Friday, May 25, 2007

One Score and Two Titles Ago...

What kind of sense of humor do my friends have? Well, when I recently got married to a lifelong Cardinals fan, one of them gave us a dvd box set of the 1987 World Series.
Very nice!

In honor of that gift, my impending divorce, and the twenty year anniversary of Les Straker kicking down the door to stardom…I give you a game-by-game recap:

(Actually, before we get started…check out this page. Particularly the standings about 2/3 down the page where it lists team payrolls. Small market my ass.)

Game 1

The coverage starts immediately with the Twins taking the field in the top of the first. No pregame…probably for the best. The Dome looks fantastic…remember when the Dome used to look fantastic!

Al Michaels is announcing

Cards line-up:
Vince Coleman LF
Ozzie Smith SS
Tom Herr 2B
Jim Lindeman 1B
Wille McGee CF
Tony Pena C
Jose Oquendo RF
Tom Pagnozzi DH
Tony Lawless 3B

Love those cards! Well, Vince Coleman anyway

Very straightforward intros from the ever-professional Al Michaels while introducing the Twins in the field…only stumbling a bit when he tries to use Gaetti’s nickname…G-Man.
That’s okay, Al…it’s a tough one.

Paul Molitor and Tony Gwynn have pre-recorded scouting reports for tonight's starting pitchers…we’re treated to a dapper Molly telling us Frankie "Sweet Music" Viola's development of his change-up has moved him from a good to a great pitcher.

During Frankie’s warm-ups…the ump is really touchy feely with Tim Laudner...I think Tim's a bit uncomfortable, but doesn't want to say anything.

No Terry Pendleton?

Top 1
Vince Coleman bunts on the first pitch!!! It’s nearly perfect…but Frankie’s nimble enough to track it down and fire to first…low, but Hrbek picks it out…close call, but replays show he’s out.

Tim McCarver is our colorman…and he’s already annoying.

Ozzie can’t touch the change-up….looks REALLY silly striking out swinging.

The crowd is going crazy!

There’s a third member of our announcing crew…can’t figure out who it is yet.

Tom Herr is up…so excited to see him dressed like a Cardinal and not a Twin.

That was Ozzie’s first strikeout in 55 World Series at bats.

Herr grounds out to Viola…pretty sure Sweet Music will handle the Cards tonight…call it a gut feeling.

Bottom 1
Twins at the plate!

Dan Gladden LF
Greg Gagne SS
Kirby Puckett CF
Gary Gaetti 3B
Don Baylor DH (yes!)
Tom Brunansky RF
Kent Hrbek 1B
Stee Lombardozzi 2B
Tim Laudner C

Why is Hrbek batting 7th?

Joe Magrane pitching…rookie

Tony Gwynn breaks him down…with an EXCELLENT goatee and Miami Vice sport coat combo
Says he had trouble hitting “Joe” this year…bullshit, he probably batted .345 against him. Thinks the Twins can run on him…except the 87 Twins were mashers…not Piranhas.

Gladden grounds to the Wizard…doesn’t run through first base…I’ll remember that next time he bad mouths BJ Upton (or any other young player) for a lack of fundamentals.

Seriously…how can McCarver be THIS annoying already

Gagne looks overmatched

Is the third announcer Steve Garvey…sounds maybe like it is…plus he just offered to swap wives with Al Michaels.

McCarver just compared Gagne’s batting style to Willie Stargell and Mike Schmidt…Gagne struck out swinging

(pounds one off the plate…Herr makes a nice play and throws him out)

Top 2
Coming back from break…they just showed a shot of the crowd…and it looks like the section in the upperdeck directly behind home plate is empty…why?

Puckett misplays a flyball from Lindeman…drops for a hit. Lindeman on second.

Stupid roof.

Decent point about the Twins fans needing to be more savvy and put the hanky’s away when the Twins are in the field so as not to make it more difficult for the outfielders to pick up the ball. Needless to say, McCarver had nothing to do with that analysis.

Viola’s change is unbelievable…

McGee flys out to Kirby…who GUNS a throw to third to get the runner tagging…OUT!
Nooooo…the ump calls him safe. He’s clearly out, and the replays show that. Of course, McCarver backs up the ump, even as the replay shows he’s out. Micheals quickly changes the subject back to the new batter…Tony Pena.

Tony Pena is rocking my mother-in-law’s glasses for this game...I bet she can still quilt him under the table.

I don’t have to point out that 95% of the players are sporting “awesome” mustaches, do I…you guys know that, right?

Grounder to short…Gagne thought about coming home, but took the out at first…looks like he could’ve had him…but he knows his team can score runs.
1-0 Cards
Oquendo quickly pops out to Gladden in foul territory

Bottom 2
Gaetti’s up…monster numbers on the year. The year being 1987.

Pops out on the first pitch to right.

