The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘1977 World Series’

Can you hear me now?

Posted by keithosaunders on October 26, 2011

Hey Tony, how about another pitching change?

Game five of the World Series was one of the more bizarre and exciting games I have seen for some time.  This entire Series has been a delight, and so far it has gone the way I wanted it to, with Texas in front of a long, hard-fought contest.  It was the first time since 2003 that the Series had been knotted at two — there have been six game series, but only after 3-1 leads in games.  The Series hasn’t gone to a seventh game since 2002. 

I hadn’t realized how universally disliked LaRussa was, but now that his over managing is front and center, the press and media have been all over him.  One podcast host stated that, “LaRussa came to manage in game 5.” 

And manage he did.  He managed to blow the game, that’s for sure.  First of all he had his ace on the mound, Chris Carpenter.   Of course he was removed once the magic 100 pitch mark was reached, and in came Octavio Dotel bearing gasoline.  If that’s not enough, with first base open he has Dotel walk Nelson Cruz.  What is Dotel in the game for if not to get righties out! 

Then we entered the twilight zone.  LaRussa removed Dotel from the game and out from the bulpen came Mr Scrabble, Marc Rzepczynski.  What the?!  A left-hander in to face consecutive righties, one of whom, Mike Napoli,  is the Series hottest hitter.  I sat there dumbfounded as Buck and McCarver, shills that they are, explained that LaRussa sometimes uses Rzepczynski to get righties out. 

One single and a gap double later the score was 4-2 Rangers.  But LaRussa wasn’t done.  He removed Rzepczynski from the game and replaced him with… Lance Lynn!  He had Lynn intentionally walk Kinsler and then…took him out of the game!   At the time I was thinking, LaRussa is out of control — why not have Rzepczynski issue the walk and then change pitchers?

Of course, later on we would discover the reason:  The bullpen phone didn’t work and LaRussa’s pitching coach had the wrong pitcher warming up.  Right…and Paul McCartney died in 1966. 

I don’t believe this cock and bull story for one second.  Before the game LaRussa had announced that Lynn, who had thrown 47 pitches the previous night, was unavailable for work.  Let’s assume for a moment that the bullpen coach misheard LaRussa.  Why wouldn’t he have questioned the move?  Not only that, Lynn sounds nothing like Motte, who was the pitcher that LaRussa said he wanted all along.  Might I suggest a simple text message for future moves?

Let’s face it, LaRussa simply wants to put his stamp on the game at any cost.  He’s not happy unless he is making moves.  At this point it appears his over-managing is costing the Cardinals a Worlds Series.  You can make the case that LaRussa, at this point, is responsible for at least two losses:  games two and five.

Finally, this little tidbit I heard on the radio.  One of the hosts of Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast attended game six of the 1977 World Series, the one in which Reggie Jackson hit three home runs. (a game also attended by my best friend, and sometimes guest-blogger, Jeff Mazzei)  The time of that game was two hours and seven minutes.  Amount of pitching changes:  three; all by the Dodgers.

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Tour de Bronx

Posted by keithosaunders on June 21, 2011

While I’m in New York City I’m staying at my friend Jeff’s house in the Bronx.  Some of my longtime readers may remember Jeff as an occasional guest poster.  He is a fellow sports fan and music aficionado.  It is a testament to our friendship that Jeff, the greatest Yankee fan of all time, could be best friends with the greatest Yankee hater of all time.  Believe me, I got the better part of the bargain.

The Bronx gets a bad rap.  When people think of the Bronx they think of an overhead shot of burning buildings in the South Bronx taken from the Goodyear Blimp during the 1977 World Series, with Howard Cosell’s overly dramatic intonation, “The Bronx is burning!”  Back then it was a dangerous place, but much of greater New York City was as well.  The city was broke, crime was rampant, and the real estate and stock market boom of the 80s was yet to arrive.

Today I helped Jeff run an errand to a part of the Bronx that Jeff was unfamiliar with.  We ended up taking a circuitous route, but this was right in my wheelhouse.  I love seeing different sections of New York, particularly in the outer boroughs.  It’s in these neighborhoods —  not chic, glossy, yupped out Manhattan —  where you can still get a whiff of old New York.

We set out from Jeff’s neighborhood, a verdant, tree-lined section of Pelham filled with old three-story red brick houses.  There are lots of flowering bushes, and by summertime the trees begin to form a shade canopy over the streets.

Pelham is in the East Bronx and we headed north and west via the Mosholu Parkway, cut over to Bedford Ave, and made a hard left onto the Grand Concourse and headed downtown.  The Concourse was designed and constructed in the late 1800s with the idea of providing access from Manhattan to the parkland in the northern Bronx.  It was lined with fashionable, deco-style apartments, most of which still exist today, although some are in ill repair.  I took a photo of one that I found particularly striking; a triangular building that reminded me of the Flat Iron building on 23rd street in Manhattan.

 

We passed 176th street, a mere ten blocks north of Yankee Stadium, and turned east onto Mount Eden Rd.  Here are some of the apartment buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

After a few more blocks we approached Crotona Park.  The Bronx is home to most parkland per capita in New York City.  Pelham Park, in the Northeast, is even larger than Central Park.  I was amazed to see this green oasis in the middle of a dense, urban area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a few more blocks I noticed a stand-alone, one-story house which was surrounded by pre-war apartment buildings.  Jeff then recalled that back in the ’70s Jimmy Carter had visited the Bronx, and decrying the urban blight, pushed for the construction of several affordable homes.  Sure enough we soon came to a block that had several of these homes. 

 

We reached our destination on 176th st, ran the errand, and turned north and east to go home.  We found ourselves on Boston Rd, which at this point, runs under the 2 train, which is part of the IRT subway line that runs express in Manhattan under 7th Ave, and continues into Brooklyn, ending in Flatbush.  For my final picture here is a shot under the el — a classic New York street scene if there ever was one.  

 

Now get out there and visit the Bronx!

 

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