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Luis Tiant (Indians-Red Sox Game 7 Chat)

October 21, 2007
 

 
If you were able to resurrect anyone in his prime from the history of your favorite team to pitch the seventh game of a playoff series, whom would you choose? The Red Sox have a lot of worthy candidates, including the two current roster members who have enabled the Red Sox to climb out of a 3 games to 1 hole against the Cleveland Indians and force the all or nothing deciding game tonight (FOX; 8:23 ET). Both of these men, already October legends, turned in impressive performances, the smirkingly confident Beckett simply wrecking the Indians with blazing fastballs and darting curves, and the aging, top-heavy Schilling, who looked throughout the game like a long-sedentary office worker who’d just been forced by an elevator malfunction to take five flights of stairs, somehow keeping the Indians at bay with his assortment of batting practice heaves.

I’d be happy if either one of these able fellows could somehow take the mound tonight on full rest (Beckett does indeed appear ready to pitch in relief), but they wouldn’t be my first choice if I could reach back into history for anyone. They’d have a lot of good company among the pitchers passed over for the job, including:

Cy Young. The winner of all imagined conversations in pitching heaven, e.g.: “Wow, that is a lot of Cy Young awards you’ve got there. No doubt about it. Hm? What’s that? What’s my name? Why don’t you ask one of your little trophies. You know, on your way to getting your shinebox.”

Smokey Joe Wood. His 1912 season was one of the greatest ever. Also the possessor of the coolest name for a pitcher ever, with the possible exception of Blue Moon Odom. Incidentally, he is a member of the all-time team of Red Sox-Indians; after arm trouble killed his pitching career he made a comeback as a part-time outfielder with the Cleveland Indians, helping them win the 1920 World Series.

Babe Ruth. Really tough not to pick the Babe, who for many years held the record for most consecutive shutout innings in World Series play; plus, of course, he could bat and let the DH David Ortiz hit for Julio Lugo (by the way, has the DH ever been used for anybody but the pitcher?)

Roger Clemens. The numbers in context point to him as quite possibly the author of the greatest regular season pitching career of all time, and if he were on the mound tonight for the Red Sox, in his prime, I wouldn’t complain, but I’d also be a little worried about an overpumped bat-throwing ump-berating meltdown.

Pedro Martinez. The dominant, fearless maestro. When Clemens was at his peak for the Red Sox I was gratefully aware that we had one of the best pitchers in the game; when Pedro was at his peak for the Red Sox I often found myself wondering if we had the best pitcher who ever lived.

But if I could pick one player from Red Sox history to pitch tonight’s game, I’d follow the thinking of former Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson, who once said, “If a man put a gun to my head and said I’m going to pull the trigger if you lose this game, I’d want Luis Tiant to pitch that game.”

Luis Tiant came through in many a big game for the Red Sox, and I believe he should be in the Hall of Fame. But those are not the sole reasons for my choice. Part of the reason has to do with the element of resurrection in his career. After breaking in with the Cleveland Indians, where he authored a season for the ages in 1968, Tiant appeared done as a pitcher in the early 1970s. These terse lines from the transaction section of his page on Baseball Reference.com tell the story:

March 31, 1971: Released by the Minnesota Twins.
April 16, 1971: Signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
May 15, 1971: Released by the Atlanta Braves.

Picked up, dumped, picked up again, dumped again. The Red Sox took a chance on him and to their credit stuck with him throughout 1971 as he compiled a putrid 1 and 7 record. The following season he turned things around, and for most of the rest of the decade he was once again among the best pitchers on the globe. He had been finished, a Hefty bag left on the curb, but he came all the way back, resurrected.

But the theme of resurrection isn’t, in the end, the deciding factor for me, though it feeds into it. Here’s the main reason I’d give the ball to Luis Tiant:

Joy.

Luis Tiant not only dominated in big games, he entertained, he enchanted, he enthralled. He toyed with batters with his wide assortment of bedeviling pitches and his looping corkscrew windup (the most imitated big league gyration of my childhood), and in doing so and by the sheer magnetism of his ebullient personality he played the entire packed house at Fenway like it was the world’s biggest and loudest musical instrument, a thumping, chanting, cheering organ of hope and celebration.

If you’re going to play a game seven, you might as well win, and if you’re going to win, you might as well enjoy it. So here’s hoping that the spirit of El Tiante can somehow flow into the corkscrew windup and the wide assortment of pitches of the actual starting pitcher for tonight’s game, Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose season to date has been a little like the first two acts of Luis Tiant’s career, great promise followed by a seemingly unstoppable demise. 

Here’s hoping that now is the perfect time for Act Three. 

                                                 *     *     *

The lineups (courtesy of Amelie Benjamin’s Boson Globe blog):

Indians

1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B
3. Travis Hafner, DH
4. Victor Martinez, C
5. Ryan Garko, 1B
6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
7. Kenny Lofton, LF
8. Franklin Gutierrez, RF
9. Casey Blake, 3B

SP – Jake Westbrook

Red Sox

1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Manny Ramirez, LF
5. Mike Lowell, 3B
6. J.D. Drew, RF
7. Jason Varitek, C
8. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
9. Julio Lugo, SS

SP – Daisuke Matsuzaka

296 comments

  1. 1.  Hmm…Catfish? Or Stew?

