Tuesday, September 26, 2006
I noticed, in reviewing the previous posting - wherein I asked the questions, to which the following are the answers - that I leaned heavily upon Red Sox lore. I wrote one entry about football and one entry about hockey. All the rest were about baseball.
That's OK, probably, since I think I might have more readers from outside of Boston than I actually do from within the city. Red Sox stories probably have more national currency than Bruins stories or Boston College stories.
(And, despite having just said that, I have to digress heavily into a Boston College rant. Did you see that game against North Carolina State on Saturday night? Pitiful. They should have won that game going away. They should still be undefeated. Instead, because we have a coach who, despite overwhelming evidence, doesn't know that his kicker can't kick and that he'd be better off letting just about anyone else on the team do the placekicking, the Eagles lost. Hell, I can kick better than Ryan Ohliger.
I don't blame Ohliger. He's trying. I blame Coach Tom O'Brien. O'Brien appears to be a nice guy. Too nice; that's the problem. He stuck with Quinton Porter as his starting QB for far too long last year and this year (as well as last) he's stuck with Ohliger as his kicker beyond the time when anyone else could have told him that it was only a matter of when he would cost them a game, not if he would. They would have won in regulation, rather than overtime, the previous two weeks, IF they had a real kicker. Now they've lost a chance - granted, an outside chance, but still - at an undefeated season and a national championship.
For all of the plaudits he receives - winningest coach in BC history; six straight bowl game victories; graduates a higher percentage of his players than any other coach with a comparable major college program - he just is NOT a cold-blooded enough head coach for the level of competition BC schedules. Compassion is not usually a detriment, but O'Brien is saving one guy some tears and, in so doing, is giving a screwjob to everyone else on his team.)
Sorry. I just had to get that off of my chest. Here are the answers you've been waiting for.
Who threw the pitch that Bucky Bleeping Dent hit for a home run?
That would be Mike Torrez.
You can pretty much count on one undeniable truth with the Red Sox. If they take someone away from the Yankees, or trade with the Yankees in any way, or sign someone who was once a star with the Yankees, that person will NOT match the success they had while with the Yankees. Off the top of my head, Danny Cater and David Wells come readily to mind as examples other than Torrez.
Don't get me wrong. Torrez had a pretty good game that day. The home run by Dent was little more than a windblown pop up and, prior to the home run, Torrez had thrown six shutout innings. Still, that's just the way it goes. Good Yankees do not make good Red Sox. Never have, never will.
Who threw the pitch that Aaron Bleeping Boone hit to win the ALCS for the Yankees?
The answer to this one is more painful than the last because the fellow who threw the pitch is one of the nicest guys to ever play for the Red Sox. He devotes many hours to charitable causes, most notably The Jimmy Fund. He loves playing for Boston and gave up the chance at a possible bigger payday to sign a "lifetime" contract with the Sox. And he may well have been the MVP of that series, had the Red Sox won that seventh game.
Tim Wakefield threw the pitch.
You want to know the kind of guy Tim Wakefield is? Once, a couple of years back, he and a few of his teammates went to visit some cancer-stricken children at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the home of The Jimmy Fund. Now, all of them were nice guys to go and visit sick children. However, there was one child who was receiving treatment during their visit and who didn't get to meet the Red Sox players. While his teammates all left after the appointed time, Wakefield stayed at the hospital for an additional 3 or 4 hours, until that one child came out of treatment.
In a game that sometimes seems to be overpopulated by bratty little kids in adult bodies, Wake is a real MAN.
Off of which California Angels pitcher did Dave Henderson hit his miracle home run?
The answer to this one is the ill-fated Donnie Moore.
Moore was a good pitcher, but a troubled man. I don't know that anybody can truly say what totality of demons haunted him, but he surely wasn't happy and he committed suicide a few years after giving up the hit. Though it's been latched onto by any number of amateur psychologists as the cause, it's doubtful that this incident alone pushed him over the edge. More insight into this tragedy may be found in this good article at ESPN.com.
