Before the second game of the World Series, Sportsnet, a Canadian sports network, reporter Ian Mendes was about to go live with a report on Giants closer Brian Wilson when he was hit in the back with a errant baseball.
Mendes was bouncing around in pain right up until the point he went live and then he acted like nothing had happened and continued with his report. This guy is a true professional.
He took the hit like a pro and finished his report the same. Well done, Mendes.
The Boston Red Sox made a classy gesture and replaced former pitcher Derek Lowe's 2004 World Series ring after it was stolen in April.
Lowe's Fort Myers, Florida home was robbed in April and he lost about $90,000 worth of property, including his World Series ring.
When Lowe's Cleveland Indians visited Fenway Park this past week, Lowe had a very nice surprise waiting for him. Before Saturday's game against the Red Sox, owner John Henry, president and CEO Larry Lucchino, and chairman Tom Werner showed up to the Indians clubhouse to personally give Derek Lowe his ring back.
Lowe said of the gesture, “You know me, I can talk. But it was one of those moments where I didn’t even know what to say. It wasn’t like they just sent over a bat boy or sent it over. All three of them came over to give it to me. They said some really nice things. ”I just don’t want it to go unnoticed. I knew there was an opportunity for me to buy another one, but to have all three of them there when they gave it to me really meant a lot. It’s something I’ll never forget. It almost means more this time because it was a selfless act on their part. I just want people to know they did this.”
Derek Lowe became the first Major Leaguer to win all three series clinching games in 2004 and went 3-0 with an ERA of 1.86 in that fateful postseason.
For Showtime's boxing coverage, they decided to bring on former boxing judge Chuck Giampa and use his vast knowledge of boxing to help fans know how to score fights. Or as Giampa puts it, "taking you inside the mind of a judge".
...and nothing else apparently.
It is a pretty bad performance, but it was his debut, so I guess we can cut him a little slack. So I've decided to compile a list of the worst calls of all time.
#5- Dick Vitale's Improv
A lot of people don't like Dick Vitale, I appear to be in the minority, but even I agree this clip is bad. After Dan Shulman gets knocked over by Duke's Kyle Singler, Dickie V decides to throw in a little improv. Bad idea.
So he's saying its a charge?
It seems like Dick Vitale is just afraid to take control and call the game for just a few moments.
#4- Chip Caray's Basehit Caught
I don't like Chip Caray. Chip is definitely the weak link in his broadcasting family, his father, Skip, was a longtime announcer for the Atlanta Braves, and his grandfather, Harry, was the very popular Chicago Cubs announcer.
Chip continuously gets things wrong and this clip is a perfect example.
The way the ball was hit, it was clear it was going to be an out, but Chip allowed himself to be a fan for a moment and called it a basehit. A hit that would have won the game.
No wonder why the Cubs fired him.
#3- Tim McCarver Can't Count
Tim McCarver has been in the game for a long time. Hard telling why, but he has been there awhile. In Game 1 of the epic 2011 World Series, McCarver makes one of his many blunders by saying the word 'strike' has five letters.
...or as Family Guy sees it
#2- Everything Pam Ward Does
Pam Ward of ESPN gives female broadcasters a bad name. A lot of female announcers do a good job, like Beth Mowins and Doris Burke, but its Pam Ward that ruins all the work they put in.
Here are just some of her fumbles:
"He has thrown three picks, but no interceptions"
When announcing a game in Lexington, she called Lexington "Louisville"
After a punt, she said the fair catch had been caught, but it was rolling down field.
"A 100 yard touchdown return for the touchdown
...and there's many more.
ESPN just needs to cut their losses and let her go.
#1- "Boom Goes The Dynamite"
The only reason that Pam Ward isn't #1 on this list is simply because "Boom Goes The Dynamite".
We continue our Year in Review, albeit a bit late, with our look at the Best Sports Moments 0f 2011.
Abby Wambach Keeps US Hopes Alive With Miracle Goal
Remember in the 2010 World Cup when Landon Donovan's goal lifted the US into the knockout round, only to lose to Ghana, GHANA!, and made Americans care about soccer for a hot minute. Well, Abby Wambach's goal in the 2011 Women's World Cup was perhaps bigger than Donovan's. If not for that goal, the US don't make it to the Finals, where they eventually lose to upstart Japan. This goal does not get nearly enough credit like Donovan's did.
Mavericks Defeat Big Three, Nation Rejoices
The Miami Heat have become the villains of the NBA ever since LeBron and Chris Bosh decided that it would just be easier to join a team of superstars to win a title rather than lead one, like Michael Jordan did. So when they reached the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, most of the US, except for a smattering of people in South Florida, were rooting for the Mavs. The Heat finally met their match going up against Dirk Nowitzki and Jason "Jet" Terry as the Mavs won the series in six games. I don't think I've been that happy during an NBA Finals since Jordan pushed off Byron Scott in the '98 Finals to give the Bulls their most recent title.
David Freese Goes From Goat To Hero In One Game
St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese had quite a postseason winning the NLCS MVP and World Series MVP, but Game 6 every baseball fan can agree was quite a roller coaster. Freese had committed an awful error in the 5th inning when he dropped a routine pop up from Michael Young. That error allowed the Rangers to score later in the inning to take a one run lead. Then in the 9th inning, Freese stepped up to the plate with two outs against a young flame throwing closer in Neftali Feliz and hits a bases clearing triple to tie the game.
After the Rangers blew a two run lead in the 11th inning, Freese once again came to the plate against Mark Lowe, perhaps the Rangers weakest reliever, and hit a bomb to dead center field to force a Game 7 that the Cards would eventually win. ESPN's Buster Olney has said that Game 6 was the greatest game in baseball history.
Eric LeGrand Leads His Team On The Field After Spinal Cord Injury
This is perhaps the most inspirational moment of the year. Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand had suffered a severe spinal cord injury while making attempting to make a tackle last season in a game against Army. Doctors said that LeGrand would be paralyzed from the neck down, but in January, LeGrand defied the odds and regained feeling in his shoulders and sensation throughout his entire body. In July, LeGrand was able to stand with some assistance and was gaining feeling back in his arms.
On October 29, Eric LeGrand led his Rutgers teammates onto a snowy field for its game against West Virginia. LeGrand sat in his wheelchair with an ax across his lap symbolizing coach Greg Schiano's message to "Keep Chopping". LeGrand has indeed taken that motto to new heights.
Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas, Tim Thomas
As a Bruins fan, I feel I need to put this down on my list of moments. Without the outstanding goaltending of Thomas, the Bruins don't win the Cup. Hands down. Sure the Bruins have great pieces around him, but without solid goaltending you can't go far. Case in point, the Philadelphia Flyers.
In the epic seven game series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Thomas was perhaps his best in Game 7. The Bruins won Game 7 by the score of 1-0 and Thomas was a huge, if not the main, reason they won that game and the series. The Lightning gave the best challenge to the Bruins all playoffs, not the Canucks. Dwayne Roloson would not back down and if the Canucks had Roloson in net, Vancouver would be hoisting the Cup not Boston. Thomas' GAA was an outstanding 1.98 and his save percentage was .940. So, yeah Tim Thomas big, huge part of the Bruins Cup run.
September 28, 2011: Greatest Night of Baseball Ever
Four teams entered the final night of the baseball regular season with two spots on the line. The Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox were trying to find a way to stop the bleeding and back their way into the postseason. The St. Louis Cardinals and Tampa Bay Rays were just trying to complete to epic comebacks and surprise the baseball world by making the postseason.
The Cards won rather easily over the Major's worst Houston Astros, but the other three games were of epic proportion. The Atlanta Braves blew a 9th inning lead to the Philadelphia Phillies and lost the game in extras to complete the meltdown. The Red Sox seemed to have the game locked up, at least according to Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy, and all of New England was calling for the umps to call the game early due to rain, but to no avail. Papelbon ends up blowing the save when Red Sox killer Robert Andino lined a hit to left field that came up short from a diving Carl Crawford's glove. The Red Sox lost to the Orioles and were now rooting for the Yanks.
The Yankees had a SEVEN run lead in their game against the Rays, but in true Boston sports fan tradition the Rays came all the way back to tie it in the 9th inning when seldom used Dan Johnson just cleared the right field fence to tie the game. Red Sox fans should have known something was up when Joe Girardi kept one of his seldom used, worst relievers in the game for 2 and 2/3 innings and didn't use Rivera to close the game. Again in true Boston sports fans tradition, Evan Longoria launched a ball just over the left field wall and sent the Rays to the postseason and the Red Sox, and Terry Francona, packing.
I'm sure there is more, but I can't keep typing forever. If you have any more moments I should have mentioned, feel free to comment below. Have a Happy New Years, folks.
I was on my computer the other night "wanderclicking", the art of starting somewhere on YouTube or Wikipedia and ending in a completely different place, and came across a Coca-Cola commercial celebrating the 1993 World Champion Toronto Blue Jays, with its catchy jingle, and it led me to search out for the finish of the 1993 World Series. I had seen it before, but still is exciting to watch, and I had never noticed it before how Mitch Williams looked so dejected after Joe Carter's home run blast that made him a hero to a nation and Williams a pariah in the worst sports city in America.
Going into the 1993 World Series, Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams had just racked up a career high 43 saves as he helped lead the upstart Philadlephia Phillies to a surprising playoff berth. Williams had an unconventional pitching delivery as he almost fell down every time he threw a ball. It was odd, but it worked.
Joe Carter almost didn't play for the Jays in 1993, Carter was close to a deal with his hometown Kansas City Royals, but opted to re-sign with Toronto. Carter was an All-Star in '93 and tied a career high in RBI's with 121. However, he only hit .254 and his on base percentage was a paltry .312.
The Phillies entered the playoffs as underdogs to the mighty Atlanta Braves. Mitch Williams won Game 1 for the Phillies in relief and saved two games, including the series clinching Game 6 in Philadelphia. The Phillies had stunned the Atlanta Braves and were on their way to the World Series.
The Blue Jays faced the Chicago White Sox for the American League pennant a second straight year. The Jays eventually prevailed over the White Sox as Joe Carter caught the final out. Carter was pretty much a non-factor in the series, only driving in two runs and hitting .259.
The Blue Jays and Phillies were now to square off for the 1993 World Series. The series went back and forth through the first three games with Toronto winning Games 1 and 3 and the Phillies winning Game 2.
Game 4 was the beginning of the end for Mitch Williams. The game was full of offense with seven combined runs scored in the first inning and Philadelphia took a 14-9 lead heading into the eighth inning. Phillies manager Jim Fregosi put Williams into the game to relieve pitcher Larry Andersen and promptly gave up three runs as the Jays took a 15-14 lead that they never relinquished. Williams was the losing pitcher of that game and had received death threats phoned into Veterans Stadium. Williams, however, was not aware of the threats until Game 5.
After the Phillies shutout the Jays in Game 5, they headed North of the Border for Game 6. The Phillies took a 6-5 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth and looked like they were going to force Game 7. Williams took the mound to save the game, his first appearance since his Game 4 debacle and the notification of death threats.
Williams walked Rickey Henderson to start the inning and because of that Williams tried to counter Henderson's speed by using a side step delivery that cut down his velocity. After Devon White flied out, Paul Molitor singled to center and moved Henderson to second. Up to the plate stepped Joe Carter. Carter, who was unproductive in the World Series at this point, was 0-4 in his career versus Williams. Williams worked Carter to a 2-2 count when Carter took Williams' next pitch into the left field seats for an 8-6 win and the Jays' second World Series title.
With one swing of the bat Carter became a hero in Canada. His exuberant jumping up and down while running the bases is an iconic photo in baseball and made many memories for the province of Ontario and all of Canada. Carter became a Blue Jays legend after that, staying until 1997 and was inducted into the Blue Jays Level of Excellence at Rogers Centre, formerly SkyDome. Carter was also inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame for his years with Toronto and the walk off home run.
Mitch Williams would never pitch for the Phillies after 1993. The Phillies traded him to the Houston Astros prior to the start of the 1994 season. Williams would only save six games for the Astros and bounced around from the California Angels to the Kansas City Royals after leaving Houston. He would never be the same pitcher again. Williams retired after the 1997 season after an uneventful season in Kansas City. Williams has blames himself for the World Series loss, but added that he has gotten past it.
