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Roundtable: 2003 World Series Game Six

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Saturday October 25, 2003 7:00 PM ET 2003 World Series Game Six roundtable.

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Gary Huckabay (4:07:15 PM PT): Welcome, everyone. Thanks for joining in tonight....

My perspective:

We don't really have enough data to make a definitive call on a single game. If it were up to me, I'd start Willis and use him twice through the order. But Beckett hasn't really been abused, either in individual games, or over the course of his career. (Largely thanks to blisters

I'd have him on a very short leash tonight. I don't think it's the right decision to start him, but I understand the decision, and don't think it's necessarily a slam dunk against doing it. I'd rather take my chances with Willis and a melange. But, in all fairness, this is a judgment call, and we're in something of a data deficit situation when it comes to a single game.

From a gameplan point of view, if I were Beckett, I'd break pattern and feature the curveball heavily the first time through the order, and see if I could get by on location and no fastballs above 91. Next time through, show breaking stuff away, then come in with the plus fastball. Third and final time through, mix it up, still heavy on the slow stuff early in the count, down and away, and lots of 1-strike fastballs.

Dave Pease (4:20:41 PM PT): I wouldn't have started Beckett tonight were I Jack McKeon either, but let's keep this in perspective. Brad Penny has been the rock of the rotation against the Yankees. Strange things happen and unlikely heroes are made all the time in the postseason.

Dave Pease (4:31:40 PM PT): Joe has neatly dodged making a prediction, but I'll go on record here. Beckett has enough to go seven strong against the Yanks, and Pettitte isn't treated kindly by Florida's offense. 5-2, Marlins.

Jonah Keri (4:35:44 PM PT): I thought Joe summed it up nicely in his column today. You're going out of your way to get 30-40 more pitches out of Carl Pavano. Plus it's not as if this is a Spahn and Sain and Pray For Rain rotation. Redman has been lousy as expected, but a game that would have Willis going 4-5, with all hands on deck thereafter except Penny and Beckett, would be an excellent choice.

As for the notion that there's this huge psychological letdown among the Marlins if the manager doesn't use his hammer for Game 6...what if Beckett starts, struggles, and they lose?

This is a bad move, even if Beckett pitches a gem.

Jonah Keri (4:37:25 PM PT): Yanks toss this lousy decision back in McKeon's face, Pettitte continues his reign as best non-immortal (read: Rivera) Yankee of October...5-3 Yanks.

Joe Sheehan (4:41:18 PM PT): I've come around to the idea that past is prologue. Beckett doesn't get to the sixth, Yankees win 7-3.

Good news: one more baseball game before I have to deal with withdrawal.

Jonah Keri (4:43:36 PM PT): There's always AFL, Joe. Winter meetings, free agent season...if we get desperate there's always wiffleball in Huckabay's yard. You think 60,000 would turn out to see Zumsteg pick 'em at third?

Dayn Perry (4:46:54 PM PT): Lots of things in the Yankees' favor tonight. Pettitte's better at home, and isn't as vulnerable against the opposite side as most lefties are. That minimizes the value of Florida's righty-laden lineup. Beckett's on short rest for the first time in his career, and he hasn't been the same pitcher away from Pro Player this season. To boot, Rivera's fully rested. Yankees, 8-4.

Jonah Keri (4:49:07 PM PT): Given Dayn's record of predictions so far this post-season, I've already blocked out 3 1/2 hours of viewing time for tomorrow.

Joe Sheehan (4:51:37 PM PT): Plus, the Yankees have three OBP guys atop the lineup for the first time since 2000 or so.

Gary Huckabay (4:54:02 PM PT): Hey, nice job getting help on that call, blue.

Dayn Perry (4:54:40 PM PT): I'd love to see some QuestTec accuracy measures for this post-season.

Gary Huckabay (4:56:57 PM PT): What's the over/under on incredibly badly executed plate appearances in this game? And if we omit Alex Gonzalez and Alfy Soriano, how much does that number change?

And when the was the last time a weaker OF arm contingent was in a postseason? Not that there's any causality here, but Matsui/Williams/Garcia is akin to Luzinski/Willie Wilson/Madeline Albright in terms of hoseality.

