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Showing posts from October, 2011

Sandy Koufax vs Mickey Mantle: No Comparison

Jane Leavy who authored books on Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax had some interesting comments on both icons. Leavy grew up as a New York Yankee fan and Mantle was her hero. She first met Mantle in 1983 while working for the Washington Post. Mickey had showed up late for the interview with blood shot eyes and the smell  of alcohol on his breath. Mickey put out his hand and said "Hi, I am Mick". Jane responded "I am nervous". Mickey smiled and said "Why are you nervous? You afraid I am going to pull on your titties?" Mickey ended the interview by passing out face first in Leavy's lap while trying to feel her up. Mickey being Mickey.


When Leavy met Koufax she told him that growing up she always hated him because he made Mickey look so bad in the 1963 World Series. John Roseboro said that Mickey was so overmatched by Koufax in that series that Mantle would yell back to Roseboro, "How the (expletive) do you hit this (expletive)!?"

Koufax who is i…

25 Years Later...

Twenty-five years ago tonight I cried myself to sleep. I was 11 years old and I just witnessed something horrific, game six of the 1986 World Series. It was the worst night of my childhood but maybe it was a blessing in disguise.



BOX SCORE

1986 was a magical season and it was the first season that I followed closely from start to finish. By the time the playoffs began I was fully invested. The Red Sox were my team and I tuned in to watch them win it all. I tuned in expecting them to win it all. I was a month away from turning 12 and grew up in Upstate NY away from the angst of New England. I was naive and knew fairly little about Red Sox history. I had no baggage. My team had Roger Clemens, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans,Wade Boggs and the guy I called "the glue", Marty Barrett. They were the best team in baseball and the best team wins it all, right?

Dave Henderson homered off of Rick Aguilera in the tenth inning putting the Red Sox up 5-3. They were three outs from winning it all. I…

October 20, 2004: The Best of Times

October 20th, the holiest of holy days for Red Sox fans everywhere. They may have actually broke the 86 year championship drought a week later, but this was in many ways bigger. History was made and it was made at the expense of the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. It doesn’t get any better than that. It was the best of times for the Red Sox and the worst day in Yankee history.

BOX SCORE
The Red Sox didn't just win Game 7 but they dominated it. It was over before it even started. The Red Sox finally snapped and beat up their long time bully. After two innings it was 6-0 Red Sox as David Ortiz continued his domination of Yankee pitching with a homer in the first inning. Johnny Damon hit a grand slam in the second inning. Mark Bellhorn would back up his huge homer in Game 6 with another homer in Game 7 and then Damon would homer one more time to complete the scoring. It was surreal. After three excruciating nights of nail biting games, the Red Sox exploded in Game 7. The last few innings we…

October 19, 2004: The Bloody Sock

The greatest thing about Game 6 is how it still bothers Yankee fans. Yankee fans still refuse to admit that Curt Schilling had anything wrong with his ankle. They are convinced the blood was fake and Schilling was just creating the drama. As a Red Sox fan I love it, it shows just how much the collapse bothers Bronx Nation. The facts are the facts, Schilling only made 11 starts the following season because of surgery and had an ERA of 5.69. Schilling was not the same in 2005 and in reality was never the same after that incredible night in 2004. It was the ultimate sacrifice by Schilling, he went out there on one leg and forever changed the Red Sox franchise. He will always be remembered for it and it was the kind of thing that may just push the Cooperstown doors open for him. The bloody sock will live on forever and be a thorn in the side of Yankee fans as long as there is baseball.

BOX SCORE


The Schilling heroics were far from the only story line from this game. Bronson Arroyo and the…

October 18, 2004: He Can Keep on Running to New York

Kevin Millar had warned everyone the night before not to let the Red Sox win. A Red Sox win in Game 4 would mean the Yankees would have to face Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling in Game 5 and a possible Game 6. When this series is remembered 25 years from now people will think about that and it will make sense to them how the Red Sox came back and it may take away some of the magic of it all. However, on October 18th, 2004 the reality of the situation was setting in for Red Sox fans.

