the telecast that Knepper was 14-5 with a 2.17 ERA on three days rest over the last three years.
-There were several empty seats in the upper deck when the game started. They did fill up a few innings but don't think it was a sellout.
-A sign in the crowd "Knepper + Scuffy = World Series". Scuffy was Astros ace Mike Scott and was known for allegedly scuffing the baseball by using sandpaper. It's very interesting during the game Jackson and McCarver often joke about Scott's possible cheating ways. Of course 20 years later there is all this phony moral outrage over cheating baseball players.
-Knepper was a being bitch on the mound the whole game. Almost every close pitch that was called a ball he'd slump his shoulders down and look straight at the umpire. In a regular season game he probably would have been ejected at some point. Until the 8th inning I thought Jackson and McCarver were calling the umpire "Brock Landers" but they they finally said his full name which was actually Fred Brocklander.
-That being said Knepper was throwing an absolute gem the first eight innings. Mets only had three baserunners with two singles and literally were hitting nothing hard.
-Jackson and McCarver mention the Mets set the record for most strikeouts by a team in an LCS and think it will last for a while. They casually mention that the record was held by the Royals just set the previous year and don't bother to bring up that it was the first year that LCS series were best out of 7 so of course strike out records were being broken with more games being played. I wasn't Bored enough to look up who holds the record now.
-I had forgotten that the Mets were down 3-0 going into the 9th of this game (I didn't look at the boxscore before viewing so I'd be mildly unaware of the events of the game). Dykstra hit a pinch hit triple to start the rally and it was first hard hit ball all day by the Mets.
-Astros closer Dave Smith was the goat of the series as he had given up the Dykstra homerun in Game 3 in his only apperance and came in here with it 3-2 with a runner on 2nd and one out. Tough situation but he proceeded to walk Carter (who the flash a graphic that he was 0 for his last 12 against Smith) and Strawberry before Ray Knight hits a sac flay to tie it. McCarver says it's unusual that Smith was having problems as he has "excellent command." On the year Smith's BB/9 ratio was 3.54. Not terrible but certainly not excellent.
-There was a wild moment in the Knight at bat with the bases loaded. The first pitch on the outside corner was called a strike, and it looked pretty good to me, but Knight being the dick he always was complained about it. Then on a 1-2 pitch a pitch clearly outside is called a ball but then the fun starts. Astros catcher Alan Ashby slams his fist and then Dickhead Knight complains about the call too claiming it was the same spot as the first pitch. Astros manager Hal Lanier runs out to the mind to talk to Smith all the while yelling at the umpire. Shorstop Dickie Thon then runs to the mound yelling at the umpire and Lanier has to restrain him to keep him from getting ejected. Again if this was a regular season game plenty of people would have been ejected.
-The signature moment of the game was actually by the losing team when Billy Hatcher hit a homerun in the bottom of the 14th to tie the game up after the Mets took the lead It was a majestic shot off the left field foul pole with Hatcher having his own Carlton Fisk moment as he ran backwards down the line hoping the ball would stay fair. Hatcher though in the top of the 16th would help the Mets to a three run inning by misplaying a fly ball by Strawberry leading off the inning that he would then let bounce over his head and allow Strawberry to go to 2nd. It was lamely scored a double.
I think I'll do little notes on all the games on each set and group each Game 1 in a single entry and then Game 2, etc. I'm looking forward to watching the '79 series as I know very little about the series itself beyond the ugly (or great?) uniforms.
1979 World Series Game 6 - Pirates 4, Orioles 0 (boxscore and play account)
-This game was played on a Tuesday just two days after the Colts played a game and the football yard marks a very visible. Once again it's a very good thing that multi-purpose stadiums are almost gone.
-Howard Cosell spends time early in the game whining about some unamed Baltimore columnist whining about ABC's habbit of showing the players wives on a regular basis, which it did get completely out of hand in a few of the games. Maybe not quite as annoying as FOX cutting to close ups of fans between almost every pitch in the playoffs now.
-In every game they've played brief interview clips of players with Cosell and there's a kind of interesting one here of Rick Dempsey talking shit about Bill Madlock.
-Several promos done for ABC's college football line up that Saturday, featuring USC/Notre Dame and Texas/Arkansas. #4 USC would crush #9 Notre Dame 42-23 and #10 Arkansas would upset #2 Texas 17-14.
