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Monday, November 05, 2007

THT: Jaffe: Ranking the Recent Postseasons

Uptown Top Ranking…by Chris & Jaffe.

Since it all ended I’ve found myself wondering if this was in fact the worst postseason in my memory. I started watching baseball in 1982, and this was the 25th not-strike-cancelled October in that time. If it wasn’t the worst, it certainly was in the picture.

So. . . as long as I’m wondering if it was the worst, I may as well look it up and try to rank the 1982-onward postseasons.

12) 1984. This one’s personal. I was a 9-year-old Cubs fan watching the NLCS. I will never forgive Steve Garvey for what he did. Admittedly, the fact that he’s Steve Garvey makes him that much easier to hold a grudge against. Also, the postseason contained a dominating performance by the Tigers, who showed that their 35-5 start wasn’t a fluke as they trailed for only a handful of innings in the entire postseason.

Repoz Posted: November 05, 2007 at 03:41 PM | 74 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, reviews

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 04:02 PM (#2605410)
I think that's a pretty good list.

I'd kinda like to see 1984 a bit higher. The Gibson-Gossage drama was kinda cool, it was the first Cubbies postseason in 40 years, and it featured an absolute juggernaut in the Tigers.

I always feel like the '84 Tigers gets overlooked in a mention of historically great teams, at least in the recent past.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 05, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2605441)
Not a bad list, but the most striking thing about it is the huge drop between the first five (86, 91, 01, 03, 04) and all the others. Somehow 1988 makes it up to # 6, but all you had that year was one pretty damn good NLCS and exactly one memorable moment in the World Series--and in game one of an otherwise crushingly boring series of games.

For absolute perfection, though, even 1986 is hard to put over 1972. Both 1972 LCS's and the World Series went to the limit, all three final games were nailbiters all the way, one of them (the NLCS) featured a last of the ninth comeback and both of the others ended with the tying run on base. Two of the five ALCS games featured extra inning comeback rallies, and overall 11 out of the 17 games were decided by one run. Not to mention that in the A's and the Reds you had two of the best mini-dynasties ever put together, plus you got to see Roberto Clemente's last games on earth.
   3. Dan Evensen Posted: November 05, 2007 at 04:33 PM (#2605443)
Shouldn't 1982 be ranked higher? The Brewers came back down 0-2 to win the ALCS, coming back in Game 5 at home to beat California. They went on to win Game 1 of the World Series, 10-0, and looked to be in control of Game 2 until Dale Porter came up to win it for St. Louis. Willie McGee had two homers and two home run robberies in Game 3, in Milwaukee. Games 4 and 5 of that series were exciting as well, as was Game 7. Could just be my bias (I do have the entire series on DVD, after all), but '82 was better than he says. In my opinion, at least.

1984 should definately be higher than 1997.

Other than that, looks good.
   4. Dan Evensen Posted: November 05, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2605446)
Andy's right, of course, about 1972. But if we opened this list up to everything post-1969, where would 1980 rank? Would the 4 extra-inning NLCS games compare to 1972?
   5. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2605463)
Game 4 of the 1983 ALCS was a fabulous game. Outcome sucked, but good game.
   6. BDC Posted: November 05, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2605471)
Yes, I was just going to mention Game 4 of the '83 ALCS -- the Tito Landrum home run, a very memorable moment. That series was closer than it looks now; Game 1 was a nail-biter.

The NLCS was an upset and very satisfying to anyone with "Bob Dernier" as a handle :)

But I do have to agree that the 1983 World Series was a real downer ...
   7. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 04:59 PM (#2605475)
Prior to 2004, my favorite postseason was 1985. I was too young to fully appreciate 1975, but I was a HS upperclassmen by '85. This was the period when I just started reading the Baseball Abstracts and would memorize the sports page every day. I've mentioned this before, but one of my brother's had a classmate who moved from the KC area and we were pulling for the Royals in a big way that year. I still remember some stuff from those LCS's: Niedenfuer giving up a homer to Jack Clark and Dick Howser screwing Bobby Cox out of the platoon advantage.

Then there was the tarp that ate Vince Coleman.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 05:06 PM (#2605489)
Somehow 1988 makes it up to # 6, but all you had that year was one pretty damn good NLCS and exactly one memorable moment in the World Series--and in game one of an otherwise crushingly boring series of games.

Yea, but it was quite an upset. The Dodgers were a pretty pathetic offense. The A's were the Bash Brothers. Plus you had a player rise to national prominence in Orel Hershiser thanks to the streak, Mickey Hatcher hitting out of his mind, and of course, one of the most memorable moments in television baseball history.

Plus, wasn't there quite a bit of controversy during the NLCS with doctoring baseballs? I seem to remember Jay Howell or someone was suspended.

The ALCS was quite a bore. The Red Sox were baseball's hottest team in the second half, but just ran into a juggernaut in the A's.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2605501)
The ALCS was quite a bore. The Red Sox were baseball's hottest team in the second half, but just ran into a juggernaut in the A's.

the 1988 ALCS also has historical significance, because it was when the Bosox fans first serenaded Canseco

it was considered harmlessly amusing at the time

(or amusingly harmless; I forget which)
   10. TerpNats Posted: November 05, 2007 at 05:25 PM (#2605523)
From Jaffe: "2004. The greatest ALCS ever. Possibly the best postseason series in any sport ever."
Hey, Jaffe, ever hear of the 1980 NLCS -- four extra-inning games out of five, all sorts of comebacks, a triple play that wasn't, and two heretofore frustrated teams seeking to reach a promised land?