Jonah Keri (4:58:26 PM PT): Yanks score two or more in the first. Just a hunch.

Joe Sheehan (4:59:29 PM PT): Aaron Boone is playing. I'll take the over up to 7 1/2, 3 1/2 if we're eliminating Alex and Alf.

Garcia's arm isn't bad.

I'm sorry...is Soriano wearing #2 tonight?

Dayn Perry (4:59:39 PM PT): Incidentally, had the ump correctly given Pierre first base, Conine would've come up that inning. However, he's hit a measly .208/.296/.208 against Pettitte in his career.

Dayn Perry (5:03:55 PM PT): How undramatic would that one have been had it been Bernie in the field?

Dave Pease (5:03:59 PM PT): Running full-bore, Pierre handles that ball. You know, unless he has a Jose Cruz moment.

Michael Wolverton (5:06:06 PM PT): Good call by Joe Buck, too: Pierre not only took a circular route to that ball, he also practically stopped just before he got to it -- a weird play.

Joe Sheehan (5:07:34 PM PT): First inning...12 pitches, four taken.

My furniture is very, very afraid.

Jonah Keri (5:14:20 PM PT): Fortunately for your credenza, Pettitte is a joy to watch when he's on. It'll be interesting to see what happens to him at year's end.

Joe Sheehan (5:16:45 PM PT): Good Andy is in the house tonight. Excellent velocity, sharp cutter. I'd like to see him down in the zone a little more.

Pettitte's not going to starve, especially with his Clutch God rep. I'd say 3/30, probably for a team in the south half of the country.

Michael Wolverton (5:18:32 PM PT): By the way, after I praised Joe Buck a minute ago, I realized what a mistake I was making and switched my audio to the Miller/Morgan radio broadcast. I recommend that move to anyone who has an ESPN radio affiliate in their area. Miller is even better on the radio than he is on TV (as all the great announcers are).

Boy that Beckett sure looks tired, doesn't he?

Joe Sheehan (5:20:05 PM PT): Good. Giambi walks, and allows us to clear the pitchers.

Dave Pease (5:20:32 PM PT): Perfect approach by the Yankees so far this inning. You've got to let Josh Beckett get himself into trouble if you can.

Jonah Keri (5:24:43 PM PT): Quick, someone guard Joe's coffee table!

Man, was that pitch both nasty and insane to swing at.

Dave Pease (5:26:28 PM PT): Where's Boone thinking he's going to hit that 2-2 pitch even if he does make contact? That was absurd.

Gary Huckabay (5:32:39 PM PT): Just got back in the door from running to the store. Joe Morgan on ESPN radio's unintentional hilarity factor (UHF) is matched only by Fox's reality shows. I particularly enjoyed the tidbit of "The Yankees have lost a dozen world series, but so have the Dodgers and Giants, and they've only been there about ten times."

Pure Gold.

Dave Pease (5:38:36 PM PT): Pierre waited diplomatically for the call on the payoff pitch from Pettitte, but every time I see a guy in a similar situation chuck the bat and start trotting down to first before the umpire's call I always wonder if the ump might find that presumptuous enough to call strike three on a close pitch.

Dayn Perry (5:39:38 PM PT): The third pitch when the count is 1-1 is one of the critical pitches in at bat. I don't like the pitchout in that situation. The gift ball two is too valuable. Didn't really hurt them, but I'm just sayin' ...

Joe Sheehan (5:42:51 PM PT): Nick Johnson is going to make a lot of money in this game. I figure he ends up somewhere between Olerud and Thome as a hitter.

Dayn Perry (5:43:07 PM PT): Bernie's gonna double ...

Dave Pease (5:45:27 PM PT): ...play.

Dayn Perry (5:45:42 PM PT): ... Play. Hit into a double play.

Joe Sheehan (5:47:22 PM PT): That's been the Yankees' problem the last two series: two on, less than two out, and no runs. No double, no home run, no string of hits. For the SuperDuperClutchyGuys, they sure don't hit well with runners on in October.

It seems like every other Yankee at-bat in this series is a grounder to second.

I didn't like those shelves, anyway.

Gary Huckabay (5:48:00 PM PT): I love the warm, fuzzy feeling I get whenever a Yankee fails.