However, he hasn't gotten past Curt Schilling's antics in the '93 Series. Schilling would cover his head in a towel whenever Williams took the mound as Schilling was always a little leery whenever Williams came into the game. Williams was offended by this, as were many of his teammates, and to this day has never forgiven Schilling for it.
You would have to wonder if Williams' career would have been changed had he not given up that home run. Philadelphia probably wouldn't have traded him and he could have been playing for more than just four more seasons. That's how life works out sometimes and you have to roll with the punches. I think Mitch Williams himself said it best when he was talking about his feelings regarding the Carter home run, "Life's a bitch. I could be digging ditches. I'm not."
Former Boston Red Sox manager John McNamara has said, in advance of a retrospective of the 1986 postseason, that pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd was too drunk to pitch Game 7 of the World Series.
McNamara said that Boyd was the scheduled starter for Game 7 before it was postponed a day due to rain. He then named Bruce Hurst the starter, but Boyd would have been available from the bullpen. McNamara said he couldn't use Boyd in any capacity in Game 7 because he was too intoxicated. The Mets would go on to defeat the Red Sox in Game 7 and win their second, and most recent, World Series championship.
In the retrospective, McNamara continues to defend his decision to leave Bill Buckner in the game, saying that he "was the best first baseman I had". As we all know, Buckner committed the error that scored the winning run for the Mets in Game 6.
As many sports fans know, athletes, and simply sports itself, are superstitious. Don't step on the base line while going back to the dugout. Always keep your same number, even when traded, hold a candle while your team is in the playoffs (trust me it worked for the '04 Red Sox and the Patriots Super Bowl titles).
Fans already know about the big one, the Madden Cover Jinx, but another curse is older and just as big as the Madden Curse. The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx.
The legend states that if an athlete or team appears on a cover of Sports Illustrated then they will have a bad outing or be cursed. The first instance of the Cover Jinx was in 1954 when the Braves Eddie Mathews became the first person to ever appear on an SI cover. Shortly after, the Braves snapped their nine game win streak and Mathews breaks his hand.
A common explanation for this curse is that whenever athletes or teams appear on a cover it is after a great achievement or performance. Future performances are likely to display the regression towards the mean and make the performance seem less than it really was.
Many athletes have appeared on the cover and didn't affect them one bit. Michael Jordan, for example, was on the cover a record 49 times and he still went on to win six NBA Finals. Emmitt Smith appeared on the cover, although he initially refused, before Super Bowl XXVIII. Dallas still won the Super Bowl.
However, the curse has reared its ugly head many times. In 1955, skiier Jill Kinmont almost died in a crash the same week she appeared on the cover. She became paralyzed from the waist down.
Indianapolis 500 winner Bob Sweikert dies three weeks after appearing on the cover in a sprint car crash in 1955. Driver Pat O'Connor dies four days after appearing on the cover in the Indianapolis 500. Figure skater Laurence Owen appeared on the cover after SI named her "America's Most Exciting Girl Skater". Two days later, she was on the plane that crashed and killed the United States Figure Skating team as they were en route to Prague.
Streaks have been broken too by SI's curse. An Oklahoma Sooner appeared on the cover with the headline "Why Oklahoma Is Unbeatable", the next game Oklahoma loses for the first time in 47 games to Notre Dame.
Texas high school pitcher Jon Peters was on the cover after he set the national high school record for wins. He was 51-0. Next game, he loses for the first and only time in his high school career.
The Texas Longhorns' Earl Campbell appeared on the cover after his Longhorns started the season 11-0. They would lose their next game, the Cotton Bowl, to Notre Dame.
The Kansas City Chiefs started of 9-0 in 2003 and was "rewarded" with a magazine cover. However, the Chiefs would go 4-3 to finish the season, lose home field to the Patriots, and lose the divisional playoff game to the Colts.
The Cover Jinx struck just over a week ago, oddly enough on Halloween, when Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba appeared on the cover after the Rangers win Game 5 of the World Series. We all know how this story ends, the Rangers lose the Series in heartbreaking fashion.