-In case you only thought today's announcers had hard ons for scrappy, short, white middle infielders like David Eckstein, Cosell and Keith Jackson constantly fawn over Phil Garner here. Cosell constantly calls him "The Little Pepper Pot" which as far as I can tell never caught as a nickname for Garner but "Scrap Iron" did. Garner did have a great series though and through this game was probably the favorite for the series MVP before Stargell's huge Game 7.
-The scoreless tie is broken in the 7th inning when with Omar Moreno on first and going on the pitch, Tim Foli chops one up the middle. Kiko Garcia makes a terrible decision by waiting right at the bag at second for the ball to get to him instead of cutting it off to get the easy out out first, thinking he can get a double play which would have been impossible with Moreno going on the pitch. The ball ends up going through Garcia's legs and Rich Dauer backing him up can't get Foli at first. It's scored a hit. Dave Parker then follows with a hard hit ball at Dauer but he misjudges the ball of the bat and commits to far to his left and can't recover to get in front it thus allowing it to get through for a base hit. There was a lot of bad fielding in this series although some of it had to do with the terrible shape of the Memorial Stadium turf.
-Relief aces/closers were overused during this era but it was kind of cool to see Kent Tekulve come in here and shutdown the Orioles for three straight innings.
1979 World Series Game 7 - Pirates 4, Orioles 1 (boxscore and play account)
-Jimmy Carter was at the game. Ya I know you care.
-Coming into this game the road team had won 12 of the last 15 Game 7's in the World Series. The Pirates win here is the last time this has happened as the home team is 8-0 since.
-Cosell thinks advancing the runner should be an official stat. Hey he was light years ahead of Buster Olney for coming up with completely meaningless statistics.
-By far the most tense, exciting moment of the series comes in the bottom of the 8th. Trailing 2-1, the Orioles 2nd & 3rd with two out and Chuck Tanner had Tekulve intentionally walk Ken Singleton to load the bases to pitch to Eddie Murray who was 0 for his last 20. Murray hit one hard to right and Parker would stumble going back for the ball and for the briefest of moments it looks like it would go over his head but he recovers to make the catch. That would have ranked up their with the Buckner play if Parker had fallen down and potentially cost the Pirates the series.
-The top of the 9th lasts forever as at one point Earl Weaver makes four straight pitching changes as the Pirates had a staggered left/right line-up. It backfires as Mike Flanangan gives up an RBI single to Omar Moreno, Doug Stanhouse gives up a single to Tim Foli, Tippy Martinez plunks Dave Parker to load the bases, and on his first pitch Dennis Martinez hits Bill Robinson on the hand to force in the Pirates' final run.
-When Flanangan makes his rare relief apperance it is mentioned that his wife had an emergency apedectomy that morning. Cosell takes this time to take about how hot she is. One of the few times in the series Cosell made me smile.
-Tekulve pitches a pefect 9th and even though it was in the visiting park the fans still run on the field. Steve Nicosia is seen beating down who I'm assuming was an upset Baltimore fan with his catcher's mask in the melee.
-Nothing terribly interesting here except they have the original footage of the final three outs of the Pirates sweep of the Reds in the NLCS.
-They include all of ABC's postgame coverage in the clips and President Carter was involved in the trophy presentation. Chuck Tanner is as giddy as a school girl to be talking to him while it appeared to me that Willie Stargell wasn't sure who he was.
Here's just a list of the extras.
1. Bruce Kison: Origin of "We Are Family"
2. Bill Robinson: "The Family"
3. Don Robinson: Characters on the Pirates
4. Tim Foli: Pirates Had Roles
5. Dave Parker's Outfield Assist, 1979 All-Star Game (just a TWiB recap)
6. NLCS Clincher: Last Inning and Celebration (original footage)
7. Don Robinson: Rookie in the World Series
8. Willie Stargell: Compares 1971 and 1979 Pirates
9. Willie Stargell: Pirates Put Aside Differences
10. Tim Foli: On Willie Stargell
11. Willie Stargell: Chuck Tanner Fights Through Tragedy
12. Tom Boswell: Willie Stargell, Pirates Leader
13. Bill Robinson: Stargell's Homerun
14. Earl Weaver: Dissapointment of 1979
15. Last Out and Celebration
16. World Series Trophy Presentation
17. World Series MVP Trophy Presentation to Willie Stargell
18. Bill Robinson: City of Champions and Closeness of Club
19. Pirates Championship Rally
Finally getting around to start watching the World Series sets I bought last year and starting with the bonus disk on the 1977 set which features Game 5 of the ALCS where the Yankees for the second straight year beat the Royals in the 9th inning of the deciding game.