Carlton Fisk hit his game-winning home run off of...
Pat Darcy of the Cincinnati Reds. And the bonus answer - the hitter who slammed the game-tying home run in the 8th inning - is Bernie Carbo.
While Fisk's home run came at a particularly propitious moment for dramatic effect, and was enhanced by his marvelous arm-waving dance down the first base line, I think that Carbo's home run was the more magnificent achievement. If Fisk doesn't hit his, the game would have continued. Without Carbo's shot, the Sox more than likely lose the game in very unspectacular fashion.
Who caught Doug Flutie's Hail Mary?
The player who got behind the defense and caught the ball was Gerard Phelan.
Phelan was a good receiver who played a short career in the NFL. He probably deserves much more credit for that touchdown than he usually gets. You cannot find a bigger Doug Flutie fan than me - he deserved much better than the NFL ever gave him, and I firmly believe that he is the best quarterback, pound-for-pound, who ever played the damn game - but I wouldn't be averse to this play being referred to as "Phelan's Catch", rather than "Flutie's Pass", a bit more often.
Who was the goalie when Bobby Orr's shot won The Stanley Cup?
It was said of Hall that he puked before every game. Can't say that I blame him. Notice anything interesting about the photo here? Yup, no mask. Glenn Hall played hockey when there were only SIX goaltenders good enough to play in the National Hockey League. Each team carried one goalkeeper, no backup, and NONE OF THEM wore face masks. You had to have more guts than brains to play goal in those days.
By the time Orr scored his goal, there were twelve teams with two goalies (or more) apiece and there were no more than one or two goaltenders remaining who didn't wear a mask. Even Hall had taken to wearing one by then. He retired not too long after that series and is a member of the NHL Hall Of Fame; deservedly so. Great goalie. He once played 552 consecutive games in goal, which is still the NHL record. If you ask me, that's easily a match for Cal Ripken's consecutive games played streak in baseball.
Hall-Of-Fame stats for Glenn Hall here.
Who threw the fastball that hit Tony Conigliaro?
Jack Hamilton of the Angels.
Interesting note: Hamilton tried to visit Conigliaro in the hospital, but they wouldn't let him. There has always been some conjecture about whether or not Hamilton had tried to hit Conigliaro or if it was just totally an accident.
I'd be willing to wager it was a bit of both. Conigliaro consistently crowded the plate and, in those days, it was common practice for a pitcher to throw hard and inside at a batter who did so. It was not looked upon as anything other than part of the game. However, there had always been an unwritten rule that you threw to claim your part of the plate but you didn't necessarily try to maim someone in doing so. Where did each pitcher draw that line? Only the pitcher knows what his real intentions are when he releases the ball, so...
Hamilton gained an unwillingness to pitch inside following the incident and his strikeouts declined precipitously. He himself was out of baseball within three years.
Who hit the ball that rolled through Bill Buckner's legs?
The delightfully-named Mookie Wilson. How can you NOT like someone named Mookie?
OK, if you're still pissed about that series, you're probably calling me a whole bunch of names that are less delightful than Mookie. What? Would you rather have been beaten by somebody named Rock or Brick or something more macho? It could have been worse you know. It could have been Ho Jo.
Which Red Sox pitcher gave up number 61 to Roger Maris?
The ill-fated Tracy Stallard.
Stallard's ill-fatedness was comical, as opposed to the afore-mentioned truly tragic Donnie Moore. After Stallard gained ignominy as the guy who gave up the record-breaking home run to Maris, he became a member of the New York Mets. In his two seasons with the Mets, he had a combined record of 16 - 37, leading the National League in losses with 20 in 1964.
And he had a girl's first name.
Which Seattle Mariner became Roger Clemens' 20th strike out in one game?
The thoroughly overmatched Phil Bradley. It was the fourth strikeout for Bradley, which means he accounted for 20% of the record all on his own.
And, having nothing else of interest to say about Phil Bradley, that's that. See you tomorrow.