Does the jinx exist? Only if you believe it does. It's easy to think that there's a curse, but look at all the other covers and nothing happened to all these people. It however there have been a lot of people and teams affected by this. So basically the curse is just what you make of it. That being said I still don't want my favorite player or team on the cover.
The St. Louis Cardinals have won the 2011 World Series in a dramatic comeback against the Texas Rangers. Now the big question arises: What's next for Albert Pujols?
Pujols was asked that question after his team had won Game 7 last night, but Pujols remained quiet on the issue. With free agency beginning next week, both the Cardinals and Pujols need to make a decision.
The World Series win definitely helps their chances at re-signing Pujols, but other teams are willing to break the bank on him. The Red Sox could still sign Pujols, but that means him more than likely playing DH and David Ortiz not returning. The Chicago Cubs and Theo Epstein need to make a big splash and what bigger splash than landing the biggest name in baseball away from your rival. The Cubs have the money, but Epstein needs to sell him on the idea.
Another surprising team could be the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers expect Prince Fielder to leave so use that money to sign Albert Pujols and it would make a slight improvement to an already pretty good team. And what free agency season would be complete without the New York Yankees. The Yankees have a ton of money and are willing to throw it around, so why not attempt to sign Pujols? The Yankees would be willing to offer him $300 million. The Yanks already have Mark Teixiera at first, but one or the other could play DH, a huge upgrade from the aging Jorge Posada.
However, the Cardinals seem to be the favorite and rightfully so. Why would Pujols leave the only team he ever played for? He has already won two titles with them and they have a young electrifying team who can easily repeat next year. The Cardinals need to keep Pujols around as a mentor to all the young players if they want to continue their success. They need him more than he needs them. If you ask me, the St. Louis Cardinals re-sign Albert Pujols and make him a Cardinal for life.
Texas Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz's condition is unclear for tonight's pivotal Game 7. Nelson Cruz injured his groin on David Freese's game tying triple in the ninth. It is unclear the extent of Cruz's injury.
Cruz stayed in the game until the 11th inning when manager Ron Washington pulled him for precautionary reasons. "I didn't want to take the chance and run him back out there," Washington said, "I haven't had anything from the medical department as to the seriousness of it, but we'll just have to wait and see how everything is."
Nelson Cruz has stated that he will be playing saying that he is a little tight be otherwise fine.
The Rangers will be looking to win their first World Series in their 50 year history.
The St. Louis Cardinals were down to their last strike twice last night, but Lance Berkman and David Freese refused to quit. The St. Louis Cardinals, this years team of destiny, won Game 6 in dramatic fashion after David Freese's walkoff in the 11th and coming back twice against the Texas Rangers.
Game 6 started off, oddly enough, as one of the worst games in World Series history. Defensive miscues on both sides led to unearned runs. Matt Holliday and Rafael Furcal miscommunicating on a pop fly that fell and later led to a run. Eventual Game 6 hero David Freese dropped a pop up that even I could have probably caught. Michael Young throwing the ball away from Colby Lewis who was covering first. It was an ugly game defensively. The one great defensive play was when Mike Napoli made a snap throw to third to pickoff Matt Holliday to add to Holliday's World Series woes.
After the defenses seemed to settle down, Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz went back to back to give Texas a two run lead in the seventh. Ian Kinsler drove in another run to make it a three run game.
All seemed to be over for the Cardinals, until the bottom of the ninth. The Cardinals, after a Albert Pujols double and a Lance Berkman walk, were down to their last strike. With All-Star closer Neftali Feliz on the mound, it seemed that the Rangers were finally going to win a title. Just try telling David Freese that. Freese ripped a two run triple down right field just out of Nelson Cruz's reach. Just like that the Cards were back in the game and the Series.
In the 10th, injured Josh Hamilton crushed a two run home run to put Texas back on top. The Rangers could relax again. Ron Washington put in veteran Darren Oliver to try to close out the Series, but back to back singles gave the Cardinals life again. Enter Scott Feldman. Feldman, who looked so good earlier in the postseason, was trying to earn his first career save, in the clinching game of the World Series no less, but Lance Berkman, down to his final strike, lined a single to center field. Yet again the game was tied.
