Results tagged ‘ World Series ’
1945 World Series Edition
- To save money on travel during WWII, the first three games of the series were played in Detroit and the last four were played in Chicago.
- The Tigers hit 2 home runs during the series; Hank Greenberg hit both of them. Phil Cavaretta hit the Cubs only homer in the 7 games.
- Detroit pitcher Virgil Trucks was released from the Navy just weeks before the end of the 1945 season. He threw just 5.1 innings in the regular season before starting Game 2 of the WS, a complete game 4-1 victory.
- The 1945 World Series was played as a back-drop to the ending of WWII. I haven’t seen every war movie made about WWII, but here is my top 8 in no particular order.
The Longest Day
The Great Escape
Saving Private Ryan
The Dirty Dozen
Bonus: The 1945 WS was a 10-year anniversary/rematch of the 1935 WS that saw the Tigers beat the Cubs 4 games to 2. Four players played in both series. Hank Greenberg and Tommy Bridges for the Tigers; Phil Cavaretta and Stan Hack for the Cubs.
MLB has made it official; there will be two wildcard teams in each league this year.
I like the new format. The two wildcard teams will play one game, that’s it, just one game against each other. The victor will move on to face the division winner with the best record while the other two division winners will meet.
The holdup in the decision to announce the addition wildcard team was due to scheduling. MLB solved their problem by eliminating one off day from the LDS series. They also have changed the standard format of 2-2-1 to 2-3, with the club having the better record getting the last 3 games at home.
One of the concerns for the league was the worry that the regular season could end in a tie for a playoff spot, or worse, multiple ties, that would have to be played off before the actual playoffs could start. While it is possible, I’m not worried about it. In the 17 years since baseball has had the wildcard, only 3 times would two teams have tied for that fifth and final spot; that’s just 3 out of 34 chances (17 years X both leagues).
So now there is a real benefit to winning the division, although all teams are happy to make the playoffs, no team will happily want to risk their World Series chances on a one game playoff.
This brings the excitement of a division battle back. Instead of two division teams setting up their rotations and getting ready for the playoffs because they both know they are in, both teams will do their best to win the division and secure that first round bye.
Now if they could just add 6 wildcards, the Pirates might have a chance.
Wild Card Edition
1.The first two Wild Card teams were the New York Yankees (79-65, 7GB) and the Colorado Rockies (77-67, 1GB) in 1995.
2. In the 17 post-seasons since the start of the Wild Card in 1995, 10 wild card teams have made it to the World Series. They are 5-5.
3. Wild Card teams have met in the World Series once. In 2002 the Anaheim Angels defeated the San Francisco Giants 4 games to 3.
4. If you have some free time, pick up Submarine at Redbox, it’s one of the better movies you have never heard of.
Bonus. The Florida (Miami) Marlins have never won their division; in fact they have only made the playoffs twice in their 19 year history, both times as a wild card. Both times they won the World Series (1997, 2003).
The players have reported, the spring games are about to begin, but unless an announcement is made today, we still don’t know exactly how many teams will make the playoffs.
We know it will be at least 8, or it could be 10.
Since 1995 each league has had 3 division winners and 1 wildcard. That format will change for sure in 2013 when the Houston Astros move to the American League. When that happens, each league of 15 teams will have 5 playoff teams. I’m a little hesitant to say it will be 3 division winners and 2 wildcards because the league alignment is not set in stone yet. (It could be 1 division of 15 teams, but that’s another post).
The question is; will the playoff format change for this year? We know Bud Selig wants to add 1 additional playoff team per league, and I would assume the players do also. They just can’t agree on how to schedule the one game playoff between the two wildcard teams. The season ends on Wed Oct 3rd, the division series playoffs are scheduled to begin on Oct 6th. It gives the league only two days to have the extra 1 game playoff between the two wildcard teams. This seems doable, unless the regular season ends in a tie, or worse, multiple ties.
Of course the players union might want to explain the new system to some of the players. “One game? That’s kind of crazy,” designated hitter David Ortiz said. “You know how many things we’ve got to move around and pack for one game? I guess Ortiz has forgotten last season already when he would have loved to have played a one game playoff against the Rays instead of watching on tv like he did.
It would seem logical to just back up the start of the LDS’ one or two days, however, that would also back up the start of the LCS’ and the World Series; and the league cannot change the WS dates.
My guess is that the league and the players will reach an agreement (probably agreeing to lose an off day in the middle of the LDS) and that we will have 10 playoffs teams for 2012.
This past week I saw the highlight recap show of the 1945 World Series on the MLB Network. For those that don’t remember or didn’t know, 1945 was the last year in which the Cubs played in the World Series. Ummm, that’s a long time. Let’s put it this way; every other team in the majors has been to the World Series at least once since 1979 except the Seattle Mariners (established in 1977) and the Washington Nationals/Expos (established 1969), both of whom have yet to make to the final game of the season.