1977 American League Championship Series Game 5 - Yankees 5, Royals 3 (boxscore and play account)
-The series was televised nationally by NBC but on this disk they have the Yankees local broadcast of the game and there no graphics with the original footage. Frank Messer, Phil Rizzuto, and Bill White are the announcers. The first pitch of the game is missing so it takes me a few minutes to figure out all of this.
-Yankees and Royals had a pretty fierce rivalry going at this time and we get a brawl in the bottom of the 1st. George Brett would hit an RBI triple and as he came up from his slide into 3rd he shoved Graig Nettles off the bag. Nettles takes exception to this and kicks Brett and then the brouhaha starts. Both benches clear but neither player is ejected.
-Amazingly enough Billy Martin actually benched Reggie Jackson for this game in favor of a washed up Paul Blair as Blair had better numbers against Royals starter Paul Splittorff. Rizzuto at one point in the game claims that Jackson took the benching in great stride. Yeah, right.
-The Yankee announcers constantly fawn over Thurman Munson's clutchiness and reminding everyone he is the Yankee Captain. If you closed your eyes you'd think you were hearing current announcers talk about Derek Jeter. For Jeter's sake I hope he doesn't take up flying...
-Ron Guidry pitched on only two days rest and it showed as he was knocked out in the 3rd. Mike Torrez was brilliant in relief as the Royals failed to score another run the rest of the game.
-With out in the top of the 4th the disk jumps to the bottom of the 4th with one out so I'm guessing the footage went bad that point. Nothing important is missed.
-Reggie finally makes his appearance in the game with pinch hit bloop single to knock in a run in the top of the 8th to pull the Yankees within one. Later in the inning Frank White makes a great diving play to prevent Chris Chambliss from tying the game up and forces Reggie at 2nd. Reggie argues that he was safe even though he was out by a good five feet and I can only think he for some reason didn't think the force play was possible. He also injures shortstop Freddie Patek on the play after sliding in although I couldn't tell how he got hurt.
-Few pitches in the bottom of the 8th are missing from the disk after Torrez was replaced by Sparky Lyle but again nothing major is missed.
-Whitey Herzog elected to go with his ace Dennis Leonard in the 9th to finish the game rather than a reliever. Leonard had just pitched a complete game win in Game 3 two days earlier and was not sharp as he allows both hitters he faced to reach base before Herzog hooks him. The damage was done as the Yankees would plate three runs in the 9th to send the Royals to another heartbreaking ALCS loss.
-During Roy White's at bat in the 9th for a few seconds there is audio from some movie looped over on the disk. The voice sounded like Brian Cox but no idea what movie it was. Really bizarre.
-Nothing too special here as like the other sets it's mostly just interviews from old players and most of the clips are about Reggie. Best clip is they have the postgame interviews from the clinching Game 6 in the Series as Reggie makes sure to get a plug for Puma in during his interview.
1. Inside the Moments: Reggie Jackson’s 3 HR Game
2. Yankees World Series Locker Room Celebration and Interviews
3. 1977 World Series Trophy Presentation
4. Reggie Jackson on his 3 HR Game
5. Piniella on Reggie’s 3 HR Performance
6. Steinbrenner talks about Reggie’s 3 HR Game
7. Steinbrenner on the day he signed Reggie
8. Dusty Baker on the Yankees/Dodgers Rivalry
9. Burt Hooton on giving up Reggie’s first HR in Game 6
10. Mickey Rivers on Reggie’s World Series performance
11. Guidry on the Yankees being called the “Bronx Zoo”
12. Guidry on the Steinbrenner/Martin/Jackson triangle of controversy
13. Guidry on his first postseason in 1977
14. Chris Chambliss tells of his most memorable World Series moment
15. Roy White on Billy Martin benching Reggie in ’77 ALCS Game 5
16. Piniella on Martin benching Reggie in the ACLS
17. Paul Blair on starting over Reggie in ALCS Game 5
18. The Billy Martin/Reggie Jackson confrontation in Boston (original footage spliced with interviews)
19. Brian Doyle on the Billy/Reggie confrontation
20. Randolph on the confrontation in Fenway Park
21. Piniella talks about the Billy/Reggie confrontation
22. Guidry gives a detailed account of the confrontation
23. Randolph on the term “Bronx Zoo” given to the ’77 Yanks
Finally after nine months I've completed the three World Series DVD boxsets that were released last year, concluding with maybe the two most forgotten games in World Series history.
