It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

Is Lance's chance for a World Series ring slipping away?

Let’s go straight to the easy part first. On eighteen separate occasions in the World Series, teams have comeback back from a 3-2 deficit to win the whole thing with victroies in Games Six and Seven. Here’s the legendary list of those who’ve done it, according to MLB.COM:

Year Team Opponent
1924 Senators Giants
1925 Pirates Senators
1926 Cardinals Yankees
1934 Cardinals Tigers
1940 Reds Tigers
1946 Cardinals Red Sox
1952 Yankees Dodgers
1958 Yankees Braves
1968 Tigers Cardinals
1973 A’s Mets
1979 Pirates Orioles
1982 Cardinals Brewers
1985 Royals Cardinals
1986 Mets Red Sox
1987 Twins Cardinals
1991 Twins Braves
2001 D-backs Yankees
2002 Angels Giants

Also according to MLB.COM, we must note that the 2-3-2 home game format yields this further data from past results: In the 28 times that a club has gone home with 3-2 deficit in games won on their shoulders, 12 have rallied to win both Games 6 and 7 to take the World Series. That works out to be a 42.9 per cent success rate. On the other hand, the Texas Rangers have not lost two games in a row to anyone since late August.Now it’s “something’s got to give” time.

One thing that needs to give is how things are communicated from the manager to the bullpen. Either update the technology on the phones or get all the bullpen coach communicators tested on their hearing. It came out after the game that LaRussa had called down to the pen to have Motte ready to pitch to Napoli in the eighth, but that message got heard as “Lynn” and Tony’s choice wasn’t available when the time came. As a result, the Cardinals had to leave the lefty Rzepczynski in there to pitch to Napoli, who, of course, then delivered the two-rbi double that decided the game at 4-2.

How could “Motte” have sounded like “Lynn” over the phone? Was there something wrong with the hand crank on the dugout line? Who was taking the call in the Cardinal pen, Helen Keller? Why don’t they either use high-tech phones or visual HD screens that show the manager’s lips moving as he speaks the names of those he wants or even shows color coded cards for different choices? Hearing “I thought you wanted Lynn” could not have set well with Tony LaRussa once he learned that Jason Motte would not be ready for his rendezvous with destiny.

All those ducks left on the pond killed the cardinals in Game Five. And they sure weren’t helped by those two abortive hit and run plays late in the game either. As Tim McCarver kept explaining on TV, ad nauseum, sending Craig from first to second on either a hit and run or steal attempt with Albert Pujols batting was really unnecessary. With Pujols batting, the runner is already in scoring position at first. If the guy runs and is thrown out, that out may kill the rally or end the inning. If he makes it in safely, he simply takes the bat out of Albert’s hands, allowing the other club to walk Pujols and play for a force out.

Add all the 11 ducks left on the pond last night by St. Louis and the whole thing totals up to a deserved loss by the Cardinals. Now it’s back to Missouri to see if one more blink at home cooking makes any difference in Game Six and, hopefully, Game Seven. If not, then it will be the Texas Rangers, not the Houston Astros, that shall be forever remembered as the first club to bring baseball’s biggest prize back to the Lone Star State.

OK, Houston temporary Ranger fans, are you ready for all those Dallas egos blinking at us down here in MLB’s tent city of hope over the next decade or so? Because that’s exactly what’s coming our way from the Metroplex Area, if the Rangers win the World Series. To that possibility, I say, give the Rangers credit for finishing the job as champions. Nolan Ryan and his crew just did a much better job of building their team and getting the job done better than the Astros. If the Rangers win out, what other conclusion could we possibly draw?

If the Rangers win it all, luck and destiny will figure into the final outcome as well. And, as per usual, we will not be able to explain the presence of either. Just be ready for whatever is about to happen. That’s all we can ever do – in baseball in particular – or in life in general.

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3 Responses to “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over”

  1. Gary Says:

    I am going to be physically ill if the Rangers win. Generally I would not care, but now Bud Selig and Jim Crane have me despising all things American League.

  2. mike Says:

    Bill, To answer your question on behalf of other very temporary Rangers fans- I know just as many Cardinal fans who are just as obnoxious, and most of them actually show up at Minute Maid wearing enemy gear. And if we’re talking about the often misplaced arrogance of those Dallasites, well, we have to hear it when the cowboys go 4 and 12, so why will this be any different? Sigh.

    As for the Astros not being the first in Texas to win it all, they’ve had 50 chances. If we’d had a smarter owner who was less insecure and more intellectually honest, we might have done it back when we had a great GM…if not for two bad owners, Nolan Ryan would have been part of the ownership group here.

    When it comes to trade-offs- It seems Dallas gets championships and Houston gets great Tex-Mex. I’ll take it.

  3. larry joe miggns Says:

    A famous coach once said,” It isn’t the big things that lose games but the little things”. I’m not sure who said it but it is ringing true in this exciting World Series. Rangers have shown the ability to do the things that are necessary to win games like bunting, play small ball, throwing runners out and keeping runners from advancing to scoring position. My heart is torn between the two teams but one thing is for sure, This is exciting baseball and it will bring fans back to the ballpark. I love the Texas flag on the sleeve and all the Texas flags in the ballpark. I’m not sure any other team has that and it shows a real Texas pride and reminds me that you,”Don’t Mess with Texas” Playball.

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