Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2006-10-20 06:03
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Holy Smokes, that was a great game. Well, the sun will come out tomorrow, as they say. But it's gray and raining in New York this morning. My condolences to the many fine Met fans around town, and my congrats to Cardinal fans everywhere.

Comments (93)
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2006-10-20 06:24:34
1.   BatgirlReneeNYC
Well being the Yankee fan that I am, I had been rooting for the Cardinals to win mostly due to the fact that I have been receiving so much grief from the Mets fans I know and work with. But after watching the game last night and coming to work I find I just don't have the heart to gloat at their expense. I had what I guess could be called a psychic premonition last night. During the bottom of the first inning I said to myself, the game is going to end 3-1 Cardinals. I knew it sounded crazy, even to me, since I know that score seemed ludicrous due the sluggers on the Mets team. But sure enough my premonition came true, I am not a gambler and have never bet on anything in my life...but I sure wish I had bet last night, could have won quite a bit of money. Of course the Met fans I work don't really believe I predicted the final score accurately and it doesn't really matter to me anyway, since at least I know it's true. So rather than antagonize my coworkers, I have decided to take the high road instead since I know all too well what it feels like to have your team choke/freeze up when it matters most. Well New York, Met and Yankees fans alike, are all united for a change and we can definitely sympathize with one another as this season of baseball fizzles out. I can feel it's definitely going to be one heck of a long off-season for all of us. My Grandfather was a huge Cardinals fan, so a part of me can't help but smile as I think of how happy he would be if he were still alive, to see his Red-Birds going to the World Series. Congratulations to all the Cardinal fans out there.
2006-10-20 06:32:18
2.   Sliced Bread
Great game. An unforgettable catch. An unlikely home run hero. A backwards K to end it with the bases loaded, and the winning run on base. Wow. In the end, you really have to tip your cap to the pitcher, don't you? Or do you?

Carlos Beltran. Our woulda-coulda-shoulda been centerfielder. Cardinal killer up with the game on the line. Watches a BP fastball go by him for strike one. Fouls off strike two. Deadman's Curve turns NY's Cardinal killer into the Statue of Futility for steeee-rike three. Game. Set. Season. Unbelievable. Go scratch. Go figure.

2006-10-20 06:44:42
3.   Yankee Fan In Boston
"I just don't have the heart to gloat at their expense."

gloating shouldn't be an option. that was an amazing game. everything i personally was hoping to get out of a game seven: solid pitching, low score, defensive wizardry, nail-biting finish....

wainwright's curve was nasty. delgado's reaction to his 3rd strike told the story.

an amazing game. i hope the 'birds can ride this into the series, and that the tigers are still feeling their magic. if so, we'll have a great week of baseball ahead of us.

i freakin' love october.

2006-10-20 06:48:09
4.   YankeeInMichigan
I'm trying to understand all of the second-guessing of Randolph for not bunting in the 9th. Let's reconstruct the situation. Glavine bunts the runners over. 2nd and 3rd with one out. Reyes lines to center. The runners hold. DoLuca walks. Bases loaded and two out for Beltran. Sounds familiar.

Randolph and the Mets had the bases loaded with their best hitter at the plate. You can't ask for more than that.

2006-10-20 06:53:03
5.   BatgirlReneeNYC
"gloating shouldn't be an option. that was an amazing game. everything i personally was hoping to get out of a game seven: solid pitching, low score, defensive wizardry, nail-biting finish...."

Good point. You're right, "gloating" is definitely not the word I should have used. I guess that's what I get for trying to properly express my thoughts before I am fully awake. haha. And yes, I agree, it was a terrific game-kept everyone guessing right up until the very last moment.

2006-10-20 07:00:34
6.   Cliff Corcoran
2 I knew the game was over when Beltran let that fastball go by, but credit Wainwright, his curve was so incredibly nasty that after he broke it out to K Floyd, the Met hitters had to look curve and adjust to the fastball, which is damn near impossible, and even doing that, the last pitch to Beltran was so wicked Carlos couldn't even pull the trigger on it.

4 Willie didn't make a single mistake all game.

2006-10-20 07:03:36
7.   Sliced Bread
4 Exactly. Willie didn't lose that one, his hitters did, and again, you have to give props to the Cards pitchers who shut down the NL's best offense.

I wonder if Omar has called Soriano's agent yet.

2006-10-20 07:06:55
8.   Sliced Bread
6 Oh, Wainwright's curve was flatout vicious.

And Heilman was definitely the way to go in the 9th.

2006-10-20 07:16:50
9.   bp1
I was expecting a Kirk Gibson moment when Floyd came to the plate. He had a pitch to hit, too.