    I suppose the correct answer is Lefty Grove, but he was before my time. Taking only Oakland pitchers, I’d take Dave Stewart.


  2. 2.  Mets pitchers? Oh god, peak Seaver vs. peak Gooden?

    I need to sit down first.


  3. 3.  1 I guess I should explain my choice a bit. Before Game 1 of the 1989 World Series, I was walking along the ramp from the BART station, and looked down, and Dave Stewart was just arriving into the player’s parking lot below us. Seemed pretty unusual, given that this was about 2 hours before the game, and Stew was starting. A guy right in front of me looked down and yelled, “You gonna win tonight, Stew?” Stew looked up at us, and said, “Yup.” There was no doubt, no hesitation in his voice at all. It was a “Yup” of pure, total, complete 100% confidence.

    He went out two hours later and threw a five-hit, complete game shutout.


  4. 4.  … Josh, the inclusion of that quote from Darrell Johnson regarding Luis Tiant made me think a little — what do I KNOW about Darrell Johnson? I was 4 years old in 1975, so I obviously don’t remember the Reds-Red Sox world series. The first Red Sox manager I really knew of was Don Zimmer.

    So, anyway, there are two things I know about Darrell Johnson. One, he was the first manager of the Seattle Mariners. Two, there was a 1975 quote from Bill Lee about him: “He’s like a cat. He’s been falling out of trees all year and landing on his feet”, which was essentially Lee calling him a lucky idiot; just as Lee called all his managers idiots at one point or another.

    That’s about it. Is there anything you can recall about his managerial style, Josh?


  5. 5.  Roger Angell on Luis Tiant’s various deliveries:

    Famed author / sportswriter Roger Angell wrote about Luis Tiant in Five Seasons (page 293) and described in detail his unique style of pitching. One serious fan of Tiant’s wrote, ‘if you have ever seen Tiant pitch, you will see that this is an EXACT description of his work:”

    1) Call the Osteopath: In midpitch the man suffers an agonizing seizure in the central cervical region, which he attempts to fight off with a sharp backward twist of the head.

    2) Out of the Woodshed: Just before releasing the ball he steps over a raised sill and simultaneously ducks his head to avoid conking it on the low doorframe.

    3) The Runaway Taxi: Before the pivot, he sees a vehicle bearing down on him at top speed, and pulls back his entire upper body just in time to avoid a nasty accident.

    4) Falling Off the Fence: An attack of vertigo nearly causes him to topple over backward on the mound. Strongly suggests a careless dude on the top rung of the corral.

    5) The Slipper-Kick: In the midpitch, he surprisingly decides to get rid of his left shoe.

    6) The Low-Flying Plane(a subtle development and amalgam of 1, 3, and 4 above): While he is pivoting, an F-I05 buzzes the ball park, passing over the infield from the third-base to the first-base side at a height of eight feet. He follows it all the way with his eyes.

    From Baseball Almanac:

    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/luis_tiant_quotes.shtml


  6. 6.  My choice is, I believe, escaping from the genetics lab as we speak. He is an ambidextrous pitcher and his name is Orel Koufax.


  7. 7.  2 : I remember I was so excited for the matchup in game 2 of the ’86 World Series between Gooden and Clemens that I busted out my journal and recorded my impressions of every pitch (until it became abundantly clear that neither pitcher was destined for greatness that day).

    3 : Dave Stewart killed the Red Sox in the playoffs.

    4 : I’m like you, really; I’m a little too young to have any impressions about Darrell Johsnon. I’ve heard stuff along the lines of the Lee quote; I think one of the players once said they were winning in ’75 despite Johnson.

    5 : Beautiful. Thanks for those Angell-ic descriptions.

    6 : Tough to pick between those two, at least as far as “ability to carry a team in postseason.” Hershiser has the edge on Yom Kippur.


  8. 8.  No disrespect to Smokey Joe & Blue Moon, but I’d have to side with “Frosty” Bill Duggleby in the name game.


  9. 9.  8 Van Lingle Mungo says everybody else can go home now. Even Vinegar Bend Mizell.


  10. 10.  For the Red Sox, I’d have to go with peak Pedro. It’s the easy choice, but Pedro Martinez is essentially the reason I’m still a baseball fan. I’d lost track, and didn’t really care much anymore, and then Pedro showed up in Boston. I don’t imagine I’ll ever see anything of the like again. I don’t care if it’s a big game, a small game, a game being played on one of the moons of Neptune, a game played against Seraphim, a game played with a canteloupe, or a game played a thousand years in the future, vintage Pedro, every time.

    As far as the Mariners go, there’s really only one choice. Randy Johnson. It’s boring, I know, but choose anybody else and you’re just trying to stir up controversy.


  11. 11.  If there’s one Mariners pitcher I want starting a big game, it’s got to be Bob Wolcott.


  12. 12.  Or be funny. In which case, I’m all in favor of Ryan Anderson.


  13. 13.  Great, great question, with a positively Wilkerian response.

    I tend to phrase this as the Alien Attack Question-You are picked to manage a team of the greatest players who ever lived in a baseball game against an alien race. Winner gets to exterminate the losers. You don’t know anything about the alien players, other than they know the rules of the game and will play by the rules. Every human player is at their peak and fully healthy. Who do you name as your starting pitcher?

