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20 years ago today....Game Six

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by JR, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    And here's the re-enactment, along with Vin Scully announcing the bottom of the 10th.


    Taped this game at the time. Unfortunately on Beta.

    For those of you who watched the game, Buckner is about third down the list of people to blame.

    Start with Calvin Schiraldi, then move to Bob Stanley. And you can throw in Gedman--that was a passed ball, not a wild pitch.
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Sorry, JR. That was a wild pitch.
    Mookie had to skip over the ball to keep from being hit on the foot. It bounced in the batters box.
    Wild pitch!
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Tom Boswell wrote a hell of a column for the morning of Game 6. He cautioned that Buckner was a defensive liability waiting to blow up in Boston's face. If I can find it, I'll post it.
  4. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Limpin' lizards, here comes Bill Buckner. What on earth are we to make of the Boston Red Sox player who has become the symbol of The Agony of Victory?

    He crawls on his belly like a reptile. He couldn't run any worse if his feet were on backward. That isn't Billy Buckshot praying; he's walking. The man is a child's Christmas toy. No matter how you put his body together, he still plays baseball.

    What's the count on Buckner? Two arms, two legs, no ankles. Laugh, laugh, I thought I'd cry. Who else falls down, then does the backstroke under a popup?

    When it comes to visual memories of the 83rd World Series, Buckner may hold the patent. Buckner crawling after a ground ball on his knees. Buckner diving for a popped up bunt and giving it a Bobo Brazil head butt. Buckner carrying his sickly bat out to the foul line during pregame introductions as a public statement that, damn it, he will break out of his slump.

    Buckner belly-flopping across home plate, helmet over face like an 11-year-old, then lying there waiting for an autopsy. "I didn't slide," he said. "I died."

    Buckner says he's not really that slow going from home to first, "It's third to home that takes 20 minutes."

    In Boston, they say he wears so much tape that "he looks like the Invisible Man, out for a walk."

    He ices so many parts of his body after every game -- both feet, one knee, one shoulder and his hamstrings -- that he has been asked if he's a devotee of cryogenics, the science of freezing a body until a cure for what ails it comes along.

    "The way he runs is the theme contest of this World Series, isn't it?" wrote Leigh Montville in the Boston Globe.

    At first glance and second, too, Buckner is both amusing and inspiring. He's every kind of blood-'n'-guts.

    He's the willingness to endure any amount of pain and any potential for embarrassment or failure just so he can say he played the game.

    But Buckner, and his situation, also are more complex than that.

    Is he playing hurt?

    Or is he hurting the team?

    Is he unselfish or very selfish?

    Is he a hero or a hotdog?

    Is he the worst player on the field in this Series -- an utter liability on offense, defense and the base paths who should be on the bench in New York so Don Baylor, who at least has joints that move, can play first base?

    Or is he an inspiration, the symbol of everything the Red Sox are about and the last man you'd want to remove for the sake of some dry strategy?

    Is the brown-haired man with one high-topped black shoe incredibly courageous or amazingly foolish?

    The answer, please.

    All of the above. Though probably quite a bit more of the good stuff.

    It is unlikely that any man so hurt -- at least so conspicuously hurt -- ever has played a major role in a Series. Or been so determined not to get off the stage, no matter what the cost to himself. Or maybe his team.

    This postseason has been agony for Buckner in more than one sense. It's not the pain. He's used to that. He's taken an anti-inflammatory drug for the last 10 years of his 16-season major league career, although he knows doctors don't like that.
  5. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    He has had nine cortisone shots this season. The X-rays of one ankle show bone virtually against bone. After the season, he'll have spurs and chips removed. He has studied up on plastic ankles. No, it's not funny.

    Buckner knows all the stories about players who called it quits rather than risk permanent injury. Buckner openly courts an invalid old age and perhaps middle age, too. "I think it's worth it," he says.

    But is it worth it if he bats .174 in the Series and .196 for the postseason? Is it worth it if he has no walks, four RBI and only one measly extra base hit (a double) in 51 at-bats in October?

    Is it worth it if he botches a popup and a bunt that should be a double play? Is it worth it if he reaches nothing at first base?

    Above all, is it worth it if he is two for 11 in the playoffs and one for 10 in the World Series with men in scoring position?

    In short, to be honest, is it worth it if he's worthless?

    What makes all this so wrenching, so unfair, is that the sophisticated statistical studies of baseball in the '80s have, basically, unearthed only two men who, throughout their careers, have consistently proved that the word "clutch" can have an empirical basis: Eddie Murray and, to an even greater degree, Buckner.

    No other player in baseball raises his level of performance so consistently when the pressure is greatest, the game situation most dire and the team in the greatest need.

    Quoth "The Elias Baseball Analyst": "Has batted for higher average with runners on base than with the bases empty in eight of last nine seasons." With runners in scoring position in recent years, Buckner has batted .430, .341, .220, .325 and .320. His slugging average rockets up even more in such spots.

    That's why it's so painful to watch Buckner's defensive swings and the weak pops and grounders they are producing now.

    Ever since he hurt his Achilles' tendon in Game 7 of the AL playoffs, he really has been a shadow of a ballplayer.

    Buckner just says he's stubborn. His grit, however, puts Red Sox Manager John McNamara in a tough spot. When a man gives this much for the team, how do you take him out, even if you should?

    When McNamara fills out his lineup Saturday before the Red Sox face left-hander Bob Ojeda, he'll choose between his head and heart.

    With no DH spot, should it be the rusty but healthy Baylor at first?

    Or should he gamble on Buckner one more time, in the vital No. 3 hole where he can kill rallies, and at first base, where Len Dykstra and Wally Backman may finally, in desperation against Roger Clemens, try to expose him to a drag bunt?

    As of now, McNamara says, "If he's hobbling like he has been, he'll be playing." If so, hold your breath. He may play funny, but he doesn't deserve a sad end.

  6. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Blame MacNamara, not Schiraldi. The kid by that point was completely used up. Same with decision to blame Buckner. As far as Boswell's predicition, who ever thinks a first baseman will be the defensive key to a game?
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    McNamara also shares responsibility, since he left Buckner in there and didn't put in Dave Stapleton (as he had done) as a defensive replacement.

  8. You are so dead to me.
  9. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Oh, and after the Sox get two outs, they announce Marty Barrett as player of the game.

    And Gedman could have blocked that pitch. Passed ball. :)
  10. JR

    JR Well-Known Member


    Next up, the clip of Don Cherry with Too Many Men on the Ice. :)
  11. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    You know, it doesn't matter how often you listen to this, you still have this "I can't believe this is happening" feeling.

    BTW, did anyone see the movie Game Six?
  12. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    I have the Scully call and cadence memorized. Thank you, Eddie Andelman.
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