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10/05/2007 02:20:00 PM
Biggest Baseball Postseason Chokers
Is Alex Rodriguez poised for another disappointing postseason?
Al Bello/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
Nobody said baseball postseason in the postseason was easy. Each pitch is scrutinized, every swing replayed, all managerial moves picked apart. And then Frank Caliendo does impressions of famous people. For many people, despite making it to the majors and playing in the postseason, they'll always be remembered for one not-so-shining moment. Here are our biggest baseball postseason chokers...
1. Alex Rodriguez: He was the best player in baseball this season, hands down, but until A-Rod starts to hit in the postseason -- he came into this postseason sporting a .095 batting average in the playoffs since Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS -- he'll be known in New York for what he hasn't done rather than what he has.
2. Steve Bartman: Grabbing for a foul ball is an instinctive move. Interfering with a ball that arguably keeps your team from making the World Series for the first time in nearly 60 years is apparently unforgivable. At least in Chicago.
3. Byung Hyun Kim: Back in 2001, the then-D-Backs reliever blew back-to-back World Series games despite having the Yankees down to their final out in both games.
4. Grady Little: It's tough for a manager to make this list, but Little's work during the 2003 ALCS will go down in history. During the seventh game of the ALCS, against their archrival Yankees, Boston manager Grady Little went to the mound to remove an exhausted Pedro Martinez. For some reason Little left him in, and the rest is history. So was Little, once the Sox got bounced.
5. Mitch Williams: Wild Thing went into the 1993 World Series as one of the preeminent closers in the game. He left the series with a 20.25 era and the enduring memory of allowing Joe Carter's Series-winning blast.
Who else is choking? Give us your nominees below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
I LOVE the way you ignore 6 years of playoffs to decide A-Rod is a choker. So using that analysis, we can look at any great pro over a single post season and conclude they are the worst post season player ever. What a hack!
This was a VERY stupid article... seems like it was designed just to rip A-Rod. If you're going to post an article about post season chokers, at least give it some statistical support. Including Steve Bartman on this list is a joke.
This Steve Bartman business is such crap. If Alou had caught the ball is would have been the second out of the inning. Why does Alex Gonzalez get a pass on all of this? He had a routine, fielding practice ground ball hit to him that he booted. Catch it and it would have been an easy double play, inning over and the Cubs would have been up 3-1. Alex Gonzalez, if anyone, blew the game. Certainly not Steve Bartman.
So going 0-6 against great pitching is choking? Or could it be that the other team is playing better? How about mentioning the batting average or A-rod prior to that day, it would be +.300. I guess Barry Bonds is a choke artist as well, he sucked in postseason as well until the year they made it to World Series. Media people disgust me even more than obnoxious Yankee fans.
Idiotic. Get Bartman out of there. He did not lose that game. Mark Prior and Alex Gonzalez lost that game ... and then the Cubs lost the next game to end their season. Besides, if Bartman hadn't touched the ball, the guy next to him would have.
I told one of my co-workers recently that I wished Cub fans would stop beating the Steve Bartman horse. He did not lose the series. I agree with the post who said if he hadn't tried to catch the ball, someone else in the stands would have tried. The series was lost by Dusty Baker, Mark Prior and Alex Gonzalez. Dusty Baker for failing to take out Prior. Prior for not telling Baker he was flagged out and Gonzalez for deciding that it was time to boot an easy double play ball.
AROD goes 2-4 yesterday and this article knows that, but because he got off the first two games he struggled they wanna blow up on him. Hey check out derek jeter's post season this year. with your logic derek jeter should be on here too.
Scott Rolen? What did he bat in the 2006 World Series, somewhere between .350 and .400? Can't ask for much better than that. He homered in Game 1 of the WS and had a game winning homer robbed by Endy Chavez in Game 7 of the NLCS. He then singled in the ninth before Molina homered.
His 2004 WS was bad, although he was great in the postseason up to that point, but he most certainly didn't choke enough to make the list.
How about the Yankees, year after year since they last won in 2000?
About Bartman, it's just the Cubs organization and their idiotic fan base that blames him. Let's assume for a second that Bartman cost them Game 6. How about Game 7? Kerry Wood and the Cubs choked that one away! May be Bartman should be blamed for that as well. No wonder the Cubs can never win!!
Don Cherry's Boston Bruins putting too many men on the ice with two minutes to go and a one-goal lead in game seven against their hated rivals, the Montreal Canadiens in 1979. To boot it was the Stanley Cup Semi-Final. Naturally, Montreal scored and won in overtime.