The Cubs played the American League Champion Detroit Tigers in 1945, it was their 5th World Series in 16 years and a rematch of the 1935 series that saw the Tigers beat the Cubs 4 games to 2.
I don’t want to go through all the details of the ’45 series, but there are a few things that I wanted to mention.
First of all of course is the fact that the favorite Cubs (98-56) lost the series to the Tigers (88-65) despite having the home field advantage. It was the Cubs seventh straight loss in the series as they had previously lost in 1910, ’18, ’29, ’32, ’35 and ’38.
The Championship itself went 7 games. The Cubs won games 1, 3 and 6; while the Tigers won games 2, 4, 5 and 7.
The different thing about this series was the schedule. Yes, the Cubs had home field advantage, but baseball was using their wartime scheduling. Games 1, 2, and 3 were played in Detroit while Chicago hosted the remaining 4 games.
Baseball went to the 2-3-2 schedule it still uses today in 1924, however, in 1943 it was determined that a 3-4 schedule should be used to save on travel and expenses during the war. That first year the St Louis Cardinals (105-49) had home field advantage over the NY Yankees (98-56). But in order to get the advantage of playing 4 games at home including a possible game 7, the Cards had to play the first 3 games in Yankee Stadium in New York. The Bombers won two of three and then went to St Louis and won the series in five after winning games 4&5.
In 1944 the schedule remained the same, 3-4. But this time no travel was required because the series pit the NL Champion St Louis Cardinals against the AL Champion St Louis Browns. In fact, there wasn’t even a change in venue. Both teams shared Sportsman Park III from 1921 through 1952. The only thing that changed was the designation of which team was the visitor and which team was home.
Which again brings us to 1945. Detroit hosted games 1 through 3 and things were looking good for the Cubs as they were able to take 2 of the 3 games before heading back to Chicago. Unfortunately, Detroit was able to win three games in Wrigley Field, including of course game 7, and they took the series 4 games to 3.
1945 was the last season that baseball used the 3-4 wartime format because thankfully WWII had ended late in the summer of ’45.
Obviously, I can’t mention the 1945 World Series without also referencing the Curse of the Billy Goat. Before game 4, Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis who had brought his goat to the game was denied admission by Cubs officials. The legend/reality has been blurred a little over time, but basically Sianis declared that the Cubs would never win a World Series again……………………………..and they haven’t.
This is a Part I piece. I’m working on a project that involves the 1945 World Series and you can expect to see a few more post about the series as well as a related subject that I hope will be far more interesting but that I don’t want to divulge just yet, mainly because I don’t know how well it will work out.
With the recent firing of Jim Hendry as the Chicago Cubs general manager, there has been much talk as to who will replace him in the Cubs front office.
One name that has jumped to the top of the speculation list is Oakland GM Billy Beane. Depending on your point of view, Beane may or may not be what the Cubs need.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Beane’s name has been linked to a new team. In 2002 the Boston Red Sox tried to hire Beane away from Oakland. Billy decided to stay with the A’s and Boston eventually went with Theo Epstein.
Beane is the main subject of the book Moneyball, as well as the upcoming movie of the same name.
And while wondering what Beane might do if he gets the job is interesting, I thought this would be a good time to bring back a Wrigley Regular feature that I haven’t used in a couple months, What If…….
The idea of What If is to take an event, alter that event, and then see what 5 things would be different because of the change. So with that in mind, let’s play What If.
What If…..… The Cubs had hired Billy Beane as their General Manager in 2002 instead of Jim Hendry?
1) Instead of signing with the Oakland A’s in 2002, Beane gets Scott Hatteberg to sign with the Cubs to be their starting catcher. Hatteberg becomes an instant team leader and pays off huge in 2003 when….. instead of having Paul Bako behind the plate in game 6 of the NLCS, Hatteberg goes out to the mound and settles Mark Prior down after Alou doesn’t catch a pop foul down the left field line. Prior then strikes out Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera grounds into a 6-4-3 double play started by Alex Gonzalez. The Cubs win the game 3-0 and go on to win the 2003 World Series.
2) In 2004, Michael Lewis’ book Moneyball hits the books stores. White Sox general manager Kenny Williams is unhappy about the way he is portrayed in the book and attempts to out-smart Billy Beane in a trade. That fall Williams trades overweight rookie pitcher Booby Jenks for catcher Michael Barrett. With Barrett behind the plate, the Sox don’t go out and get AJ Pierzynski in 2005 and use Damaso Marte as their closer. The White Sox don’t win the World Series and both Williams and Ozzie Guillen are fired after the 2006 season.
