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October 25, 2005
On being down 2-0
Four teams coughed up the lead and got back to winning right away, not even needing a seventh game to decide the Series. They were the 1917 White Sox, 1930 A's, 1953 Yankees and 1980 Phillies. In notation, these Series all had the WWLLWW pattern.
Three teams took the quick exit after building a 2-0 lead and all in fairly recent times. The Dodgers lost four straight to the Yankees in 1978 and the Yankees turned around and returned the favor three years later. The '96 Braves lost in a similar fashion to the Yankees, infamously coughing up a 6-0 lead in Game Four.
Here's something to give hope to Astros fans: of those 20 teams who coughed up 2-0 leads, only three of them managed to win Game Four after dropping Game Three! (This doesn't include the teams up 2-0 who lost Game Three but never relinquished their game lead.) Let's put that in as positive a light as possible for Astros fans counting on a win tonight: teams down 2-0 who win Game Three are 17-3 in Game Fours. Of the three teams that managed to win Game Four after losing Three, only one--the 1972 Oakland A's--went on to win the Series. The 1958 Milwaukee Braves lost three in a row, including the last two at home to lose to the Yankees. The third team is the 1985 Cardinals.
Of course, I'm making it sound like Game Three is a must-win for the Astros. Is it really anymore? Now that the Red Sox came back from being down 3-0 in last year's ALCS, is the Game Three loss the death sentence it used to be for the team down 2-0? Yes, it still is. If the White Sox win tonight, it's over.
Style points to Podsednik
Paul Konerko: free agent
Konerko has the look of a White Sox lifer, though. I think what will happen--especially if Chicago wins it all--is that they will lock him down through his mid-thirties and be done with it. That might just be the grand slam talking, though.
Take the Leo Mazzone situation. I think his being a signatory to an Orioles contract would have attracted a lot more attention than it did had they waited until next Monday to make the announcement. It's not every day that the most storied coach in baseball history switches teams.
Going back to my claim for a moment, is Mazzone the coach with the greatest reputation ever? How many coaches even have a reputation? Here are a few that might be challengers: Charlie Lau, Roger Craig and Johnny Sain (the man Mazzone calls his mentor). Lau's reputation pretty much boils down to
I would argue that this is a bigger deal than any of the managerial signings so far this offseason. Let's hope for his and their own sake that the Orioles give him free rein to do his thing.