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April 06, 2006



Wagner actually found the topic hysterical.

A few more, er, Zimmermann telegrams and the crowds at Shea will also be in hysterics.

[okay, I took the obvious route on that one; y'know, Mexico, illegal immigrants]


Soylent Red

As a diehard Mets fan for many years, and has patiently endured the annual circus, I think I can safely say...

They have much more pressing matters they should be worrying about.

Jim Davis

I'm not sure what Mariano's theme song should be.

Is there a song called "I Singlehandedly Choked Away the 2001 World Series"? I'm not sure.

JM Hanes

Should we be looking for baseball analogies to start flying thick and fast around here, now that the spring season is underway?


Should we be looking for baseball analogies to start flying thick and fast around here, now that the spring season is underway?

I tried to raise the bar (slightly) with my historical reference but abandon hope all ye who enter the batters box here.



Man its a tough crowd in NY.

Its funny though, I was listening to sports radio here in Houston yesterday. The Astros won their first game 1-0, and lost the second with no runs scored. The callers were screaming about the offense, the radio host was saying "I'm not going through this again this year" etc.

I mean yeah, they're probably going to have a weak offense again this year. But good grief they went to the World Series for the first time last year. And its only 2 games FGS.

I was laughing at them. Baseball is most definately not an instant gratification sport. Time dudes, patience.

JM Hanes


"Baseball is most definately not an instant gratification sport."

I'm laughin' with you here. I recall a study of different sports, some years ago, comparing the percentage of time the ball/puck etc. spends in play. Almost needless to say, baseball had the most down time from play to play of all, by a hefty margin, hence the importance of, shall we say, ancillary ephemera like stats, theme songs, (beer) and long standing curses...

JM Hanes


"abandon hope all ye..."

The classics are always a great place to start, but now that you've taken a practice swing at applying Dante to baseball I think you should be ready to go all out and take a shot at applying baseball to Dante, no?


take a shot at applying baseball to Dante, no?

As a kid I grew up rooting for the Washington Senators (ouch). A separate circle for those poor lost souls (spectators, not the Nats; well maybe both).

It was from there we emerged, once more to see the stars.

Now I root (mostly) for players - Albert Pujols, Jake Peavy et al.


Jim in Chicago

Six pitches later, Brian Bannister could say good night to a win in his major-league debut.

The curse of Mariano?

You don't mess with Mo, or, er, his song.


What I wouldn't give for a closer to adopt Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" as their entrance music.

JM Hanes

to see the stars...


O fickle fans! Be wary how ye judge, for we know not yet the number of the chosen.


Trying to remember the Italian. This is from memory (and the only line I remember so don't be too impressed)

E uscime a riveder a la stella

"It was from there we emerged, once more to see the stars."


Something like that. I googled but can't find it.

If Stengel's in Hell (terrible thought I know), does he have to watch Marv Throneberry hit a game-winning 3-run homer only to miss stepping on first, second, third and home?

Over and over and over again?


JM Hanes

Lo duca e io per quel cammino ascoso
intrammo a ritornar nel chiaro mondo;
e sanza cura aver d’alcun riposo,

salimmo sù, el primo e io secondo,
tanto ch’i’ vidi de le cose belle
che porta ’l ciel, per un pertugio tondo.

E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle.

It seems highly unusual to have imported this from what I believe is a New York Times owned site at About.com without critiquing it for accuracy....

"If Stengel's in Hell (terrible thought I know), does he have to watch Marv Throneberry hit a game-winning 3-run homer only to miss stepping on first, second, third and home?

Over and over and over again?"

Sounds more like wondering onto a Pirandello stage to me, although I imagine that might have a certain hellish quality of its own.

Joe Mealyus

"For A Fistful of Dollars".

Sergio Leone made a film called A Fistful of Dollars. Then he made one called For a Few Dollars More.

Has anyone ever noticed how Mr. Choo-choo (in Once Upon a Time in the West) trying to get to the sea works as an amazingly prescient parable of Steinbrenner trying to win another championship after 2001?


You might like this blog. A somewhat irreverent look at baseball, mostly the Mets and the Red Sox. It can be pretty funny, these guys are obsessed.. the commentary on October 2004 is hysterical.

East Coast Agony


Is there a song called "I Singlehandedly Choked Away the 2001 World Series"? I'm not sure.

Huh? Mariano had three saves (oops, two saves and a hold) and five scoreless innings when the Yanks worked their late-inning lightning in New York.

That ninth inning of Game 7 did not go so well.

Jim Davis

>That ninth inning of Game 7 did
>not go so well.

Kind of important, wouldn't you say?

Astounding that a man can choke away a Game 7 lead in the 9th, including hitting a batter and throwing a ball into centerfield, recording only 1 out on a bunt... and no one ever brings it up.

Rivera is right alongside Buckner for Greatest World Series Chokers.

Joe Mealyus

"Rivera is right alongside Buckner for Greatest World Series Chokers."

Yeesh. Rivera, through 2004, appeared in 70 postseason games, pitched 108.2 innings and allowed 11, count them 11, runs. He's about as unBucknerlike as you can get; you have to recognize greatness, no matter how unappealing a uniform it plays in.

Jim Davis

Right. And Buckner only had one ground ball go through his legs.

Choking away a world series is choking away a world series. That is the point. You have to recognize a choke job for the ages, no matter what uniform the choker plays in.


Andujar '82 or ?


That whole year is deleted.


Rivera is right alongside Buckner for Greatest World Series Chokers.

Buckner would be thrilled to be put alongside Rivera.

Most people think of "choking" as folding up under pressure. And someone with an exemplary record of succeeding under pressure is generally given a pass for rare miscues what is, after all, an unpredictable game that includes an opposing team also trying to win.


Hey Steve, Bob Lemon and Roy Sievers are in limbo and their prayers are being directed to the Power via "Cake' Lavagetto.

Jim Davis

OK, at least you are no longer trying to argue Rivera did NOT choke away the 2001 World Series. Calling it a "miscue" is fairly hilarious, however.

Which part was the miscue -- giving up the single, the double, the other single, hitting the batter, or throwing the ball into centerfield?

Just call it what it is --Rivera pulled off one of the greatest individual choke jobs in baseball history.

Saying this does not detract from anything else he has done. Go ahead, try it. You'll feel cleansed.

Buckner 1986, Rivera 2001.

Joe Mealyus

"Buckner 1986, Rivera 2001."

A good way of explaining why Jim Davis is being silly (besides the fact that his strip sucks) is that the idea of Buckner as a "choker," agree with this label or not, is that with a different player at first base, the Red Sox win 1 WS title instead of 0. I.e., they gain a title.

If the Yankees had not had Rivera, no serious follower of baseball thinks that they would have been likely to win *more* than 4 WS titles between 1996 and 2001. Even if you replace Rivera with another very very good relief pitcher, I don't think there's any way the Yankees can win 4. So you take away Rivera, you lose a WS title or 2. I.e., calling Rivera a "choker" is kind of frivolous.

Jim Davis

The point is, and has always been, thus:

Mariano Rivera singlehandedly choked away the 2001 World Series. I've yet to see an argument that this is not true.

I've seen arguments that he is a good player, and that the Yankees at that time were a good team. I've seen arguments that Yankee fans are willing to forgive him. All very nice.

The point still stands. And it is hardly an irrelevant point, as Mr. Buckner would attest. When you end your baseball career, one of things you will ponder is this: "How many times did my team take the the field, just three outs away from winning the World Series, only to lose it, and it was ENTIRELY MY FAULT?"

Current score:
Buckner 1
Rivera 1


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