This is for fun and you may prefer harsh opinions to these esoteric facts, but here goes. Alas I once loved baseball so much and the World Series played in the glorious daylight complete with radios, earplugs and variables concerning after public school, Hebrew school were a big part of it. Now I must draw on those memories to continue to weave the baseball fabric, embodied by World Series events and memories.
Buck and Fox did the ALCS in the 5 odd years of the ten since TBS gained LCS rights in 2007. Those series went 7, 6, 6, 6, and 6 games respectively. The winners were (you check the losing teams), the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox (2013 as a marker, more on “markers,” actually lack thereof, when I tell you about looking for a grave, in a recent sojourn to a cemetery) and Kansas City Royals. Only Texas failed to win the subsequent World Series broadcast by Fox with Buck as the lead announcer.
TBS bringing in the NLCS had series of 4 games, 5 games, 6 games, 6 games and 4 games. The Colorado Rockies (’07), Philadelphia Phillies (’09), St. Louis Cardinals (’13) and the New York Mets (’15) all lost the subsequent World Series. Only the 2011 Cardinals, in miraculous fashion and surely with Buck rooting for them, won it.
In a future, pre World Series post, a look at the 5 even years thus far.
The Chicago Cubs eased to a (5-0) victory vs Clayton Kershaw (the losing pitcher in three of the four games in which L.A. sans a pennant for 28 years, has been eliminated in, having made the post-season 4 straight years) and the Dodgers in game 6, to win their first pennant in 71 years.
Incredibly, Cubs’ pitchers Kyle Hendricks (0 runs, 2 hits, no walks allowed in 7 and one third innings) and Aroldis Chapman (an “almost anybody could have done it,” 1 and two thirds scoreless, o hits, 1 walk allowed innings), faced the minimum 27 batters.
The Cubs, who jumped (2-0) in the first inning, (the team scoring first not only won all 11 LCS games in the two leagues but never trailed in any of those 11 games which spells not ROLAIDS but BORING) turned 3 double plays.
When they turned the last one, 6-4-3, they were on their way to the World Series, an event they have not won since 1908.
The double plays, especially the last evoked the immortal Cubs’ double play combination of (Joe) Tinker to (Johnny) Evers to (Frank) Chance which was an integral part of great Cubs’ teams from (1906-1910.) Those teams won titles in 1907 and 1908 and pennants in 1906 and 1910.
Likely you “don’t give a darn,” but the third baseman on those Cubs’ teams was Harry Steinfeldt, handy to know for a “bar bet,” if you go back in time.
I truly do not have an NFL prediction this week.
Last week’s picks were (3-3), leaving me at (14-8-1).
This week I will not watch football!
The system games are with Oakland plus one at Jacksonville, Pittsburgh plus 7 vs New England and the Eagles plus 3 vs the Vikings.
Two others with teams that lost, pushed and are underdogs are with the Colts at Tennessee, and the Rams vs the Giants in London, England.
Again no predictions, no football today.
My lament is not looking at the NFL “Turkey Day” schedule before the season. Guess who’s “having dinner” in the traditional holiday football venues of Detroit and Dallas this season.
Try (5-0) Minnesota at (3-3) Detroit and (4-2) Washington at (5-1) Dallas. What the NFL wants, the NFL gets, no matter how much violence on and off the field it generates.
Unlike the fictional “Fonz,” played brilliantly by Henry Winkler, on the television show, “Happy Days,” I have no trouble admitting I was wrong.
My prediction of Texas A&M plus 18 points lost by one point, my over prediction by a decent amount more. I was wrong.
Yet as a viewer, I have the right to point out what is so annoying.
Next year I will wish Verne Lundquist, not “my cup of tea,” but certainly a distinguished veteran broadcaster, was still calling SEC games, when some abrasive newcomer takes his place.
However, Verne topped himself, intoning he goes deep more than once when it was far from the case. This was epitomized by saying “he goes deep,” on a 2 point conversion attempt.
Far worse, Gary Danielson, who knows the reality, started “boning” bettors (it was not the first time), when with the spread and certainly not the game on the line, he talked of how “good it would be,” for A&M, trailing by 19 points to get a touchdown. That is absurd as it would have been a lucky, “backdoor’ cover and the Aggies, no disgrace, were shown they could not move way up in class at Alabama. A touchdown meant nothing other than the spread!
Either have the “b—s,” to cite the spread, which is a big deal anywhere, but of colossal importance at schools in the South (a penalty vs Alabama with the game in the bag on the above referenced drive drew loud boos) or keep your mouth shut.
One, maybe two plays later, Danielson really made me sick talking of how the new rules, where a player is penalized for hitting an exposed receiver with his helmet has made “our game safer.”
I guess I deserve that for having the sound on and picking vs Alabama. Really do I? Do the viewers?!!
