1975 World Series re-watch

The Gray Eagle

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I just started re-watching the 1975 World Series (thanks to InstaFace and the others who helped, see the post in P&G if you are a member.)
Anyone else re-watching this? It's pretty great, as anyone who has seen it already knows.

The first thing that struck me is how much faster the game moves. The time between pitches just flies by compared to recent games. This is how baseball should be paced. Compare these games to recent ones, it's so much more enjoyable to watch games played at this pace. It can be done, it was done, and baseball needs a competent leader to get back to this pace of play.

Anyway.

The background: The 1975 Sox were in the same division as the Orioles, who, going into the season, were still considered a dynasty. They had won the division in 5 of the past 6 seasons and were considered likely to do it again. But the Red Sox finished 95-65, 4.5 games ahead of the Orioles.

That earned them the right to play the 3-time defending champs Oakland, another dynasty. And they would have to do it without Jim Rice, their rookie outfielder whose great first season (841 OPS, 128 OPS+) was ended in late September due to injury.

Boston swept the A's in 3 straight games.

Their reward for that was to face the Big Red Machine, one of the greatest teams in baseball history. That is about as tough a road as you can get.

Game 1: Luis Tiant vs. Don Gullet at Fenway.

Tiant is so much fun to watch. If you've never actually seen him pitch, this is the game to watch. He's fun to watch not just as a dazzling pitcher, but also as a flailing hitter and comedic baserunner too. On the mound, he's in complete command of this game, against a fierce lineup.

Other reactions to watching this game:
The Red Sox had the reputation of just being slow sluggers, but they played great defense in this series.

Tiant was called for a balk on a throw to first that wasn't a balk and wouldn't ever even be considered a close call today.

Another difference: check swings were given a huge leeway back then-- if a hitter checks his swing at any point, it's almost never called a strike. Guys virtually complete their swings before checking, and still get it called a ball. It's vastly different from today.

This game was a surprising pitchers' duel, considering the offenses, but the Sox broke through in a big way late.

Game 1 box score:
 

InsideTheParker

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This was the first series I watched on the internet. Somehow it was in there, and I found it. I agree, it's a great, great series. My connection was so-so and the screen was small. I didn't notice your point about the check swings---interesting.
 

Patek's 3 Dingers

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I was in HS at the time and game 6, with the Carbo homer, the catch by Dewey and the Fisk walk-off, was so sweet that I generally have fond memories of the 1975 WS.

In regard to 1986, the only thing good about it was that it made 2004 even more special.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Oh yeah another thing from Game 1, third base coach Don Zimmer got 2 runners thrown out at home, neither play really that close. I don't even care if they were good sends or bad sends, just watching Zimmer get it wrong twice brought back a lot of hate.
Then I realized that a few days later, he would have a much worse moment. :mad:
 
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Mugsy's Jock

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That was an awesome World Series -- every game had moments. Reminded of a story from Game #6, after Carbo's dramatic homer denied the Reds the championship. At one point, Evans reached third where Reds third baseman Pete Rose said "Hey Dewey, can you believe this game? This might be the greatest game I ever played in!"

Pete Rose is kind of a shit, but I love him for that.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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jaytftwofive

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Dick Stockton's greatest call in all his broadcasting years............. "There it goes, long drive if its stays fair.........Home Run!!"
 
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jaytftwofive

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Jan 20, 2013
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That was an awesome World Series -- every game had moments. Reminded of a story from Game #6, after Carbo's dramatic homer denied the Reds the championship. At one point, Evans reached third where Reds third baseman Pete Rose said "Hey Dewey, can you believe this game? This might be the greatest game I ever played in!"

Pete Rose is kind of a shit, but I love him for that.
I'm not sure but I could sworn he said it to Fisk when he was at the plate. He even told Sparky Anderson....That was the greatest game I ever played in. He said Peter Edward you're crazy. I won't get any sleep tonight. Rose said don't worry Skip we'll win tomorrow. Unfortunately (JIm Burton ooohhhhhh) he was right. Why didn't we keep Willoughby in?
 