Dayn Perry (5:50:36 PM PT): Following up on the Pettitte conversation, I like his value under this corrected market. Best K rate of his career this season, second-best K/BB ratio, poor defense behind him inflated his ERA. If I'm a GM on the fringes of contention and I need a starter (read: Hunsicker) I give Pettitte serious thought this winter.

Dave Pease (5:51:56 PM PT): I like Johnson, but I'm still pretty concerned that he's not going to be durable enough to hang with those two guys.

Olerud's played in 97% of his team's games in the last five years, and Thome is just under 95%. I'm not sure Johnson is ever going to have a five year streak like that.

Joe Sheehan (5:53:10 PM PT): "Of course he swung...it's freakin' cold out here!"

I say we move to making the base umps a negative indicator. If they say the player swung, it's a ball.

Jonah Keri (5:54:23 PM PT): Heck, if I'm the Yankees I give serious thought to signing Pettitte. Mussina, Contreras...Clemens gone, Wells gone, Weaver who knows. If they're planning to shop for at least one top-tier pitcher anyway, why not go with the devil you know?

What will be REALLY interesting is if they follow through with the murmured rumors of dealing Soriano.

...And now Jeter makes a spectacular play. Take that statheads, he rulez!!!

Michael Wolverton (5:55:00 PM PT): Just now checking out Joe's Nick Johnson comment. Somewhere between Olerud and Thome...who's supposed to be the low end and who's supposed to be the high end? I suppose you meant that Thome is the high end, and I won't argue since we're talking about hitting only. But I think Olerud's one of the most underappreciated players of the past two decades. A clear HOFer, in my opinion.

Joe Sheehan (5:58:57 PM PT): I agree that Olerud has been underappreciated. He's not a HoFer yet, and if last year was more than a blip, he's not getting there.

I was talking about hitting only; Olerud's defense has definitely made up some of the ground between him and Thome at the plate.

Dayn Perry (6:01:13 PM PT): I suppose I'm the only one who prefers Joe Buck to Jon Miller.

Joe Sheehan (6:01:23 PM PT): Seven-pitch inning. I honestly have no idea what the Yankees are doing.

Gary Huckabay (6:02:08 PM PT): Interesting definition of Spectacular Play. I particularly enjoyed the definition of Jeter's backhand pick as "deep in the hole". Are we that starved for infielders with range?

Dayn Perry (6:02:48 PM PT): And are they really trying to position the Ford Focus as a "chick magnet" car?

Gary Huckabay (6:03:29 PM PT): I prefer Joe Buck to some broadcasters...Joanne Worley, Gilbert Gottfried, Truman Capote, Martin Short, Joe Piscopo, and Monte Moore, just to name a few.

Would the Yankees have been best served in this game to just adopt the simple rule of "take two strikes"?

Gary Huckabay (6:06:31 PM PT): Doesn't it just kind of feel like the Marlins are playing uphill or something? It reminds me of watching the A's during the last three games of the ALCS. And on that note, adios to Rick Peterson.

Joe Sheehan (6:07:28 PM PT): How many times do you think Juan Pierre has driven in a runner from first base?

Dave Pease (6:09:17 PM PT): I'd have thought that would be their plan. You've got Beckett at 53 pitches through four innings, and with the discipline the Yankees feature in most of the lineup that's just a basic failure in approach.

Joe Sheehan (6:10:18 PM PT): You think the Marlins are playing uphill? I think they look fine, unlike the team that has morphed into some weird Bela Lugosi character combining the worst features of the Cubs, Dodgers and Tigers.

"Must...swing...must...swing...."

Gary Huckabay (6:10:25 PM PT): How much did that Pierre hit look like a Kenny Lofton hit? Wow.

Dayn Perry (6:11:05 PM PT): This season on Pierre? I'll guess one time.

Dayn Perry (6:14:43 PM PT): Question via email from BP reader Peter Bean: "If the Marlins win tonight, is Penny MVP?"

Unless Beckett closes it out with a gem, I'd say yes. Penny's also driven in two runs. .

Dave Pease (6:15:22 PM PT): Awesome... zero RBI in 75 AB in 2003 with a runner on first. (He may have some with runners on first and another base...)

