Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 24, 2004
BASEBALL: Ring My Bellhorn

This game felt rather anticlimactic, as Game Ones often do after an exciting LCS, even as dramatic as the game was. I don't know, I just kept feeling like the Sox had this one, even when it was tied (and yes, I'm rooting for the Red Sox, not least for the effect a Sox championship will have on Yankee fans). Although the point when Manny - well, I was taking sporadic notes, which just say "Ack! Manny can't field!" That point was not a good feeling for Sox fans.

Speaking of Manny, breathes there a man alive who would not be mortified by that Stevie Wonder "That's What Friends Are For" montage FOX Sports did of slo-mo scenes of Manny with his Sox teammates?

Obviously, your moments of zen were the Bellhorn home run and Foulke freezing Jim Edmonds in the 8th with the bases loaded. And, of course, the relentless David Ortiz.

I spotted a guy in a "Cedeno" jersey on the Cardinals, and the announcers kept calling him "Roger Cedeno," and I even recall the Roger Cedeno being on the Cardinals this year. But then I saw him get a hit in an important situation, and concluded that it had to be a different guy.

Captain's log: it turned 10 p.m. in the bottom of the fourth inning. Way to reach out to young fans.

Kelly Clarkson, singing "God Bless America," looked like either somebody played a prank with lampblack around her eyes, or she got her nose broken in the last 24 hours.

You lives by the knuckleball, and sometimes it goes away. Wakefield has decent stuff early, but just stopped throwing strikes. Pirates and Sox fans will recall that sometimes this goes on for years. Hopefully, he'll find the zone again.

No, I'm not doing a prediction this series, because I'm not a doctor and can't predict the status of Schilling's ankle, on which all turns.

McCarver thought Varitek did a good job blocking the plate on Jason Marquis' Enos Slaughter imitation in the 8th inning, and McCarver does know a thing or two about how hard it is to block the plate. But it looked like a lousy job to me, or at best a valiant but highly ineffective effort.

As I've noted before, a good Game One sets the stage for a series. Sometimes in ironic fashion - like in 1986, when the Red Sox won a 1-run game on a ball that went through Tim Teufel's legs (and it looked like the Mets couldn't touch Bruce Hurst), or in the 1988 NLCS, when the Mets rallied in the ninth to break Orel Hershiser's scoreless streak. Tonight's dramas - Wakefield's control, Manny's fielding, Womack's collarbone, the Cardinal bullpen, the Fenway home cooking.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:46 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

I thought they (Fox guys) were a little hard on Manny after the second error. He did a better job than I expected getting to that ball and made a valiant effort.

McCarver (or Buck) seemed flabbergasted that the ball hit the outside of Manny's glove/Manny's glove closed to early.

It was clear to me on the first replay (and the half dozen subsequent ones) that Manny's knee drove too hard into the turf, and it stopped him too short, almost flipping him over -- like a skidding car hitting a curb. At that point he had lost control of his body as the momentum carried him. If he let that ball drop he wouldn't have been charged with an error, and he would have kept it in front of him. I appreciate the aggressive play, I wish it worked out better for him, at least it ended up not affecting the final result.

That's not to say Manny's not a complete (mis)adventure in left. The first error seemed clearly the old "take a look at the runner...oops" That is careless.

Thank God he gave up right field.

Posted by: Mr Furious at October 24, 2004 3:58 AM

I donít know. That second error was pretty brutal. He looked like Kevin Reimer or Pete Incaviglia out there.

As an outfielder, Manny is really a great hitter.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at October 24, 2004 11:39 AM

Oh, it was brutal. Don't get me wrong. I just like to classify my errors according to effort. Manny tried and came up short. He deserves the "E" and he is not currenty making up for the sloppy defense with his bat, but I think McCarver really gets off on hammering Manny in particular.

Posted by: Mr Furious at October 25, 2004 1:22 AM
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