Is anyone ready for a Jeff Weaver vs Kenny Rogers matchup in the World Series? Geez. I don't know if I can handle that.

2006-10-20 07:23:15
10.   Yankee Fan In Boston
5 i hope that i didn't come off as being judgemental, i was just offering my opinion. and as far as using the wrong word because you were still asleep? i can relate... i typed delgado instead of floyd.


2006-10-20 07:26:23
11.   Sliced Bread
9 Yeah, Willie was thinking Kirk Gibson, too. Good thought.

When Beltran came up, I was thinking Jose Vizcaino. October 21, 2000. 12th inning. Subway Serious. Bases juiced. Vizcaino slices Wendell's slider (a good one at that) for the game winner.
I was thinking choke up, Beltran. A little Vizcaino might do the trick.
Sometimes all it takes is a little Vizcaino.

2006-10-20 07:26:30
12.   pistolpete
Is it me, or did anyone think "Torre" when Heilman came out for another inning? That would have been Farnsworth for the Yankees, and I'm certain it might have been the same result.
2006-10-20 07:35:17
13.   Matt B
I had no issue with Heilman staying in for another inning. To me, it seemed like the smart move at the time for at least another batter or two. He looked great in the 8th.

I don't blame Willie for anything last night - the Mets just didn't hit.

2006-10-20 07:38:02
14.   Sliced Bread
12 No, Joe most likely would have gone with Mo in the 9th of a Game 7, score tied. He'd be more likely to do that than go with Farnswacker for a 2nd inning.
Joe would probably go with Mo for the 9th and 10th, maybe even 11th depending on how Mo looked.
Heilman was the right call to start the 9th, especially since Wagner's outing the previous night struck fear into the heart of Queens.
Heilman made a regrettable pitch, and made an unlikely hero of Molina.
The Mets bats came up short in the 9th. Cards pitcher came up big. End of story. Hold your head high, Willie.
2006-10-20 07:43:27
15.   Sliced Bread
11 Vizcaino sliced sinker, not slider.
2006-10-20 07:44:00
16.   Chyll Will
11 "Sometimes all it takes is a little Vizcaino."

A little something with high Vizcosity to unfreeze those stiff joints. Oh well...

2006-10-20 07:47:50
17.   pistolpete
14 Eh, I'm with ya on Wagner - and if they had to lose I'd rather it have been him to get bombed - but he's the closer and he's been doing it all year.

I expect to see some sort of disparaging comment out of Billy before the offseason's over.

2006-10-20 07:50:14
18.   Simone
It was a heartbreaking game for the Mets and their fans. My best friend assures me that she is coping today.

4 Agreed. I listened to Gammons and Phillips on that stupid Mike & Mike show about the bunt and Wagner. I'll never understand the love for bunting. Only pitchers and possibly no. 9 hitters should bunt. As for Wagner, maybe Willie should have brought him, but I don't think that he made a major mistake sticking with Heilman. The second guessing of Willie reminds me a lot of the second guess of Joe when the Yankees lose. The Mets had their chance to score, but the players didn't get the runs in. It happens.

2006-10-20 08:03:40
19.   Murray
My great regret at the moment is that there will be no more baseball in New York this October. I'm not ready to give it up yet.

Don't forget that the Mets loaded the bases in the sixth, too, and saw Chavez, probably still juiced from his heroics in the top half of the inning, swing at the first pitch. I swear, I thought for a moment that they should have hit for him right there, but I knew that was unrealistic.

Do you think Willie's visit to the mound before Chavez's catch went something like this:

Willie: You OK?
Oliver: I'm good, Skip. I can get this guy.
Willie: (Looks at LoDuca)
Paul: He's good. He's throwin' good. (Looks down at the ground, avoids eye contact, and spits)
Willie: (pause) OK. Let's turn two here.

And technically, they did.

2006-10-20 08:04:11
20.   JL25and3
6 Cliff, I might argue that Willie made a mistake in keeping Perez in for one more batter. It just wasn't a mistake that hurt them.
2006-10-20 08:04:55
21.   Bama Yankee
4 First of all, I would not have bunted in that situation either. I think Willie made the right call by going with Floyd. However, IMO the bunt in that situation is not necessarily bad.

First, they have to field the bunt and make the putout (not always easy in a Game 7). Second, if Glavine bunts them over maybe LaRussa walks Reyes to set up the DP with LoDuca at the plate (since he had a two run lead and a bases loaded walk would not have tied the game).

If you don't have Floyd on the bench (or another HR hitter) in that situation, would you have bunted then?

