Sunday, October 30, 2011

This Was a Good World Series

Like many of the other great World Series in history, Game 7 was a bit anticlimactic, but it was quite a series.  Obviously it captivated the fans in the growing Texas market and the historically-strong St. Louis market, but I think by the end of it, it won over the casual fans and the fans of other teams with a fleeting interest in the rest of the league (sadly, this includes both Pat and I nowadays).

It had pretty much everything you could ask for:  Two games with excellent pitching performances on both sides, a game where a transcendent hitter took the game over, a game where a reasonably-unknown (but as we found out later, very quirky) pitcher took the game over, a tactical bullpen battle (that happened to feature an Adrian Beltre one-knee home run), and then the absolute classic that was Game 6.  There were the two Pujolses, the downfall of past bullpen ace Alexi Ogando, Derek Holland, meh-performances by CJ Wilson when he had a chance to go Cliff Lee on the field, David Freese, Nelson Cruz's offense, Nelson Cruz's defense, and friggin Mike Napoli.  Sac flies won a game; a caught-stealing at third base lost a game.  Amazing.

Throughout September, St. Louis was the team that just would not die.  True, Atlanta basically gave them the NL Wild Card much like Boston gave Tampa the AL Wild Card.  But then they beat the overwhelming favorite in five games in the NLDS and beat the favored Brewers (who went all-in this year, admirably) in the NLCS.  Many of the games in these series were captivating as well.  But the way St. Louis lost Game 5 (with Napoli striking again), I thought it was going to be all over.  But once again, they didn't die.

Within Game 6, there were several additional instances when it was time for the Cardinals to die.  But they came back each time.  In this game, they were down 7-4 after seven, still 7-5 after eight, and 9-7 in the tenth.  Think about this:

In Game 6, the Texas Rangers came back from a deficit after the seventh inning as many times as the Boston Red Sox (2-61 when trailing after 7) did all season.  This may be misleading and not exactly true, but you know what I mean, especially if you had followed the Dead Sox all season.  You have to give a huge "good for them" to St. Louis, winning in such a fashion.  There were a few big moments, including a couple of defensive mishaps (is Texas killing Cruz right now?  I can't imagine they would be, as he took them as far as he did).  And there was the walkoff. 

It had everything.  While it was somewhat unfortunate to see the Red Sox gone so quickly (not completely, because that team was so detestable), it was a nice way to wrap up the last season of How Youz Doin Baseball's tenure.

4 comments:

The GM said...

I knew I had written an endorsement of Mike Napoli sometime in the last five years. Please refer to the post "Napoli Dynamite" from December 8, 2008.

The GM At Work wrote...

This is the problem with posting on the weekends: Nobody reads it. To reiterate something Boras and Varitek put out last weekend...

Jason Varitek intends on being a full-time player for many years to come. He's in great shape. His defense, his game-calling skills, his leadership skills are extraordinary and at the highest level.

Just as asinine as it was when I read it on November 29th.

I understand that the price for Napoli is pretty high, as it should be because Napoli's a pretty intriguing player. However, the perks of having an excellent farm system is not only so you can stock your team with cheap talent, but also so you can trade them for something you need.

The Red Sox don't need Jason Varitek. In fact, they can't afford the 8-9 strikeouts a week. They need Mike Napoli.

December 9, 2008 8:55 AM

Anonymous said...

Great post GM. And I agree, this series really did capture the casual fan as well as the baseball fan not particularly interested if their team isn't in it. You expect a series that includes a Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Cubs, etc. To do that, and you expect a series with a great underlying story or subplot to do that. This series had neother of those things, and I think the fact that it engaged so many people primarily through its exciting play is a good thing for the sport. It's tough to walk away from a game like Game 6 without being more excited about the baseball playoffs generally. Not many games have that kind of overarching impact, and I think Game 6 was good enough to do so.

PF

Anonymous said...

Fellas

Do we have a date for the Final HYD post? Are you going through the winter meetings? How is this working?

--the Gunn

the gm at work said...

Gunn,

If we are not done by the time of the winter meetings, we're doing something wrong. Neither of us want to start talking about this offseason or next season, because it puts us at risk of leaving in the middle of something.

The two of us are going to try to go over a formal schedule of what we'd like to accomplish, but by estimation, we will most likely be done before Thanksgiving. I have about five things I want to talk about before I sign off, Pat probably has a few things as well, and I think we both want to go through an honest effort of sifting through our 12,500 comments (imagine that!) to find some of our favorites.