The Baseball Desert

Friday, October 17, 2003

Too Little, too late

I blew it - my CSSA (see yesterday's post) finally caught up with me, and I slept right through the alarm going off at 2am and thus missed a classic Game 7. However, I can comfort myself with the thought that I didn't blow it as much as Boston did.

Regardless of whether you like the Yankees or not, you have to tip your hat to Yankee manager Joe Torre. Dusty Baker and Grady Little take note – this is how you manage a Game 7: when your starter is in trouble, his 310 career wins and Hall of Fame credentials are not an issue – you take him out of the game (even if it might be his last-ever game of major league baseball) and you bring in the guy who pitched Games 1 and 4 (pitching in relief for the first time in 401 career appearances and pitching on three days’ rest) and then you bring in your Game 5 starter for a couple of outs, and when the game goes extra innings you use your lights-out closer for three innings (something he’s not done since April 2000). In other words, you make the moves you have to make and worry about the next game later (because if you don’t, there is no “next game”).

As ever, Thomas Boswell says it better than most.

So, it's back to Yankee Stadium on Saturday for Game 1 of the 2003 World Series. Even if a Yankees / Marlins series lacks the romanticism of a Cubs / Red Sox or Yankees / Cubs matchup, I have a feeling that we're going to see some good baseball. The Yankees are going to be hot after their epic series with the Sox, and the Marlins have shown this postseason that they're not afraid of anyone. I have a day-and-a-half to get some sleep and get my life organised so as not to miss a minute of the games.