2006-10-20 08:11:41
22.   Yankee Fan In Boston
re: the bunt
don't forget the rain. the grass was pretty slick. fielding and throwing in that situation (game 7, late, close, wet grass and ball) would likely be more difficult than usual.

...but i don't think it would've made much of a difference.

2006-10-20 08:13:27
23.   Yankee Fan In Boston
22 (i don't think pulling off a bunt there would've made much of a difference.)
2006-10-20 08:14:24
24.   pistolpete
21 If not the bunt, at least a ground ball to second. I think Willie saw the 'Gibson' moment in his mind, and maybe let that take precedent over fundamentals...
2006-10-20 08:14:47
25.   JL25and3
4, 18 I also concur.

If you bunt, you've given away an out, and you still need a hit from one of the next two batters to tie the game. If you don't bunt and you get that hit from one of the next two batters, then you still have the chance to score the tying run on an out. But you also have a greatly increased chance of winning the game right there in the ninth inning.

2006-10-20 08:15:58
26.   pistolpete
22 FWIW, I think I heard the BBTN crew speculate that Rolen threw his ball into the stands because it may have been a bit slick.
2006-10-20 08:20:43
27.   weeping for brunnhilde
11 Couldn't agree more. Just as Luis Gonzalez choked up against Mo in Game 7, so should Beltran have choked up last night.

That's a really interesting at-bat to analyze. The first pitch was a tailing fastball that ended up on the outer part of the plate. Did Beltran not swing because he was looking for something to pull or did he not swing because he was expecting the hook?

Can anyone read that at-bat and tell me what Beltran's plan was, because I'm not sure.

2006-10-20 08:23:00
28.   Bama Yankee
25 With the wet conditions (considering Rolens previous throwing error) and a good bunter, you are not always giving away an out. But again, even though I would have gone with Floyd, I understand why some would have gone with the bunt.
2006-10-20 08:27:33
29.   JL25and3
28 Not always, but usually, especially if you're bunting specifically for a sacrifice. The batter won't get fancy, because you can't afford the risk. And since it wouldn't be Reyes or Chavez, there really wouldn't be a need to rush the throw.

I think that makes some difference, but not nearly enough to make the play worthwhile.

2006-10-20 08:28:08
30.   Cliff Corcoran
When there are three outs left in your season and you need two runs, you can't give one of your outs away without getting one of those runs in.

As for Heilman vs. Wagner, Heilman has pitched better than Wagner in this series and the pitchers spot was due up in the bottom of the ninth, so if you go to Wagner you lose both of them for extra innings. If you stick with Heilman, you've got Wagner for the tenth.

20 Good point, though I was fine with him leaving Perez as I was watching the game.

2006-10-20 08:29:26
31.   Bama Yankee
27 I'm with you on protecting the plate (how many pitches would Jeter, Damon or Abreu fouled off in that situation?)

When he had the 0-2 count, I thought that he was probably thinking that Wainwright might waste one. Problem is he guessed wrong and as you pointed out last night, he should not have been guessing in that situation. Instead of choking up and taking his chances, maybe he wanted to end it with one swing (after the waste pitch) and become the walk-off hero.

2006-10-20 08:35:38
32.   Alvaro Espinoza
I only have 1 minor beef w/ Willie last night. If Floyd was going to be his go-to-guy off the bench in a big spot, that spot came in the 6th after the Cards IBB'd Green to load the bases. I would have PH'd Floyd for Valentin right there.

In the 9th, I would have bunted (Glavine?) but I didn't hate the call. Wainwright was wild high in the strike zone to the first 2 batters so I can understand not wanting to give away an out in that situation.

2006-10-20 08:37:06
33.   Bama Yankee
29 & 30 Good points. But if you don't have Floyd (or another HR hitter) on your bench, would you ever bunt to get the tying run in scoring postion (the old playing for the tie at home strategy)?
2006-10-20 08:37:26
34.   weeping for brunnhilde
31 Your mention of Jeter reminds of something that I'd like to mention, especially for Simone's sake since she thinks my demands are unreasonable.

You guys remember Jeter's at-bat against Percival in 2002? I don't remember which game or what the score was, but the Yanks were behind but threatening, maybe a runner or two on base.

Jeter took strike three against Percival, diving out over the plate as a scorching fastball painted the inside corner.

Now, as I recall that at-bat, it serves as the perfect example of situational hitting.

Jeter had run the count full (iirc) and was fighting and fighting, clearly looking to work a walk because he was overmatched.

