Fly balls to Matt Holliday in the post season are always interesting

Things get really exciting in a Cardinals post season game when someone hits a fly ball to left field. Matt Holliday has become the most unpredictable trouble magnet in left since Manny Ramirez played with the Red Sox.

In last night’s 7-1 blow out by the Giants, the game was blown open when Marco Scutaro hit a two out bases loaded single to left field. (Earlier Holliday slid hard into Scutaro and eventually causing him to leave. Karma would strike Holliday.)

Two runs were going to score to make it 4-1. But the ball rolled through Holliday’s legs and another run came in.

And his strange day did not end there. In the 8th, Aubrey Huff hit a fly ball that hung in the air about about a week and a half. The infielder ran all the way out to left field while Holliday stood there. It dropped in.

Now Sam Holbrook would have called that an infield fly, but it was another adventure in left.

In last year’s World Series Game 6, he had a “I got it! I got it! YOU got it!” moment that dropped in between Holliday and Rafael Furcal.

Only the great Cardinals comeback put that into the background and made it an obscure footnote.

And of course there was the mother of left field miscues.

Game 2 of the 2009 Division Series. 2 outs and nobody on with St. Louis holding to a one run lead. With 2 strikes on the Dodgers’ James Loney, he hit a pop up to left field to end the game.

Except of course it didn’t.

Holliday dropped the ball and the Dodgers went on to rally for two runs and win the game.

The way the Cardinals were so invincible in 2006 and 2011 despite not having home field advantage, I can’t help but wonder if the 2009 team would have done the same if they went back to St. Louis 1-1 rather than 0-2.

We will never know.

Something else we will never know is what will happen when a fly ball is hit to Matt Holliday.

It makes the post season a little more exciting.

His fielding highlights should be edited to Yackety Sax, the Benny Hill theme
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Nelson Cruz’s play was worse than Bill Buckner’s error

David Freese hit a walk off, game winning World Series tying home run last night… and it wasn’t even his most dramatic hit of the night. Not by a LONG shot.

He got his homer off of Mark Lowe… a guy who wasn’t even on the playoff roster for the Division Series and ALCS. And the game was tied.

In the 9th he faced an All Star closer in Neftali Feliz and was down to the last strike before elimination.

And his drive to right field looked like it was well hit but not good enough.

Admit it, you thought the World Series was over. Nelson Cruz looked like he was slowing up with a beat on the ball. And up he leaped.

And he didn’t have it.

He jumped up too soon, like he didn’t know where the wall was.
The ball sailed over his head and off the wall. The two runs scored.

So why is that worse than the Buckner play?
Unlike Bill Buckner’s error, this play COULD have won the World Series!
Buckner’s error ended Game 6 of the 1986 World Series… but the game was tied on the Wild Pitch.

If Cruz caught the ball (and we ALL thought he was about to) then that would have been it.
The Texas Rangers would have been the World Champs.

Who knows how this series will unfold tonight?
Who knows if there will be another highlight that will overshadow last night’s game. (Think that’s not possible? Remember how 1991 and 2001 had Game 7 finales that become the main highlight?)

A Rangers win tonight would make his play a forgotten footnote (like the wild pitch that tied Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.)

If they don’t, then you can RIGHTLY say they would have won the World Series if he made that catch.

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Nominate Bill Buckner for an Emmy!!!

Who knew that Bill Buckner could keep up with Larry David on Curb Your Enthusiasm?!

He was terrific… poking fun at himself, making fun of Michael Jordan’s Hitler mustache, showing his incredible class and withstanding Susie Essman screaming at him (probably worse than any abuse he got from Boston fans.)

And his redemption at the end of the show was wonderful. I won’t spoil it. Watch the show, if for no other reason than seeing Bill Buckner at a minyan.

BUT… as I said many times in my life and on this blog… Bill Buckner’s error in the 1986 World Series is THE MOST OVERRATED PLAY IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN SPORTS!!!

The myth is that if he made the play, the Red Sox would have won the World Series.
FALSE! The game was tied after the Wild Pitch by Bob Stanley.

And the other part of the myth is that the Mets won the World Series after he made the error.
FALSE! The play ended Game 6. There was a Game 7.

But the oversimplification of that bizarre inning led to Bill Buckner taking the brunt for the series because of a play that could not have won the Series for the Red Sox nor did it clinch it for the Mets.

I am glad Red Sox fans in 1990 gave Bill Buckner a standing ovation when he returned to the team.

I am glad Red Sox fans gave him a standing ovation in 2008 when he returned.

And I am glad Buckner is such a cool guy that he would poke fun at himself with Larry David.

Now put his myth to rest. He was a wonderful player (and a former batting champ) who got way too much crap.

He may not have ever earned a World Series ring. But he is eligible the Emmy for Best Guest Performance by an Actor in a Comedy Series!

I hope he gets it!

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