Joe Sheehan (6:16:34 PM PT): Garcia double-clutched, but made a good throw. That one's on Posada, who was in great position to get Castillo running back to home plate.

How many times has Pudge singled to right in this situation this month?

James Click (6:16:46 PM PT): Clearly Posada didn't attend the Varitek school of plate blocking.

Jonah Keri (6:17:24 PM PT): Can we revoke McCarver's broadcasting license?

"Posada totally screwed up on that play, that throw was right on the money, and Posada didn't block the plate. In my day, we blocked the plate, then spit on the guy afterwards."

(replay shown)

"Uh, I mean the throw was well over to the first-base side, and Gonzalez made a good slide."

Gary Huckabay (6:17:24 PM PT): What a tremendous baseball clinic that play was. Good pitch, good hitting, good setup and release on the throw, good slide...just a dodge made Posada look bad for getting out to make the catch. Umpire was in good position, communicated well...outstanding.

Joe Sheehan (6:23:25 PM PT): I have pretty much the same feeling right now that I had when Mariano Rivera went to second base in the ninth inning of Game 7 in 2001.

That feeling was the same one I had when my first girlfriend said, "We need to talk."

Ugh.

Joe Sheehan (6:25:14 PM PT): I apologize for using this forum to violently anti-woof.

But it worked.

More intelligently...I retract my criticism of Posada. The throw tailed, and he had to be that far out to make the play. Credit Gonzalez with a good slide.

Dayn Perry (6:25:24 PM PT): 34-pitch inning for Pettitte.

Gary Huckabay (6:26:16 PM PT): Some thoughts on Pettitte -- First, he's pitching exactly like Glavine in his prime. Second, in about three years, he's going to look precisely like David Straithairn's portrayal of Eddie Cicotte in Eight Men Out.

Jonah Keri (6:28:30 PM PT): Like this bunt attempt, Joe? (sound of chair cracking in half)

On 2-0!!! Wow.

Dave Pease (6:29:05 PM PT): Well, better than the expected ugly strikeout, I guess.

Dayn Perry (6:29:26 PM PT): With Boone up, a fifth-inning sac bunt may be defensible.

Dayn Perry (6:29:56 PM PT): The 2-0 count notwithstanding, that is.

Joe Sheehan (6:30:34 PM PT): "But they can be careful with Jeter."

Please? Oh, pretty please?

I'd take Nick Johnson with two on and two out.

Joe Sheehan (6:31:23 PM PT): Especially since "swinging at pitches neck-high and above" is every other infielder's modus operandi.

Jonah Keri (6:31:26 PM PT): So bench Boone! Geez, I have no love for the Yanks, but it's so infuriating to see anyone willingly piss away an out like that. On 2-0 to boot.

Jonah Keri (6:33:01 PM PT): Is it too early to cast my 2004 Cy Young vote? Beckett's NASTY, Torre's follies notwithstanding.

Joe Sheehan (6:33:21 PM PT): Ten-pitch inning.

The Marlins deserve to win. They're just plain beating the Yankees.

Gary Huckabay (6:33:52 PM PT): That curveball was outside, and I hate that Jeter swung at the next pitch. The effect of that extra outside black is pernicious; it isn't just that extra strike, but the expansion of the perceived zone for which you must swing. HP B/S umpiring by humans sucks, and it should be eliminated.

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Dayn Perry (6:39:47 PM PT): Now THAT bunt attempt has no justification. Lee slugs .591 on the road and .600 against lefties. No way you take the bat away from him in that situation.

Joe Sheehan (6:41:15 PM PT): I cannot believe the way in which postseason games are managed. Derrek Lee hit .333/.462/.600 against left-handers this year, and you ask him to bunt when he has a chance to win the World Series for you?

The Boone bunt wasn't much smarter, but at least you could use Boone's "talent" as an argument in its favor.

Postseason games are lower-scoring by choice.

Dave Pease (6:42:21 PM PT): I can't believe Encarnacion didn't swing at that 0-2 pitch. I hope he's feeling OK.

Joe Sheehan (6:45:09 PM PT): "This inning turned around when Andy Pettitte failed to go third base on the bunt play."--McCarver

No, Tim. The inning turned around when Derek Jeter turned a routine ground ball into a rally. Not making that play TRIPLED the Marlins' chances of scoring a run.

