Sunday, January 23, 2011

Random card. A look back at Sweet Lou Piniella.

Lou spent 23 seasons (full and partial) as a manager in the big leagues. His only pennant and only World Series came in season #4 with the 1990 Cincinnati Reds. He won 3 manager of the year awards, and of course led Seattle to that famous 116 win season in 2001.

Is he a Hall of Fame manager? If one takes his playing career and managing career is that enough to get in? I think so. Lou should have a spot.

I finished watching the 1977 World Series DVD set this week. Last week I watched 'The Bronx is Burning', so it was a logical thing to do. That series is of course remembered for the great 3 home run game of Reggie Jackson in game 6. Lou chipped in with the bat, but his biggest contribution to the win was with his glove. It's an overlooked play, one that rarely gets mentioned, but worth talking about.

Game 4, Dodger Stadium, Yankees up 2-1 in games. They jump on Doug Rau for 3 runs in the 2nd, but the Dodgers get 2 back off Guidry in the 3rd when relief pitcher Rick Rhoden doubles, followed by Davey Lopes hitting a mammoth 2 run shot to center field.

Guidry gets Russell and Smith to end that inning, Rhoden settles into a great 7 inning stint to shut down the Yankees bats, and then Ron Cey leads off the 4th with a shot to LF. Lou makes a fantastic jumping catch of a sure home run, Guidry settles down, Jackson gets an insurance run in the 6th with his 1st home run of the series, and the Yanks win the pivotal 4th game to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

To me, that had to be the key moment of the series. If Lou can't make the catch it's a 3-3 game, and who knows what happens from there? Truly what seems like a forgotten moment.

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