    I answer the question this way:

    1. Bob Gibson
    2. Pedro Martinez
    3. Sandy Koufax

    This question tends to be not only a great pitcher question, but a making adjustments question. Can the pitcher not only dominate, but if the money pitch proves unreliable or hittable, can the pitcher then get hitters out with pitch 2 and pitch 3?

    To answer Josh’s question, I put Looie on that list, along with Petey and, frankly, the Big Schill.

    5 Thank you for the Angell quote. He is a favorite author of mine, and I love that section.


  14. 14.  13 Boy, when that game comes I hope they don’t put it on cable at 10 pm.

    You know, for the kids.


  15. 15.  13 I don’t recall who, but someone has said that if he had to pick a pitcher for one game–and his life depended on the outcome–he’d take Koufax.

    But if he had to pick someone to pitch one game and the pitcher’s life depended on it, he’d take Gibson…


  16. 16.  15 Awesome. Very pithy.


  17. 17.  Songs from IPod set on shuffle while waiting for game coverage to start (let’s see what the gods have to say about tonight’s game):

    Mother Nature’s Son
    Tryin’ To Reason With Hurricane Season
    My Hometown
    Careless Talk
    The Obvious Child
    Healing Hands


  18. 18.  What is up with Zelasko’s hair tonight?


  19. 19.  Hurm. Can I guess?

    Beatles
    Buffett
    Bruce? Joe Jackson has a similar song
    unknown
    Paul Simon
    unknown

    They’re playing “She’s Leaving Home” right now at the stadium.


  20. 20.  Why does FOX hire blind people to dress Jeanie Zelasko?


  21. 21.  More importantly, do TV people brush their hair before they go on? How come Kennedy and Karros look neat as a pin, but Zelasko looks like she just had a nap?


  22. 22.  19
    Yes
    Yes
    (Bruce)
    Billy Joel
    Yes
    Paul Simon

    I know, too many Yankee fans.

    IPod doesn’t have a setting for that.


  23. 23.  Oops. I meant that to be

    Billy Joel
    Yes
    Elton John

    Sorry.


  24. 24.  I just notice that, more and more, people seem to be showing up on TV looking like heck.


  25. 25.  24
    Wouldn’t you drink if you worked for FOX?


  26. 26.  “Kodachrome” on the pregame.

    More from the IPod:

    Downeaster Alexa
    Dizzy Miss Lizzy
    Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down and Out)

    (uh oh.)

    God Part II
    Killing Me Softly With His Song
    Yesterdays
    Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby


  27. 27.  25 Especially if I had to listen to McCarver all day at work.


  28. 28.  I just chuckled recalling the comment about “if I asked Thierry Henry where he was yesterday, he’d say ‘I don’t know’?”

    Whoever’s that was, kudos.

    More from the IPod:

    Happy New Year B
    Star 69


  29. 29.  RBI Baseball? Yeah, baby!

    I heard Amalie Benjamin on Soxcast referring to there being a Mike Tyson’s PunchOut game in the clubhouse.

    That’s awesome.


  30. 30.  Got my Dice K shirt on, and so nervous I can’t breathe. Let’s get it on.


  31. 31.  Dear Tim McCarver,

    You’re a glorified screwball.


  32. 32.  31 Awesome.

    Wow, that curve was nasty.


  33. 33.  KAIBATSU!!!!


  34. 34.  So far so good. Was he throwing this hard (96 mph) in Cleveland?


  35. 35.  IPod:

    Be My Girl/Sally
    Sparrow
    Still Crazy After All These Years
    Can’t Buy Me Love


  36. 36.  Way to go, DP.

    DP is back, y’all.


  37. 37.  McCarver: “We’ve talked about it time and time again.”

    Actually, Tim, and I say this as someone who is open to your announcing charms, that’s not a good thing.


  38. 38.  I’ll let you say it, Josh…..


  39. 39.  I thought it was against the rules of Ortiz to strike out


  40. 40.  It’s MBM! I like Joe Posnanski’s nickname for him.


  41. 41.  Nice piece of pitching by Westbrook, there.


  42. 42.  Bad defense or bad luck?


  43. 43.  That was a rocket.


  44. 44.  Just for laughs, I looked on Stubhub this morning: $1795.00 each for Field Box Seats.


  45. 45.  Odds of Drew repeating last night’s performance?


  46. 46.  The Wierdo Voodoo Luck Thing does seem to be working again.


  47. 47.  46 – Or not.


  48. 48.  We have never been at war with Eurasia.


  49. 49.  I mean, we have always been at war with Eurasia.


  50. 50.  The DP was a nice play.

    IPod:

    Spirits In The Material World
    The Times They Are A Changin
    Light As The Breeze
    Final Straw
    Cloudy
    Gardening At Night


  51. 51.  I’m flipping between this and the GOP presidential debate, I’m not sure who makes less sense, McCarver or the candidates.


  52. 52.  Nice inning.

    How, exactly, does having a six team league help a pitcher?


  53. 53.  Mr. Buck, running fast and sliding to beat a very close throw is not “cruising”.


  54. 54.  6 I prefer Sidd Finch


  55. 55.  Enough with the DPs!


  56. 56.  A double Olney from Lugo!


  57. 57.  53 You said it, but I’ll take the counter just the same.