Don Baylor’s up…and is bigger than the ump and the catcher combined. Are we sure Don Baylor isn’t two players under an extra large uniform? Like one of those horse costumes at Halloween? Baylor’s not amused by my humor and pops out. I just locked my front door.

Bruno! (Full disclosure…I own a Tom Brunansky jersey…a CARDINALS Tom Brunansky jersey…#23)

“Tom Kelly…what you see is what you get” says Al Michaels. Umm, Al…I think that was supposed to be Tim McCarver’s line in the script.

Foreshadowinng…The ump just had to call time to order Kent Hrbek back to the ondeck circle…he was cheating over to get a better look at the movement on Magrane’s pitches. I hope Ron Gant is reading this…and muttering quietly to himself.

Bruno walks.

Hrbek hit 34 home runs but only managed 90 RBI.

It’s so great to watch him hit…it looks like he’s bending over to poop.

I’m told he’s batting seventh ‘cuz Magrane’s a lefty. Can we try that with Mauer?

Magrane’s afraid to throw a strike…good instincts, son.

Twiggy’s our first base coach…yep, that’s awesome.

Hrbek walks…the 4th ball is a wildpitch, but Bruno can’t get to third.

1st and 2nd for Lombo

Lombardozzi hit 8 home runs that year! 8! Nick Punto can’t hit 8 home runs??!!

Uh-oh…pitching coach is already paying a visit. It’s clear now our third announcer is a pitcher…my new guess is Jim Palmer.

Pena does the snap throw to first a lot…I like that move. Especially when the guy on first is Kent Hrbek.

Al Michaels’ refers to Whitey Herzog as “The Amazing One”. Amazing what exactly? Is everyone who manages the Cards automatically one of the game’s best? (See: LaRussa, Tony)

Full count to Lombo…as we get an excellent crowd shot. Why didn’t we all just go bald in the 80’s…the hairstyles are more than a little embarrassing.

Lombo pops up…if I were watching this live, I’d be going apeshit at all the pop ups the Twins are hitting.

Top 3
Jim Palmer(?) compares a pitching coach to a stepfather…apparently the Orioles p.c. used to drink a lot and smack him around. WTF?

Pagnozzi grounds out to Gaetti to start the third…as Michaels laughs while talking about how thin the Cardinals bench is and how they have no one to DH.

Pendelton is out with a strained rib cage…and can apparently only bat lefthanded…not righthanded or play the field. What a very specific injury.

Viola blows a fastball by someone named Tony Lawless for the second out

Coleman’s up again…if this were RBI Baseball, I’d bunt and get an inside the park home-run out of it.

Michaels tells the story of how Vince Coleman got run over by the tarp roller in 1985…which caused him to miss the World Series against the Royals. Ha! I remember that story! (Although I thought it was actually this World Series).
Coleman strikes out while I try to think of dumber injuries. (Who was the guy who fell on his stairs while carrying deer meet to his freezer? Someone from Colorado, right?)

Bottom 3
It IS Jim Palmer. I’m 1 for 1 in second guessing myself

They use a graphic to explain why Tim Laudner is starting even though he batted .191 on the year (really!)…and it basically boils down to “Who should we play instead, Sal freaking Butera?”

Laudner only got one hit in the ALCS…a game winning double against Jack Morris.
Remember 1987…when we hated Jack Morris?

Jim Palmer just said “A lot of the hits Laudner got in the playoffs were against the breaking ball”. Really? A lot? You mean the one? Stupid announcer, now I have to look up how many hits Launder had in the ALCS.
(He DID only have one hit in the ALCS...Tim McCarver is contagious)

Magrane forgets .191 is bad in the AL and walks Laudner.

Gladden grounds to third…fielder’s choice gets Laudner at 2nd…Gladden’s at first. When does he earn the nickname “Dazzle”?

Magrane was called for seven balks on the year…holy shit, I can’t believe someone actually used to pay attention enough to call balks.

Magrane has thrown over to first seven times…and never has been close to getting Gladden.




Finally! Gagne fouls one off…I’m impressed he was still awake.

The DVD case tells me this game is three hours and thirty six minutes…mostly in this at-bat, apparently.

Guess what…Gagne POPS UP. Kirby’s up.

Tony Pena’s good. Saved Magrane from a couple of wild pitches already.

Gladden steals second on a very close play. He was safe…barely.

When was Kirby thin? It’s not 1987, that’s for sure.

Triva…Kirby was tied for the league lead in hits with whom? That’s right…Kevin Seitzer.

Kirby grounds out to future Mr. Twin Tommy Herr.

Top 4
Al Michaels compares the Dome to a spaceship. I prefer the Big Inflatable Toilet, thankyou very much.

Ozzie check swings a grounder to Lombo. One down.