Unfortunately, 1972 occurred in a vacuum. All the baby boomer fans were either in Vietnam or on drugs or both.

It wasn't until 1975 that America rediscovered baseball, which of course had a phenomenal post-season.
A phenomenal World Series, to be true. But IIRC, both LCS were sweeps.
   11. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: November 05, 2007 at 05:43 PM (#2605551)
The 2005 World Series was an incredibly taunt sweep.
   12. Sam M. Posted: November 05, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2605554)
At one point they had Orel Hershiser warming up in the bullpen to relieve in this series.

Um, at one point they had Orel actually relieving in this series. He got the save by retiring Kevin McReynolds with the bases loaded in a 12-inning classic that turned the series around, in fact. Grrrrrrr.
   13. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: November 05, 2007 at 05:54 PM (#2605558)
15) 1996. In the NLCS and World Series, the Braves won five straight games by scores of 14-0, 3-1, 15-0, 12-1, and 4-0. Then the Yanks beat them in the next four games. Plus you had the Jeffrey Maier game in the ALCS.

God damnit. And this had started as such a pleasant day.
   14. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:15 PM (#2605581)
Shouldn't 1982 be ranked higher?

The very first thought I had, too, while reading his list.

Jaffe:
5) 2004. The greatest ALCS ever. Possibly the best postseason series in any sport ever.


I dissent.
   15. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2605588)
Um, at one point they had Orel actually relieving in this series.

Dammit. Missed that. Nice catch.

Hey, Jaffe, ever hear of the 1980 NLCS -- four extra-inning games out of five, all sorts of comebacks, a triple play that wasn't, and two heretofore frustrated teams seeking to reach a promised land?

Yeah, I heard. And I think the 2004 ALCS was better. I did throw the word "possibly" in there.

Shouldn't 1982 be ranked higher?

I thought about that when writing this article. I was surprised how low I had it. But the whole thing seemed rather flat to me. Buncha moments with the potential for excitement, with surprisingly little pay off.

For me, 1988 was the ultimate, "you've got to be kidding me, this can't actually be happening" World Series, which is why it rates so high despite few great games. So many ridiculous moments. Kirk Gibson couldn't possibly hit a homer off of Eck, could he? Mickey Hatcher didn't really hit a homer did he? They didn't just win with Gibson & Marshall on the bench did they? Hatcher can't hit 2 homers in 5 games, could he? The sheer absurdity became a drama of its own.

I tried to keep 1984 to ward off any possible personal bias. Really though, 2 out of 3 of the Series were blow outs.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2605590)
Andy's right, of course, about 1972. But if we opened this list up to everything post-1969, where would 1980 rank? Would the 4 extra-inning NLCS games compare to 1972?

The 1980 NLCS might have been the most nut-crunching NLCS ever, but the ALCS could be reduced to Brett's homer off Gossage and Steinbrenner's postgame tirade against the third base coach, and the drama of the World Series was about 90% in the top of the ninth inning of game 5. Overall 1972 was way better.

If you took in all the 1969-1981 postseasons, you'd also have to include 1973 for the whole package (all 3 series went the limit again, and there was the famous Pete Rose-Bud Harrelson dustup, ending in Rose's dramatic game winning home run in front of a howling mob) and 1975 for the World Series, but only for the World Series.

But the truth is that the only two postseasons where each and every series was 9 or 10 on a 10 scale were 1986 and 1972. Overall these two were by far the best ever.
   17. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:22 PM (#2605593)
Andy - don't forget: 1972 also had Dick Williams's famous fake-IW to Johnny Bench.
   18. guelphdad Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:26 PM (#2605596)
For those people worrying about 1972 or 1980 or others that aren't on the list realize that he is rating series from when he started following in 1982! He isn't listing all world series only since he started watching! Sheesh!
   19. The Original SJ Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:32 PM (#2605602)
I will take 2003 out of all postseasons, 5 series went the distance! Insanity.
   20. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:45 PM (#2605611)
The 1986 World Series will always be badly overrated. It's the "Newhart" of World Series: completely overshadowed by what came before, and dramatically bland and unsatisfying the whole way up to the twist. But oh, what a friggin' GREAT ending.
   21. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: November 05, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2605612)
Somehow 1988 makes it up to # 6, but all you had that year was one pretty damn good NLCS and exactly one memorable moment in the World Series--and in game one of an otherwise crushingly boring series of games.

Yea, but it was quite an upset. The Dodgers were a pretty pathetic offense. The A's were the Bash Brothers. Plus you had a player rise to national prominence in Orel Hershiser thanks to the streak, Mickey Hatcher hitting out of his mind, and of course, one of the most memorable moments in television baseball history.

Plus, wasn't there quite a bit of controversy during the NLCS with doctoring baseballs? I seem to remember Jay Howell or someone was suspended.


