Two Baseball Writers Discuss the World Series

Say Goodbye to Big Mo 
The stadium scene.
Nov. 5 2001 11:29 AM

Two Baseball Writers Discuss the World Series

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Rob:

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Well, that's just like you to look at the glass as half-empty. Look, I didn't say that the Diamondbacks' fans deserved to win—only their players. Who else out there deserved it more? Would it have been more "justice" if the Yankees had won another title? Somebody had to go home with the championship tonight, and the events of Sept. 11 notwithstanding, the people at the ballpark who deserved to win a ring the most were all wearing purple uniforms.

I'm glad you brought up Byung-Hyun Kim, because even before this game, I thought that this might be the one instance where something good might come of the Diamondbacks' youth as a franchise. During Game 6, Arizona fans actually cheered when Kim's picture was shown on the JumboTron. The Diamondbacks' innocence as a franchise—few expected them to make it this far this fast, and most of their fans just jumped on the bandwagon recently—meant that even if they had lost, Kim would have been treated a lot more kindly than if the same thing had happened to the Red Sox, where failure and heartbreak are part of the regional psyche.

Who knows? Maybe some of the fans were smart enough to know that it was mostly Brenly's fault anyway.

I look at this Series, and I see shadows of all the other great World Series everywhere. When I look at the incredible streak of one-run games and extra-inning affairs—and a series in which the home team walked off victorious every time—I see 1991. When I see the Diamondbacks out-hit, out-pitch, and out-field the Yankees in every way but still be unable to put them away, I see 1960. When I see a 38-year-old Randy Johnson walk out of the bullpen and hold the Yankees scoreless the rest of the game, I see 1926, when a 39-year-old Grover Cleveland Alexander did the same.

Heck, when Rivera got the force out at third on Jay Bell's bunt, it reminded me of Game 6 in 1985, when Todd Worrell got the force out at third on Jim Sundberg's bunt. In both cases, the out only plugged the dam for a moment before the current of the game-winning rally burst through.

There are two good things that can come of this Series, I hope. The first one pertains to baseball philosophy: The success of Curt Schilling on three days' rest, not once but twice, might give hope to those of us who don't think the four-man rotation should be relegated to the history books.

The second one is a more general hope. Maybe, after watching a series that took an unexpected turn at every opportunity, some sportswriter, still young enough and impressionable enough to form new opinions, might actually come to the realization that the whole concept of "momentum" is pure bunk. The Diamondbacks had incredible momentum heading to New York. The Yankees wrested it away in Games 4 and 5, and if momentum had meant a damn thing, the Yankees would have put the Diamondbacks out of their misery in Game 6.

They didn't, because good baseball teams are able to forget what happened in the game before and concentrate on the game in front of them. Maybe, after the best World Series in 10 years and one of the 10 best all-time, a few more sportswriters will understand that. 

Rany Jazayerli is a writer for the Baseball Prospectus.

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