There’s footage of Frankie V’s brother’s wedding in NY…which apparently happened earlier today (1987 today). Frankie was to be the best man, but was a tad busy. Cmon John Viola…stop being so selfish and reschedule your wedding. Jerk.

Tommy Herr grounds out to Gaetti.

Frankie is absolutely dominating…if Kirby hadn’t botched that fly ball, we’d be talking about Don Larson right now.

And right on cue…base hit to right field.

You want to talk skinny…ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce Mr. Willie McGee.
“I can’t eat all of it, Joe Rogan”.

McGee grounds into the hole…Gagne fields and just misses getting Lindeman at 2nd base. 2 on…2 out.
(there have been a lot of close plays already…and each time the player on the losing end of the call has reacted like Tim Duncan anytime he gets called for a foul)

My mother-in-law is up again. She has a terrible average with 2outs and RISP this year. And is quickly in the hole 0-2.

Pena grounds out to Viola.

Bottom 4

Gaetti grounds one down the line toward third…someone called Tony Lawless finds it difficult to throw him out from all the way over there! Thank you Cardinals JV team

Don Baylor rips a hit up the middle…I love you Don Baylor.

2on…NOBODY out for Bruno

Best mustache on the team…it’s not even close

Bruno rips a single to center…and it’s TOO hard (ha, too hard) for Gaetti to score!

Bags loaded…nobody out. Hrbek’s up.

Cardinals have Bob Forsch warming up in the pen (Yep…THEE Bob Forsch)

Hrbek singles up the middle…two runs in!

Tom Kelly is the first rookie manager to take his team to the World Series since all the way back in 1982.

2nd and 3rd…STILL nobody out

Lombo and his 8 home runs are up

This is awesome, by the way, I’m actually excited for a game in which I know everything that happens already.

A crowd shot of Bob Dole…why exactly is Bob Dole at the game? Bob Dole loves indoor baseball. Bob Dole needs a dome dog.

Magrane walks Lombo…and then takes a long hot shower. Good try, son…but your shame will linger in my memory forever.

Bob Forsch is in…yes, thee Bob Forsch. He looks exactly 48 years old. Not a day older.

Tim Laudner singles in Bruno! Hrbek to third. Lombo to 2nd
I’m not sure if I can read lips that well…but I’m pretty sure he said “Fuck you Tim McCarver” on the way to first.

NOBODY OUT…bases loaded…Gladden’s up. I’m pretty sure I know where this is headed…

Yep…7-1. Dazzling.

(That was the least exciting home run call I’ve ever heard, Mr. Michaels. It was a fucking grand slam in the World Series, for christ’s sake! I bet you would have given it a little more oomph if Mike Eruzione had hit it.)

Jim Palmer says that reminded him a little of Harmon Killebrew. I’m glad I haven’t eaten yet…these guys are a serious vurp risk

Nobody out yet, btw.

Gagne flys out to right…Oquendo misplays it, but recovers in time
Puckett grounds out to the Wiz

Gaetti feels sorry for thee Bob Forsch and flys out to left…WAIT A MINUTE, IT’S A DOME RULE DOUBLE…Coleman loses it in the roof.
(And the Twins officially lose the respect of major league baseball for the next ten years.)

Baylor grounds out to third.

Top 5
This six run lead will not change the way Viola pitches says Mr. Palmer. I agree, he continues to throw the ball toward home plate.

Palmer tells us that the first year of the Dome’s existence, they hadn’t installed air conditioning yet…which is why so many home runs were hit that first year.
I did not know that.

Oquendo grounds outs to short
Pagnozzi grounds out to Viola
Tony Lawless strikes out (seriously…who IS this guy?)

The Cardinals are flat-out overmatched against Sweet Music
(I like, btw, that even before this game started, it was decided that Frankie was going to pitch Game 4 on three days rest. They didn’t even wait and see how this game would go…that’s how bad the pitching staff was)

Bottom 5
Bruno grounds out to third
Hrbek walks again..he’s 1-1 with two walks on the night
Michaels says the Twins were the ultimate team effort…’cuz no one was very good.

Screw you, Al…Lombo hits a two run dong. (Did we call them dongs back then?)
Can I send a copy of this to Nick Punto and Jason Tyner?

Hrbek is twice the width of Lombardozzi.

Launder flys out to center…Sal Butera couldn’t do that
Gladden walks…dazzlingly
Gagne bangs one deep into right…but Oquendo is there

Top 6
Oh…it’s now 9-1 Twins. Over the Cardinals. My wife’s favorite team. Just sayin’

Coleman’s up…please bunt, please bunt, please bunt…
Nope…flys out to right.

Okay…Michaels just contradicted himself (and me) by saying Joe Niekro MIGHT start game 4…if the Twins are up 3-0. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Ozzie grounds out to short
Herr grounds out to short

Bottom 6
Kirby leads off…no hits on the night yet
And he pops up to first.