I have to agree that the '88 WS was not boring. Hershiser pitched 18 innings and let up two runs on seven hits. In Game 2, he had as many hits as he allowed and scored more runs than he allowed.
   22. KJOK Posted: November 05, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2605654)
I'd completely switch 2004 and 1982, since the 2004 World Series was a complete dud, while 1982 WS was in doubt up to the last few innings.
   23. TerpNats Posted: November 05, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2605656)
I'd move 2005 up a notch or two because of Game 4 of the Atlanta-Houston NLDS. 18 innings, Berkman's eighth-inning slam, Ausmus' two-out, game-tying homer in the ninth, Clemens pitching three innings in relief, Chris Burke's walk-off home run...one of the all-time great postseason games. And everyone's more or less forgotten it.
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 05, 2007 at 07:20 PM (#2605658)
Andy - don't forget: 1972 also had Dick Williams's famous fake-IW to Johnny Bench.

And maybe the greatest World Series catch ever (Joe Rudi slamming into the wall with the Sun in his face). You sure as hell can't see that in a World Series nowadays.

And the A's dramatic comeback in game 4.

And Joe Morgan's fabulous spin and throw on a foul popup down the right field line that foiled a would be game tying sacrifice fly and ended game 5 in the most dramatic fashion imaginable.

And Cesar Geronimo's famous misstep that wound up costing the Reds the Series.

And (to me the best of all) the seven straight Blue Moon Odom pickoff attempts on Morgan in game 7, which wore him out to the point that he was caught stealing for the only time of that postseason. The TV cameras added immensely to the tension by catching Odom's rapidly shifting eyes in closeup just before each throw to first.

And then of course there was Gene Fury Tenace, the statheads' poster boy who for the first and only time in his life put up numbers that even the most casual fan could understand (.348, 4 home runs, 9 RBI).

The only damper was the rather gross sight of Charlie Finley and his wife making out on the roof of the A's dugout at the end of the Series. That was when I had to switch to the radio.
   25. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: November 05, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2605674)
24 - TerpNats:

I sure as hell haven't forgotten it. Up until the Rockies/Padres one-game playoff (yeah, it's a playoff game to me) this year that was the best single game I'd ever sat all the way through. Pretty unbelievable.
   26. shoewizard Posted: November 05, 2007 at 07:35 PM (#2605675)
Pretty good....

I fully agree with 1,2,3 and 23,24,25
   27. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2605705)
Ausmus' two-out, game-tying homer in the ninth...And everyone's more or less forgotten it.

Paging Sam H....Sam H., please pick up the white courtesy phone...
   28. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 08:16 PM (#2605720)
The 1986 World Series will always be badly overrated. It's the "Newhart" of World Series: completely overshadowed by what came before, and dramatically bland and unsatisfying the whole way up to the twist. But oh, what a friggin' GREAT ending.


Huh? Game Seven was anticlimactic, IMO.
   29. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: November 05, 2007 at 08:39 PM (#2605739)
1999. Best NLCS this side of Mike Scott, but that was it. The Red Sox came back from a 0-2 deficit in their ALDS, but none of those games were close.

Did he miss Game 5 of that ALDS? One of the most tense and tremendously entertaining games in playoff history. It was 8-8 after 3 1/2 innings. Thome hitting 1000 feet worth of home runs, O'Leary hitting a 3 run shot and a granny, and of course Pedro coming out of the pen to shut down a 1000 run offense with an injured shoulder.
   30. Sam M. Posted: November 05, 2007 at 08:41 PM (#2605743)
Um, at one point they had Orel actually relieving in this series.

Dammit. Missed that. Nice catch.


Not that tough, since I was there. :-(

Huh? Game Seven was anticlimactic, IMO.

Well, pretty much anything would have been after Game Six, so that almost goes without saying. But hey, the Mets rallied from an early 3-run deficit, went ahead 6-3, saw the Sox rally back to within 6-5, and then put the game away. A pretty darned good and dramatic Game 7, all things considered. Given all that had come before in that post-season, 95% of games you could imagine would have been incredibly disappointing. That the one they played hangs in there pretty well says something.
   31. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2605756)
Game seven '86 was anticlimatic, because it had zero chance of matching the game six antics.

Perhaps this is cause for another THT story, but a quick scratch of my head tells me that Game Sixes (is that a word?) are by and large the all-time best in terms of best postseason games.

I'm glad to see others say what I think about '82, that postseason should be a bit higher on this list. This was the scene of Andujar's first tirade, some great performances, Molitor and McGee and the ALCS is too often forgotten. The Oglive catch interference moment in left field (think '82 version of Jeffrey Maier), Marshall Edwards' great catch, Charlie Moore throwing out Reggie at 3rd. Mark Brouhard being a one man team in game 4.
   32. SandyRiver Posted: November 05, 2007 at 09:09 PM (#2605767)
Perhaps this is cause for another THT story, but a quick scratch of my head tells me that Game Sixes (is that a word?) are by and large the all-time best in terms of best postseason games.

Way before the article's scope, but game 7 in 1960 has to rank with any of the game 6s. Pirates cruising 4-0 after 3, then Yanks' unstoppable bats put them up 7-4, followed by one of the most unlikely 5-run rallies ever (Kubek's Adam's apple, 3-run dinger by Hal Smith, who - IIRC - had suffered a mild heart attack earlier in the year) to make it 9-7 Bucs after 8. Yanks tie it up in the 9th, to set up Maz.