Teachdad46

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Oct 14, 2011
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I just started re-watching the 1975 World Series (thanks to InstaFace and the others who helped, see the post in P&G if you are a member.)
Anyone else re-watching this? It's pretty great, as anyone who has seen it already knows.

The first thing that struck me is how much faster the game moves. The time between pitches just flies by compared to recent games. This is how baseball should be paced. Compare these games to recent ones, it's so much more enjoyable to watch games played at this pace. It can be done, it was done, and baseball needs a competent leader to get back to this pace of play.

Anyway.

The background: The 1975 Sox were in the same division as the Orioles, who, going into the season, were still considered a dynasty. They had won the division in 5 of the past 6 seasons and were considered likely to do it again. But the Red Sox finished 95-65, 4.5 games ahead of the Orioles.

That earned them the right to play the 3-time defending champs Oakland, another dynasty. And they would have to do it without Jim Rice, their rookie outfielder whose great first season (841 OPS, 128 OPS+) was ended in late September due to injury.

Boston swept the A's in 3 straight games.

Their reward for that was to face the Big Red Machine, one of the greatest teams in baseball history. That is about as tough a road as you can get.

Game 1: Luis Tiant vs. Don Gullet at Fenway.

Tiant is so much fun to watch. If you've never actually seen him pitch, this is the game to watch. He's fun to watch not just as a dazzling pitcher, but also as a flailing hitter and comedic baserunner too. On the mound, he's in complete command of this game, against a fierce lineup.

Other reactions to watching this game:
The Red Sox had the reputation of just being slow sluggers, but they played great defense in this series.

Tiant was called for a balk on a throw to first that wasn't a balk and wouldn't ever even be considered a close call today.

Another difference: check swings were given a huge leeway back then-- if a hitter checks his swing at any point, it's almost never called a strike. Guys virtually complete their swings before checking, and still get it called a ball. It's vastly different from today.

This game was a surprising pitchers' duel, considering the offenses, but the Sox broke through in a big way late.

Game 1 box score:
I have listened to this WS several times (on cassette tapes which indicates my vintage) It is ALWAYS striking how quickly the game gets played, and how clean the audio is. No adverts inserted. No plugs. No bullshit. Just the game, the crowd, and some occasional insight. It is a pleasure to dip into those waters now and then.
I've often lamented the lack of choice we have in this regard. IF the Red Sox offered a broadcast bereft of any plugs, ads, etc and offered a simple broadcast of just the play by play with the right color man, I'd pay good money to listen. And they could continue to offer their free package full of bullshit to the masses who don't care or don't want to pay. How much would this cost me? I don't know...but I think I'd be willing to pay it. Especially if it could be offered with video....
 

InstaFace

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Oh yeah another thing from Game 1, third base coach Don Zimmer got 2 runners thrown out at home, neither play really that close. I don't even care if they were good sends or bad sends, just watching Zimmer get it wrong twice brought back a lot of hate.
Then I realized that a few days later, he would have a much worse moment. :mad:
Zim got his, in the end.



That was some fucking aikido shit by Pedro, too. I don't care how bad he felt about it later.
 

lexrageorge

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I'm not sure but I could sworn he said it to Fisk when he was at the plate. He even told Sparky Anderson....That was the greatest game I ever played in. He said Peter Edward you're crazy. I won't get any sleep tonight. Rose said don't worry Skip we'll win tomorrow. Unfortunately (JIm Burton ooohhhhhh) he was right. Why didn't we keep Willoughby in?
I've played this in my head multiple times.

Of the 10 pitchers the Sox had on their playoff roster at the time, we can rule out Tiant, Drago, and Wise, each of whom pitched multiple innings in the epic Game 6 the prior evening. Bill Lee had started Game 7, and Willoughby had replaced Roger Moret. That left Burton, Dick Pole, Diego Segui, and Reggie Cleveland in the bullpen. It shows how times have changed, as the Sox used only 12 pitchers all season, with Steve Barr and Rick Kreuger having appeared in a total of 11 innings over 5 games.