    IPod:

    All Shook Up
    Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing
    When I Look At The World
    Mandolin Wind
    Piano Man
    Blessed
    I Alone
    You Got Me Hummin’
    Paradise
    You Took My Breath Away
    Watching The Wheels


  58. 58.  Trivia:

    Reggie

    Tom Seaver

    Wade Boggs


  59. 59.  This is my first real exposure to Dice-K, does he always shake is butt like that as part of his wind up?


  60. 60.  17
    That would be “My Home Town” by Tom Lehrer? (Just picked up “The Remains” myself)


  61. 61.  59 Yeah.


  62. 62.  60 No, it’s the Springsteen one, but I LOVE Tom Lehrer. My Dad went to MIT during the 1960s, and I used to listen to his records a lot as a youth.


  63. 63.  Oh my God! Blake looks enough like Hendrickson to be at least his brother.
    Maybe its just the beard.


  64. 64.  59
    Jon Miller likened it to a hula action.
    (snicker)


  65. 65.  58 I thought Seaver, too. But he wasn’t on the postseason roster that year, owing to an injury (unless my memory is failing me).


  66. 66.  YES!!!!!


  67. 67.  58 : Seaver was active for that series? I’ve been racking my brains all inning for a third guy because I thought Seaver didn’t play in the playoffs.


  68. 68.  65 : So who’s the third guy? Was Sutton on the Angels?


  69. 69.  65 You’re right, he wasn’t active, but who else could it be? Not Boone. Not Rice or Baylor. Not Witt or McCaskill. Not Boyd. Not Clemens (yet).

    IPod:

    If I SHould Fall Behind
    This Is The Time


  70. 70.  65 Circle gets the square.


  71. 71.  68 You’re right. Sutton was on that team.


  72. 72.  70 By which I mean 68


  73. 73.  You mean Gary Pettis didn’t make the Hall of Fame?


  74. 74.  60
    Well anyway that’s the “My Home Town” I have on my portable. The guy’s still alive if you can believe that. Teaching math.

    -and is there any easy way while muting Fox audio to synch up radio broadcast audio? (different delays apparently)
    -I’m sick of hearing that schmuck McCarver


  75. 75.  73 Only in the Pettis family.


  76. 76.  I can’t believe I forgot Sutton.

    It’s Reggie, Sutton, and Boggs.


  77. 77.  Marty Barrett came up just short of making it into Cooperstown.

    But one day Spike Owen will make it!


  78. 78.  Another weak run, but I’ll take it.


  79. 79.  Gary Pettis and Gary Redus should go into the Hall together.


  80. 80.  IPod:

    Let Me Roll It
    The Boy in the Bubble
    God
    Black Coffee In Bed

    What is Wedge DOING? If I were an Indians rooter, I’d be rending my garments asunder.


  81. 81.  Calvin Schiraldi and Doug Corbett both played in just 8 seasons and don’t qualify for the Hall of Fame.

    Gary Lucas also only made it through 8 seasons.

    Steve Crawford however did get in 10 years.


  82. 82.  79 Along with Garry Hancock?


  83. 83.  79 The same weekend Cleveland Gary gets into the football Hall of Fame.


  84. 84.  Gary Redus was a lot better than Gary Pettis.

    Gary Pettis was a Juan Pierre prototype. Although Pettis could field a lot better, but if he ever hit the ball out of the infield, it was a surprise.


  85. 85.  Wow, that was long.


  86. 86.  84 : Pettis drew more walks than Pierre.


  87. 87.  Stop nibbling, man! Get ‘em!


  88. 88.  84 I’m not so sure Redus was a much better player in total. Pettis was a really really good CF.


  89. 89.  The umpire has a gracious strike zone for Dice-K or is the even with both pitchers?


  90. 90.  Dice-K gets out of it


  91. 91.  First sign of trouble in the 5th get Okajima in there, then Beckett for 2, then Pap.


  92. 92.  87

    that’s the thing though, there on to him if he throws fastball down the middle the Indians will make Matsuzaka pay for it! there figuring him out I guess….


  93. 93.  WHew! Nice play by Lugo!

    IPod:

    Walk This Way
    Backdoor Man
    Electron Blue
    All Apologies
    Blitzkrieg


  94. 94.  92 Don’t they hit everybody who leaves the fastball down Broadway, generally?

    I hope he doesn’t, but Wedge has got to do something soon.


  95. 95.  the Cleveland skipper is pressing his luck with this pitcher no?


  96. 96.  94

    yup, specially if it’s straight like a lazer, a la Tomko.


  97. 97.  Gary Pettis in his career had -88.4 batting runs and -8.9 batting runs.

    Gary Redus was a plus 41.2 batting runs and 4.2 batting wins.

    Juan Pierre is already at -119.8 batting runs!


  98. 98.  Who wore 46 for Boston before? Was that Bob Stanley?


  99. 99.  Julio Lugo for Deity of All Things


  100. 100.  Jermaine Van Buren wore #46 for the Red Sox last year.


  101. 101.  Victor Martinez must be a horrible throwing catcher cause McCarver is even call him out on it!


  102. 102.  I’ll bet Pettis was a +20 runs/year centerfielder at least.

    Plus I’ll bet that Pettis had some dumb managers who batted him leadoff way too often


  103. 103.  I. Can’t. Stand. It.


  104. 104.  Lugo knows how to get those double plays. Two so far.