Even without the first six games of Yank blowouts and Pirates' squeakers, and without the only 7th game walkoff ever, this "3 times decided" (at least it seemed so at the time) game was an emotional wringer 2nd to none, IMO.
   33. oscar madisox Posted: November 05, 2007 at 10:12 PM (#2605825)
1972 was the first time the playoff series' had any drama. The first three years were yawners.

Andy's Blue Moon comments in No. 25 explain why baseball on TV will never be better than it was when NBC covered the series in the early 1970s. If that happened today Fox would have showed the crowd or or it's latest prime-time star instead of Odom's face. TNT would have shown the overhead with the nine-foot line.

As for 1980 does anyone remember Howard Cosell telling the viewers that the Astros had game 5 wrapped up because Nolan Ryan never blows a three-run lead in the eighth inning or later? What an bittersweet series that was for Astros fans. Finally getting to the playoffs—after blowing a three-game lead with three to play only to win a play-in game—only to have it end the way it did. I wonder if the outcome would have been different had Cesar Cedeno not broken his ankle in extra innings in game 3 (I think).
   34. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: November 05, 2007 at 10:23 PM (#2605840)
Way before the article's scope, but game 7 in 1960 has to rank with any of the game 6s. Pirates cruising 4-0 after 3, then Yanks' unstoppable bats put them up 7-4, followed by one of the most unlikely 5-run rallies ever (Kubek's Adam's apple, 3-run dinger by Hal Smith, who - IIRC - had suffered a mild heart attack earlier in the year) to make it 9-7 Bucs after 8. Yanks tie it up in the 9th, to set up Maz.

No doubt about it, an all-timer. I just think it would be interesting to line up the greatest postseason games of all-time, and I bet 6s would have the best lot, even with Best of 7 LCS' not coming along until '85.
   35. Steve Treder Posted: November 05, 2007 at 10:25 PM (#2605841)
Even without the first six games of Yank blowouts and Pirates' squeakers, and without the only 7th game walkoff ever, this "3 times decided" (at least it seemed so at the time) game was an emotional wringer 2nd to none, IMO.

No intent here to steal Chris's thunder in the least -- that was a tremendous piece, Chris -- but it's worth mentioning that THT did once present the WPA graph of that 7th game, and it is quite the dramatic picture.

Scroll about two-thirds of the way down.
   36. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 05, 2007 at 10:26 PM (#2605845)
I wonder what the best Games 1, 2, and 3 of all-time are? Especially in a Best-of-7.

Howard Ehmke's big game - wasn't that a Game 1? The A's huge 10-8 comeback was (solely from memory) a Game 3.
   37. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 05, 2007 at 10:29 PM (#2605847)
Ah, the 10-8 game was #4. Ruth's Called Shot was #3, though.

And Gibson's homer was Game #1.

So . . . what memorable moments have happened in Game 2?
   38. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 05, 2007 at 10:45 PM (#2605863)
Game 2

1906: Ed Reulbach 1-hitter.
1912: Extra inning tie: both teams score in 10th.
1913: Extra inning win for Giants.
1914: Miracle Braves win 1-0 on top of the ninth run.
1916: Red Sox win 2-1 in 14. Ruth goes the distance with Game Score of 97.
1922: Last World Series tie game
1934: Tigers win 3-2 in bottom of 12th after tying it in the bottom of the ninth.
1936: Yanks win in a squeaker, 18-4
1942: Cards win 4-3 after blowing 3-0 lead in top of eighth
1944: Cards win in 11 to even the Series
1949: Preacher Roe shuts out Yanks, 1-0
1950: Yanks win in 10 for second straight 1-run win
1960: Furious ninth inning comeback by Pirates falls short as the duece they put up that inning makes it only 16-3.
1966: Dodgers: Zero runs, four hits, six erros, twenty-five embarressed players.
1967: Jim Lonborg throws one-hitter
1969: Mets 2, Orioles 1
1972: A's hold on over Reds, win 2-1.
1973: A's tie it in ninth, lose it in twetlfth, but comeback in bottom of 12th, lose 10-7
1975: Reds comeback in 9th, win 3-2.
1980: Phills comeback in the 8th to win 6-4.
1990: Reds comeback against greatest bullpen ever, beat Eck in 10th
1991: Twins win it in the 8th.
1992: Jays comeback late to win
2000: Clemens-Piazza. Mets fall behind 6-0, but score 5 in the ninth to lose.
2002: Angels 11, Giants 10
2005: Konerko hits a slam and Scott Podsednik, who hadn't hit a homer all year long, hits a walk-off homer off Brad Lidge for the win

None of your All-Time Great Moments That Even Casual Fans know about ever happened in Game 2, except the Clemens-Piazza incident and that's nothing to brag about.

This might be present-ism or Chicago bias on my part, but I'd say 2005 had the best Game 2.
   39. Ben Posted: November 05, 2007 at 11:31 PM (#2605905)
1997 is underrated here. The ALCS is right up there with 04 and 1980. An 12 inning 2-1 game that ended on a STEAL OF HOME(botched suicide squeeze)? An 11 inning 1-0 game?


The upstart Marlins beating the imposing Braves dynasty at the height of their powers? Game 7 of the WS going into extra innings? Plus the Yankees lost with Mariano Rivera blowing a save. A Rivera blown save is an event of historical importance.
   40. bunyon Posted: November 05, 2007 at 11:47 PM (#2605922)
From Jaffe: "2004. The greatest ALCS ever. Possibly the best postseason series in any sport ever."