Gaetti’s up…we’re reminded of the fact that he hit a homerun in his first career at bat, his first career post season at bat, and in this, his first World Series game, he got two hits in one inning. And now he’s the first player this inning to reach on an error by Tony Lawless. Who’s name may actually be Tom Lawless, I’ve discovered…but I don’t care that much.

Don Baylor, Bat For Hire grounds out to ozzie…Gaetti moves to second

Bruno’s up…and Michaels and his posse are talking about how everyone on this team goes by a nickname…”Bruno, G-Man, Kirby, Herbie…”
I don’t have the heart to tell him that Kirby is actually his real name.

Bruno flys out to center…McGee forgets it’s the last out. But to be fair, he’s high.

Top 7
Frankie’s still in. 70 pitches or so, I think

Great shot of National League President Bart Giamatti as Lindeman takes strike 1 from Viola…you can see him saying “Swing the bat”. Lindeman listens and lines out to Gagne on the next pitch. That’s NL baseball, damn it

McGee dumps a single into center. He may be skinny, ugly, and high…but he can hit.

84 pitches for Frankie, thank-you graphics guy.

My mother-in-law grounds into a 5-4-3 double play! Way to go, Karen.

Bottom 7
Anecdote from Al Michaels…apparently someone called Tom Kelly before the series started and said, “God has sent me to you to start the first game”. And Kelly replied “Sorry…but the league says you have to be on the roster by Sept 1st”.

That’s actually very funny. I bet it was Dark Star.

Rick Horton is in for the St. Lunatics…and he looks twelve years old. That was quite a change from thee 48 year old Bob Forsch to this guy.

Hrbek pops weakly to third

Lombo hits a solid single to center (wait…you can hit singles and home runs in the same game? Hmm…)

Fun stat…Mr. Horton actually played right field for the Cardinals in a game this year. And during the same game, so did another Cards pitcher. Anyone want to argue the virtues of NL baseball? I didn’t think so.

Laudner strikes out

Gladden doubles into the right field corner…which actually should have been a walk…the 3-1 pitch was WAY outside, but the ump was trying to get everyone to bed early. Lombo scores

Gagne grounds out to the Wiz.

10-1 Twins

Top 8
Oquendo strikes out
Pagnozzi singles to center
Lawless is up…and yes, his name is Tom and he pops up to Lombo
Coleman bounces to Gagne…who gets the out at second to end the inning
Was it me, or was that the least funny half-inning?

Bottom 8
Kirby knocks a hit to right…his first of the night. Only Gagne will take the collar in this game

Gaetti flys to McGee…who loses it briefly…finds it…and then drops it. But he still manages to force Kirby at 2nd base. Your basic 8-6 put-out. TWINGO!

McCarver says “White on white belongs in shirts, not baseball”. I have no idea what that means, but assume he’s gotten into Willie’s stash

Baylor grounds into a double play

Top 9
Look Smitty…it’s Keith Atherton!! And he’s borrowed Tony/Karen Pena’s glasses.

Gene Larkin on first…who remembers he went to Columbia?
Mark Davidson in right field.

Ozzie lines out to left

Mark Davidson gets on camera just long enough to adjust his cup.

Herr flys to left

2 down…the Dome is filled to the brim with electric sex! I have goose bumps.

Lindeman grounds out to Gaetti and can be heard yelling "Mercy!" as he runs toward first.


Despite the score, I have an inkling this series is going to be a tight one. Mostly because the box set contains seven dvd’s.



Smitty said...

Thank you for that on a Friday, I love it. It is Tom Lawless, but understand the lack of interest in that name. I wish I remembered if McCarver bugged me in 5th grade.

Oh Keith Atherton, how awesome is that? Plus a Mark Davidson sighting. I bet that guy carries his baseball card with him to hand out; I would.

I think the Pirana's could take some lessons from Gagne & Lombo. They wish they were half as good.

$13 million dollar payroll, wow, how things have changed.

I think the Twin's organization knows something about teaching change-up's. How is it that so many of our pitchers can develop this pitch? Voodoo, roids, some kind pitching coach receipy that you only get after getting the job?

Hops said...

$13 mil for us...and only $18 mil for the Yanks.

I need to go back and look...I swear the lineups listed him as Tony Lawless at the beginning of the game. But Al called him Tom for the entire game so it's probably my bad.

I can't wait for Game's Les Straker time!

Anonymous said...

Hrbek always hit seventh against left handers.


Kaiser said...

Loving this and a'twitter for the next installment. When are you watching? I'm coming over...

Hops said...

I think I'll watch one game every time Ramon Ortiz pitches...

bill said...

That was fun, hope you're doing the rest of the series. Luckily, I watched the '87 series in bars so never had to listen to McCarver.