3) In the fall of 2006, several top free agents hit the market, including Alfonso Soriano who had just completed only the 4th 40/40 season in baseball history. But because Beane is fixated on on-base percentage plus slugging, he scratches Soriano and his then .820 OPS off his want list and targets JD Drew. Beane gets Drew and his .904 OPS for half the price of what the Angels pay for Soriano. In the five years after the signings, Drew plays 130+ games or more only once and is seen as a drag on the Cubs roster, meanwhile Soriano is a 5 time All-Star for the Halos at the DH position and wins the AL MVP in 2009 after leading the Angels to a World Series victory.
4) In the June 2007 Amateur Draft, Billy Beane and the Cubs select Jason Heyward with the number 3 overall pick. Heyward moves up through the minors quickly and wins the 2010 NL Rookie of the Year award. The Atlanta Braves get Josh Vitters with their first round pick. Vitters is still in the Atlanta system waiting for Chipper Jones to retire.
5) In the fall of 2011, Billy Beane is played by Brad Pitt in the movie version of the book Moneyball. Beane is able to see the movie as many times as he wants because he has nothing else to do after being fired in the middle of the season as Cubs GM. Chicago hires Jim Hendry as the new GM sighting the need to get back to “old school”, “I know talent only if I see it” type of scouting. The Cubs go at least another 20 years without winning a World Series.
If you have a What If that you would like answered, send it to WrigleyRegular@Comcast.net
Or add it to the comments below.
It’s been a tough two weeks for the Cubs. Since my last update the team has gone 5-8
and now stands at an overall 14-16. That puts them in 4th place, 3
games behind the Cardinals.
And while the first month of the season has been a struggle,
it hasn’t been debilitating. They are just 3 games out of first. I’ll
repeat now what I’ve already said several times before, I believe the winner of
the NL Central will have no more than 87 wins. That’s not a lot.
But it does mean that the Cubs will have to go 73-59 over their last
132 games to reach 87 wins. That’s a .553 winning percentage. To put
that number in perspective, only 7 teams are currently winning at that clip. It
doesn’t mean the Cubs wont, or can’t; it just is not going to be easy.
Now is the time though when they must start winning. The
Cubs have played 21 of their 30 previous games against the NL West and less than
half their games at home. However today marks the start of a 9 game home stand against
two division rivals (Cinn & StL) and last years World Series winner, San
Francisco. Anything less than a 6-3 outcome after these 9 games will really be
The first official work stoppage in Major League baseball
took place at the beginning on the 1972 season. From April 1 to April 12th
the players union and the owners had been unable to come to an agreement over
pension funding and arbitration. The players went on strike and held up the
beginning of the season.
Fans in Texas had been waiting years for a Major League team
near Dallas, now they would have to wait just a little longer.
After two weeks of negotiations between the players and the
league, both sides came to an agreement. The owners would add an additional
$500,000 to the pension fund and give the players the right to salary arbitration.
In return, the players gave up 8 game checks for the ’72 season.
On Saturday April 15th, Lenny Randle stepped to
the plate against Andy Messersmith of the California Angels. He would be the
first batter in Texas Rangers history. He struck out.
The Rangers first hit was a seventh inning single by catcher
Hal King, he was forced out by a groundball double play from the next hitter,
The Rangers pitcher that day was Dick Bosman. Bosman and
Messersmith both pitched fine games and the game was scoreless heading into the
bottom of the ninth.
Bosman walked the first batter, Sandy Alomar. The next
hitter, Mickey Rivers, attempted a sacrifice; there was an error on the play
and the Angels had runners on first and second. Bosman then walked Leo Cardenas
to load the bases with no outs.
Paul Lindblad came on in relief of Dick Bosman to face Jim
Spencer. Lindblad threw a wild pitch, Alomar scored from third, and the Angels
won 1-0 on an unearned run.
Texas went 54-100.
And now, just 39 short years**
later, The Texas Rangers are going to their first World Series after beating
the New York Yankees last night to win the American League Pennant.
Congrats Texas Rangers and their fans
** As a Cubs fan, I can tell you
that 39 years is short
Mike Quade was named manager of the 2011 Chicago Cubs.
Honestly, I’m really surprised. I thought for sure it was
between Ryne Sandberg and Joe Girardi. But, I’m also happy. Quade did a good
job with the team the last seven weeks of the season and he was as deserving as
anyone else to take over next year.
One of the things I really liked about Quade was the way he
handled the players. He gave them some of the little things they asked for,
like posting each day’s lineup card six hours in advance of game time, but he
also treated everyone the same, both rookies and veterans were benched for not
making mandatory meetings on time.
Look, when it’s all said and done, winning a World Series will
be the final judge. Don Baylor didn’t do, Dusty Baker didn’t do it, Lou
Piniella didn’t do it, and neither has any other manager since Frank Chance in
If he wins, it will be a great hire. If not, join the list