Skip to main content

The Other Monster

With the playoffs beginning Tuesday, I thought I'd share my favorite postseason walk-off story from 2004.

It's good to know that I'm a positive influence on the young people of America.

It was about a year ago that I had to make a long drive to upstate New York for work purposes, meaning that I wouldn't get to watch that day's playoff action. I was significantly curious about the results, so I have the afternoon game that Friday, Game 3 of the 2004 ALDS between the Red Sox and Angels, my closest auditory attention.

As day became night and the game stretched out, thanks to Vladimir Guerrero's game-tying grand slam, I ran into an issue of significance. I was hungry. I was well-fortified by an early lunch, but having left later than expected, I was also eager to get to my hotel room.

My stomach battled by brain for a good half hour as this game remained even through the eighth, ninth, and into the 10th. There was a sign on the turnpike for an upcoming stop at which there was, among other things, a Roy Rogers. This was important on the food front, because, having already eaten pizza, my fussbudget dining options were rather limited, and the next rest stop was likely 30-45 minutes away.

My stomach won out. I pulled over into the rest stop. I contemplated my options as I sit in my car for the top of the 10th inning. Sit and wait until the game ended or hope for a TV inside that was tuned in to the baseball game. When Derek Lowe got the Angels out in the 10th, I bolted for the Roy Rogers. When I got inside, much to my disappointment, there was nary a TV in sight.

So I got on what was a long line for the requisite burger and fries when I had an idea. I'd call my parents. Surely someone would be home who could keep me updated. I got a rather abrupt "I'm watching something important" hello from the voice that answered the phone. It was my sister. Thankfully that something important was Red Sox-Angels, Game 3.

Lisa Simon, better known for her uncredited work last season as "Production Assistant #1986" on the hit drama series "Law & Order," graduated from Boston University in 2003. During her time at the school she caught Red Sox fever (preceded by a bout of "Liberty Madness" in which I received a crazed phone call upon a game-winning halfcourt shot in the WNBA Finals) and that bout lasted up through October, 2004. My sister and I have gone to the occasional baseball game and she's told me she appreciates that I don't dumb down my commentary for her, even though her fandom is minute in nature compared to mine.

So as the line turtled around, I figured, ok, I can get an idea of what happens in the next few minutes, than run back to the car to catch the end. I asked my sister to provide play-by-play. The beginning of said commentary was rather uneventful. Johnny Damon singled, but Mark Bellhonr forced him out at second base. Manny Ramirez was up, but Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez struck him out. The food line wasn't moving any faster.

"Hang on a second," my sister said. "They're making a change. A big guy is coming in to pitch."

"Troy Percival" I presumed, but was mistaken.

"It's Washburn" my sister informed me when they came from break.

Before I could even say "Jarrod Washburn???" something pretty magical happened.

"Ohmigod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Ohmigod!!!!!!!!!!!!! He hit it over the monster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!He hit it over the monster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" the voice screamed from the phone. It was an utterance the equivalent of Russ Hodges, Bobby Thomson, and "The Giants win the Pennant!"

Well how about that? A game-winning, series-clinching home run for David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox. I let the others on the food line know, though none seemed particularly excited. I guess those who were smart stayed in their cars, or were watching at home.

It was good to know that my sister had an appreciation for the moment. I'd like to think that my influence played a major role. Who knew that she'd get to broadcast one of baseball's most memorable walk-off moments before I would?

True Metsters know...Two of the original characters from "Law and Order" are Mets fans, according to this show FAQ. They are Sgt. Max Greevey (played by George Dzundza) and Executive Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone (played by Michael Moriarty).

(Two posts today...scroll down for the other one)


Popular posts from this blog

Cliff Notes

Alright, so it's 2 days later and the challenge for me now, after reading through about a dozen game stories and listening to talk radio, is to provide a fresh perspective on walk-off #324. If you're going to be a serious reader of this blog, you know what happened already, so let's look at what made this particular walk-off stand out. It would seem that the place to start is with the idea that everything broke just right on both sides of the ball. Particularly, I'm talking about Carlos Beltran's catch in the 7th inning, where he went over the center field fence to rob Jose Molina of a home run. Every no-hitter seems to have one defensive gem that makes it possible and perhaps that's true of great walk-off moments as well (We'll be looking into that!) Marlon Anderson's home run required a remarkable combination of events. It was only the sixth inside-the-park home run at Shea Stadium by a Met and the first since Darryl Strawberry in 1989. It required t

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls

The greatness and the frustration of Nolan Ryan the Met

I was looking over dominant pitching versus opponents and over various stretches in Mets history and came upon one I found interesting. In his first six starts in 1971, Nolan Ryan went 5-1 with an 0.77 ERA. In 46 2/3 innings, he allowed 19 hits and struck out 47. Opponents hit .121 and slugged .172 against him. And oh yes, he walked 37 batters (!), or more than 7 per 9 innings. As you go back through those six starts, you can see both the brilliance and the frustration that eventually led to Ryan’s departure in one of the worst trades in baseball history. April 29 at Cardinals – 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 5 K, 8 BB Ryan’s first start of the season was 7-0 win over the Cardinals that completed a four-game sweep, though it wasn’t the most artful of efforts. Ryan walked eight, but held the Cardinals to only two hits. That included the thwarting of Joe Torre’s season-opening 22-game hitting streak. Torre would go on to win the MVP. The big moment in the game came with the score 1-0 in the