World Series Tidbits……….The Thursday Edition
You ever wonder how all those baseballs get rubbed down and ready for the games. Well, there is an attendant that works in the Umpire’s room who duty it is to put the old Delaware River mud on the World Series Rawlings baseballs and get them ready for the umpires to use for the nightly games.
I am not sure, but he probably starts during that night’s games getting the next batch ready for the following night’s contest. At least that is what I would do. Think about all the man-hours used to press and massage that mud into the balls with an even consistency. You would think they would have developed a machine to do that job, but I am told nothing does the job better than a good set of hands and a constant massage on the old balls.
I remember back in June of this year there was an article about a pizzeria in the state of Colorado that was going to give out FREE pizza if the Rays won the World Series. In the little town of Lakewood, a small suburb right outside of Denver there is just such a place where magic is said to happen to any event, or team goal put on their estuarant’s window.
John Keiley isn’t really that big of a Rays fan. It’s more that he likes a good story and a big underdog — and a little publicity — as much as he likes making a good pizza. And, oh yeah, he hates the Red Sox and the Yankees.
So that’s how he came to make this offer, and paint it on the front window of his Johnny’s New York Pizza & Pasta shop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood: Free pizza for the world if the Rays win the World Series.
He made his first such deal in June 2007, offering free pizza in the unlikely event his hometown Rockies swept the Yankees. They did, and Keiley gave away 2,500 pizzas — at a cost of about $12,000.
As football season kicked off, he figured he would do it again: Free pizza if any NFL team went 16-0. The New England Patriots did. So on a Sunday in January, Keiley gave away about 1,500 pizzas. A few weeks ago, he was impressed watching on ESPN as the Rays rallied to beat and sweep the Red Sox. He called a childhood buddy from New York (they were Mets fans), George Vricos, who now lives in Clearwater. The more he heard about the Rays, the more he liked. So he made his latest offer.
I’m rooting for the Rays,” he said. “And if the Red Sox and Yankees don’t get in the playoffs, that would be heaven.”
You might be wondering, since there was a stolen base in tonight’s game, do we now get 2 free crunchy, spicy beef tacos from Taco Bell?
The unfortunate answer to that puzzling question is NO. Even though Carlos Ruiz stole second base in the 7th inning of Game 2 of the Wrold Series, the promotion will deliver one free taco to everyone in America if there was a stolen base in any of the games from Game1-4.
There will be another chance to get another FREE taco when they get to Game 5, which will be played in Philadelphia on Monday, October 27th. If someone steals a base from Game 5-7, then they can redeem their FREE taco on November 3rd from 2-6pm at a participating store.
Odd Facts and Tidbits on Last Night Game
The Phillies were 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday night. That’s the most at-bats without a hit with men in scoring position for any team in any game in World Series history. The previous record was 0-for-12, done four times, most recently by Kansas City in Game Five of the 1980 World Series.
Chase Utley‘s two-run home run in the top of the first inning gave the Phillies a 2-0 lead. It was the first time in 42 years that a player hit a home run in the top of the first inning in Game One of a World Series. That last happened in 1966, when Baltimore’s Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson hit back-to-back home runs off Don Drysdale at Dodger Stadium.
Utley added two stolen bases to become the first player in major-league history to hit a home run and steal two bases in a World Series game.
Ryan Howard is only the second player in major-league history to strike out three times and commit an error in his first career World Series game. Dodgers’ pitcher Preacher Roe did that in Game Two of the 1949 World Series, but he threw a complete-game shutout to beat the Yankees!
Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard were a combined 0-for-9, with five strikeouts in Game One of the World Series. In their five seasons as major-league teammates, they have never before been hitless in nine-or-more at-bats with five-or-more strikeouts in the same regular-season or postseason game.
Cole Hamels allowed a home run to Carl Crawford in the fourth inning. During the regular season, 12 of the 28 home runs allowed by Hamels were hit by left-handed batters (42.9%), the highest percentage against any left-handed pitcher in the majors who allowed at least 15 home runs in 2008.
Cole Hamels is the fourth pitcher to win Game One of the Division Series, Championship Series, and World Series in the same year. That was also done by John Smoltz (1996 Braves), David Wells (1998 Yankees), and Josh Beckett (2007 Red Sox).
Cole Hamels and Scott Kazmir, both 24 years old, were only the third pair of starting pitchers in Game One of a World Series each under the age of 25. The previous occurrences: 1912 – Smoky Joe Wood, Red Sox (22) vs. Jeff Tesreau, Giants (23); and 1970 – Jim Palmer, Orioles (24) vs. Gary Nolan, Reds (22).