Congratulations to the Diamondbacks on winning their first World Series. I still can’t believe they managed to overcome Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth, to say nothing of their own manager’s continued boneheaded decisions. I’ve stated in other forums that out of respect for idiots, I’ll no longer refer to Bob Brenly as one, but what was he thinking, letting Curt Schilling hit for himself in the seventh, when he’s got Erubiel Durazo and David Dellucci sitting on the bench? And even worse, why bring Jay Bell up to bunt with runners at first and second and nobody out in the ninth, when Durazo is still on the bench? Durazo never did make it into the game. Unbelievable.
So, ultimately Brenly’s asinine moves didn’t cost his team. Back-to-back terrible bunts in the ninth by Damian Miller and Bell didn’t come back to haunt him, thanks in part to a poor throw by Rivera, nor did Brenly’s absolute refusal to trust anyone other than Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling on the mound (the two combined to throw 59% of Arizona’s innings in the World Series).
Speaking of Johnson, his performance in Game 7 was heroic, as was Schilling’s. I really didn’t expect Johnson to pitch to more than one batter, if that. But the guy threw 17 pitches last night, after having thrown 104 the previous night. And he’s not used to pitching in back-to-back games, unlike Byung-Hyun Kim.
Actually, if for no other reason than Kim’s psyche and reputation (well, that and the absence of a smirk from Derek Jeter’s mug), I’m glad the Diamondbacks came out on top. Everyone remembers the guy who gives up the homer, not the guy who stupidly brings him into the game.
For the record, using the original version of Bill James’ Pythagorean Theorem of Baseball (exponent of 2.00, not 1.83 — I don’t have a sophisticated calculator at my disposal right now), the Diamondbacks would be expected to have a winning percentage of .875 based on their outscoring the Yankees, 37 to 14. Over a seven-game series, that translates to 6.12 victories. It’s a testament to Brenly’s genius that he managed to use seven games to win the damn thing. Of course, this also means that the Diamondbacks are stuck with him for another year.
More on the Series from Joe Sheehan at Baseball Prospectus.
Finally, here’s another interesting site: thebaseballpage.com