After a 1-2-3 11th for the Rangers, Mark Lowe entered the game for the Rangers, perhaps the worst arm in the Rangers bullpen, and gave up the walkoff home run to NLCS MVP David Freese. The Cardinals are very much alive and kicking.
This game as I was watching it reminded me of the '86 World Series Game 6. Both teams leading late in the game trying to nail down their first titles in several years only to give up those said leads. This game was the best World Series game I have seen in some time. This Series is the best I have seen in some time.
Who knows what Game 7 will bring. Nelson Cruz and Matt Holliday are both hurt. Both the Rangers and Cardinals bullpens are exhausted and are expected to again be overworked. Chris Carpenter pitching on short rest. It just seems to me that the St. Louis Cardinals will win Game 7 tonight. They have home field and most importantly momentum.
I got into a debate with a friend of mine about who had the most exciting postseason, the 2004 Boston Red Sox or the 2011 Boston Bruins. He, and many others who chimed in, said the Bruins. I, and two other people, said the 2004 Red Sox.
People used the World Series as an example of why it wasn't exciting. The Red Sox World Series that year was a sweep, but did feature a very exciting Game 1 that was capped off by a two run home run by Mark Bellhorn in the eighth. But it all goes back to the grandiose American League Championship Series.
The Red Sox coming off a heartbreaking 2003 loss to the vaunted New York Yankees fell behind 0-3 and was three outs away from yet another defeat. Then the planets aligned and the heavens opened and the Red Sox miraculously won four straight to win the American League pennant. People also forget that the ALDS was won on a walk-off home run by David Ortiz.
The 2011 Boston Bruins playoff run was exciting don't get me wrong. The B's falling down 0-2 to the hated Canadiens before coming back to win Game 7 in overtime. The Flyers series was pretty much a stinker save for Game 2 when David Krejci scored a game winner in OT. The seven game defeat of the Tampa Bay Lightning included a 1-0 win in Game 7 and again falling 0-2 to the Vancouver Canucks before winning in seven. Tim Thomas was playing the best hockey of his career and the Bruins riding a wave of emotions after Game 3 when Aaron Rome viciously knocked out Nathan Horton.
Both teams were very similar when it comes to storylines and excitement, but in my opinion the Red Sox run in 2004 just beats out the 2011 Bruins. The Bruins are still fresh in people's minds and are just prisoner of the moment. When you think of the legions of Red Sox fans that have come and gone without seeing them win a World Series title, that right there takes the cake.
I might be a little biased in picking the Red Sox because of my brother. My brother, and pretty much everyone else in my family, is a Yankee fan and I had to endure and suffer through the Yankee dynasty as the Red Sox would just curl up and die when October came. For just one year, I finally had the upper hand and the Red Sox had finally broken through and beat the Yanks, in historic fashion nonetheless. I admit my eyes welled up a little when Keith Foulke tossed that ball to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out I thought I would never see. My brother was away in college, so I didn't get to talk to him right after, but my mother received a phone call from my brother after the game and left a simple message: "Congratualtions".
I'm a huge Boston Bruins fan don't get me wrong (just ask my family during the playoffs), but that magical 2004 season cannot be beat in my mind. As Boston was finally kings of the baseball world and I could now gloat to my family members after years of suffering.
In honor of this years World Series, I have decided to pick my greatest World Series lineup ever. The lineup is based solely on performances in the World Series throughout a player's career or single season and is voted on by the writer's here at The Mark Graham Sports Blog, i.e. Me.
Catcher- Cincinnati Reds C Johnny Bench
The 1976 Series saw the Big Red Machine of the Cincinnati Reds face the Bronx Bombers. That year no one was better than Johnny Bench. Bench was coming off from a dreadful '75 Series against the Red Sox which saw him hit only .207 in a seven game series. Bench went on to hit .533 with six RBI's while sweeping the Yankees to win his second and final World Series crown.
First Baseman- New York Yankees 1B Lou Gehrig
The Iron Horse makes this list by not having a single standout of year, but a standout career in the World Series. Gehrig had a career average of .361 in the Series and in 1928 and 1932 he hit above .500. The '28 World Series was probably his best, he hit .545, 4 HR, and 10 RBI in a four game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Second Baseman- New York Yankees 2B Bobby Richardson
Bobby Richardson is the only winner of the World Series MVP awarded to a losing team. Richardson and the Yankees lost an epic seven game series to Bill Mazeroski and the Pittsburgh Pirates, but not because of Richardson. Richardson drove in 12 runs and hit .367, but still could not overcome the Pirates.