What, it hurts too much to say?

Michael Wolverton (6:47:27 PM PT): Just a small point in defense of the Marlins' bunt: the first-and-second, nobody-out bunt is the most defensible one, from a run expectation standpoint. Not that I'm arguing in favor of having Derrek Lee bunt in that situation.

Joe Sheehan (6:47:58 PM PT): Pettitte looks pretty wiped. With Castillo and 47 RHBs due up, the Yankees should go to Nelson in the seventh, no matter what happens in the bottom of the sixth.

Gary Huckabay (6:48:56 PM PT): They should pull AP at this point. You've got gobloads of tailor-made Nelson fodder coming up.

Joe Sheehan (6:50:29 PM PT): Didn't TV used to feature attractive people?

Michael Wolverton (6:50:38 PM PT): Another thing about the Jeter error: it was obviously an error on Jeter, but despite the bobbles, the throw did beat the runner, and it was a decent hop. If Johnson had dug it out, it's still 1-0. I bring that up only because we've noted Johnson's shortcomings at first earlier in the series. He's having a terrible series in the field.

Joe Sheehan (6:53:16 PM PT): Nine pitches.

Dave Pease (6:54:17 PM PT): Good grief, what a pathetic effort by Matsui.

Beckett's first short-rest start might be a complete game.

Michael Wolverton (6:55:20 PM PT): Another advantage of letting Miller and Morgan supply your play-by-play: the Don Zimmer hemorrhoid commercials are just a tiny bit less offensive without the audio.

Joe Sheehan (6:59:05 PM PT): After Anaheim last year, and the Fish this year, do you think the "playoff experience/veteran leadership" paradigm can be safely buried?

The Yankees have as much of both as anyone, and they've looked like rookies at the plate. It's not just outcomes; it's approach. When you have the young pitcher in a tough enviroment coming off three days' rest, you make him work.

Beckett's thrown 72 pitches, 26 in the last three innings. If that's veteran presence, give me the Arizona Fall League All-Stars.

Jonah Keri (6:59:38 PM PT): Nelson-Schmelson. Tip o' the cap to Pettitte, whose strong performance will get lost in the shuffle amid the Jeter error and the Yanks' lack of hitting if this keeps up.

Ah, and now the Yanks tack a moment of silent prayer onto their usual 7th inning stretch menu. It'd be hilarious if the Yanks put up a three-spot after this 48-minute break.

Joe Sheehan (7:01:40 PM PT): If they do, the seventh-inning stretch in Game Seven is going to feature "Up With People" and Tony Orlando doing a tribute to "Nicolas Nickleby".

Michael Wolverton (7:05:56 PM PT): The biggest thrill of the night for my six-year-old son: the minor league clip they showed of Miguel Cabrera. The Fox subtitles said "Carolina vs. Tennessee", and he said "Cool! Mudcats vs. Smokies!" He knows more minor league affiliate information than I do. Could a father be more proud?

Joe Sheehan (7:08:27 PM PT): I'm feeling it...unlikely hero time.

And FINALLY, Joe hits for Boone.

Jonah Keri (7:12:23 PM PT): Cy-tastic.

Joe Sheehan (7:13:03 PM PT): I have no credibility on this, but...

That pitch wasn't a strike. It wasn't all that close. It was just lower than the last pitch.

A brutal, brutal call at a bad time. MLB should be embarrassed by the level of incompetence shown in this postseason by its umpires.

Dave Pease (7:13:42 PM PT): Yeah, Garcia's move was what I was writing about.

My, he and Jason Giambi look a lot alike.

Gary Huckabay (7:14:51 PM PT): Is it fair to just be able to pull out a 96 mph fastball and throw it accurately whenever you need to? That really doesn't seem fair.

Rany Jazayerli (7:15:50 PM PT): Just got back from dinner in time to watch the seventh...it pleases me no end to see Josh Beckett put the myth of short rest to bed - again.

That said, even with just 89 pitches through seven, McKeon better be ready to pull him at a batter's notice. My one concern with a pitcher going on short rest is that his stamina might be affected, and if McKeon goes all Grady on us, this could still end very badly for the Marlins.