The Game 4 win was incredible and it felt special but the issue going into Game 5 was that Pedro was no longer the Pedro that history will remember. His last dominant, prime season was really 2003. His ERA in 2004 was 3.90 and on top of that he was facing a Yankees team that had started to figure him out over the last couple of seasons. In 2004, Pedro was 1-2 against the Yankees with an ERA of 5.47.

Game 5 was the greatest game of the series. It was a game the Red Sox could have lost in a variety of ways.…

October 17, 2004: Don't Let Us Win Tonight

Where were you seven years ago tonight when Kevin Millar warned the Yankees?

"Don't let us win tonight"

A night earlier the Sox had been pounded 19-8 and I remember my friend Ben calling me and basically offering his condolences. Ben was still feeling guilty about the year before when the Red Sox seemed to be on their way to winning Game 7 of the ALCS.

Ben was on his way home from a friends house when he called me to check on the score. I told them the Red Sox were leading and it looked like it would be the night. Ben then showed up at my apartment to be part of the celebration. Things started going badly as soon as he showed up and when the Yankees finally tied it he left. He didn't stick around for the Aaron Boone home run. He knew that things would only get worse or maybe I scared him away when I threw my liter of bottled water against the cabinet, so long security deposit.

So here we were a year later and Ben was calling to check on me. I was in better spirits t…

October 16th, 2004: The Sacrifice

It is that time of year again, time for Red Sox fans to celebrate . After a 7-20 September and daily new revelations of a drunken and fat clubhouse, this yearly celebration could not get here soon enough. It is holiday time for Red Sox fans. Seven years ago tonight it all started. Now many people like to start the celebration tomorrow night but I feel the ultimate life altering, history making comeback began on October 16th, 2004.



While many Red Sox fans are still throwing up in their mouths about the selfishness of the 2011 team, there was no mistaking the unselfishness and heart that was exhibited seven years ago. The Red Sox were in the middle of getting clobbered at home by their most hated rival. They were on the brink of elimination and Tim Wakefield went and got his cleats and told Tito Francona that he could go as long as needed. This was remarkable given that Wakefield was scheduled to start in Game 4. Wake sacrificed a postseason start in order to save the bullpen and take …

BBA Names Arizona's Gibson, Tampa Bay's Maddon Top Managers

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson and Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon were named the 2011 Connie Mack Award winners today by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.  The Connie Mack Award recognizes those considered the top manager for the season.

Gibson took over an Arizona team that finished last in the National League West in 2010 and led them to a divisional title in his first year on the job.  Gibson’s Diamondbacks led all year long and finished a comfortable eight games ahead of defending World Champion San Francisco to move on to the postseason stage.  Voting was done before the Diamondbacks lost to the Milwaukee Brewers in five games in the National League Divisional Series.

Gibson was a unanimous winner, scoring the top slot on all 21 ballots cast by the portion of the membership that voted on the National League award.  Ron Roenicke, whose Brewers defeated Gibson’s squad, finished second in the balloting, while St. Louis Cardinal manager Tony La Russa finished third.

Maddon…

The Anatomy of a Collapse

The Boston Globe detailed some new allegations and more detailed accounts of old allegations as the Red Sox collapsed their way out of the postseason. The old allegations surrounding pitchers drinking beer were given more detail, including names. The new allegations are about Tito Francona and the claim that he was distracted by marital problems and an abuse of prescription drugs.

Francona disputes being distracted but doesn't dispute marital problems or the fact he is on a steady dose of pain medication.

Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia have all spoken and not one of them has denied the allegations brought up by team sources. They were all careful not to throw anyone under the bus but not one of them said that the allegations were false. That says a lot. So here is the article, it is a great read and is all the more intriguing because it seems to be factual.

The issue I have with the article is the characterization of Tito Francona. Tito took full responsiblity for…