Third Baseman- Toronto Blue Jays 3B Paul Molitor
This one could be argued because Molitor did split time at DH during the series, but he did play some third base and its my call. Molitor had played in one other World Series before the '93 Series, but that was 11 years prior when his Brewers lost a seven game series to the Cardinals. Molitor would make sure that he was to win this time by hitting .500 and driving in eight runs as the Blue Jays won their second straight and Molitor's first. Molitor would win the World Series MVP.
Shortstop- New York Yankees SS Derek Jeter
No other active player has more World Series hits, 50, than Derek Jeter. Jeter has the nickname "Captain Clutch" and "Mr. November" for his antics in the Fall Classic. His performance in 2000 was arguably his best with a .409 average and hitting two homers while defeating their crosstown rival the New York Mets. Also, Jeter has only committed three errors in his seven World Series appearances.
Outfielder- New York Yankees OF Reggie Jackson
I know what you're thinking, "Why so many Yankees?", but I would be remiss if I didn't add Reggie Jackson to the lineup. Mr. October in 1977 had probably the best game in World series history. In Game 6, Jackson hit three home runs in the series clinching game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jackson would become the first player to win World Series MVPs with two different teams.
Outfielder- Pittsburgh Pirates OF Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente would have won more World Series had he not tragically died in 1972, but 1971 was his crowning achievement. Clemente hit .414 and collected 22 total bases as his Pirates defeated the Baltimore Orioles in, sadly, his last World Series. In 1972, Clemente died in a plane crash trying to hep earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Outfielder- Boston Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez
ManRam's inclusion on this list is a controversial one, but I stick by it. Ramirez was a huge reason the Red Sox overcame a 0-3 hole to the Yankees and the sweep of the Cardinals. Ramirez hit .412 and seemingly got hits when the Sox needed him to. He may have been one of the worst fielders in the World Series, but will be remembered throughout New England and Red Sox Nation as the man who helped "Reverse the Curse" so that's why I chose Manny.
Starting Pitcher- St. Louis Cardinals P Bob Gibson
This was a no brainer. The Cardinals would have never won the '67 World Series against the Boston Red Sox had it not been for Gibson. Bob Gibson started three games in the seven game series, won all three and pitched complete games in all of them, including one shutout. Gibson's ERA in that year's series was 1.00. 1.00! With pitching these days and pitch counts, it is safe to say Gibson's feat will never be matched again.
Closer- New York Yankees P Mariano Rivera
Again another Yankee, but when you win 27 titles you should probably have more than one player on this list. Mariano Rivera is lights out in the World Series, except 2001 (Thank you, Luis Gonzalez and Craig Counsell), and owns the career recors with 11 saves in the Fall Classic. Rivera also has a 0.99 ERA and a record of 2-1. The '98 Series against the San Diego Padres had Rivera notching three saves while not allowing an earned run. The greatest closer in history is also the greatest closer in postseason history.
Will there you have it my lineup for the Greatest World Series team ever. I know some names should have been added to the list, but I stick by my decisions and feel free to comment if you agree or disagree with my picks.
The Major League baseball season is nearing its long end. The Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals have prevailed in the respective leagues and now square off for the Commissioner's Trophy. But the question still remains, who exactly will win the World Series?
The St. Louis Cardinals look to be the team of destiny. Coming back from 10.5 games down to snatch the Wild Card from the Braves and defeating the powerful Philadelphia Phillies. They remind me of the '04 Red Sox with everyone writing them off and only themselves believing in them. The Cardinals have had great pitching and hitting during this postseason. In terms of hitting, who do you think leads the Cardinals in batting? Albert Pujols? Matt Holliday? No, its unheralded third baseman David Freese. Freese went an absolutely amazing .545, three homers, and nine RBI in a six game series. Chris Carpenter has anchored the Cardinals pitching staff and at times looks unbeatable. The red flags for St. Louis are the pitching duo of Jaime Garcia and Edwin Jackson. Six starts between them, ONE win (Jackson in Game 4 of NLDS) and a combined ERA of 5.79. The bullpen has been the saving grace of this Cardinals team with Jason Motte leading the Majors with four saves in the postseason.
