Maybe We Get Our Goats at Last

Now, this is more like it.

Less than a full day after the Texas Rangers lost a World Series they came to within a strike of winning twice in two innings, Nelson Cruz–who promised to sign autographs at a Mesquite, Texas sporting goods establishment after the Series, no matter whether the Rangers won or lost–was slightly stunned to see four hundred people show up, none of whom had murder in their hearts.

“I was shocked to see all the people. It made me feel happy and it made the pain go away quickly,” the right fielder told reporters. “It definitely shows how good they are as fans. They support us all year. They’re behind us whatever happens.”

The Cardinals Finish Coming From the Brink to Valhalla

Nelson Cruz’s walkoff grand slam in Game Two of the American League Championship Series? Gone with his other eight postseason record-tying bombs. Ian Kinsler’s theft of second, channeling Dave Roberts, to spark a World Series-tying rally in the first place? You won’t even find it on the police blotter now. The Rally Squirrel? Who the hell needed him?

Albert Pujols channeling Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson in Game Three? Fuggedabouddit. Derek Holland’s masterpiece pitching in Game Four of the World Series? Prove it. (And those were the two events that helped turn this World Series from good to great in the first place.)

Game Six: Let's Get Surreal

Who could have imagined this kind of World Series game—Yogi Berra, or Rube Goldberg? How many times have you heard Berra’s Law—it ain’t over until it’s over—cited and quoted, and how many times have you seen it proven only too true?

That many? Well, you didn’t really see it until you saw it, and if you were watching Game Six of this World Series Thursday night, oh, brother, did you saw it.

“If that’s not the best postseason game of all time,” Lance Berkman huffed and puffed, when it was over in a 10-9 St. Louis Cardinals win that not even the Cardinals, never mind the Texas Rangers, can quite believe happened, “I don’t know what is.”

Mea Kulpa, Maxima Mash

Albert Pujols answered for an accoutability error with a personal power play unseen in a World Series game since Reggie Jackson. As in, three mammoth enough home runs in the late innings. That only finished what was begun when an appropriately named umpire blew a fourth-inning call on the back end of a double play and answered for it after the game with a quiet mea-Kulpa.

Meet the swinger . . .

Unforgettable, Though Many Try: The 1986 Mets

Their 25th anniversary seems to be more sober than an awful lot of the team was. But Allen Barra is right. Twenty-five years ago tonight launched the 1986 World Series, which the New York Mets would win in rather dramatic fashion. There was and remains nothing wrong with that. The 1986 Mets may have steamrolled the National League on the regular season, but there was nothing like a pair of hair-raising postseason sets to remind people that even teams as good as those Mets have to work, good and hard, for their prizes.

The Running of the Bulls

The Milwaukee Brewers, with apologies to Dave Anderson, died with their boots. They were buried at the mercy of the St. Louis Cardinals’ seemingly bottomless bullpen. The officiating minister was a fellow who once seemed so burned out by baseball that he thought a ring on his cell phone while sitting in a Burger King, buried in the San Diego organization, informing him he’d been traded to the Cardinals, was a practical joke, at first.

Freese's Pieces, anyone?

Nobody’s laughing at the Rev. David Freese now. But everyone except citizens of Milwaukee might be laughing with the National League Championship Series’s most valuable player.

Hold Those Tigers

Jim Leyland was emphatic enough. Seeing Justin Verlander on the mound again this postseason was going to be the best thing, he said, because it would come in the World Series. As for the rest of the American League Championship Series, Verlander wouldn’t even be a topic.

Not in the Detroit Tigers’ manager’s mind, anyway. And it proved a moot point after the game, gutsy, but gimpy Tigers took one of the worst elimination beatings in postseason history in Arlington Saturday night.

Chicago-Bound Theo

Call it rumours, call it speculation, call it wishful thinking, call it a cursebuster’s wet dream. Call it what you will, but Theo Epstein, the man who co-negotiated the Boston Red Sox’s rise from tragical mystery tours to stupefying world championships, and twice in a four-season span at that, is going to have his crack at co-negotiating the Chicago Cubs from a century plus of calamity and failure to a Promised Land they haven’t seen since the Roosevelt Administration. (Theodore, that is.)

Beast Mode Meets the Monster's Mash

Nyjer Morgan may have gone from rogue to rakishly fun in the transition from Washington to Milwaukee. His tweets and his tongue may make for fun fodder in Brewer Burg, but he had yet to learn that a big mouth works best when kept, or driven, shut, until Albert Pujols taught him and his the hard way Monday.

I don’t think Morgan will ever even think of referring to Pujols as anything but, perhaps, “sir,” and certainly not “Alberta,” after the St. Louis Cardinals evened up the National League Championship Series with a 12-3 thrashing for which Pujols did the bulk of the damage. At minimum, Morgan and his Beastly Modal mates may have learned the hard way what happens when you even think about pulling the mask off the Cardinals’s Monster Masher.

Now the Mighty Have Fallen

With the second-best regular-season record in baseball, the New York Yankees couldn’t out-hit their pitching issues while the Detroit Tigers figured out ways to hang in against both the Empire Emeritus‘s batting holes and pitching inconsistencies. With the best regular season in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies couldn’t out-pitch their hitting issues, while the tenacious St. Louis Cardinals—who weren’t even supposed to be in the postseason picture, you may remember—figured out ways to make the ballyhooed Four Aces resemble the Four Lads.