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Showing posts from October 30, 2005

Didja ever notice the other walk-off of October 25?

Continuing along our series related to the baseball game between the Mets and Red Sox that took place on October 25, 1986.

Sometime around 3 a.m., after 482 pitches of a wacky Game 3 of the World Series, I asked a couple of folks I knew which game they considered to be crazier- the one which they had just viewed on October 25, 2005, or the one that they had the chance to view on that date 19 years previous. Both selected the one from the past, which pleased me, but it also reminded me of a blog post I wanted to write, about another baseball game that took place on an October 25.

The game of baseball was so much different in 1911 than it is today that it's staggering to think this was the same sport. Ninety four years ago there were only 16 teams, and as basketball was played in its infancy on the ground instead of the air, so too was baseball. No American League club hit more than 35 home runs. The National League had the power hitters. The Phillies slugged a major-league best 60 lo…

Houston, We Have a Walk-Off

The NBA season opened Tuesday, so you had to figure at some point this week that I was going to chime in with a basketball walk-off story.

The problem I had in trying to come up with one is that my team, the Knicks, hasn't had a lot of significant walk-off wins in the time that I've been following them. Yes, there was a Trent Tucker 3-pointer off an inbounds pass with 0.1 seconds remaining that never should have counted in the first place, and I recall Patrick Ewing hitting a buzzer-beater to beat the Bulls sometime about two decades ago. But unless you count some shots of recent vintage by those imposters presently wearing the Knicks jerseys (the Jamal Crawford's of the world), I can't think of too many others.

So I'm going to expand the definition of a "walk-off shot" slightly to relate the story of one of my favorite Knicks games, and it's particularly timely given the recent retirement of a well-known Knick.

One of the knocks on the NBA is that peopl…

Haiku for You

I'm on vacation this week, with little to do other than a few fun mini-projects here and there. As such, my mind was wandering the other day, and it turned to a couple of friends of mine in New Jersey, Paul and Gregg.

Paul and Gregg are quite entertaining, far more so than I. They used to host a radio program in which they interviewed weird guests, made bizarre jokes, and played an occasional song or two. Gregg didn't like to go by his own name. He preferred to be known as "The Paragon of Excellence."

When Paul got married a couple of summers ago, Gregg was the best man and I was an usher at the wedding. Gregg is a weird guy. He's worked as a wrestling announcer among other things and presently is a practicing attorney, as well as an advocate for midgets and lepers rights (don't ask!) His baseball obsessions range from Eddie Gaedel to Win Remmerswaal. But alas, Gregg is pretty sharp too. Prior to the wedding, Gregg came up with idea that all the members of the …

Roger the Codger

News item: Last weekend, the Atlanta Braves named Roger McDowell to replace Leo Mazzone as pitching coach

I am curious to see what kind of big-league pitching coach Roger McDowell is, because his personality as a ballplayer didn't suggest coaching was in his future.

Apparently McDowell was smarter than he looked, and often as a player, he looked very silly. He had a reputation, not only as a prankster (master of the hotfoot), but as a jokester. McDowell once walked around the field wearing his pants as a shirt and his shirt as his pants. He didn't exactly exude maturity. I thought he was cool because he blew big pink bubbles with his gum on the pitching mound. I also think he's cool because he was part of a lot of walk-off wins.

No relief pitcher since 1986 has had more decisions than Roger McDowell had that season, when he went 14-9 in the regular campaign and added a postseason triumph in only the most important game of the season, Game 7 of the World Series (albeit a cheap…

Walk-off collision

Halloween came four months early for Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Dave Parker in 1978.

The Mets and Pirates played a ballgamethat June 30th that got wild and crazy for the last three innings, right down to the final play of the game. It was originally a pretty good pitchers duel between Mets youngster Nino Espinosa and his Pirates counterpart Don Robinson that was even at one through six innings.

In the seventh, the Pirates took the lead as current big league managers Phil Garner and Ken Macha hit back-to-back doubles, Macha's plating Garner. Future Met Frank Taveras singled home Macha to give Pittsburgh a two-run cushion.

The Mets got a run back in their half of the eighth on a Willie Montanez RBI double, but missed a chance for more. Likewise, the Pirates couldn't convert a bases-loaded opportunity with nobody out in the last of the eighth, and the Mets came up in the top of the ninth trailing, 3-2.

During the dog days of Metsdom (ie: 1977-1979), there wasn't much to get ex…