  105. 105.  Pettis and Redus are both in the player pool of the Back to the ’80s Online Start-O-Matic game. Redus costs a little more and is almost never used. Pettis generally finds a home with someone, batting ninth and playing a great centerfield.


  106. 106.  IPod:

    Piggies
    My Life

    YES!!!!! Fear the arm of Manuel!!!!


  107. 107.  Eeyikes. This is looking sticky for us, too.


  108. 108.  He was safe, it looked like, except the ump was right on top of the play. Hard to imagine he missed it.


  109. 109.  In 1986, Pettis batted leadoff in 62 games and had a .335 OBP.

    Gene Mauch also liked to use Rick Burleson and Ruppert Jones in the leadoff spot.

    What an incredibly strange man Gene Mauch was.


  110. 110.  I might just be rending my garments myself soon.


  111. 111.  I feel sick.


  112. 112.  the Indians are peaking away…


  113. 113.  That’s alright. I’ll take it.


  114. 114.  Did he spend all the 97 mph ones in the first?

    THERES the nice hook again.


  115. 115.  I’m conflicted on who I want to win:

    1] if the BoSox win ratings will sky rocket

    2] if Cleveland wins only hard core fans will really enjoy the series.


  116. 116.  the ump needs to stick with a strike zone…


  117. 117.  115
    If you like baseball, why would you care about the TV ratings? You will watch the World Series anyway.

    If other people don’t want to watch, that’s their problem.

    Baseball isn’t a sitcom. It’s not going to get canceled if people don’t watch in sufficient numbers.


  118. 118.  And that should be all for 松坂 大輔


  119. 119.  Now begins the battle of the bullpens.


  120. 120.  118

    That’s cool…


  121. 121.  If you started coughing like that at a sushi bar, you most likely wouldn’t be given a cough drop, but rather asked to go sit someplace else.

    Unless it were in Japan, in which case, you’d come in wearing a surgical mask to begin with.


  122. 122.  IPod:

    Daniel
    The Ballad of the Boy In The Red Shoes

    I can’t believe either starter hasn’t been pulled yet.


  123. 123.  Both managers wanted their starters to be eligible for the win.


  124. 124.  This could have been so much easier.


  125. 125.  If I were an MLB pitcher Hafner would scare the bejesus out of me.


  126. 126.  WOW, that was harsh. Nice pitch to close out Manny. Wow.

    IPod:

    I Dreamed A Dream
    Only The Good Die Young
    Shout
    Still Crazy After All These Years
    Zanzibar
    Give Peace a Chance


  127. 127.  WOW, that was harsh. Nice pitch to close out Manny. Wow.

    IPod:

    I Dreamed A Dream
    Only The Good Die Young
    Shout
    Still Crazy After All These Years
    Zanzibar
    Give Peace a Chance


  128. 128.  123 Oh, exactly. I think I’m going to have a stroke if we don’t get another run.

    Heartburn? Uh, yeah.


  129. 129.  In comes 岡島 秀樹


  130. 130.  11 outs to go.


  131. 131.  117
    Apparently you haven’t consulted Scott Long.


  132. 132.  IPod:

    You May Be Right
    Daddy Sang Bass

    10 outs to go.


  133. 133.  All the talk about ratings for the World Series reminds of “The Simpsons” episode where Homer becomes an astronaut and all the people in Mission Control say that their equipment is just for tracking TV ratings.


  134. 134.  I wonder how many toaster-rites have tattoos (I have non) for some reason watching Bob’s Japanese writing it made me think of tattoos.


  135. 135.  9 outs to go!!!! YES YES YES!!!!!!!


  136. 136.  Joe Buck: There’s the prize.

    Me: An ugly logo?


  137. 137.  132

    I don’t think Francona would let Dice-K pitch a complete right.


  138. 138.  I am not writing in Japanese. I’m cutting and pasting in Japanese.

    I know about as much Japanese as everyone else here.


  139. 139.  IPod:

    Immortality
    Wilbury Twist
    Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat
    Do It For The Kids
    Darkness on the Edge of Town
    Eleanor Rigby
    I’m Ready
    Finale
    Rocket Man

    My wife has a life threatening crush on Mike Rowe.


  140. 140.  has Dice-K ever pitched a complete game the majors?


  141. 141.  So which inning does Gagne pitch?


  142. 142.  I am going to be ill if we don’t get another run.


  143. 143.  140 Yes, I’m pretty sure he got at least one, but not many, that’s for sure.


  144. 144.  140 Yes, I’m pretty sure he got at least one, but not many, that’s for sure.


  145. 145.  Matszuaka had one complete game this year.

    He had 72 in Japan.


  146. 146.  He got exactly one, as per BR.com


  147. 147.  Matsuzaka went the distance on May 14 against the Tigers.


  148. 148.  We can’t make this guy look like a genius NOW, can we?


  149. 149.  I feel ill.

    IPod:

    Damned For All Time/Blood Money

    (uh oh.)

    Too Late Too Late

    (uh oh.)

    Off He Goes

    The Boxer

    Need You Tonight

    Crash Course in Brain Surgery

    New Kid In Town


  150. 150.  141
    the one in which the Red Sox lose.


  151. 151.  148

    His sinker is sinking a lot more apparently, either that or there not being selective.


  152. 152.  8 outs to go….I think I’m dying.


  153. 153.  Lugo is just having a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE year wow!!


  154. 154.  Julio being Julio.


