Monday, October 8, 2012

Detroit Tigers' ALDS with Oakland evokes images of post-seasons past

Gerald Laird tags out Coco Crisp
Tap into the memory bank, Detroit Tigers fans.
A couple of plays from the Tigers' 5-4 ALDS victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday evoked images of post-seasons past.
First, the third-inning tag-out by Tigers catcher Gerald Laird on Coco Crisp, following a strong throw from right fielder Avisail Garcia, looked a lot like a key play during the 1968 World Series.
Then, following the game, the Athletics-Tigers debate over the actions of Detroit reliever Al Alburquerque stirred memories of the 1972 American League Championship Series between the teams.
In 1968, sturdy Tigers catcher Bill Freehan blocked home plate, and Cardinal Lou Brock tried to score standing up, in a famous tag-out in Game 5 of the World Series, when Detroit trailed St. Louis three games to one.
That play is thought to have swung the momentum of Game 5, which the Tigers went on to win before taking Games 6 and 7 in St. Louis.
Pictures of Laird blocking the plate, forcing a wide, hand-first slide by Crisp, are as compelling as photos of the Brock-Freehan collision.
The Athletics and Tigers not getting along?
Nothing has changed much in 42 years.
During Game 2 of the best-of-five '72 ALCS, A's shortstop and sparkplug Bert Campaneris, angered when hit on the ankle by a pitch thrown by reliever Lerrin LaGrow, threw his bat at the right-hander, touching off a dugout-clearing melee.
Oakland won the first two games of the 1972 series at home, but then the Tigers won Games 3 and 4 at Tiger Stadium. The A's won Game 5, also at Tiger Stadium.
Alburquerque angered some Athletics in the ALDS when he kissed the baseball before tossing it to first baseman Prince Fielder to complete a groundout that ended an Oakland threat in the top of the ninth inning and preserved a 4-4 tie.
The Tigers won the game when they scored a run in the bottom of the ninth.

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1 Comments:

Blogger mya said...

The Athletics tigers debate over the actions of Detroit reliever Al Alburquerque stirred memories of the 1972 American League Championship Series between the teams. Great stuff!

October 17, 2012 at 4:07 AM 

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