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

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 Profess

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13

They Don't Make Em Like The Mook Any More

"There are certain things that stay with you, your whole life in sports. Mookie flying is one of those things." -- Blogger's father, 1:10pm on Feb 9. During the 1987 season, Mookie Wilson was on first base in seven instances in which the batter at the plate hit a double. How many times do you think Mookie scored? I'll give you a hint: Every time. According to some recent reading I've done, The average runner scores from first base on a double around 40-45 percent of the time. Mookie's career percentage: 65 percent (45 of 69) The average runner goes first to third on about 27 percent of singles hit. Mookie's percentage: 50 percent (120 of 240) The average runner scores from second base on about 58 percent of singles hit. Mookie's percentage: 75 percent (162 of 215) How good was Mookie Wilson? Let me put it to you this way. The guy turns 54 years old today (and got an early present by being re-hired by the Mets as a minor league instructor). I'd take