  155. 155.  Oh, sweet Jesus, no.


  156. 156.  That ball was knocked out of Lugo’s glove by the ghost of Fred Snodgrass.


  157. 157.  Wow. Lugo.


  158. 158.  why did he stop!!! what the….


  159. 159.  Wha?


  160. 160.  Does Manny Ramirez have a gun or is it that it was to close?


  161. 161.  I’m developing an ulcer ovah heah.

    jezuz, what a frustrating nail-biter.


  162. 162.  I think the third base coach showed an overabundance of caution.


  163. 163.  Cleveland gets a taste of there on medicine…


  164. 164.  Time for second-guessing the third-base coach.


  165. 165.  But at least we finally have an exciting playoff game.


  166. 166.  163 : Essackly.


  167. 167.  Papelbon from here on out?


  168. 168.  WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!

    What a clutch DP. WOW.

    What an unbelievable game.

    Wow.

    6 outs to go.

    Lucky for us, Joel Skinner just had a brain lock. Joel, I’d like you to meet Rene Lachemann.

    IPod:

    The Arrest
    Allentown
    Don’t Cry
    Today 4 U


  169. 169.  162

    I can understand if its a slow runner but you’ve got Lofton running down the line, who knows if they’ll get another chance now. I think there Closer Papelbob is coming in to pitch 2!!


  170. 170.  Here comes Betancourt! I’ll be back in an hour.


  171. 171.  156 Very, very good reference. That happened at Fenway, too.


  172. 172.  168

    SpudRph, is “Don’t Cry” from guns ‘n Roses?


  173. 173.  Oh, my.

    Casey Blake, I’d like you to meet Dick Stuart.


  174. 174.  Somehow this fits into one of my super pessimistic rules about offense. The Sox felt they had were done with it when they were up 3-0 or 3-1, and therefore they will provide no more offense. It is up to their pitching staff to win it now.
    Believe me, I hope I am wrong about this, but I can’t see anything that could keep this Sox team from scoring runs except psychology.


  175. 175.  172 Si.


  176. 176.  171
    It was also the last year they added any bathrooms to Fenway.

    Or painted it.


  177. 177.  It’s over Cleveland, it’s over.


  178. 178.  Hang it all.


  179. 179.  Whoa.


  180. 180.  I guess Joel Skinner is off the hook now.


  181. 181.  Dustin Pedroia for Mayor of Boston, Defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of All New England.


  182. 182.  Never mind.


  183. 183.  What is this pleasant gaseous substance in my lungs? It seems to be entering my body through my nose and mouth.


  184. 184.  179 Excellent handle. I just reread the misnamed trilogy for perhaps the 10th time.

    I think I can breathe again.


  185. 185.  Here we go with the Eckstein stuff.
    Grit.
    Under Seven ft. tall.

    Under 500 lbs.

    Jaizus.


  186. 186.  Most Valuable Player for the Sox today? The Monster. It’s been taking from Cleveland all night, and just provided us some blessed insurance.


  187. 187.  184
    I’m just like it. “Increasingly inaccurately named.”


  188. 188.  186 : Honorable mention to Cleveland’s 3rd base coach, who was intimidated by the gun of the bad man.


  189. 189.  IPod:

    Dude (Looks Like A Lady)
    Five Long Years
    Code of Silence
    Fever
    Can’t Get It Out Of My Mind
    American Tune
    Laura
    Christmas in the Caribbean
    Goodnight Saigon
    Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Beautiful


  190. 190.  Would it be total chaos WITHOUT base coaches? Like would they run anywhere they wanted?


  191. 191.  the Indians come roaring back!!!!


  192. 192.  I’m sorry if the IPod stuff is annoying anyone, but I think it provides an interesting meta commentary.

    And it’s working, so I ain’t stopping. 6 outs to go.


  193. 193.  189

    SpudRph is “Beautiful” from the band “Flickerstick”?


  194. 194.  190 LOL. Good one.


  195. 195.  I suppose holding Lofton there isn’t as mechanically bad as getting two guys thrown out at home on the same play, but what with it being Game 7, I’m thinking it climbs to the top ladder anyhow.


  196. 196.  The official rules of baseball first made mention of coaches in 1872, so teams have found them handy for a while.


  197. 197.  Destiny awaits you Mr. Papelbon…


  198. 198.  Boy, it’s great they didn’t start the inning with Papelbon.


  199. 199.  193 Actually, no- Paul Simon, from his latest album. I don’t truck with much of this new music you young fellers listen to.


  200. 200.  Doesn’t destiny await everybody?

    Except for most of use our destiny involves going to the grocery store to buy microwaveable pizzas.


  201. 201.  195
    Hehe, bad echoes from the other LA baseball team.


  202. 202.  I don’t like the move to Pap in the 8th. I just don’t.

    But I hope to hell I’m wrong.


  203. 203.  Baseball-Reference.com doesn’t give me how many blown saves Papelbon had in ’07!


  204. 204.  198 Baffling.


  205. 205.  re-play says it was a bad bad call by the 3rd base coach, did you guys see that!?


  206. 206.  Can someone please shut McCarver up?


  207. 207.  YES!!! 5 outs to go!!!!!!


  208. 208.  whoa!! high heat


  209. 209.  4 outs to go. We’ll take one. That’s fine.


  210. 210.  Papelbon had three blown saves this season. If you pull up the gamelog you can see them.


  211. 211.  Ouch. 97, outside corner. Nasty.


  212. 212.  205 Really, that one couldn’t have been more clear in real time. I don’t begrudge the third base coach the error, but did ANYONE not find it baffling as it unfolded?


  213. 213.  I have bad intentions toward mr. Lugo.


  214. 214.  Doesn’t the second base umpire have to get some consideration for MVP of the game? It’s no longer the difference in the game, but calling out Lofton when he was clearly safe should count for something. They should yank the C off of Varitek’s jersey and give it to him, after the game.


  215. 215.  212
    I was surprised that Lofton was held at the time. There’s no way Ramirez could have anticipated a carom that way.


  216. 216.  WOW. Great pitch. Wow.


  217. 217.  Oh thank the gods.


  218. 218.  214 Come on.

    I think he was safe, too, but the ump was RIGHT ON TOP of the play. Is it not possible he saw it better than we did?

    Heart now emerging from throat.

    3 outs to go.

    IPod:

    Levon
    Overture
    So Fast, So Numb
    Gumboots
    Rue Plumet/In My Life
    Hard Sun (Main)


  219. 219.  What say let’s get a quick dozen runs, shall we?


  220. 220.  212

    well yeah, I wanted there 3rd base coach to send the speedy Lofton, Bob did also.


  221. 221.  Youkilis will likely break the 7-game ALCS record for batting average at .481.

    Anyone wish to guess who held the old record at .455?

    The NLCS record for a 7 game series is .772!


  222. 222.  218- No. That’s not possible. What would he have seen that the cameras missed?


  223. 223.  Sorry, the NLCS record is just .727.


  224. 224.  221- David Eckstein?


  225. 225.  SpudRph do you have any obscure songs like Fergies latest single?


  226. 226.  The NL record is held by this guy:

    http://tinyurl.com/2jktsf


  227. 227.  David Eckstein never played in a 7-game ALCS. But it is an Angel.


  228. 228.  spudrph, interesting device, btw,(ipod songlist I mean) don’t know if anyone took the time to mention that….


  229. 229.  223

    just.


  230. 230.  Does Francona ever stop chewing!

    what does he chew anyway.

    It hurts my jaw watching him.


  231. 231.  Is Terry wearing his uniform top tonight?!!


  232. 232.  228 Thanks.

    222 He was less than 20 feet away. We don’t know what he saw. The perfect angle would be from the third base dugout, about 30 feet in the air. From what I saw, I agree with you, he should be safe, but the umpire was SO CLOSE. I believe maybe he saw what we missed. I don’t know. But it’s possible.


  233. 233.  225 Fergie is hot, but I’m not a fan of her music.


  234. 234.  230 At one point, he chewed tobacco, but I thought I read that he quit. He made a bet with John Henry, IIRC.


  235. 235.  233

    me either I was just asking.


  236. 236.  Youkilis and Manny will also set ALCS records for OBP in a 7-game series at .581.


  237. 237.  Oh my goodness gracious me.


  238. 238.  a lot of Bostonians will call in sick tomorrow I presume.


  239. 239.  Holy smokes. That was pure TWiB bloopers material.


  240. 240.  232- I can’t prove there’s no tooth fairy, either. But there isn’t one.

    Hey Blake, why don’t you just sit down and watch the rest of this one?


  241. 241.  Youkilis could get another AB.


  242. 242.  230
    I think Hurdle bests Francona for chewing intensity. Looks like his jaw could fly off at any moment. The comparison shots between him and Francona should make for interesting Fox baseball.


  243. 243.  Francona has had a bad, bad chewing toboacco habit. Tried to break it this year, couldn’t. I’m not sure where he’s at right now with it.


  244. 244.  189. spudrph
    IPod:
    Five Long Years

    Eddie Boyd? Or Eric Clapton?


  245. 245.  for my taste, I preferred Hurdle bouncing a baseball in pressure situations.


  246. 246.  Youkilis had scored 9 runs tying the ALCS record in that category. Hideki Matsui scored 9 times in 2004.

    Not that many people remember that.


  247. 247.  IPod:
    Five Long Years

    Or Muddy Waters? I just realized I have all three on my lap top!


  248. 248.  I think I have a crush on the girl behind home plate in the green t shirt that says “Love That Dirty Water”.


  249. 249.  248 : All series long I’ve been watching the guy behind home plate who looks like Jerry Springer.


  250. 250.  Keep your chin up Westbrook you kept ‘em in the game at least.


  251. 251.  244 The Clapton version from “From The Cradle”.

    It’s Silly Season now.


  252. 252.  246 : Thanks for sharing those stats on Youk. Pretty impressive, but I still think Beckett’s been more important so far.


  253. 253.  248

    I can’t find her, were is she SpudRph, is the shirt black or white?


  254. 254.  Oh boy, a Coke bottle shot from….

    I’ll take this one, Josh….

    YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUK!!!!


  255. 255.  Youkilis has now wrapped up the top batting average and top slugging percentage in a 7-game ALCS.

    And top OBP unless Manny Ramirez gets a chance to bat.


  256. 256.  Off the Coke sign! That, ladies and gents, is how you hit a dinger.


  257. 257.  253 It’s green, and she has glasses on. When a right handed hitter steps out, you can see her.