1975 World Series Game 7 - Reds 4, Red Sox 3 (boxscore and play account)
-They have some cancer kid throw out the first pitch, or at least they say "represents kids with cancer" so I don't know if the kid actually had cancer or if it was just someone's kid from the Red Sox front office and they needed an excuse to let him throw the first pitch. If he actually did have cancer all I could think of was that was pretty fucked up to make the cancer kid wait until a possible Game 7 to throw the first pitch.
-Some guy named Ned Martin calls the first half of the game and he was a longtime announcer for the Red Sox but I've never heard of him. He seemed like a bit of a homer or at least more so than Dick Stockton or Marty Brennaman.
-Don Gullet had zero control in this one, walking in two runs with the bases loaded in the 3rd.
-Bill Lee shockingly almost comes up with a huge bases loaded hit with two outs in the 5th as he crushed one to center, catching the slick fielding Cesar Geronimo a bit off guard as he was obvioulsy playing shallow but recovers to get the final out and prevent the Red Sox from potentially blowing the game open.
-Lee made a fatal mistake in the 6th against Tony Perez. Lee would occasionally throw a slow moving, eephus type, curveball. In Perez's first at bat Lee would freeze him for a called strike with this pitch. It was the only time in the game he'd throw this pitch yet he throws it a second time to Perez in the 6th, who of course seeing it once had the timing down and launched it over the Green Monster to cut the Sox lead to one.
-It's amazing that a Game 7 that was decided in the 9th inning would be completely forgotten but because of Game 6 that's what happened. Joe Morgan hit a little bloop, similar to Luis Gonzalez's hit in Game 7 of 2001, off of Jim Burton to score Pete Rose with the winning run. Rose led off the inning with a walk, Geronimo sacraficed him to 2nd, pinch hitter Dan Driessen grounded one to the right side to advance Rose to 3rd, and then came Morgan's winning hit. I think it is this sequence that created the "manufacturing runs" monster that Joe Morgan is today.
-Nothing too interesting in the extras on this disk with no additional, original game clips like the other two sets. Only thing of note would be Carlton Fisk's postgame interview after Game 6 but not sure why they didn't just tack it on to the Game 6 disk. Here's a list of the extras:
1. Championship Rally
2. Pre-Game Introductions of the Reds (before Game 3)
3. Pre-Game 1: Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski
4. Pre-Game 3: Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk
5. Pre-Game 7: Sparky Anderson, Darrell Johnson
6. Postgame 6: Carlton Fisk
7. Johnny Bench: The Big Red Machine
8. Pete Rose: Game 6
9. Pete Rose: Thrill of Game 7
10. Carlton Fisk: Homerun in Game 6
11. Carlton Fisk: Red Sox Beat Reds 3 Game to 4
12. Luis Tiant: Fisk's Homerun
13. Fred Lynn: Fisk's Homerun
14. Fred Lynn: Impact on Major League Baseball
15. Marty Brenneman: Game 6 the Best Ever
16. Joe Morgan: Game 6
17. Tony Perez: Reds Dominance
18. Tony Perez: Unmatchable World Series
19. Tony Perez: Game 7 Comeback
20. Tony Perez: Great Cincinnati Fans
21. Tony Perez: The Big Red Machine
1986 World Series Game 7 - Mets 8, Red Sox 5 (boxscore and play account)
-Game was delayed by rain for one day which appeared to be a big break for the Red Sox as it allowed them to bring back Bruce Hurst and skip over Oil Can Boyd.
-First time on the set the vid quality was some what poor for the first two innings but it is fine after that.
-Bill Buckner gets a loud ovation when he comes up for his first at bat. Now that's just mean.
-This was the postseason for homeruns off of outfielder's mits as Darryl Strawberry becomes the 3rd when a Rich Gedman shot in the 2nd goes off of his mit although it would have been a great catch by Strawberry if he had come up with it. Ron Darling hadn't allowed an earned run in his first two starts but was roughed up here as the Gedman homerun came right after a Dwight Evans homer.
-Back in Game 5 Gedman had seen six pitches from Sid Fernandez and swung and miss at all six. Here in the 5th inning against Fernandez again he swings and misses at his first and then takes strike three.
-Vin Scully mentions that Bruce Hurst had been named World Series MVP before the Mets miracle comeback in Game 6. This was kind of surprising to me as I figured Dave Henderson or Marty Barrett would gave won it although it would have been hard to argue with Hurst. It was just about after this conversation about Hurst that things come unraveled for him and the Red Sox in the 6th.
