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Worse collapse?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Pringle, Sep 27, 2006.


Which has been the more spectacular collapse over the last week?

  1. St. Louis Cardinals squander most of 8 1/2 G lead

  2. Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

  1. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    and really, i was just tweeking card fans
  2. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Damn... sorry for trying to fuck that up.

  3. Haha, I was wondering when Hoops would chime in with that kind of reference. Thanks!
  4. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    When you have a collapse, the easy explanation is there was a choke. And in the sense that a team didn't get things done, there is some truth to that.

    But if you look a little deeper, there are usually reasons. The Yankees horror in 2004 (OK, it probably wasn't a horror for most people) was bad, but David Ortiz and Curt Schilling stepped up in a big-time way. Also, the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry has a way of crazy things happening.

    It's easy to say the Red Sox choked in 1978, but they came back from a 2 or 3-game deficit in the last two weeks of the season, including winning on the last day of the regular season, to send that series to a playoff. People forget that.

    The 1964 Phillies played over their heads all year until the end of the season. If they had that streak in the middle of August, people would have shrugged and said "Oh, well, they weren't that good after all." Also, the team didn't do well in the years immediately before or following that. I know Michael Gee followed that team and I'd be curious to hear his opinion.

    I say all this because I think the 1969 Cubs probably are the biggest example of a choke. That team had three Hall of Famers (Ferguson Jenkins, Billy Williams, and Ernie Banks) and Ron Santo, who was a significant HOF candidate. They were up by 8 or 9 games at one point. Correct me if I'm wrong Cub fans, but I don't think the team suffered any major injuries. That was a case of Leo Durocher - maybe the most overrated manager in baseball history - making some bad choices, not using his bench, and being a hardass and having it come back to bite him.
  5. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Gold, this is the irresistable force/immovable object argument.

    Does the one team rise up and play better, or does the other play worse, allowing for the former's success?

    Sportswriters (especially a lot of the pricks here) totally fall on the crutch that EVERYONE is choking. It just ain't so.

    And, it's frustrating not KNOWING which is true. Definitely is.

    But these sportswriters and sportscasters then do the worst possible thing, they, feeling the need to have a take, guess.
    With no way to know. Usually picking the "losing team/players choked angle"

    It's pathetic.
  6. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Columbo: Coaches will say the same thing. Their idea is that you have to get it done and finish the job.

    Of course, that's often easier said than done because you have an opponent or two stepping up. The example I just thought of was Michael Jordan against the New York Knicks in 1993. I think people don't think of that as a choke because, well, it was Michael Jordan.

    The other thing is, it's common for a team to win four straight games against another team and people don't say that is a choke. But if that happens in a situation where everybody is watching, a choke is an easy explanation. Example: In the 1990 World Series, the Oakland A's appeared much better than the Reds, but got swept. Hardly anybody calls that a choke, but why is that different from the Yankees losing to the Red Sox in 2004?
  7. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Well, it is just a copout.

    It would make their jobs impossible if they actually had to figure out whether their team more "didn't get it done" or they opponent "did get it done."
  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    There are three things about 1969 that you rarely see mentioned that were significant factors in how that season played out.

    1. The Cubs were an older team than the Mets.

    2. The Cubs played a shitload of doubleheaders in the second half of the season.

    3. Leo Durocher pretty much played his starting eight into the ground.

    Also, the Cubs didn't spit the bit the last week of the season. They pretty much ran out of gas starting in mid-August and were passed by the Mets by mid-September.

    What happened to the Phillies in '64 and what I hope is about to happen to the Cardinals are infinitely bigger gack jobs. If St. Louis blows this it will go down as the biggest choke job in regular season history. They had a commanding lead over the worst division in baseball and now they may be lucky to finish second.

    Suck it La Russa.
  9. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    Armchair: Ernie Banks was old, but I don't think the Cubs were overwhelmingly old in 1969. Billy Williams and Ron Santo played five years, pretty much successfully after that. I don't think the Cubs age was that much of a factor. The Mets were a very young team to win a World Series, but they had two older veterans, Ed Charles and Donn Clendenon. They had a talented young pitching staff, including Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Gary Gentry. Nolan Ryan wasn't a main starter on that team and, even though he had control problems, that should tell you something about the pitching. Usually teams will stick with someone who has great stuff but lacks control figuring things will work out, and the Mets didn't do that.

    I agree with you completely about Leo Durocher. He is one of the biggest frauds in baseball history. Hewould always get himself on television or radio, and was a real Hollywood guy. He was the image of the tough manager, the great storyteller, the fearless leader, blah, blah, blah. You need a baseball person to be a guest star on a situation comedy - call Leo Durocher.

    Durocher would talk about what it took to be successful and how he was smarter than everybody else.

    There was just one thing. He managed one World Series winner. One, in 1954 when Willie Mays made the greatest catch in World Series history and Dusty Rhodes delivered a bunch of clutch hits - Leo had nothing to do with it. Moreover, the Dodgers won seven pennants in Brooklyn after Durocher left. And the 1969 Cubs showed what a fraud Durocher was.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    The choke came from being 14 games up on the fifth-place Yankees on July 18... sorry, but that's a choke
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    One other thing about the Cubs: I don't care how good a shape you're in . . . playing
    all of those damned day games in the hot Chicago afternoon sun is going to take it
    out of you.
  12. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    As far as pitching matchups for the Astros, Garner has already said he will move Pettitte and Oswalt up if the Astros still have a chance at the division.
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