  258. 258.  has anyone else been somewhat surprised by the lopsided scores in this series? Four of the first six games have been decided by at least 6 runs. This one looks to make it five of seven.

    The uniqueness of match ups in baseball, I guess.


  259. 259.  3 outs to go.

    IPod:

    Sacrifice
    Magical Mystery Tour
    Rain
    Everybody Loves You Now
    Lonely Stranger
    Matchbox
    Bastille Day
    52nd Street


  260. 260.  258 : A couple of the lopsided games have been white knucklers for much of the game.


  261. 261.  258 BP had an article about this-this is probably going to be the most lopsided 7 game series ever.


  262. 262.  257

    She looks kind of tomboy-ish though bro. I havent seen her face yeat.


  263. 263.  Jacoby Ellsbury.


  264. 264.  Youkilis is going to finish with a .500 BA and 1.504 OPS for the ALCS.

    And likely not be the MVP.


  265. 265.  262 I don’t care. I’d kiss virtually anybody at this point.

    1 OUT TO GO!!!!!!!!


  266. 266.  Chewing contest, here we come.


  267. 267.  Congrats Josh Wilker, I’m guessing it will be a very interesting BoSox versus Rox/ David versus Goliath!!!!


  268. 268.  WOW. We did it. WOW.

    I love that dirty water………


  269. 269.  Beautiful!!!

    And one of the better catches I’ve seen in Fenway.


  270. 270.  Even JD Drew raised his arm to celebrate!


  271. 271.  EUPHORIA strikes Bostonians!!


  272. 272.  270
    Wonder how much that hurt?


  273. 273.  Yes, Josh, congrats. We did it, man.


  274. 274.  theres no crying in baseball Victor Martinez!


  275. 275.  Yes, Josh, congrats. We did it, man.


  276. 276.  Does Boston have a victory song?


  277. 277.  Slo-mo of Papelbon’s reaction to Crisp’s catch was priceless.


  278. 278.  I wonder what XeiFranks machine says about this next series. I’m sure the Rox are the underdogs right.


  279. 279.  Oh my god, bliss!!!!!!!

    Thanks for the congrats and the company everyone. I’m a happy camper.

    It ain’t over, but the American league Pennant is Big. Hang another flag, boys:

    1903
    1904
    1912
    1915
    1916
    1918
    1946
    1967
    1986
    2004
    2007!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  280. 280.  278 : The Rockies are going to be tough. They sure aren’t going to boot the ball around like the Indians (and Sox) have been bootin’ it.

    Who’s the MVP? I still gotta go Beckett.


  281. 281.  I hope J.D. Drew gets nice & loaded. I don’t think the guy drinks though.


  282. 282.  279

    And those words I buttered in game four taste just fine….wow. I have to admit, I bailed, and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong.


  283. 283.  Is there another tune as perfect as “Dirty Water” for the collective “my city rules!” euphoric celebration?

    And re 278 : yeah, Beckett, no question in my mind.


  284. 284.  For an oldtime celebration:

    http://tinyurl.com/3dhpwn


  285. 285.  everybody has snorkels!


  286. 286.  280 Yeah, Beckett. Good choice. Wow.

    I’m in seventh heaven.


  287. 287.  See you on Wednesday, everybody.


  288. 288.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uu43lbTrvOQ


  289. 289.  284

    Really nice soothing tune, & ironically when I played it Fox was showing the BoSox celebrating in slow-mo which went hand ‘n hand.


  290. 290.  284 : Awesome find.

    288 : Great. I want to see what he’s going to do tonight.


  291. 291.  Papelbon dance moves aren’t something to write home about.


  292. 292.  Papelbon just did his riverdance again (on foxsports.com). Not quite as manic this time, more blissed out.


  293. 293.  The 51 runs by the Sox are the most in LCS history. The 2004 Yankees had 45.

    The 86 total runs scored match the 2004 ALCS.


  294. 294.  279 : and 1975


  295. 295.  And the Sox make it. I won’t go to any of the games, but I’ll have to check out the parade on November 3rd if it happens. The Admiral and I were up there in ’04 like you, Josh.

    The Game Chatter format isn’t that conducive to discussing the cards, although I think you use them as McGuffins anyways, but I had a few comments on the recent ones.

    Rick Miller: Married Pudge Fisk’s siter. I forget if that came up.

    Eck: Used to oil on 80-Weight. I remember him more as an A even though I was following the Red Sox from 78 to 84 with the intensity of a Talmudic scholar. The Spaceman had some good anecdotes about him in The Wrong Stuff.

    Jack Brohamer: His Broham Tom is a leading handicapper of Thoroughbrds and has authored a book titled Modern Pace Handicapping.

    Larry Andersen: Often wondered why people parked on driveways yet drove on parkways. The Baseball Uncyclopedia thinks that he ripped most of his material from Stephen Wright.

    El Tiante: Pretty damn similar to Catfish Hunter. I guess the WS rings are what got Hunter to Cooperstown over Luis. Guy was able to keep a cigar lit in the shower.


  296. I think all boston fans will appreciate this video clip of a’s vs redsox from july 1972

    Tiant pitching
    Jackson batting
    Montogmery(??) mutton chops
    and some early george hendrick.
    Its a grainy picture and the color is certainly nothing a peacock would be proud of…..but hearing curt gowdies voice soothes the soul…he is awesome.



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