-Calvin Schiraldi was the real goat of this series as he follows up his awful performance in Game 6 with another one here. He pitches the 7th giving up a lead off homerun to Ray Knight to give the Mets the lead, a single to Lenny Dykstra, a wild pitch on a pitch out, which then would allow Dykstra to score on a hit by Rafael Santana.
-Red Sox stormed back in the 8th with two runs and had the tying run on 2nd with none out but Jesse Orosco, who was only about 51 at this time, saved the day to get the Mets out of the inning. Orosco would then have an rbi single in the bottom of the inning.
-Some idiot threw a smoke bomb on the field with two out in the 9th, delaying the final out for several minutes.
-All the extras were on a seperate bonus disk that I went over back in June.
That's it. Again it is good to see MLB actually doing something better than the NFL for once by releasing these sets. Although the two selections that have been announced so far for release this year (1987 & 1977) have been dissapointing choices, I'll definitely still be picking them up. Next up I'll try to start watching the Notre Dame set I picked up a couple of months ago but not sure yet how many writes up I'll do for that one, if any.
Now that the college football season is over I finally had a Saturday morning to sit down and watch Game 6 of the 1975 World Series in one sitting and now eventually will be able to finish off all three World Series box sets. For the remaining games I'll do an entry for Game 6 & 7 of the '79 Series and then an entry for both Game 7's of the '75 & '86 Series.
On a side note while I was doing my post-Christmas shopping with some gift cards I received I found another box set of classic games at Best Buy that was put out by A&E Home Video, who did the World Series sets, but this one was not baseball related. I bought College Football's Greatest Games: University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Collector's Edition. Ya I'm not proud of myself but it was on sale and I haven't seen a set like this before for college football before so I had to pick it up. Not all of the games are true classics as a few are blowouts that were important to Notre Dame but no one else but there a couple of games on the set I think I'll do future write ups for. Anyways moving on to Game 6...
1975 World Series Game 6 - Red Sox 7, Reds 6 12 innings (boxscore and play account)
-This game was delayed three days due to rain which allowed the Red Sox to start Luis Tiant who had been dominate in Games 1 & 4. They flash a graphic at the beginning of the game of Tiant's previous five starts at Fenway: 5-0, 45 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 20 H, 8 BB, 33 SO, 0.20 ERA. Red Sox had to feel confident after Fred Lynn spotted Tiant a 3-0 lead with a homerun in the first.
-The video quality has been spotty for this and the 1979 set but is very good for this game which is no surprise as I'm sure over the years people have made sure to keep the original footage of this game in good condition.
-Red Sox have a couple opportunities to blow this game open with bases loaded in the 3rd inning and 2nd & 3rd with one out in 4th inning but fail to score.
-Tiant shows his first signs of vulnerability in the series in the 5th when he walks light hitting Ed Armbrister, who was pinch hitting for the pitcher, which will help lead to the Reds first runs of the game. In this innings is the famous play when Lynn slams into the wall trying to catch a Ken Griffey flyball and appears to have been seriously hurt but stays in the game. Griffey ended up with a two-run triple.
-The game starts to reach it's classic level in the bottom of the 8th with the Reds up 6-3 and four outs away from the championship, when with two on Bernie Carbo hits his second pinch hit homerun of the series to tie it up off Reds' relief ace Rawly Eastwick.
-Red Sox nearly win it in the 9th as they loaded the bases with no one out but on a shallow flyball to left hit by Lynn, Don Zimmer sends Denny Doyle from 3rd and he is gunned down by George Foster at the plate for the double play.
-Some almost controversy in the top of the 11th as Pete Rose fakes his way into a HBP. Carlton Fisk argues but to no avail and replays show the pitch did not hit Rose. This would be erased when Dwight Evans makes a sensational catch to potentially rob Joe Morgan of a homerun (might have hit the wall if he doesn't get it) and doubles Griffey off of first to end the inning.
-Of course we know what happens in the 12th. It is still bizarre watching games like this and seeing fans among Fisks' teammates as they mob him at homeplate as we were still several years away from when MLB started to crackdown on fans running on to the field.
-This was one quite the hearbreaker for the Reds for blowing the three run lead in the 8th, Evans robbing Morgan in the 11th, and the Fisk walk off this could have been a crippling defeat for a franchise that hadn't won the World Series since 1940 and suffered a tough World Series loss three years earlier against the A's. But as we know it didn't turn out so bad for them.
To not turn this into solely a blog about the Oakland A's (although I'll probably just go back to them for my next entry) I figured I'd pull out something random. So here is a look back at the 1989 NBA Draft using Win Shares.
