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The Curse of Tom Petty, Part II
2005-10-19 22:23
by Mike Carminati

Well, that was sort of a waste of time, huh?

After one of the most exciting moments of this, or any other postseason for that matter, we are left with anticlimax. Houston led the whole way. Mark Mulder crumbled in that way that only he can do.

The only news was that Fox found out that Houston is in Texas. Wow! How hard are they going to be shoveling this "T for Texas" horse hockey down our throats? And speaking of shovelingd, what was that little speech-cum-surrealistic montage that Thom Brennamen launched into at the end of the game about Roger Clemens' dying mother accurately predicting the score of his next game and then saying "Shoeless Joe", of course, meaning that the Astros would face off against the White Sox in the World Series. What is he smoking? I want to part with you cowboy—you and me together? Forget it.

Somehow this Texas Nostradamus even knew that her son, leading 10-1 at the time, would somehow give up an unearned run due to an error to match he prediction. It reminded of the episode of the Odd Couple where Oscar cringes as Felix corrupts his radio show into some maudlin melodrama loosely based on the Ruth homer for a sick kid story. Except no one at Fox has any shame—the audience had to cringe a la Oscar.

Anyway, the Astros now head into the World Series with two men who have accumulated at least two thousand career games prior to playing in a championship round. I wondered how rare that was. So I looked it up.

Here are the players who appeared in the most regular-season games prior to reaching the World Series. Biggio edges out Barry Bonds, the previous "leader", by at least 100 games. Bagwell has had the fourth worst wait:

NameFirst WSCareer YrsCareer G
Craig Biggio 2005182564
Barry Bonds2002172439
Tim Raines1996182112
Jeff Bagwell2005152105
Lave Cross1905192104
Al Kaline1968162095
Max Carey1925162092
Sherry Magee1919162087
George Davis1906172080
Don Baylor1986172072
Mark Grace2001142055
Jose Cardenal1980182017
Ruben Sierra2003172004
Darrell Evans1984161984
Cesar Cedeno1985161969
Jay Bell2001161959
Ed Konetchy1920141958
Bill Dahlen1905151940
Ozzie Guillen1999151930
Larry Walker2004161888

It's nice to round out the list with Ozzie Gullen and Larry Walker.

OK, that's by games, but how about years? There are actually four players, three of whom were pitchers, who waited longer than Biggio though they played fewer games:

NameFirst WSCareer YrsCareer G
Mike Morgan200121517
Joe Niekro198721701
Dennis Martinez199520612
Lave Cross1905192104
Craig Biggio 2005182564
Shawon Dunston2002181814
Tim Raines1996182112
Jose Cardenal1980182017
Walter Johnson192418836
Ruben Sierra2003172004
Barry Bonds2002172439
Benito Santiago2002171815
John Franco200017933
Don Baylor1986172072
Mike Jorgensen1985171633
Dick Hall196917610
Curt Simmons196417515
George Davis1906172080
Jim O'Rourke1888171379
Deacon White1887171258

So now we that we have a two-day layoff, I hope Fox cracks open their atlas and looks up what state Chicago is in. I'm just thankful that this will (hopefully) be the last we hear from Brennamen and Lyons until next October.

2005-10-19 22:51:51
1.   Bob Timmermann
Brenneman never repeated his statement, "And the largest state in the union has never played in the World Series!"

I remember when the Goldpanners played the Mets.

2005-10-20 05:47:46
2.   rbj
It's one of them "I" states that Chicago, or Chi-town or the Windy City or the Second City (get ready for all that crap too) is in, right?
2005-10-20 06:25:12
3.   JohnnyBlaster
And howabout the "greatest baseball fans blah blah blah" are St Louis fans "applauding for the Astros."

Um.....did they not know that this was the last game to be played at Busch? And the fans were actually applauding the Cards? Maybe if Brenly had actually listened, he would have heard the chant "Lets go Cardinals."

2005-10-20 07:19:23
4.   Murray
Major League Baseball has expanded to Anchorage?
2005-10-20 08:46:23
5.   JohnnyBlaster
I thought California was the largest state in the Union.
2005-10-20 14:04:58
6.   Murray
Alaska is so big that if you divided it in two, each half would still be larger than Texas.

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