In all of our lives, there is a long and winding road and thus The Beatles’ iconic hit song of the same name resonates, often exponentially, enhancing our memories both good and bad.
There was a great one for me, two nights back when as his lovely and talented wife Karon Kate Blackwell was singing “The Long and Winding Road” as part of a great show at Metropolitan Room in New York City, I looked in the “wings” (there is a Beatles, at least a Paul McCartney association there) and waiting to come back on stage, was the incredibly funny, comedic legend Marty Allen.
He is 94 years old and still able to dance a bit, tell a great joke and collaborate with Karon his wife of 32 years, to put on a great show at a great venue, Metropolitan Room in New York City.
Nostalgia was in the air and on the screen, as a priceless video of Mr. Allen with Martha Raye from the television show, “The Hollywood Palace” had the crowd laughing continually for the approximate 5 minute duration.
There were stories about legendary singers Sarah Vaughan and Nat King Cole, the latter the man who introduced Allen (and vice versa), to his superb partner, Steve Rossi.
I felt so good watching this incredible couple and was floored by Karon’s voice, range and song selections, including one in which her niece Molly, joined her on stage.
There were great “still” pictures showcasing Marty’s great career and one more video, resulting in Marty telling a great story about Dean Martin’s reaction to what happened in said video.
Marty met the Beatles, “cracking up” John Lennon, telling him they looked alike. Karon brought it close to full circle, with a Beatles’ medley.
That is where we came in, “the long and winding road,” that included Marty’s beyond brave efforts in global conflict, for which he was awarded The Soldier’s Medal, honoring extreme bravery.
Both Caron and Marty greeted the patrons warmly, posing for pictures and signing autographs. I asked Marty, who was born in Pittsburgh, if he perhaps recalled the Pirates and Paul Waner. He said Steelers and told of how when he was honored at his high school, someone wanted to meet him. It was the great Steelers’ player Franco Harris.
That great story capped an incredible evening.
Click below for information on events at Metropolitan Room
Click below to view a performance by the fabulous team of Marty Allen and Steve Rossi
Karon Kate Blackwell and Marty Allen Pictured above. They are each great, talented people.
Somehow the coin we used found a clear place on his football card, maybe because he was such a fine receiver with the Detroit Lions.
On a day I thought of the one and only Michael Santasieri Jr. for other reasons, word came that Gail Cogdill, a star with the Lions and the absolute best at our coin/football card game (we had imagination and no video games to deter us) had died at the age of 79.
I certainly have distant recall of the Lions’ upset win vs the eventual 1962 NFL champion Green Bay Packers, in fact the only loss dealt the “Pack” that season.
Mr. Cogdill had a great game, catching two touchdown passes from Milt Plum. It seems he made a great finger tip catch in that tilt, as though the coin were coming to his card.
Whether in the reality of the NFL games, or in “our” coin-football card games, Gail Cogdill excelled.
Now after his death, and speaking to a harsh reality of football, Mr. Cogdill’s brain and brain stem will be examined, as part of a concussion study at Boston University.
I just realized that when Cogdill is asked by God how “he” kept making those catches, of all those coins for touchdowns in a great activity, he will not know to which God is referring.
Click below for more about Gail Cogdill.
It was a card like, but not the one above, that somehow, defied the odds, as far too often for me vs Mr. Santasieri, the coin landed completely within the boundaries of Mr. Cogdill’s card for a touchdown.
I would not trade those memories for a football card or even much more.
Additionally I have good memories of Gail Cogdill in the NFL.
There will be a link below that actually represents something good posted on ESPN.com. Maybe the sun is out and I hear birds singing. Alas, let’s not get carried away but do enjoy the great Pete Rose talking about hitting with Alex Rodriguez and Frank Thomas.
In the video, Mr. Rose will reference a 5 hit performance, he achieved vs Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry on September 28, 1968.
Of course it is true, Rose has almost total recall of his career, another reason to admire him as he lived, ate and breathed baseball, as I once did.
His effort to achieve, the example he set, the belief in craft Mr.Rose exemplified, makes what non players, nowhere near perfect, “judge and jury,” purveyors of “absolute power,” which as Lord Acton famously said “corrupts absolutely,” entities like Bart Giamatti, Fay Vincent Bud Selig and Rob Manfred have done, in keeping Pete out of the Baseball Hall of Fame, ever more shameful.
Getting back into the “birds are singing” mode, if possible, in a future post I will talk about the five Hall of Fame players in that 9/28/1968 game, but alas, must also “descend” into the bad, but worthy anger regarding two associated with the game (obviously Pete is one, can you determine the other?), who are not in the no longer sacrosanct, Baseball Hall.
Did Pete Rose really go 5-for-5 off Gaylord Perry? es.pn/2ee0scA
John Dalberg-Acton, better known as Lord Acton and his timeless quotation pictured and cited above.