Sunday, October 27, 2013

Best Analysis of Cardinals-Red Sox Bizarre World Series Ending

The Fall Classic has produced many bizarre and improbable games endings - from Bill Buckners' "booted ground ball" to Don Denkengers' blown groundball out to David Freese's late inning heroics - and many of them have included the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox ... or both. And the baseball folklore only added another twist and wrinkle that will be talked about for years after last night's bizarre ending with an infield obstruction call leading to the Cardinals' winning run in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off win.  It's being called the "Trip-off Win," "The Classic Fall" and the "Walk-off Obstruction."

This win - or whatever we call it - is truly one for the ages that will be fodder for sports commentators and fans for years to come. It was just such a bizarre play that will and should be replayed in the minds of all involved.  Of course, there really isn't that much debate because the general consensus is that umpire Jim Joyce got the call right.  There is, perhaps, no better explanation and commentary than the analysis provided by Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci who argues, "Obstruction Wasn't the Rule that Cost the Red Sox." Verducci offers a step-by-step explanation of why the Red Sox objections don't hold water. But more importantly, Verducci indicts the entire American League for the use of the designated hitter as the reason the RedSox made many errors leading to their loss in the pivotal game six. Kind of reminds me of the beliefs of Crash Davis:

There absolutely should be a Constitutional amendment outlawing the designated hitter.  Because the mental game required of National League managers is the heart of baseball. The American League's silly little rule just ... isn't. The fans and the players and the commentators have been writing and talking non-stop on the issue, and certainly we have to start with the local sportswriters.  In St. Louis, you have to start with St. Louis Post Dispatch sportswriter Bernie Miklaz who coined the phrase "Classic Fall" deciding the Fall Classic.  Bernie sings the praises of Allen Craig who stumbled, hobbled, limped, and dragged himself to the plate for a run that had already been awarded. It was ... exciting to say the least. And, of course, it's important to give the Boston sportswriters, such as Dan Shaugnessy, to weigh in on the instant classic of game 3. Regardless of your point of view, this was a game not to have missed.

In the end, there is not much anyone else can do, other than to simply shake our heads and reflect. Sam Miller of Slate Magazine does his best to help us do that.

Game 4 on the agenda. Play ball.

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