Rany Jazayerli (7:20:24 PM PT): Am I the only one who's not convinced that bringing in Mo at this time is the wrong move? Even if the Yankees come back and win this game, if Rivera goes two innings tonight, his stamina tomorrow is likely to be affected.

Given that the first five batters scheduled in the eighth are right-handed, wouldn't Jeff Nelson be an equally good choice? Rivera could still come into pitch when the lineup rolled over and Pierre and Castillo were due up. And if he only pitched an inning tonight, he'd still likely be available for two or even three tomorrow.

Dave Pease (7:22:12 PM PT): Joe, I think we all know this game won't be the nail in the coffin of the old veteran experience saw, but I do think we'll see a Marlins victory this year reinforce the scrappy, speedy, impatient Anaheim offensive approach that won it all last year, and we'll see a couple more teams embrace it this offseason.

That's a fundamental attribution error, of course. The Yankees aren't playing like the Yankees here--they're swinging at everything, trying to manufacture runs, and they don't have the personnel to run an offense like that.

Joe Sheehan (7:22:38 PM PT): No, you should use him to protect a two-run deficit. That's why you don't use him in a tie game on the road, so he'll be fresh.

One thing we've learned this offseason is that a chunk of the credit we've given Torre over the years is due to personnel. When he didn't have the paint-by-numbers bullpen, and had to make tough decisions, he often made questionable ones.

Joe Sheehan (7:23:30 PM PT): The Marlins need to score one run here. And then Soriano needs to lead off the eighth with an out.

Michael Wolverton (7:26:41 PM PT): Re Joe's comment on "playoff experience/veteran leadership", check out the article I wrote for ESPN a few weeks ago. Postseason performance for most players actually declines with more postseason experience. The article just looked at raw performance, but I ran the same numbers with relative performance (relative to regular season) and found the same thing. So yes, the "postseason experience/veteran leadership" conventional wisdom is bunk, although I really doubt we've heard the last of it.

Rany Jazayerli (7:30:00 PM PT): Soriano singles on the first pitch...and Dontrelle Willis practically sprints out of the bullpen to warm up. Now a conference on the mound after two balls to Jeter.

McKeon's no dummy.

Joe Sheehan (7:33:43 PM PT): I think Beckett's done, and we're about to have a momentum shift.

Rany Jazayerli (7:34:38 PM PT): Well, the momentum in *that* inning certainly shifted quick.

Sorry, Joe. (Okay, not really.)

Dave Pease (7:34:47 PM PT): Yeah, that was sort of a momentum shift, from man on first, one out.

Ouch.

Gary Huckabay (7:34:59 PM PT): Yes!!!

Gary Huckabay (7:35:39 PM PT): Leave him in, or pull him in the 9th?

Joe Sheehan (7:37:14 PM PT): Beckett looks tired to me, and I'm basing that on visual cues.

However, it might have been nice to see the inning develop from a 2-0 count to Johnson, instead of the "1"-1 that he...wait for it...grounded to Castillo on. (Hey, my macro works.)

I'm pretty bitter right now, but that doesn't mean the HP umpiring hasn't been a joke.

Josh Beckett is a stud. Bad on me for questioning McKeon.

Rany Jazayerli (7:37:33 PM PT): I let Beckett start the inning, because Urbina has been about as reliable as a leaky condom this postseason.

At the first sign of trouble, I go to Dontrelle against left-handers, Ugie vs. right-handers.

Dave Pease (7:37:39 PM PT): I expect I'll be in the minority here, but Beckett's still only at 99 pitches... I let him start the ninth.

Oh, and Ed getting the flu wouldn't be such a problem if his coworkers weren't such morons, but that's another kettle of fish altogether.

Michael Wolverton (7:37:46 PM PT): Easy for me to say after Johnson hit into the DP, but I don't see any evidence Beckett is tiring. I don't second-guess if McKeon sends him out for the 9th.

Then again, I'm probably the only person on the planet who had no problems with Grady leaving Pedro in.

Rany Jazayerli (7:41:41 PM PT): Well, after 105 pitches, Beckett surrendered 8 hits in 26 at-bats this season, with two doubles and one walk against four whiffs.