One factor was the fact that the Reds would be leading off the 9th with 2 lefties in Griffey and Geronimo. Burton that season had become a LOOGY (0.624 OPS against LHB's) before LOOGY's were popular. Compare his stats against lefties with Pole (0.823 OPS against), Cleveland (0.718), Willoughby (0.938), or Segui (0.861). Meanwhile, Cleveland got hit pretty hard in his one start in Game 5. Geronimo, meanwhile, was especially vulnerable against lefty pitchers. So pitching Jim Burton wasn't the worst decision Darrell Johnson made that series. Burton wasn't supposed to walk Griffey to start the inning, allowing Geronimo to make a productive out by moving Griffey to 2nd.

The bigger mistake, IMO, was pinch hitting for Willoughby in the 8th. There were none on and 2 outs after Burleson grounded into a double play. It ended up being a waste of Cecil Cooper's bat, and one result is that you had Juan Beniquez and Bob Montgomery pinch hitting for Rick Miller and Denny Doyle in the 9th (egads!). Yes, Cooper struggled badly that series (1 for 19), but perhaps given a better spot may have been able to break his slump.
 

E5 Yaz

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Jim Burton gets a raw deal for the Morgan hit. That was a damned good pitch and not all that well hit
 

The Gray Eagle

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This was the first series I watched on the internet. Somehow it was in there, and I found it. I agree, it's a great, great series. My connection was so-so and the screen was small. I didn't notice your point about the check swings---interesting.
Here's a screenshot of Dwight Evans checking his swing against Billingham in Game 2. At this moment, Bench has just caught the ball on a 3-2 pitch. If you can see where Evans's hands are on his check swing, what do you think the call is?

Ball four.

29242

Just for fun, I ran a stopwatch a few times to see how long pitchers were taking from the moment they catch the ball back from the catcher to the moment they start their windup (with no runners on base.)
In the 1975 game (a rough guesstimate based on only 12 or so pitches) that time was around 8 or 9 seconds on average. One time I timed Bill Lee at 5.7 seconds.

For a quick comparison I looked at the 2013 game against the Royals that's on the server. I timed Big Lame James Shields, who was pitching for the Royals, and a rough guesstimate of a dozen or so pitches was about 15 seconds from catching the ball to starting his motion. (Buchholz pitched that one for us, so I didn't even bother timing him, I don't have enough spare time for that.)

6 or so seconds per pitch doesn't sound like much, but man it really adds up over the course of a game, or even an inning. The 1975 game moves so much faster.
 

Lose Remerswaal

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I have listened to this WS several times (on cassette tapes which indicates my vintage) It is ALWAYS striking how quickly the game gets played, and how clean the audio is. No adverts inserted. No plugs. No bullshit. Just the game, the crowd, and some occasional insight. It is a pleasure to dip into those waters now and then.
I've often lamented the lack of choice we have in this regard. IF the Red Sox offered a broadcast bereft of any plugs, ads, etc and offered a simple broadcast of just the play by play with the right color man, I'd pay good money to listen. And they could continue to offer their free package full of bullshit to the masses who don't care or don't want to pay. How much would this cost me? I don't know...but I think I'd be willing to pay it. Especially if it could be offered with video....
You are already paying for NESN to do this with all the ads, etc.
 

tims4wins

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Here's a screenshot of Dwight Evans checking his swing against Billingham in Game 2. At this moment, Bench has just caught the ball on a 3-2 pitch. If you can see where Evans's hands are on his check swing, what do you think the call is?

Ball four.

View attachment 29242

Just for fun, I ran a stopwatch a few times to see how long pitchers were taking from the moment they catch the ball back from the catcher to the moment they start their windup (with no runners on base.)
In the 1975 game (a rough guesstimate based on only 12 or so pitches) that time was around 8 or 9 seconds on average. One time I timed Bill Lee at 5.7 seconds.

For a quick comparison I looked at the 2013 game against the Royals that's on the server. I timed Big Lame James Shields, who was pitching for the Royals, and a rough guesstimate of a dozen or so pitches was about 15 seconds from catching the ball to starting his motion. (Buchholz pitched that one for us, so I didn't even bother timing him, I don't have enough spare time for that.)

