Yesterday’s fracas led to both Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa being ejected in the bottom of the first inning. I don’t know about Baker, but Bernie Miklasz reports that La Russa didn’t take his ejection well:
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa didn’t necessarily enjoy
watching the contest from his office. He claimed that he vomited
four times because his stomach was churning so violently throughout
the nine innings.
It was, for a while at least, a competitive game, with the Reds coming back a couple of times, but there are more than a handful of games each month that are tighter and (fight aside) more drama-filled. The Cards played good baseball and, while it did get tight a couple of places, it felt like they were in control most of the game.
Which makes me wonder if La Russa’s upchucking was less a function of a tension-filled contest than it was a function of a man obsessed with being in control suddenly and unexpectedly being out of control.
For the sake of the man’s health, I hope he’s never fired or forced into retirement. It may kill him. He might barf up a lung and die on the spot.
With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.
Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.
All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.
For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.
But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: