Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Mon, July 06

As Sam Sees It<br>

The first World Series I was old enough to follow with much interest was the 1946 classic between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. Because my family had spent the summer listening to the immortal Harry Caray broadcast Cardinals’ games, I was a true fan of the Red Birds.

That series featured, among other things, the two best hitters in the game. Stan “the Man” Musial for the Cardinals and Ted “the Splendid Splinter” Williams of the Red Sox.

The Cardinals won four games to three with Harry “the Cat” Breechen winning three of those contests and Enos “Country” Slaughter scoring the winning run from first base on a single.

The game is a lot different today. Another difference is that “yours truly” will be rooting for the Red Sox, not the Cardinals. This is mostly because of Curt Schilling, who is the main reason Boston got this far. It is also in spite of the presence of Tony Womack on the Cardinals. Tony is a class act and a good man. A St. Louis win won’t be all disappointment largely because it would make him a winner again. It should be a great series. Sit back and enjoy it.

The Boston Red Sox may or may not win the World Series, but their four games to three victory over the New York Yankees after trailing three games to none should have lain to rest the “Curse of the Bambino” jinx.

The series started on an ominous note for Boston with Curt Schilling leaving the mound early in the first game with an ankle injury. He was doubtful for the rest of the series, meaning the Red Sox had just lost with the best big game pitcher in the game and with it looking like they had lost him for the series.

The Yankees won a close second game, then pounded out over 20 hits and embarrassed the Red Sox in the first game at Boston. The Bronx Bombers got to within one out of a series sweep in the fourth game with the most feared closer in baseball on the mound.

The Red Sox came back to tie the game and eventually won in extra innings.

The fifth game was another extra inning affair with Boston winning again. Slugging first baseman David Ortiz was the hitting star for the Red Sox in both of those wins.

The series shifted to New York and Schilling showed he really was the best big game pitcher in baseball and, if possible, even better than those of us who were saying that thought he was. He held the Yankees in check for seven innings in a 4-1 Red Sox win.

This game was especially pleasing to an old umpire and a frustrated fan of most any team playing the Yankees.

Twice the umpiring crew huddled and wound up reversing calls that re-plays had clearly shown to be wrong. The first was on Mark Bellhorn’s home run which clearly hit a fan in the left field stands and bounced back onto the field. Somehow, the umpire who made the call first called it a double.

The second was a flagrant case of interference on the part of Alex Rodriguez, swatting the ball from Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo.

It was easy to see how the first base umpire did not see the interference. He was blocked out of the play by the Red Sox first baseman. The plate umpire, however, got into position to see what happened and made the correct call.

A few years ago, this would not have happened. Older fans will remember a game which probably cost the Atlanta Braves a World Series when a fan leaned out of the stands and caught a ball headed for the glove of the Atlanta right fielder.

That one was ruled a home run and there was no conference to attempt to get it right. Re-plays were quite clear that this should have been ruled fan interference. With the crew that called this series, it would have been.

Rumors have it that the Milwaukee Brewers will not re-sign former Arizona Diamondback Craig Counsell. If that is true, the Diamondbacks should move quickly to sign him and bring back one of the smartest baseball players you will ever see.

Counsell can help the team in at least three infield positions. He would be a coach on the field and a steadying influence for the young players who will make up most of the roster.

Hopefully, the team management is already working to this end.

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