6 or so seconds per pitch doesn't sound like much, but man it really adds up over the course of a game, or even an inning. The 1975 game moves so much faster.
Biggest issue with baseball.
 

lexrageorge

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Game 2 was one of those "if only" games. Game 2 was played on a raw and windy day, and the wind was blowing in from left field, so a low scoring game seemed in the cards. It had been drizzling and would rain off and on throughout the game, making the footing slippery and potentially slowing down the Reds base running. Sox start the game with runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. However, Yaz hits a grounder back to the pitcher, Jack Billingham, who quickly throws to 2nd for the force out and what appears to be the start of a 1-4-3 double-play. However, Cecil Cooper hesitated before breaking to home, and by the time he started towards home, Concepcion alertly threw to Bench to get Cooper caught in a run down (shades of the Jeff Suppan play in Game 3 of 2004). On the next at bat, Fisk would score Yaz, who had advanced to 2nd on the rundown play. But the Sox ended up with only 1 run.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Sox mount another threat, with runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. For some reason, Darrell Johnson decided to be aggressive with Evans (3 SB out of 7 attempts) on the base paths with Bill Lee at the plate. A curious decision given Bench's well earned reputation as one of the best throwing arms among catchers in that era. On Lee's first pitch, Evans almost got caught leading too far off of second, but Bench's throw was a little off. Evans almost got caught attempting to run to 3rd on the same play, but quickly got back to 2nd. On the next pitch, Lee showed bunt, but missed, and Evans, who had broke to 3rd, was picked off. Lee hadn't picked up a bat in 3 years, although he did have a triple and home run (16 at bats) to his credit in 1972. The right play would have been to take the out at the plate, and see what Cecil Cooper could do with 2 outs. Instead, Lee struck out to end the inning.

Meanwhile, Bill Lee pitched a gem of a game. He was a bit of a surprise starter, as the pundits expected Johnson to go with Rick Wise, who had won 19 games for the Sox that season. But Johnson felt that Lee's tendency to keep the ball down would be beneficial on a day when the field was wet and the park windy. 1975 was Lee's best season, and he had command of an assortment of breaking pitches that he could mix in with a deceptive fastball. He avoided walks and kept the ball in the yard. He also worked quickly, pitching the ball about 5 seconds after getting it back from the catcher. The Reds were able to scratch out a run in the 4th, thanks to a 1-out walk to Joe Morgan, a base hit, and a slow hit grounder by Perez that he just beat down the line to avoid an inning ending double play and allowed the run to score. However, Reds starter Jack Billingham was equally as efficient after the first inning.

Bill Lee tried to get something going in the bottom of the 5th, laying a perfect bunt down the 3rd base line. However, Bench made a perfect play to get the ball and perfect throw to first to just barely get Lee for the 2nd out of the inning. Another close play in a close game. Meanwhile, in the top of the 6th, Fisk would make a great throw to nail Joe Morgan on his steal attempt. Fred Lynn would make a diving catch on Bench fly ball in center to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 6th, Yaz singled with one out. After Fisk worked the count to 3-2, Johnson sent Yaz on the pitch. Fisk hit a sharp grounder to short that Concepcion had trouble reeling in, and the result was that everyone was safe. It was ruled an error, but the ball took a funny bounce on the wet infield, and making any play would have been difficult. Petrocelli, battling a chronic inner ear issue that would eventually end his career, would single home Yaz for the 2-1 lead. An Evans walk would load the bases, chasing Billingham. Sparky Anderson was one of the early adopters of using the bullpen early in the game, and Pedro Borbon would get Burleson to fly to center to end the inning. The Sox would mount another threat in the 8th (1st and 2nd), but stranded both runners when Evans struck out.

