Monday, October 7, 2013

The Scioscia Effect

If you haven't yet read John Harper's article from this past Sunday regarding the upcoming 25th anniversary of Mike Scioscia's home run in game 4 of the '88 NLCS, it's a real treat. least in its presentation.

I am sure there are many out there who have tried to put that home run as far into the back of their minds as possible, which came off a bat that had only 3 dingers all season and which tied a game that the Dodgers eventually won in 12. 

For us younger set, we should know our history. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

And that 9th inning home run was certainly ugly, coming in the 9th inning of the most important game in a 7-game series.

Besides some great quotes from guys like Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling, John breaks the inning down in solid detail.

I had always heard how that was the pinnacle moment that devastated the franchise, but it wasn't like I went out of my way to read up on it.

Lots of Mets fans probably skipped over the article, which in print was presented with white letters on a black background, atmospherically giving off the feeling that fans must have had in the moment and the feeling exuded in the photograph of Doc on the bench thereafter.

It's incredible how one moment can change the course of a franchise so dramatically for better or worse, and the Mets could have easily bounced back after that.

But it's clear that the Mets never recovered, and arguably are still in the process of recovering.

In the more than 50 years the team has been around, patch work seems to be the name of the game. They build themselves up for a 4-or-so-year run, but then everything falls apart because of the lack of a long-term vision. The jury is still out on how this current era will go, but to me, for the first time in the franchise's history, there is an eye on finally solidifying a foundation to keep the franchise competitive for years to come.

Understanding one's history helps one make the proper decisions moving forward. It is why I believe Ken Burns' Baseball should be mandatory reading and viewing for every professional ballplayer.

In the article, the fine point made is that Doc made a mistake in the approach taken when pitching to the light-hitting Scioscia.

The broader point, however, is that Frank Cashen was ill-advised in not running with the rowdy team that so dramatically won a World Championship in 1986 and who had dominated the league throughout that season.

Though they slightly dominated the league in 1988 (by 8 games less, mind you) it was clear the chemistry had been altered.

And the Dodgers were a team on a mission.

Anyway, take a look at the article. Solid job, John Harper.

Listen, Mets might be painful, but don't look away after you press play.

And do press play.

It will get better from here on out.


Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @convertedmetfan. And for the latest on a Brooklyn Baseball TV Series I am developing, Like the Bedford & Sullivan Facebook page, and follow on Twitter here.

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