I didn't mind his taking that pitch because a walk was really the best possible outcome of that at-bat, which was obvious by watching how overmatched Jeter was. Jeter evidently knew this too, so adopted the best approach for the situation. He failed to execute it, which was a shame, but he came awfully close; that pitch was borderline and could have gone either way.

The point being, that seems to me a classic example of a good approach that ended in failure.

Beltran's at-bat seemed like a classic example of failure with no discernible approach--at least, no appraoch discernible to me other than waiting for the perfect pitch to jack over the right field fence.

2006-10-20 08:41:51
35.   Bama Yankee
34 Great point about the Jeter at-bat.

32 Alvaro, finally someone else around here who appreciates the use of a good bunt ;-)

2006-10-20 08:42:53
36.   Paul in Boston
That was a heckuva game. Suppan was superb, the strikeout of Valentin with 1 out and Delgado on 3rd in the bottom of the 6th was particularly impressive -- beautiful use of the curveball. Plus, he showed no evidence of losing it despite "the catch" in the top of the inning, and Rolen's error right before. It would have been easy to go to pieces right there.

If it were the Yankees in a similar game 7, I would have been an emotional mess. It was both sad and refreshing to watch it as a dispassionate baseball fan.

2006-10-20 08:47:34
37.   weeping for brunnhilde
And about that critical Valentin at-bat in the seventh(?) when he struck out, I don't have a vivid recollection of the entire at-bat, but he just seemed overmatched there. He struck out on a nasty, brutal pitch and I can't falt him for that.

But does anyone recall the entire sequence? Did he have anything to hit? Was he looking to put the ball in play or to hit it out?

In other words, does anyone have an opinion on the quality of that at-bat?

2006-10-20 08:47:55
38.   Simone
Also about the bunt, how many times have we seen even experience hitters mess up a bunt? Tons of. Bunts aren't a sure thing in terms of execution so there is no guarantee that Floyd's bunt would have worked anyway. The Mets' best chance was that he put the ball into play. I actually thought that Willie might have gone for the double steal to avoid a DP.
2006-10-20 08:50:29
39.   Cliff Corcoran
34 Thing is, he got the perfect pitch, it was that first-pitch fastball and he watched it go by. I think the threat of that curve messed him up there.

32 I don't hit Floyd for Valentin in the sixth. Valentin is a better bet than Floyd given the rust on Floyd. Heck, Valentin had a better season overall. He also got that single to start things in the ninth.

33 See what I wrote in 30. When you only have three outs left in your season, you can't afford to give one up without getting a run home on that play.

2006-10-20 08:51:37
40.   Bama Yankee
29 JL, did Willie have Michael Tucker on the bench? I'm not sure if he is a good bunter or not (is he better or worse than Glavine?) but I'm sure he does have more speed than Glavine. So if you could have went with Tucker (or even Anderson Hernandez) maybe they would not have a lot of time to make the play.

Again, I'm with you and Cliff (and others) on this. I just enjoy discussing baseball strategy a whole lot more than the latest A-Rod rumor. Thanks for the discussion.

2006-10-20 08:51:54
41.   weeping for brunnhilde
38 Agreed wholeheartedly, Simone, as to the abysmal state of bunting skill in today's game.

If I were running an organization, I'd demand that each and every player in my organization knew how to bunt, no exceptions. You never know when it might come in handy.

It bewilders me that so many major league baseball players should have such a gaping hole in their game.

People can learn to bunt, it's not a mysterious gift bestowed on the elect from on high.

2006-10-20 08:54:17
42.   weeping for brunnhilde
39 Agree, Cliff, sort of. That first pitch was over the plate, but was tailing away. Had he tried to pull it, he might well of dribbled it to second. So it was perfect to hit hard, but maybe not perfect to pull.

And yes, it's quite likely he was looking for the hook, which I can understand on the first pitch, that's a reasonable guess and a reasonable count in which to guess.

2006-10-20 08:56:48
43.   Yankee Fan In Boston
weeping for brunnhilde, i ran across an article on team chemistry and the tigers.

i thought you might want to check it out.

2006-10-20 08:56:55
44.   RIYank
38 Simone, I agree perfectly about the bunt. Yes, sometimes fielders screw up; but batters do too.

I personally think the double-steal would have been nuts. Yes, the pay-off is big, but the cost of losing one of the runners to a good Molina throw is enormous. (But 'nuts' is too strong; I think we're talking about a gutsy call that would have been the talk of MLB had Willie made it successfully, but was not worth the potential cost.)

