Skip to main content

Didja ever notice The Player of the Game?

Part of a continuing series of posts related to Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

I don't remember if it was during the initial viewing or one of the many reruns of the events of October 25, that my dad and I became rather puzzled by the judgement of NBC's broadcast crew.

"The Miller Lite Player of the Game (portrayed humorously in the "RBI Baseball Reenactment of Game 6") is Marty Barrett," Vin Scully declared with two outs, nobody on, and Gary Carter up in the last of the 10th inning. Scully proceeded to run down Barrett's credentials- three singles, two walks, two RBI, and "handled everything hit his way" (one putout, four assists).

Several issues come into play here. One is that the game was not over yet, but that one's so obvious that it goes without saying? The other issue is this: By citing Barrett aren't you slighting the man who, had the Red Sox won, would have had the biggest hit in franchise history?

It's not like Dave Henderson hasn't gotten his proper due, but consider this. If the Red Sox had won, wouldn't he have had THE HIT MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR WINNING THE TEAM'S FIRST WORLD SERIES IN 68 YEARS???

Henderson's resume for the rest of the contest wasn't as good as Barrett's, but it wasn't exactly all that shabby. Prior to the home run, Henderson went 1-for-4. He too handled everything hit his way (his catch of the second out in the 10th inning gave him five putouts).

Any way you figure it, Henderson's performance was better than Barrett's. Common sense tells you that, but so does mathematics. I ran the numbers for "Win expectancy" (a neat new stat that calculates player value based on moment-to-moment performance) and found that Henderson's home run increased Boston's chances of winning by 36.7 percent. By comparison, Barrett's three hits and two walks increased Boston's chances of winning by a combined 31.4 percent. Never mind that Henderson had THE HIT MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR WINNING THE TEAM'S FIRST WORLD SERIES IN 68 YEARS.

The other issue I want to ponder is this: Had NBC shown the proper patience and discipline and waited until the game was over to decree a "Miller Lite Player of the Game" award, who should they have chosen?

Think about that for a second. Who was most responsible for the Mets winning the game? (don't cheat and answer "Bill Buckner."

Do you give the award to Mookie Wilson? Well, that would be giving Mookie a significant amount of credit for a few two-strike foul balls and his "One Giant Leap for Metkind" (I refer to his dodging Bob Stanley's wild pitch...interesting to note he got hit in a similar such situation in Game 7). Considering that Mookie's success comes from the misfortune of others (Stanley/Gedman and Buckner), that isn't necessarily an easy call.

Do we give the award to Ray Knight? Knight had two hits and two runs scored. He drove in the first Mets run of the game, with the team hitless and down 2-0 in the 5th, then fought off an 0-2 pitch from Calvin Schiraldi for an RBI single in the 10th inning rally and scored the eventual winning run after Mookie's grounder rolled through Buckner's legs. But we can't forget Knight's foible, an 8th inning error that led to Boston's taking the lead.

Do we give the award to Gary Carter? Carter was the batter in two of the biggest moments in the game: The first came with the bases loaded and one out, down one run in the eighth, when his sacrifice fly tied the score at three. Detractors will note that the out came on a 3-0 pitch, one Carter might have been better off taking. The second didn't do much for the scoreboard, but his two out single in the 10th inning kept the game alive.

Considering that 20 years have passed, I think it's about time we corrected NBC's faux pas. Would anyone like to cast their vote on "The MetsWalkoffs Player of the Game?" Feel free to do so in the comments section.

Other installments of "Didja ever notice?" can be found...


Stormy said…
I have to vote for Mookie & not for the little roller, but for The Jump.

Popular posts from this blog

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for

The 'Duca of Earl (and walk-offs)

If I told you that the Mets had just obtained a guy who is a career .316 hitter with runners in scoring position? How about if I told you that the Mets just traded for a hitter who has consistently ranked among the toughest in baseball to strike out? Or if I mentioned that the Mets just dealt for a player who was selected to the NL All-Star team the last three seasons, with the last honor coming via a vote by his peers? So, although he's on the down side age wise, his throwing arm isn't as good as it used to be, and he doesn't provide much power, there are a lot of good things that Paul Lo Duca brings to the New York Mets. For example: He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team The Dodgers and Braves squared off on August 23, 2002 and Lo Duca made an impact both on the start and finish of this game. Three pitches after being dusted by Greg Maddux, Lo Duca made him pay with a first-inning home run. The Braves rallied to tie the game, 3-3 in the ninth, but thei

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