Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Miracle On Thrity-Twelfth Street

I just read this article about Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner getting the Kekich and Peterson Award, or some such thing.

It's on, and they claim it's a "slightly modified version" of a piece that originally appeared in a publication called SCOREBOOK. What was this modification? Did they take a pristine version and decide to turn it into one with awkward phrasing, unusual word choices, and factual errors? Look at this, for example:

The 1986 World Series was rich in images for both sides, but no moment so profoundly diagramed these teams, the mission-bound Mets simply refusing to go home and the star-crossed Red Sox who 12 times that inning were one strike from what would have been their first championship in nearly seven decades.

There seems to be a problem with that first sentence. The Mets simply did something, while the Red Sox, who did something else, did...what? Is that sentence awkward to anyone else?

That's nothing compared to the fact that the author claims we were one strike away from a championship 12 times. Lets' count: 1. The 0-2 pitch to Knight, which he singled on. 2. The first 2-2 pitch to Mookie, which he fouled off. 3. The second one, which he also fouled off. 4. The third, which was the wild pitch. At that point, the game was tied, so we were never again one strike away from a championship.

That's four. I guess when you "modify" "4," you get "12." Hey, the 1 and the 2 are pretty close to the 4 on a standard keyboard. He could of accidentally hit two incorrect keys in succession instead of the correct one once; it happens to the best of ugf. But I doubt it. He also said

With the count 2-2, Wilson fouled off three pitches

Use my little counting system to prove that one wrong as well.

So, once again, I'd like to say "terrible job" to all the (paid) people who mess up obvious things daily. Especially stuff that can easily be checked, without even lifting one's ass out of one's chair.

And if Bill Buckner's such a positive guy, why does he keep refusing to come to Boston, where he'd be met with one of history's most positive responses? It's ironic. He stayed away, for fear that the small percentage of fans who hated him would kill him or something. Pretty soon an even bigger percentage won't like him since he just doesn't seem to like us.

My problems with Buckner:
1. He's whined for years about how badly he's supposedly been treated in Boston, despite that standing ovation he got in Fenway when he returned to the Sox in '90.
2. If he's so sick of being reminded of the play, then why does he go around with Mookie to every card show in America to sign pictures of it? Oh, that's right, money. Which he apparently doesn't need to live a very comfortable life.
3. The anecdote about how he was one of the members of the '86 Sox who stiffed the clubhouse attendants and batboys on postseason shares...Buckner alledgedly went around the clubhouse bragging that with the additional money he was pocketing by being a skinflint, he would buy his wife a luxury car. Supposedly Marty Barrett was so appalled by his teammates' behavior that he paid the attendants and batboys out of his own pocket. Now, this anecdote comes from Shaugnessy, so I'd understand if you choose to discount it, but it rings true. If it is true, then I'd say Karma pretty much bit Buckner right in the ass.
Yeah, I'm getting sick of Buckner. It is hard to believe how people can stick a picture of someone failing in their face, ask them to scribble their name on it, and they'll just do it. Because of money. Gedman does it, too. So does Stanley. Yeah, if that clubhouse story is true, TJ by Billy Buck. I mentioned his karma (the Aaron HR) a few weeks back. He had a lot of bad karma.
AJM, I feel like I've also read that story (or a variation) from places other than CHB. So I don't think it's false.

I've also heard repeatedly that Buckners a piece of shit as a person, though that probably doesn't mean much.
Interesting that you've heard that story elsewhere; I had only seen it in CHB's Book-Which-Shall-Not-Be-Named (yes, I read it 16 years ago before I, or frankly most Sox fans, realized the extent of CHB's hackdom) and always hve looked for someone to corroborate it.

The thing is, we've been so beaten over the heads for the past decade by Fox, ESPN, and the rest of the media for the past decade with the Bucky/Buckner/Bambino Curse Crapola, and with how badly New England has supposedly treated Buckner, that we've been forced into this defensive, reflexive posture where we have to repeat over and over again the same old mantra:
"It was really MacNamara's fault for not putting in Stapleton/not pinch-hitting Baylor/taking out Clemens"
"Schiraldi deserves more of the blame"
"Stanley (or really, Gedman...sorry Jere)deserves more of the blame"
"The game was already tied and probably lost anyway, and he never would have beaten Mookie to the bag anyway"

Etc, etc, blah, blah, blah. I got sick of repeating all that stuff a long time ago. Not that it isn't all completely true, but the flip side of pointing it out is that we come off as defending Buckner. And frankly, he's always struck me as a jerk who was a pretty lousy player by 1986. And even though the Sox would have probably lost the game anyway, he still really should have caught that ball.
That's really funny, because I said almost the same thing on Joy of Sox earlier today:

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