Nope. It wasn't even as good as the ALCS before it. The 3-0 comeback was amazing, but it looked like a snoozer through 3 games and not that competitive in the last 3. Game 4 was pretty good. Is it hailed as great just because it was a 3-0 comeback? It was lopsided in both halves of the series. To me, that doesn't make for a great series. Put it this way, rearrange the games - same events, same scores, etc. but switch game 6 and game 3. No 3-0 comeback. Just another team coming back from down 2-1. No biggie. Certainly better 7 game series out there.
   41. Steve Treder Posted: November 05, 2007 at 11:52 PM (#2605927)
Put it this way, rearrange the games - same events, same scores, etc. but switch game 6 and game 3. No 3-0 comeback. Just another team coming back from down 2-1. No biggie.

Yeah. Good point.

Also, have Bobby Thomson hit his 3-run jack in the first inning, instead of the ninth. Just another team winning 5-4. No biggie.
   42. bunyon Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:03 AM (#2605940)
I see your point, Steve, and no doubt Thomson's home run was much more dramatic than David Justice's (for instance). Yet both won clinching games. Both are as valuable (well, Justice's more so because it was WS, rather than playoff). Only the drama increases with the later homer. In the 2004 series, it was a boring blowout until halfway through game 4. Not until game 7 did it become possible for the comeback to be pulled off and very few (any? can't recall) of the games were, in themselves very exciting. To me, a great series doesn't come from a great comeback but from a series of competitive games. Sure, 1960 moves up because of Maz's homer, but it wasn't a great series. It was a series that had a great finish. 2004 ALCS had a great story and a surprising end. But it didn't feature lots of great baseball. IMO, of course. I wasn't nearly as entertained by the 2004 ALCS as I was the 2003 ALCS. However, they get there, when game 7 goes extras, that is a great series and better than 7 one-sided games, in whatever order they're played. YMMV - most people's do, I guess.
   43. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:10 AM (#2605945)
The 3-0 comeback was amazing, but it looked like a snoozer through 3 games and not that competitive in the last 3. Game 4 was pretty good. Is it hailed as great just because it was a 3-0 comeback? It was lopsided in both halves of the series. To me, that doesn't make for a great series. Put it this way, rearrange the games - same events, same scores, etc. but switch game 6 and game 3. No 3-0 comeback. Just another team coming back from down 2-1. No biggie. Certainly better 7 game series out there.

True, but like I said in the article, part of what gives a series its appeal, is the overall storyline. No team had ever come back from 3-0 down in MLB. Ever. And here it happens in what is possibly the game's biggest rivalry. Some of those early blow outs (especially the Game 3 anal harvesting) gave the Series some of its charm. Jeepers - how could they come back from that.

And not only was it a great comeback, but Games 4 & 5 - when their backs were really up against a wall in a situation no one else had ever survived from - they not only when, but both are comebacks that are taken on walk-off homers. You had Dave Roberts's stolen bases; the Sox getting to Riveria. Wakefield throwing knucklers to Varitek (who had serious trouble with the knuckler) with the winning run on third. Pressure. And it wasn't always a litany of Red Sox success either. That at bat by Orlando Cabrera (if you saw it, you know the one I'm talking about) might be the single most pathetic PA I've ever seen in my life. Sure looked like at least one guy wilted under the pressure, just making the rest that much more compelling.

Game 6 coming when it did gave it some of its charm - Curt Schilling performing in a big game while injured, bleeding through his sock, after havnig a medical procedure performed on him that was so radical that the only other person to have it done on him was a John Doe in the Boston morgue (and that was only to see if it was feasibly on Schilling). The score didn't have to be dramatic -- it was compelling drama just seeing if Schilling would hold up or if his foot would fall off.

Game 7 was an anti-climax, but Games 4-5-6 had more overall drama than any other three consecutive games I've ever seen in my entire life in any post-season round. By far.
   44. bunyon Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2605952)
Fair enough, I just didn't feel the same way. I'm not trying to argue 2004 was a bad ALCS. I was certainly entertained and once game 6 was forced, thought maybe it could go the distance. I just think saying it is the greatest ALCS ever and possibly best postseason series ever goes too far. It was well above average. The storyline of a 3-0 comeback after the two teams involved had gone 7 games the previous year added to it. But it wasn't the best I ever saw.

Anyway, my argument wasn't that it wasn't good. Just not best. And, as you say, it is subjective.
   45. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:20 AM (#2605956)
Bunyon, I can understand that. However, that's why I through the word "possibly" in there. I'm good with the appropriate use of weasel words.
   46. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:21 AM (#2605957)
From Jaffe: "2004. The greatest ALCS ever. Possibly the best postseason series in any sport ever."
Nope. It wasn't even as good as the ALCS before it.


That was my kneejerk reaction, too (that '03 was superior). But when I went to compare, I couldn't really defend that impression.

Game One: easy advantage 2004 (Yanks batter Schilling, Red Sox cut 0-8 deficit to 7-8, Rivera flies in from funeral to end it). 2003 was just a solid Red Sox win.

Game Two: small advantage 2004 (Jeter walks and scores off Pedro in first, Olerud hits a 2-run HR in 6th). Neither Game 2 is exactly part of the pantheon.