I picked the '89 Draft because for quite the lack of talent that came out of it as there is not a future Hall of Famer in the class, it featured it's 2nd pick overall Danny Ferry pitching a fit after being selected by the Clippers and sitting out the '89-'90 season, and it was the first year that the draft was shrunk to two rounds. As you'll see they couldn't fit nearly a full round of decent NBA talent. In addition only Clifford Robinson is still active from the '89 Draft so you can realistically evaluate a draft when almost every player is no longer in the league rather than those who try to evalute only a few years after a draft. Robinson incidently enough was the best value pick of the draft as he was not selected until 36th overall.
Now for Win Shares, everyone thinks of them for baseball but at Basketball-Reference.com they came up with a version for basketball. I don't know how reliable the stat is but seems useful to compare the success of players who were drafted the same year.
1989 NBA Draft Rankings by Career Win Shares
1. Glenn Rice, Miami - 270 Win Shares (4th pick)
2. Vlade Divac, L.A. Lakers - 269 (26th)
3. Clifford Robinson, Portland - 258 (36th)
4. Tim Hardaway, Golden State - 252 (14th)
5. Shawn Kemp, Seattle - 237 (17th)
6. Mookie Blalock, New Jersey - 203 (12th)
7. Sean Elliott, San Antonio - 174 (3rd)
8. Nick Anderson, Orlando - 161 (11th)
9. B.J. Armstrong, Chicago - 138 (18th)
10. Dana Barros, Seattle - 133 (16th)
11t. Danny Ferry, L.A. Clippers - 103 (2nd)
11t. Sherman Douglas, Miami - 103 (28th)
13. George McCloud, Indiana - 80 (7th)
14t. J.R. Reid, Charlotte - 70 (5th)
14t. Pooh Richardson, Minnesota - 70 (10th)
14t. Blue Edwards, Utah - 70 (21st)
17. Chucky Brown, Cleveland - 58 (43rd)
18t. Pervis Ellison, Sacramento - 52 (1st)
18t. Doug West, Minnesota - 52 (38th)
20. Tom Hammonds, Denver - 45 (9th)
21. Stacey King, Chicago - 40 (6th)
22. Dino Radja, Boston - 38 (40th)
23. Haywoode Workman, Atlanta - 31 (49th)
24. Todd Lichti, Denver - 17 (15th)
25. Michael Ansley, Orlando - 16 (37th)
26. Randy White, Dallas - 14 (8th)
27. Greg Grant, Phoenix - 10 (52nd)
28. Kenny Battle, Detroit - 9 (27th)
29. Jeff Martin, L.A. Clippers - 8 (31st)
30. Byron Irvin, Portland - 7 (22nd)
31. John Morton, Cleveland - 6 (25th)
32. Michael Smith, Boston - 5 (13th)
33. Brian Quinnett, New York - 4 (50th)
34t. Pat Durham, Dallas - 3 (35th)
34t. Kenny Payne, Philadelphia - 3 (19th)
36t. Jeff Sanders, Chicago - 2 (20th)
36t. Anthony Cook, Phoenix - 2 (24th)
36t. Frank Kornet, Milwaukee - 2 (30th)
39t. Ed Horton, Washington - 1 (39th)
39t. Doug Roth, Washigton - 1 (41st)
39t. Scott Haffner, Miami - 1 (45th)
The Zero Club
Roy Marble, Atlanta (23rd)
Dyron Nix, Charlotte (29th)
Stlaney Brundy, New Jersey (32nd)
Jay Edwards, L.A. Clippers (33rd)
Gary Leonard, Minnesota (34th)
Ricky Blanton, Phoenix (46th)
Mike Morrison, Phoenix (51st)
Michael Cutright, Denver (42nd)
Reggie Cross, Philadelphia (44th)
Reggie Turner, Denver (47th)
Junie Lewis, Utah (48th)
Jeff Hodge, Dallas (53rd)
Toney Mack, Philadelphia (54th)
Here's one more list, as we know just because a player had a good career didn't necessarily make him a good draft pick for the team that drafted him. So here's the Top 10 in career Win Shares for the team they were drafted by.
1. Shawn Kemp 180
2. Sean Elliott 169
3. Nick Anderson 151
4. Clifford Robinson 137
5. Vlade Divac 120
6. Tim Hardaway 115
7. Glenn Rice 109
8. B.J. Armstrong 102
9. Doug West 50
10. Dino Radja 38
Yikes quite the drop off after Armstrong.