The Texas Rangers look to finally win their first World Series after losing last season in their first appearance. The Texas Rangers have been shaky in terms of pitching this postseason with only Colby Lewis having an ERA under four (3.86). However, the Rangers bullpen has been lights out with Alexi Ogando winning twice out of the bullpen and only giving up one earned run in 10.1 innings pitched. Texas can hit the ball really well with three players in the top ten of the American League in average (Napoli, Beltre, and Hamilton). Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre are the stalwarts of the Rangers offense with Cruz hitting six home runs, all coming in the ALCS (a record), and Beltre hitting three home runs (all in the ALDS).
This World Series looks like it is going to be an offensive series. The pitching, outside of Carpenter, I don't really trust on either side. Both offenses are clicking at the right time and getting off to a quick start is key in this series. If you fall behind any one of these offenses it will be real hard to come back.
My prediction is that the team of destiny, the St. Louis Cardinals, will win the World Series in six due in part to St. Louis having a better offense and the best pitcher left in the World Series, Chris Carpenter.
25 years have passed since the 1986 World Series between the Mets and Red Sox, and some of us know what have happened to the major players in that year's series. What about some of the other key players? A friend of mine said I should write a "Where are they now?" article, so I thought about it and thought it was a good idea. I just couldn't think of what person to write about, then it came to me, Red Sox pitcher Calvin Schiraldi.
First, let me give you a little background on Schiraldi. In 1983, Schiraldi was a hot shot pitcher for the Univesity of Texas where he was teammates with former Cy Young winner (and alleged steroid user) Roger Clemens. Texas won the NCAA College World Series in 1983 and Schiraldi was named Most Outstanding Player and made the All-Tournament Team (along with home run king* Barry Bonds). The New York Mets then drafted him the first round, 27th overall, in the 1983 MLB Draft and made his debut on September 1, 1984.
Schiraldi was then traded to the Red Sox as part of of an eight player trade and was sent to Triple A Pawtucket where he was then converted to a relief pitcher. After some impressive performances, manager John McNamara named him the closer for the rest of the 1986 season. In Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, he struck out five in the final two innings to clinch the pennant for the Sox.
In the World Series, Schiraldi did save one game, but is best remembered for losing Game 6. After retiring the first two batters in the 10th inning, was one strike away from clinching the Red Sox first World Series since 1918. He allowed three straight singles and was replaced by Bob Stanley and the rest is history. People also forget that Calvin Schiraldi, after losing Game 6, also lost Game 7 after allowing a Ray Knight homer in the 7th inning as the Mets took the World Series. The next season, Schiraldi lost the closer role to Wes Gardner, another player involved in the trade that brought Schiraldi to Boston, and saved only nine games and posted a 4.41 ERA.
Schiraldi would only play four more seasons with three different teams (Cubs, Padres, and Rangers) and would be a non factor. The Cubs tried him as a starter and struggled mightly going 9-13 with a 4.38 ERA. After making only three appearances for the Texas Rangers in 1991, he retired at the young age of 29.
After retirement, Schiraldi went back to his hometown of Austin, Texas and became the head baseball coach at St. Michael's Catholic Academy where is also a physical education teacher. He was also on the coaching staff of the local AAU baseball team, the Austin Slam Sox. Schiraldi has stated that he would prefer to stay coach in high school rather than move up the ranks. The University of Texas honored calvin Schiraldi in 1997 when they inducted him in the University of Texas Hall of Fame for his accomplishments as an outstanding pitcher for the Longhorns.
While Schiraldi retired at a young age, he seems like he has his life together. He has a good, honest job and is helping shape and mentor young athletes to help them with their own major league dreams. Schiraldi is best remembered for the two losses in the 1986 World Series, but now students in Austin just remember him as Mr. Schiraldi and Coach Schiraldi. He never won a World Series, but Schiraldi has probably made lasting impressions on the many students that have walked the halls of St. Michael's Catholic Academy.