Game Three: humongous advantage 2003 (Clemens-Pedro "I'll beanball ya! I will!" showdown; DOWN GOES ZIMMER! DOWN GOES ZIMMER!). 2004 was the one where the Yankees won by a 300-125 score, and is only interesting in the context of what would follow.

Game Four: giant advantage 2004 (the steal, the extra-inning walkoff, the glimmer of hope). But 2003 was a good game, too... Yankees cut it to a one-run game in the 9th.

Game Five: large advantage 2004 (even more extra innings, momentum building). 2003 was just a nice Yankee win.

Game Six: pick 'em. 2003 was a much better game, but it's up against mythology.

Game Seven: colossal advantage 2003 (Pedro, Trot, Millar, Mussina, Giambi, Ortiz, Grady, JeterBernieHidekiPosada, Rivera, Boone). 2004 was an A+ for catharsis, an F on the field.

2003 had the better baseball at the end, 2004 had the lifetime buildup. A matter of aesthetic bias or rooting interest, really. It's probably more sensible to just think of it as the best 14-game postseason series ever.
   47. danup Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2605958)
Forgotten in the 2004 ALCS love is that the 2004 NLCS was also a great series, maybe even better baseball-wise. Jim Edmonds hit a walk-off 12th inning home run in game six and then saved game seven with one of the greatest catches in playoff history, and that was after Brandon Backe and Woody Williams dueled for eight shutout innings in game five before St. Louis Enemy Number One Jeff Kent ended it with a home run off of Jason Isringhausen.
   48. bunyon Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:22 AM (#2605959)
Yeah, but there wasn't a "possibly" in front of the 'greatest ALCS ever' - I'm good with the badly phrased petty nitpicking. :)
   49. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:24 AM (#2605960)
(checks)

You got me there. Touche. That's what I get for quoting myself without looking.
   50. bunyon Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:26 AM (#2605962)
danup, i think there is no doubt 2004 NLCS was better than 2004 ALCS. Interesting list Gonfalon. I think I'm just going on the feeling I had during the series - it went from: of course the Yanks will win to of course the Sox will win. I never felt I was watching a real contest. Plus, and I realize this belatedly, I fell asleep before both walkoffs. That easily could have turned my POV.

And, again, I'm not saying 2004 wasn't a good series - any series that goes 7 is, I think, a good one. I'm just saying you can't say it was the greatest ALCS ever without qualifier and, except for the 3-0 comeback aspect, I don't think it gets anywhere close to a greatest series ever discussion. I don't think that is strong criticism of the (subjective) ranking.
   51. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:36 AM (#2605970)
And, again, I'm not saying 2004 wasn't a good series - any series that goes 7 is, I think, a good one.

The recent Boston-Cleveland ALCS wasn't. 1965 (Dodgers-Twins) was probably the lamest World Series that went the distance. At least they had the sense to save the least lame game for last. There are probably a couple of other 7-game series that get worse and worse when you look more closely.
   52. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:51 AM (#2605975)
Actually, the one I expected to draw some heat from was 2001. Sure, it was a great WS, but the CSs were dull blowouts. Sure, 3 of the 4 DSs went the distance, but 1) DSs aren't as important, and one of the DSs (Cle-Sea) lacked in competitive games). A great post-season, sure, but the third best of the last 25 years? I thought someone would call me out on that one.
   53. Sam M. Posted: November 06, 2007 at 12:56 AM (#2605979)
Games 4-5-6 had more overall drama than any other three consecutive games I've ever seen in my entire life in any post-season round. By far.

Oh? I nominate Games 4-5-6 of the 1999 NLCS. Braves up 3-0. Mets win Game 4, 3-2 with what looks like a face-saving two-run rally in the bottom of the 8th to force a Game 5 ... this after the Braves had just taken a 2-1 lead with two in the top of the 8th.

But we're just getting started. Game 5 goes 15 scintillating innings, in the last of which the Braves take an apparent pennant-winning lead in the top of the frame (going ahead 3-2), the Mets having not scored since plating two in the first. But the Mets respond with two in the bottom of the inning to send the series back to Atlanta, where . . .

Well they play one of the great games of all time in Game 6, but for the awful ending, full of rallies and drama and more twists and turns in one game than pretty much the entire Yankee-Red Sox series.

Top that.
   54. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 06, 2007 at 01:00 AM (#2605981)
Top that.

- Experimental medical procedure that had only been done once before, on a corpse at the John Doe morgue.

- No team ever had comeback from a 3-0 deficit before.

It ain't just the games themselves, but the compelling drama around it. If the Mets had won Game 6 to force (and win) Game 7, I'd agree with you, but that didn't happen.

Plus the Braves-Mets rivalry just doesn't have the history of the Red Sox-Yankees.
   55. AndrewJ Posted: November 06, 2007 at 01:01 AM (#2605982)
Way before the article's scope, but game 7 in 1960 has to rank with any of the game 6s. Pirates cruising 4-0 after 3, then Yanks' unstoppable bats put them up 7-4, followed by one of the most unlikely 5-run rallies ever (Kubek's Adam's apple, 3-run dinger by Hal Smith, who - IIRC - had suffered a mild heart attack earlier in the year) to make it 9-7 Bucs after 8. Yanks tie it up in the 9th, to set up Maz.

And the total number of strikeouts in that game? Zero.
   56. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 06, 2007 at 01:03 AM (#2605985)
Top that.