There's no obvious sign that he hits a wall after 100 pitches, though the mere fact that the sample size is so small is testament to how rarely he's been allowed to go this long.

(Pedro, on the other hand, gave up 12 hits in 33 at-bats after 105 pitches. Also a pretty small sample size, but hardly a comforting one.)

Joe Sheehan (7:42:02 PM PT): I think they should go to Byung-Hyun Kim, and have Mark Littell warming up behind him.

I may not be looking at this correctly, however.

Rany Jazayerli (7:44:04 PM PT): Just for that crack, whatever sympathy I have for your position just died.

Joe Sheehan (7:45:13 PM PT): You can trace the Yankees' position in this series to the decision to have David Dellucci bunt in the 11th inning of Game Four. They had their single greatest probability of winning the World Series at the moment Hideki Matsui walked. It's decreased in almost a straight line since that point to right now.

Rany Jazayerli (7:46:52 PM PT): Cabrera came out one step away from pulling a Snodgrass on that ball. I don't know if the wind suddenly started blowing out, but that was almost a disaster.

Of course, then he makes another catch on the next pitch.

Dave Pease (7:47:57 PM PT): Penny pitched well, but I think you've got to give the MVP to Beckett after this performance, even if he did get a big assist from the New York offense.

Dayn Perry (7:49:08 PM PT): Yeah, hats off to Beckett. Quite a performance. I was dead wrong.

Rany Jazayerli (7:49:16 PM PT): By my count, after Bernie took the first pitch of the inning, the Yankees didn't take another pitch the entire inning.

Down by two runs in the ninth. There's your epitaph. (And for Joe, your epithet.)

Joe Sheehan (7:50:18 PM PT): The World Series ends, and three of the first six shots are of the losing team's dugout. My god...SHOW THE F'ING MARLINS.

I don't often say that people "deserve" this or that. Jack McKeon deserves this, and every good thing that follows from it.

Michael Wolverton (7:51:44 PM PT): Yeah, Beckett's the MVP.

How long before we hear Bud or one of his shills attribute the Marlins' victory to the new CBA?

Rany Jazayerli (7:52:57 PM PT): As long as it takes for Bud to give Jeffrey Loria (ugh) the trophy.

Dayn Perry (7:54:40 PM PT): No disrespect to Don Zimmer, but who the f*** cares right now? Find a more germane storyline.

Rany Jazayerli (7:54:52 PM PT): The Marlins win, and all the Fox guys can talk about is how this is Don Zimmer's last game with the Yankees.

Guys, there's another 72-year-old in the dugout tonight that deserves that attention.

Dave Pease (7:57:42 PM PT): Well, you all know this entire series has been about cross-promotion for Fox, and I've been hearing rumors that Zimmer's already in negotiations with the network for the lead role in Joe Millionaire III.

Joe Sheehan (7:58:20 PM PT): That was the story of the series (and for that matter, the entire playoffs), Rany. With rare exceptions, the Yankees abandoned an offensive approach that had been successful in the regular season, and they paid for it.

They were fortunate to get as far as they did, and if they didn't lose to a team with a better record or better talent in the aggregate, they damn sure lost to a team that played better baseball for six days in October.

Are the Marlins a large-market team now?

Gary Huckabay (8:01:51 PM PT): And now the Marlins face a very dicey situation. Congratulations to them on winning the 2003 WS. I'll congratulate them again if they have the cojones to let the guys go who should be let go, and don't overspend on players who'll be problem contracts.

And a shout out to Jeff Weaver, who I'm sure will enjoy his next tour of duty with the Irkutsk IceKats of the Ural Mountain League.

Gary Huckabay (8:04:07 PM PT): Thanks for joining us for the 2003 Postseason, and congratulations to the 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins.

Jonah Keri (8:06:17 PM PT): Re-sign Pudge, keep Lee, ship out Lowell and Castillo. Slot Cabrera in for Lowell, sign one of the many usable 2B likely to be available (Spivey, T. Walker etc.), call 29 other teams and remind him of his playoff implosion, then sign Jose Cruz cheap to play the third OF slot. Add Burnett too, and this team can be better next year.

If it wasn't for Loria, this would be an absolute delight, instead of just kind of cool.


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