…and we’re back…

This blog is back up and running following mlblogs.com’s migration to WordPress.  So far, I’m impressed.  I was looking at getting an account with WordPress for quite a while, so I’m glad that MLB made the move.  In the meantime, I’m going to have to get used to all that WordPress offers…

What follows is a blog I wrote over the weekend – my response to MLB Network’s 20 Greatest Games Countdown.  This first post includes my comments on numbers 20-11.  Another entry will be following with my thoughts on games 10-1.  

While there’s a break in the action, I decided to take this opportunity to respond to MLB Network’s 20 greatest games countdown.  Granted #1 won’t air until Sunday night but ads for the last episode have already let us know that it is Game 6 of the 1975 World Series – best remembered for Carlton Fisk’s walk-off home run.

As one might expect, there were a lot of recent games in this countdown.  I attribute this to younger fans and the fact that more recent games are fresher in our collective memories.  In any case, I’m impressed that some pre 1990 games made the final cut.

I think it’s important that the network stipulated that none of these be “milestone games”.  However my biggest criticism of this countdown is that several games on here are defined by a single moment, thought there are still many games on here that are what I call “top-to bottom great”.

#20 – Phils @ Cubs 45 run game.  A wacky game, not so much a great game; this game does prove that ANYTHING is possible in baseball.

#19 – 2003 ALDS Giants @ Marlins.  Definitely one of the greatest games of the 2000s.  Best remembered for the final moment when Pudge held on to the ball; with the Marlins winning on the giants final out of the game.  Of course, anytime you can see a jam-packed Joe Robbie/Pro Player/Dolphin/Land Shark/Sun Life Stadium for a baseball game, it’s a cool thing. Only now are we starting to realize how much talent was on the 2003 Marlins roster.

#18 – Phils @ Astros – Game 5 NLCS.  I’m a little young to remember this one the first time around, but I do remember how good these Astro teams of the early 80s were.  They came close to the pennant several times, but fell just short.

#17 – Yankees @ Red sox – 2004 ALCS Game 4.  I would’ve put this up higher on the countdown.  A stand-alone classic, but this game also sparked the greatest comeback in Postseason history.

#16 – Tigers @ Twins – AL Central Tie-breaker.  A great see-saw battle; but I would have preferred a different ending.  Had the Tigers won, I would have put this in my top 3.  Worth noting, this is the only Tiger game that made the countdown.

#15 – Yankees @ Mariners – ALDS 1995.  Clearly the defining moment in Mariners history.  It has been said that this game saved baseball in Seattle and paved the way for the construction of Safeco Field. And of course, it’s always fun to see someone, anyone, take down the Yankees.

#14 – Phillies @ Blue Jays 1993 WS Game 6 – Another game best remembered for one highlight:  Joe Carter’s Series winning walk-off home run.  This particular episode was hard to watch: I could see Mitch Williams squirming in his chair as they reflected on the game.  Who says these things don’t stay with players?

#13 – Indians @ Marlins – 1997 WS Game 7 – everything is turned up a notch in a game 7.  Though I had no vested interest in this game, I remember being on the edge-of-my-seat as the game went on; truly experiencing the drama that a close ball game could provide.  This should have been ranked higher.

#12 – Diamondbacks @ Yankees 2001 WS Game 4.  November baseball. The specter of 9/11  was hanging over America, President Bush threw out the first pitch and Derek Jeter was dubbed “Mr. November”.  Hollywood would have had trouble creating such story lines.

#11 – Yankees @ Red Sox AL Tiebreaker.  Three words: Bucky f@#$in’ Dent.  A great chapter in the Yankees/Red Sox feud.  Definitely belongs on this countdown.

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