Not to harp on this, but it can be done and then some.
   57. Sam M. Posted: November 06, 2007 at 01:21 AM (#2605997)
Not to harp on this, but it can be done and then some.

I don't think the 1980 NLCS games top the 1999 games for drama. Yes, they did all go extra innings, whereas only two of the three did in 1999. But 15 innings, for goodness sakes? And the topsy-turvy nature of Game 6? Look at that linescore . . . .

And as for this:

- Experimental medical procedure that had only been done once before, on a corpse at the John Doe morgue.

- No team ever had comeback from a 3-0 deficit before.

It ain't just the games themselves, but the compelling drama around it. If the Mets had won Game 6 to force (and win) Game 7, I'd agree with you, but that didn't happen.

Plus the Braves-Mets rivalry just doesn't have the history of the Red Sox-Yankees.


That's changing the ground rules, Chris. You originally said that, "Games 4-5-6 had more overall drama than any other three consecutive games I've ever seen in my entire life in any post-season round. By far." That puts Game 7 really off limits, doesn't it? You were talking about the drama in the three games. The Mets were trying to do precisely what the Red Sox did five years later; the drama of their attempt was just as high, especially given how close they came in Game 4 (falling behind in the top of the 8th) and Game 5 (falling behind in the top of the 15th) to losing, and then how incredibly tense Game 6 was. The drama isn't in the outcome; it's in how the story unfolds leading to the outcome.
   58. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: November 06, 2007 at 01:48 AM (#2606005)
1. 1984
2. 1984
3. 1984

Carry on.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: November 06, 2007 at 01:50 AM (#2606006)
The Final List. No arguments, please.

Best WS game 1: (tie) 1988 (Gibson), 1923 (Stengel's ninth inning inside the park game winning HR), 1949 (Henrich walk off vs Newcombe to win it for Reynolds 1 to 0), 1948 (Sain beats Feller 1-0 on blown pickoff call by ump)

Best game 2: 1950 (Dimaggio wins it on homer off Robin Roberts in 10th, breaking up terrific pitchers' duel with Allie Reynolds), 1978 (Welch fans Reggie to end it)

Best game 3: 1932 (called shot), 1975

Best game 4: 1947 (Bevans / Lavagetto), 1941, 1996, 1929, 1957, 2001, 1993, 1908 (as told by Johnny Evers)

Best game 5: 1956 (Larsen), 2001, 1996, 1952

Best game 6: 1975, 1986, 1991, 1977, 1985

Best game 7: 1960, 1924, 1962 (the most underrated WS game of all time---less than half a second before it ended, you had no idea which team was going to win, only that a tie game was impossible), 1991, 2001, 1926

Best game 8: 1912 (Red Sox win first full length Series on Snodgrass's muff in last of 10th---game 2 was a tie), 1919 (the only game 8 to be featured in a movie)

Most dramatic 7th game bad blood blowouts (both 11 to 0): 1934, 1985
   60. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: November 06, 2007 at 01:56 AM (#2606015)
very few (any? can't recall) of the games were, in themselves very exciting.

Yeah, I'm obviously biased as a Red Sox fan, but I have to heavily disagree with this. Game 1 almost had a ridiculous comeback, Games 4 and 5 were pretty epic. Game 6 had Schilling, of course, but also two close and important plays where the umps had to convene and ultimately made the right calls, including the infamous A-Rod Slap. (I'm additionally biased towards Game 6 because the key blow was struck by Bellhorn.) Game 7 wasn't as good, but you still had the brief moment of excitement when Pedro trotted in from the bullpen, the Yanks got to him for 2 runs, and with the crowd trying to get back into it, Bellhorn clangs one off the foul pole with an awful, awesome sound to silence the crowd again.
   61. bibigon Posted: November 06, 2007 at 02:06 AM (#2606019)
If I had to rank those six games, without any of the additional storylines (Red Sox-Yankees, experimental medical procedures, 2003 ALCS, A-Rod's slap) it would go something like:

1. Game 4 2004
2. Game 5 1999
3. Game 6 1999
4. Game 5 2004
5. Game 4 1999
6. Game 6 2004

On that basis, I'd tend to give it the 1999 NLCS. I think the additional storylines add more than enough drama to the 2004 ALCS to put it over the top, but reasonable minds can disagree there.
   62. Dan Evensen Posted: November 06, 2007 at 02:30 AM (#2606038)
The 1980 World Series is still underrated. The trailing team in each of the 6 games were at least within tying distance. Philadelphia closed out a 2-run Game 2 with a Royal on base and won a 3-run Game 6 with two Royals on base; the only exception is Game 4, which Philadelphia could have tied in the 8th inning. Each of the other contests were won by one run.

That's not to say it was any better than 1972 (it wasn't). Still, it's often underrated compared to other Series of the late-70s and early-80s.