2006-10-20 08:57:13
45.   pistolpete
41 Agreed. Seems to me it used to be a primary tool in every player's repertoire - now it's the rare bird who can actually lay one down and make the defense work a little bit..
2006-10-20 08:58:36
46.   Cliff Corcoran
42 Another thing on that first pitch. He's got the bases loaded, Delgado behind him, and the man ahead of him just walked. I can't get on a guy for taking the first pitch in that situation.

40 Willie burned Tucker earlier in the game. And, while I'm not a huge fan of the bunt, I completely agree with 41.

2006-10-20 08:58:50
47.   Bama Yankee
39 Cliff, I'm not trying to be difficult (like I said in 40 I just enjoy the discussion and I really like to pick your brain on these things).

So if I undertand you correctly, you would never bunt in that situation? Even if all you had on your bench was a backup catcher and some slap hitting LIDR types? I realize that this is very hypothetical since most teams would carry that power bat on the bench for just this type of situation.

2006-10-20 08:59:57
48.   Cliff Corcoran
44 I'd go with "reckless," Molina's one of the best throwing catchers in the majors, if not the best.
2006-10-20 09:00:14
49.   pistolpete
44 Speaking of gutsy, what was up with the Molina throw down to first with 2 men on in the 9th? I understand you're trying to keep the runners close, but Pujols ain't exactly Keith Hernandez over there..

If that ball gets away and goes into the outfield, I get the feeling we're talking about a Mets/Tigers WS today..

2006-10-20 09:00:14
50.   RIYank
I don't fault Beltran, really. He was guessing heat. He guessed wrong. If the pitch had been what he thought it was, then swinging would have likely meant a big K, and taking would have meant a better count. And Beltran's best shot was to work the count full and get a 'mistake' pitch to crush.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-20 09:00:33
51.   Simone
I'm back from where I just read Keith Law's column ( taking apart every mistake that he claims that the Mets made. It is too much.

39 Exactly. Beltran clearly was guessing on that at bat and got fooled because of how effective the curve ball had been previously.

2006-10-20 09:01:12
52.   dianagramr
Endy's catch was Griffeyesque .... (the early 90s Junior version of course).

He had no time to get himself adjusted ... just up up and away ....

(but the Gary Matthews "spiderman" catch and the Rowand broken nose catch were better, if less pressure-packed) :-)

2006-10-20 09:01:38
53.   RIYank
48 Okay, 'reckless'. :-)
Actually, I didn't know that about Molina.
2006-10-20 09:02:55
54.   Cliff Corcoran
47 If all I have is Nick Green and Sal Fasano to pinch hit for my reliever . . . okay, maybe I bunt. Maybe. But probably not.
2006-10-20 09:02:59
55.   RIYank
51 I'm waiting for The Sports Guy's analysis. I expect to pull out several fistfuls of my own hair over the course of three paragraphs.
2006-10-20 09:03:49
56.   dianagramr

excellent point ... its akin to watching defensive linemen pick up a loose football and nearly have a coronary running to the goalline .... you're supposedly an "athlete" ... you can't run 60-70 yards without oxygen?

2006-10-20 09:05:16
57.   Sliced Bread
Based on the reactions from a couple of Mets fans in my office, and my friends who are Mets fans across the country -- the "bunt or Floyd?" and the "Heilman or Wagner?" questions are getting more mileage here on the Bronx Banter board than in Metsburgh.
The dejected Mets fans I know are sadly moving on, hoping for hot-stove action to keep them warm this winter, not questioning Willie, or Omar. Not cursing Beltran, or Heilman. No immediate demands for trades or firings.
I haven't checked any Mets blogs, and perhaps there's second-guessing and rage, and the sky is falling there, but I'm not seeing or hearing the bitter frustration that accompanies a Yankees defeat.
Perhaps expectations are lower and more realistic among the Mets fans I know.
Perhaps they're still too shocked to analyze where things went wrong, or too proud to discuss it with a Yankees fan.
But the lack of bitterness I'm perceiving is remarkable, and refreshing to this Yanks fan.
2006-10-20 09:05:57
58.   Simone
44 48 I acknowledge that the double steal would have been "nuts" and "reckless," but in that moment I thought avoiding the DP was the most important thing. However, it was unlikely to have worked so lucky thing I wasn't managing.
2006-10-20 09:10:33
59.   Cliff Corcoran
57 The Mets blogs I've read have been thankful for the great season. Like I wrote in my Game 6 wrap, that Yankee negativity just ain't there . . . and it's wonderful.
2006-10-20 09:10:49
60.   Simone
57 My best friend who is a Mets' fan is in the same dejected state as your co-workers. She is disappointed, but it isn't the rage that we Yankee fans experience.
2006-10-20 09:12:08
61.   pistolpete
Ha, check out this Mets site:

Read the top post on the page about Neyer - apparently in some ESPN chat before the game, he said he would retire if Perez shut down the Cardinals last night, and donate his salary!

