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Comments, Facts in and around a classic, #2, ’17 W.S.

October 26, 2017

Even I, once a “no matter what,” lover/watcher/listener of every pitch of the World Series, who truly has missed “mucho” W.S. action in the past say 20 years, admits last night’s game 2, Astros’ first ever Series win, that squared this, the ’17 version, was incredible.

However, the extremes and lack of perspective by television announcers Joe Buck and John Smoltz smack of that Fox thing, claiming “fair and balanced,” when only a little research or just listening, proves otherwise.

Your key words or comments regard Buck unabashedly worshiping at the shrine of Vin Scully, evoking his father Jack Buck and ignoring the fact/strong opinion by me, which I know I can back up, that Scully and Buck, while hometown icons, had styles, certainly Buck, less so Scully, not of saint status on national broadcasts. In fact, neither were ever deemed even great, no less at the point we are now where Scully is called the “no doubt about it, best baseball broadcaster ever.”

Far worse, as still what Buck said is an opinion, was Smoltz’s relative terms, completely missing the words/concepts of both “more important” and “ideal,” but in fairness, though it does not take away from my point, having the proverbial “horseshoe” somewhere, as his inane comment regarding getting ONE run, down TWO runs, top 8 and say one run, top 9 manifested.

Smoltz with Bregman (only regarding Smoltz’s points will I “game detail,” but again what a classic game, 6 home runs as late as the ninth inning, being one incredible note) at second, none out, top 8, vs reliever Kenley Jansen, talked of ideally tying the game, (I think he said one swing, so I will pass on that, but Smoltz and almost all of them continually use terms of the “it could not be better,” variety, when that is not the case), but get this, “MORE IMPORTANT,” getting one run.

If you do not see the gravity of that error, even though eventually “Hous” got the “one and one,” I still “cry foul” on Smoltz’s usage, evoking the recently passed Connie Hawkins (the book, “Foul” and the Hawk’s moves) by calling it a bad, even ridiculous, move on Smoltz’s part.

Later, in again what was a fabulous tilt, Smoltz used the word ideal regarding a situation that was not.

Thanks for listening, having endured my opinions, some typically unique (an opinion?) facts will follow.

Marwin Gonzalez, who hit a game tying home run top 9, without which it is very unlikely that a) Hous wins its first W.S. game ever and b) baseball gets a truly classic game, became the tenth player to hit a game tying World Series home run as late as the ninth inning (I believe, but am not sure, all 10 were in the 9th inning).

Six of the previous nine times, twice in the ’01 W.S. the team that got a game tying, ninth inning World Series home run, lost the series.

Four of the six times they still lost said game (twice the Yankees, who were the team to get two 9th inning, tying home runs in the referenced above, ’01 W.S. but eventually lost the series, also lost the game. Another time the Yankees after yielding a game tying, 9th inning homer, (Carl Furillo connected to tie the game for the Brooklyn Dodgers), won the game and in fact, clinched a still and long to be record, 5th straight title when Alfred “Billy” Martin singled home Hank Bauer in game 6 of the ’53 Fall Classic).

The Yankees got game tying home runs from Elston Howard in 1957 (#4) and Tom Tresh in #5,’64 off respectively two pitching greats, Warren Spahn and Bob Gibson, but lost the games and eventually the series in 7 games, first vs the Milwaukee Braves and then vs the St. Louis Cardinals.

In ’01, after first Tino Martinez in #4 and the next night Scott Brosius in #5, hit 9th inning tying 2 run home runs, the Yankees won the game but Arizona with, coincidentally a player named Gonzalez driving in the Series winning run (lost by far too many is Tony Womack’s far better and slightly more important hit, also in bottom 9, game 7) took #’s 6 and 7 and the title.

Twice great Philadelphia Athletics’ teams, their greatness, also largely lost by too many, in the midst of great multiple titles and certainly pennants, eras, won both the game and series after a game tying ninth inning home run.

In 1911 Frank “Home Run” Baker homered off the great, great Christy Mathewson to tie game 3, a game and series the Athletics won, to claim a second straight title, en route to three in four seasons, a span of time in which they notched 4 pennants in 5 seasons (1910-1914).

Before the stock market crash of 1929, (there are bears and bulls regarding “the market”) “Mule” Haas hit a game tying 9th inning, 2 run homer for the A’s in game 5. Subsequently in the inning, Bing Miller “tuned in” the great Al Simmons with the W.S. winning run. The A’s titled again in 1930, lost in 7 to a great Pepper Martin performance in 1931 and did not win another title or pennant, until 41 years later when the franchise having moved twice, first to Kansas City, and now in Oakland, won the first of three straight crowns (1972-1974).

It was the next year, in the glorious 1975 World Series, that Dwight Evans, so good a clutch hitter and not in the “Hall,” juxtaposed with non clutch, Dave Winfield, who is, homered to tie #3, a game and series in which both cases the Bo Sox were hard luck losers, albeit to a great, 108 regular season wins, Cincinnati Reds’ team.

The other time, (we shall see what transpires this time) a team won the series after a 9th inning game tying home run was after Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals tied #1 of the ’15 W.S.

Subsequently, K.C. “titled” in 5 games.


Recently at a great discussion at 92 Y, “instead of judgment, curiosity” was stressed, concerning opposing views.

I temper my strong opinions clearly stating I am curious regarding your opposing ones.

Concerning Mr. Scully pictured above, I was subjected to even greater “opposing views” when I hailed Vin as the best.

I am taken to a dream place when I hear Scully intone “Parker’s gottt it,” when Big D (Don Drysdale), somewhat fortuitously recorded a record tying 5th straight shutout, in volatile 1968.

This is what I wanted to do and that man did it so well.

However, was the wheel, the printing press or other, history’s most important invention?!!

Get the point, nothing is absolute and I feel when “it” tilts too far (Scully as the absolute best from a gushing Joe Buck, who respectfully based on his broadcasting, now doing a 20th W.S. (talk about a “well placed” horseshoe), knows mediocrity and as with any of us, including me, does not know what is absolute best!!



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