Glad to see all the support for 1982. Games 2, 4 and 7 were come-from-behind wins, and even Game 3 was in doubt. If only Game 6 hadn't been a rain-delay marathon, that series would get the credit it deserves.
   63. AndrewJ Posted: November 06, 2007 at 02:42 AM (#2606044)
The 1980 World Series is still underrated

As a Phillies fan, I naturally agree. You also had the subplots of Brett getting hemorrhoids (he told the press, "My problems are behind me"), Dickie Noles then throwing chin music at Brett, Aikens with two 2-homer games and the fact that both teams were in search of their first world championship -- when was the last time that happened before 1980, I wonder?
   64. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: November 06, 2007 at 03:04 AM (#2606059)
As long as we're throwing in classic consecutive runs of games, how about Games 2-5 of the 1995 ALDS?
*You start with the Leyritz-in-the-drizzle HR in the bottom of the 15th inning. This after Griffey had hit a huge 12th-inning homer, and Sierra tied it with 2 outs in the bottom of the 12th (and the winning run was thrown out at the plate). Plus Don Mattingly's last career HR as a bonus extra.
*Game Three was an less amazing 7-4 final, but was a win-or-go-home for Seattle, and featured the delayed arrival of Randy Johnson, who'd been needed for the Angels playoff. The consensus was that Seattle couldn't win unless he could be used twice in the series (and they were right!). Unit lived up to expectations with 10 Ks, and as soon as he left, the Yankees hit two home runs in a mini-non-comeback.
*Game Four was The Edgar Martinez Show (or the John Wetteland Horror Show) with the lovable DH breaking up a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the 8th on a no-outs grand slam. And even then, the Yankees had an extended rally in the 9th to creep closer before they ran out of at-bats.
*Game Five had five lead changes, Johnson relieving on 1 day's rest, the Doug Strange walk because Showalter was afraid to use Wetteland but didn't know yet that Rivera was Rivera, both teams leaving two runners on in the 9th without scoring (and both doing it again before the end), and Edgar driving in Cora and Griffey underneath the wave of noise.

That holds up pretty well against the competition, I think.
   65. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: November 06, 2007 at 04:46 AM (#2606149)
and the fact that both teams were in search of their first world championship -- when was the last time that happened before 1980, I wonder?


1920. And it hasn't happened since.
   66. TerpNats Posted: November 06, 2007 at 05:20 AM (#2606184)
The A's huge 10-8 comeback was (solely from memory) a Game 3.
It was actually Game 4 of the '29 Series -- and I believe Philly broadcasting legend Bill Campbell has said that was the first baseball game he ever attended.
   67. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:18 AM (#2606241)
That's changing the ground rules, Chris. You originally said that, "Games 4-5-6 had more overall drama than any other three consecutive games I've ever seen in my entire life in any post-season round. By far." That puts Game 7 really off limits, doesn't it?

Nope. Go back to the article - that's where th ground rules (for me anyway) were set. I said there's drama/storyline within the game itself, and then the series-long storyline. How that series played out make the 2004 games really stand out more in my memory.

The drama isn't in the outcome; it's in how the story unfolds leading to the outcome.

When you remember it, the outcome certainly plays a role in the drama. This ain't October 2004 or 10/99 anymore.
   68. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: November 06, 2007 at 06:54 AM (#2606268)
I'm glad I was too young to know anything of the 1988 World Series. Although 1989 would've been nice to witness.


I guess in my limited time 2001 is the postseason that sticks out most to me. Incredible World Series, and the A's-Yankees division series really sticks out for me as an A's fan, although not in a good way. (Why didn't you just f****** slide, Giambi?)


2003 was another pretty memorable one. Another A's division series chock full of moments I'd rather not remember, the unbelievable ALCS and NLCS, a Giants-Marlins NLDS that, if I remember correctly, was a pretty good one (that Game 4 ending was exciting, at least), capped off with a pretty solid Marlins-Yankees World Series that the Marlins came out of with an upset and the birth of the Josh Beckett as Postseason Pitcher Extraordinaire.
   69. Iwakuma Chameleon (jonathan) Posted: November 06, 2007 at 07:02 AM (#2606273)
Also:
"2000. Lotta blowout series. You did have the A’s begin their October hell."
"2001. Billy Beane’s #### not working in the playoffs,"
"2003. Plus there was the A’s collapse against Boston, giving them nine consecutive losses in possible division series-clinching games over the last four years."


I was 13 in 2000 when this crap started. This was a devastating way to mature as a baseball fan.
   70. Alex meets the threshold for granular review Posted: November 06, 2007 at 07:24 AM (#2606279)
Forgotten in the 2004 ALCS love is that the 2004 NLCS was also a great series, maybe even better baseball-wise. Jim Edmonds hit a walk-off 12th inning home run in game six and then saved game seven with one of the greatest catches in playoff history, and that was after Brandon Backe and Woody Williams dueled for eight shutout innings in game five before St. Louis Enemy Number One Jeff Kent ended it with a home run off of Jason Isringhausen.


Amen.
   71. SandyRiver Posted: November 06, 2007 at 03:37 PM (#2606363)
And the total number of strikeouts in that game? Zero.

Saw that amazing fact in Steve Treder's link. The game featured 5 dingers, as well. How many (if any) games have there been, regular or post-season, with 5 or more homers and zero Ks?
   72. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: November 06, 2007 at 04:06 PM (#2606415)
The game featured 5 dingers, as well.

I believe Hal Smith's dinger holds the record for clutchiest (although it was not decisive, as it turned out). Clutchiest as defined by win probability change, that is.
   73. Nasty Nate Posted: November 06, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2606438)
Game 5 2004 ALCS was better than Game 4 2004 ALCS. As a combo they are dynamite. Game 5 started only 15 hours after game 4 had ended.

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