I say we unite with Mets fans, and head up some sort of movement to make this welcher live up to his word..

2006-10-20 09:17:02
62.   dianagramr

why oh why couldn't Joe Morgan make those offers!?

2006-10-20 09:17:29
63.   Simone
Some Yankee news: Rick Cerrone was fired. Cashman is cleaning house. Tampa's influence may indeed be waning.

2006-10-20 09:18:17
64.   RIYank
62 In that case it wouldn't just be us and Met fans uniting.
2006-10-20 09:18:34
65.   pistolpete
63 Not sure how firing the VP of media relations helps our pitching staff...
2006-10-20 09:19:11
66.   Alvaro Espinoza
39 In my mind, Willie established that Floyd was his ace off the bench given his PH in the 9th (regardless of whether you or I think he was too gimpy to get the job done). So if Willie was saving Floyd for a big AB in the game, the 6th was the time to do it. Put another way, with the Mets season on the line, Jose Valentin and Endy Chavez were permitted to hit while Floyd, the guy Willie was saving for a big AB, sat on the bench. I understand that Valentin had a nice season but given Willie's logic, he should have called him back. His hit in the 9th, while a nice job, has nothing to do with whether he should have been PH'd for in the 6th. Either way, it's not why they lost the game.

49 Agreed. Terrible decision by Molina and Pujols saved his bacon.

2006-10-20 09:20:51
67.   Bama Yankee
54 Thanks Cliff, it's good to have you back...
2006-10-20 09:33:59
68.   Shaun P
61 Why the Neyer hatred?

I am very impressed that Willie didn't bring Wagner in for the 9th. And the pinch-hit of Floyd. Willie did it exactly right, but the chips didn't fall his way. Kudos to the Cards.

51 I usually agree with Keith Law's analysis, but not this time. I think he's way off on pinch-hitting for Valentin in the 6th, and also letting Perez bat.

2006-10-20 09:46:00
69.   pistolpete
68 "Why the Neyer hatred?"

Are you new here or something? ;-)

2006-10-20 09:48:43
70.   Murray
68 Because Neyer doesn't do any research before he trots things out, and inevitably winds up writing a correction to everything he writes within a few days. He's lazy.

63 The media relations guy, who has to bear some responsibility for the infamous SI article? Good riddance.

2006-10-20 09:50:08
71.   rbj
59 Cliff, do you mean to tell me that a team's fans, though disappointed, are actually ok with having the best record in the league and got to play in the post season? They aren't demanding the manager be fired and star players traded? What a concept!

But why in the freaking world is Jeff Weaver still pitching while the WormKiller is sitting at home? That just ain't right.

2006-10-20 10:00:03
72.   unpopster
38 simone, though I agree that the bunt is never a guarantee to be executed perfectly, your assessment is incorrect because it would not have been Floyd that would have been asked to bunt in that scenario.

I still think Willie (whom I love!) should have bunted Glavine at that time. Why? Because of the conditions on the field. Does anyone remember the gaff Mariano made when he threw a bunt into centerfield? I can't remember which game it was...perhaps Game 7 of the 2001 WS?

Also, bringing Floyd up there to hit away was a mistake. Had he hit a ground ball, it'd be an easy double-play, given Floyd's injured legs. Had it been a fly ball put out, then it's still 1st and 2nd with 1 out. Ditto if he K's (which he did!).

The other two scenarios are a game winning homer and a hit. Remember that Floyd was cold due to his ass riding the bench for the last couple of games.

I still stand by my contention that a bunt would have been the right move. Larussa would have probably then walked Reyes and forced LoDuca to hit with the bases loaded and one out (a better scenario for the Mets). A vsingle ties the game and an extra base hit probably scores the speedy Reyes for the winning run.

