Tagged: yankees

Through the sands of time: The 1978 Red Sox v. Yankees playoff reconsidered

MLB Network is a great success, no question. From the daily coverage of Spring Training to the special documentaries and films, in-studio analysis, they’ve got the Rolls Royce of sports stations currently. Who knew?

Replays of games past has been a particularly interesting bit of programming. MLB.com did this to some degree, but nothing like the new television product. The opportunity to watch legends perorm real-time in games from the 1940s to 2001 is enlightening and, in some cases, amazing.. 

Consider then October 1978, Fenway Park; Red Sox v. Yankees playoff for the AL East. Memory, or folklore, may not gibe exactly with fact.

Bucky Dent actually hit his famous home run in the 7th Inning. It gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead, but did not win the game. He didn’t think the ball would leave the park and it barely did. I believe many people now, 31 years later, forget that, In fact, Reggie Jackson hit a later home run and the Yankees saw their 5-2 lead shrink to 5-4 in the 8th Inning.

Ron Guidry coming off a 25-3 Cy Young year was a bit less sharp than usual. (he only reason he is not in the Hall of Fame is his career was 13 years, not long enough but from 1977 to 1985. He was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.

Here is something that would never happen today. Closer Goose Gossage came in the 7th Inning to finish the game. The Sox had runners on First and Second in the 9th Inning after Pinella lost a fly ball in the sun. Carl Yastrzemski, who had hit a home run for the first run of the game, made the last out. The Yankees won 100 games, the Red Sox, 99.

Also not considered today. Sox manager Don Zimmer came out to the mound to talk to Mike Torres just prior to Dent’s home run and left him in the game. After the home run and another batter, he lifted Torres. And shout out to Red Sox Nation,  Jerry “Remdog” Remy had a great, clutch game.



MLB Network’s first day looked good. That was a very interesting Don Larson perfect game show. Does Bob Costas ever sleep? Is he on every sports broadcast? He was at the Wrigley field outdoor game, too, although of course the Larson Show was taped.

The Kinetescope made distances look shorter, sort of similar to the vehicle mirror effect. Still, Mantle’s catch on left center field was amazing as were a few other plays. The crowd was overwhelmingly male, with many in suits and ties. Wierd. did not realize Larson was 3-21 with the Orioles first year in Baltimore, 1954, but two of his wins were against the Yanks, so that explained the trade in part.
Then, there were the endless $1 Gilette razor blade commercials. Amazing. And they threw in that baseball mini-encyclopedia, a — get this — $5.95 value. Wonder how many blades they sold. And “super speed razor”??? Me thinks not.
Another fascinating feature was Jackie Robinson, c. 1956. While his main redux image is of a thin, fast guy, the ’56 Robinson playing 3B actually appeared overweight and slow. A couple of other players also looked out-of-shape by today’s standards, Campanella comes to mind. Duke Snider didn’t, and he made a hell of a catch robbing Mantle before Mantle hit that home run to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
And CAN YOU BELIEVE, VIN SCULLY called half the game along with Mel Barber. Scully was a bit more restrained than today, but so was Barber. That seemed to be the early TV broadcast mode, letting the pictures do the work. Now they pile three, maybe four — YES? Network, Mets games — guys.
Sal Maglie at 39, tossing junk; what hapened to the headhunting? Maglie itched awesome as well. Billy Martin at 2B. Yogi Berra of course. Costas said some 15 Hall of Famers either played in the game, sat on the bench or were in the broadcast team that day. Wow! And it was my birthday, but I digress.
Anyway, the Hot Stove Show was very cool, too, even though Harold Reynolds has that cloud hanging over him. Leiter and Larkin did a great, intelligent job.
So,  a nice way to start the new year, maybe even a perfect game way.

Barry Bonds and why not the…Rays? (Also, an Olympic  moment).

Let’s put the devil back into the rays.

At this point, the Bonds baggage actually can be a good thing. Really.
The Rays need a power left-handed bat. Bonds can DH.
The steroid stuff is so tired and old. We all know he’s going to prison for perjury next year. So, he has six weeks to help a cinderella team win the pennant.
It’s all good PR. And Bonds can help the Rays.
Since the steroids are a given and we know he has to be clean, the controversy on this point is moot. Barry is at St. Pete to play ball and win the pennant so who can doubt that each day the focus wll be on the team and the win, not so much on Bonds. And since everyone knows the baggage situation, nobody is going to care all that much. And if Bonds does deflect some attention, that’s good too, since it takes media glare off other players who can relax and play loose.
It’s surprising this hasn’t taken place as of Aug. 15.
I predict it will happen…
(And speaking of which in a strange paradoxical thought pattern that popped just in my brain now: What about Dale Berra?)
Olympics Aside

The U.S. baseball team really choked against South Korea the other day — or was it night.
They rebounded against the Dutch, ha-ha.
Davey Johnson looked sick to his stomach in the Korea loss and with good reason. Surely, these guys can respond better to pressure. Unfortunately not, as they did a redux against Cuba the other night/day.
Can you say sayonara? The Japanese team is loaded with top pros and the Cubans are the Cubans, despite half their real team now playing in the U.S. 
But who cares, I got a badminton match to watch. What’s the birdie over/under on Malaysia-Sri Lanka?