Those of you who read this Popcorn Stand know how I feel about Red Smith, my favorite sports columnist. Smith once wrote when he branched out into social commentary, he would invariably hear from folks who would say “stick to sports, you bum.”
Well this Popcorn Stand has had somewhat of an opposite effect as I hear from people they read this column — except when I write about sports.
Well for those of you who don’t care about sports, you can skip today’s column. I can’t resist writing about the recently completed World Series.
Game 7 of the World Series once again showed as former Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver put it: “Baseball is the greatest game there is.”
Yes, football is the greatest sports show on earth, although what I’ve seen of the product put on the field this year by the NFL, I would argue with that statement for the time being.
But you can’t run out the clock in baseball. As an arrogant National League fan (although I was rooting for the Indians), the only thing that would have made game 7 more dramatic would have been the absence of a designated hitter.
Ironically, you could make the argument a big reason why the Cubs won the World Series was because Kyle Schwarber could be in the Cubs lineup because of the DH. Then again, without the DH, maybe Joe Maddon doesn’t run his bullpen into the ground and the Cubs win the World Series anyway.
And thanks to Joe Santoro, who wrote about this in today’s Friday Fodder, I can take my usual cheap shot at ESPN. Santoro wrote about how ESPN has already proclaimed Game 7 as the greatest World Series game ever and this year’s Fall Classic as the greatest World Series ever.
But again, you have to understand, with ESPN, nothing in sports ever happened before 1979 when the network was created.
Off the top of my head, as dramatic as game 7 was, game 6 of the 1975 World Series (Carlton Fisk’s home run), and game 7 of the 1960 World Series in which the New York Yankees trailed 4-0, led 7-4, trailed 9-7, came back to tie the game 9-9 only to lose on Bill Mazeroski’s home run were even more dramatic.
And the 1960, 1975 and 1986 World Series (Remember Bill Buckner?) were more dramatic — from start to finish — than this World Series.
Still, this World Series did demonstrate baseball is the greatest game there is.
— Charles Whisnand