2006-10-20 10:03:40
73.   standuptriple
So in NYC has Beltran taken the "choke" flag away from A-Rod? (I know it will only be a one-day rental) Oh. Right. It's on catostrophic if A-Rod doesn't deliver every single AB.
I was thinking the Gibson moment when Floyd came up too. I wonder if LaRussa had a bad flashback as well.
The Ollie Perez conversation at the mound: As a former backstop I could see (thanks HDTV) that LoDuca was not 100% confident in him. Willie (and Endy) caught a huge break there. I wonder if Rolen took that out in the field with him (it very well could have been the wet ball). I was glad to see him get the setup AB and eventual winning run though. He took a beating from the FOX guys last night and he doesn't deserve it. Especially when they've been crowing about how "tough" Eckstein is. Give me a break.
I thought it was an excellent game overall, but Game 7's usually tend to bring the level of performance up in most sports.
2006-10-20 10:06:45
74.   Javi Javi
65 I wonder if Cerrone's firing has anything to do with the SI article on Arod. That article was definitely an outlier as far as the level access into the clubhouse and the level of extraneous noise it generated. Seems like a propaganda failure to me.
2006-10-20 10:08:15
75.   Cliff Corcoran
66 I think you're misunderstanding Willie's evaluation of Floyd. Just because he preferred him over Heilman, Franco, Woodward, Hernandez and Castro doesn't mean he some sort of weapon, it juse means he was the best remaining option. Remember that Michael Tucker was actually the first bat off the bench. None of these guys is Johnny Mize, or even John Vander Wal (Pitsburgh edition).

72 Best argument for the bunt I've read yet.

I think I should point out that I have nothing against Neyer myself. In fact, I hear he's a very nice fellow, and I used to enjoy his columns quite a bit. Of course I haven't read him since they put him behind a pay wall, so I can't speak to his writing over the past couple of seasons.

2006-10-20 10:10:57
76.   Cliff Corcoran
74 Excellent point. And a far better step toward mending things with Rodriguez than trading him or firing the manager. But let's not let this degenerate into another conversation about you know who.
2006-10-20 10:13:42
77.   JL25and3
I might bunt in a one-run situation. I'd like it better if it were, say, the go-ahead run in the 8th.
2006-10-20 10:14:24
78.   Bama Yankee
72 After running that play by my "focus group" here at work (Braves fans with the NL mindset) they all say they would have bunted. After what you say, I'm not sure what I would do now (leaning more toward the bunt I think). Thanks for the insight.
2006-10-20 10:17:21
79.   Sliced Bread
72 Glavine's butt was just as cold and wet as Floyd's.

A walk was also a possibility.

I'm not so much against the idea of a bunt, but I wouldn't ask a starting pitcher to come off the bench and execute one with the season on the line.

Glavine is an effective bunter in the game situations he's used to. Maybe with the rain falling, the temperature dropping, and the season on the line he pops up the bunt, or fails to lay one down.

I'm with Willie. Go with Cliff and swing away.

2006-10-20 10:24:39
80.   unpopster
79 Glavine is a pitcher who practices bunting every day and has probably been called upon to bunt more than 300 times in his career. He's actually considered a good bunter.

Wainright doesn't throw 95+ and, therefore, is not hard to bunt. If he pops up the bunt, then he has not executed correctly, but the scenario is still then 1st and 2nd with 1 out. If Floyd hits into a double-play, then the Mets are down to 2 outs with only one man on base. The Mets are actually lucky Floyd only K'd.

2006-10-20 10:26:18
81.   JL25and3
52 Not only the early-90's Griffey but the mid-80's version as well. Senior once made a catch running full tilt, more or less crosswise towards the wall; when he got there he actually kept going a couple of steps up the padding to make the catch. I was there, and it was astonishing.

It ended with him sprawling on the field, a la Melky. After Junior's famous catch in center, someone asked him about his dad's play. Junior said, "I give him a 10 for the catch and a 1 for the dismount."

2006-10-20 10:31:25
82.   Sliced Bread
80 He doesn't throw heat, but he was dealing vicious junk. I don't think Glavine would have got the bat on the ball.
2006-10-20 10:37:13
83.   Stu
I can guarantee the person whose heart sunk the most, OK, maybe after Willie Randolph, following Beltran's K was Fox sports president Ed Goren. Cards vs. Tigers... oh, yeah, if you listen closely you can hear the country now clicking off their remotes ....
2006-10-20 10:44:20
84.   Bama Yankee
79 "Glavine's butt was just as cold and wet as Floyd's"

I'm not sure I want to know how you know that one, Sliced ;-)

2006-10-20 10:54:27
85.   Zavo
I don't think it is any surprise that the reaction from the Yankee and Met fan bases are different. The Yanks have lost in the post-season 6 years in row, the last three years in pretty ugly ways.

Should we be happy just to make it? Absolutely, and I personally enjoy and celebrate every division title the Yankees have won, but we also know the team should make it to the postseason as they have the highest payroll in baseball and a tremendous amount of talent (at least offensively).

Mets fans know their team had some injuries coming into the playoffs which made them less likely to win, yet their team won a round of playoffs, and played their hearts out for 7 games just falling short in the NLCS. If the Yanks had lost a game 7 in the ALCS I don't think you would have seen the anger that we have seen on these boards and elsewhere.

If the Mets fall short in the playoffs the next 5 years in a row, I'm sure we will be seeing some angry, bitter Mets fans.

2006-10-20 11:15:27
86.   weeping for brunnhilde
75 Or Rusty Staub, for that matter!

I was at the game, in fact, when Rusty broke Dave Filly's record of (I think it was seven?) consecutive pinch hits.

And wouldn't you know it, the game was against the Phillies!

And for the record, I was in favor of leaving Heliman in and would probably have bunted, probably with Glavin.

Having the tying run on second base with one out and Reyes and LoDuca coming up seems to me to offer the highest potential for success.

43 Thanks, that was a touching article, especially this:

"Players fit, or try their darndest to fit. Left fielder Craig Monroe is learning Spanish so he can chat more freely with the Latin players, who appreciate it.

"I just think it's good to be able to communicate with your friends," Monroe said. "They're my buddies, so I want to talk with them. They call me Monroeguez. It's fun.""

I once read an article in the Times, maybe two or three years ago about how, according to sociological data, being tight-knit is actually a disadvantage in times of crisis.

Something about how if a team is too close, the failure of one is more likely to resound throughout the team whereas if the team is less cohesive, it tends to maintain equilibrium better.

Something like that.

The article also did a sort of sociological analysis of the cliques on the Yanks, looking at things like how the locker assignments are arranged.

It was a fun article.

2006-10-20 11:22:02
87.   standuptriple
82 I see it as another way. Glavine prides himself on his ability to bunt while most other MLers view it as a chore. If Glavine isn't the in the top 3 on the team in bunting ability I'd be surprised. Yes, that Uncle Charlie was nasty though and I'm fairly sure only a handful of guys in the league have the patience and the skill to bunt that effectively. Whether Glavine makes the cut on that is a question that shall remain unanswered.
2006-10-20 11:22:18
88.   JL25and3
{83] I know you're right, but I can't help feeling that that has mostly to do with MLB's poor marketing. There's no inherent reason that Tigers-CArds should be a bad matchup, even if the markets aren't the biggest. Both franchises have long histories and deep roots, and both should be easily recognized brand names.

The Cardinals in particular used to be a huge regional team; they and the Cubs controlled the entire midwest. Other teams have encroached on the region - and, maybe worse, the Cards no longer broadcast on as powerful a radio station as they once did. Still, there should be a lot of fans to whom the Cards mean a lot.

2006-10-20 11:37:07
89.   standuptriple
88 You know that's just flyover country, thus it will be "The Worst World Series EVER". Well, according to FOX ad execs. Here's a thought, maybe you paid too much for The Series. Maybe everything about baseball is in a financial fantasy world. It's sad when those huge media corporations only make money when A) only the largest TV markets are represented and B) when The Series goes to 6 games. Boo hoo.
2006-10-20 11:37:08
90.   pistolpete
85 I'm not saying Mets fans are running out the excuses this morning (Pedro, Duque), but you really can't say they could have gotten much better performances than what they had from Glavine, Perez for 2 games and Maine.

Trachsel was really the only guy to stink it up, and he would have been in the rotation anyway.

2006-10-20 11:40:47
91.   Yankee Fan In Boston
i took a class last semester on group psychology and behavioral patterns. according to the professor there are a number of variables that can play a part in determining how a tight knit group operates. if they're under a great deal of stress and feel threatened, they can often take greater risks for instance. (think heaven's gate.) there's group think... i could go on for a while, but after studying what this guy had us read and hearing his lectures i came away thinking that while there are tendencies, there are no rules for group dynamics.

...but there are instances when a group clicks and it can overachieve.

88 i thought that a tigers/cardinals series would be good for baseball. seven different champions in seven years. people can't say that the yankees win it all every year. i would have figured that no one outside of NY wanted to see a NY team in the series. (generally speaking of course.)

it was

2006-10-20 12:01:15
92.   rbj
Cardinals - Tigers is a good, old school series. Much better than having a flashy, brand new team (Marlins, Diamondbacks) buy a world championship. 91 You're right, and this should knock off a lot of the "we can't compete with the Yankees" whineyness. Three years ago, the Tigers were too much of a "small market" team, 119 losses. Now, they're in the WS. See, the Yankees do let other teams win.
2006-10-20 12:23:40
93.   Yankee Fan In Boston
not only do the yankees "allow" these teams to compete, they're funding them through luxury taxes.

nobody should be complaining about the yankees and their payroll. (except maybe george... he's the guy unloading all of that money.)

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