Bill Lee would come out to start the 9th with a 2-1 lead, but Johnny Bench would jump on the first pitch for a solid double down the right field line. Lee had pitched brilliantly to that point, but Johnson correctly decided to call on his best reliever, Dick Drago, to attempt to close out the game. The strategy seemed like it would work, as Drago pounded fastball after fastball and got the first 2 outs of the inning, with Bench moving to third on Perez's grounder. However, Dave Concepcion would redeem himself with a sharply hit grounder that Doyle had to chase down, and as he was going the other way, he had no play to first, and Bench scored to tie the game. The next batter, Ken Griffey, would hit a no-doubt double to give the Reds the lead for the first time all series. In the bottom of the 9th, Burleson, Carbo, and Cooper would go down weakly against the Reds' "closer", Rawley Eastwick (who would finish 3rd in NL Rookie of the Year voting behind John Montefusco (!) and Gary Carter).

Game 2 gets sometimes lost in the shuffle between Tiant's gems in Games 1 and 4, the horrible non-call on Ed Armbister in Game 3, the classic Game 6, and the deflating Game 7 loss. However, it was in its own right a crucial game that was decided by the smallest of margins. Had any one of a number of plays gone a different way, the Sox would have gone to Cincinnati with a 2-0 lead in the series. Red Sox pitchers had held the powerful Reds to a 0.188 batting average at Fenway, while the Sox had batted 0.302. However, neither team had hit a home run, an unexpected development given the dimensions of Fenway. I'm convinced the Sox would have won that series had they been able to hold that 2-1 lead in Game 2, or had managed to scratch out another couple of runs.
 

mwonow

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I'm guessing that most everyone on this thread knows about this book, but if you haven't seen it, there are worse ways to spend some downtime...

Good read, except that Pete Rose comes across as likable, which made me feel a bit dirty...
 

moretsyndrome

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In Zim's defense (sorry), wasn't he yelling, "No, no, no!" but what was heard was, instead, "Go, go, go!"? I'm talking about Game Six.
That is Zim's defense, but I have sincere doubts regarding the truth of that defense.

I spent a lot of time coaching third base and also holding up at third base as a player, because I was so slow. It was always "back!" or "stop!". You don't say "no" in that situation. Unless you're an incompetent moron whose only 'talents' were:

- to find a way to ingratiate yourself with the right people and hang onto a job for life
- to shield yourself from blame when things go to shit - which is exactly what he's doing with his retelling of what happened.
 

The Gray Eagle

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That is what has always irritated me about Zimmer's "defense" of that play-- as soon as you're old enough to coach third base in youth baseball, you're told to never say "No" to hold a runner, because obviously it sounds like "Go!"

His defense was that he violated basic common sense and common knowledge and yelled the wrong thing. Um, okay. So it's clearly still all your fault, Gerbil.
 

Al Zarilla

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ux9q6ttaT_M


Yaz made an incredible diving play in the outfield to keep a base hit from becoming a two-run triple in Game 3, snuffing out the A's last hope. Couldn't find the link, but I know someone will
I bought tickets for all three games in Oakland (2 in Boston, 3 in Oakland format). Happy to see the sweep but I would have enjoyed going to another game or 2. I think the tix were $20 apiece (are you kidding me?), nosebleeds behind the plate as they were. Not many were expecting Rick Wise, Sox starting pitcher, to pin another series loss on Ken Holtzman, but he did. I remember thinking it would have been nice to see Luis Tiant or Bill Lee, but Wise was 19-12 that year. Forgot that. His peripherals not that good. But, he pitched the game of his life. I went to the men's room on the way out and an A's fan was lamenting and crying as if Oakland was ordained to win every world series from then to eternity. We did break up a three year run of theirs. I do remember that play by Yaz. Of course he made the play.
 

Humphrey

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How long were the commerical breaks (and there has to be at least 16 of them plus during-the-inning pitching changes)?

I think that's another place you can shave time off the game if you introduce a split screen; the NFL does that during some time outs.
 
I think that's another place you can shave time off the game if you introduce a split screen; the NFL does that during some time outs.
Oh, MLB's using split-screen commercials while the games are going on.
They're just doing that in addition to their regular volume of commercials.

For all of MLB's hand-wringing over game time and pace of play and all that, commercials are one area that will only continue to expand.