In the Movie, “A League Of Their Own” about the women’s’ professional baseball league in the 1940’s, Tom Hanks played the manager. In the iconic scene of the movie, with a player crying over some event, he said, “Crying? There’s no crying in baseball.” There is a reason for this. Baseball does not lend itself to sentiment.
Last night in game 5 of the World Series, the Mets, behind the Royals three games to one, led 2-0 in the ninth inning. Mets pitcher Matt Harvey had been dominant through 8 innings.
Mets manager Terry Collins was about to remove Harvey for the Mets star closer. Harvey went after Collins saying, as we lip read the confrontation, “there’s no way you’re taking me out. It’s my game, I’m staying in.” He was highly emotional, pleading. The Mets fans were chanting Harvey, We want Harvey!” So Harvey, hubris flowing, dreaming of a shut out in game 5, preserving his team’s chances to win the series, Took the mound to pitch to Lorenzo Cain in the top of the ninth.
If the team won, they had a chance to win it all with pitchers deGrom and Syndegaard scheduled to pitch games 6 and 7. They very well may have beaten the Royals.
Facing Cain in the top of the inning, Harvey, glory in his eyes, concrete in his elbow, walked Cain. Baseball unwritten rules say that you never walk the lead off hitter anytime. Now Harvey had to pitch out of the stretch to Eric Hosmer. Hosmer hit the ball off the base of the left field wall. Cain scored and Hosmer was on second with the tying run. Collins replaced Harvey at that time. It was a long walk to the mound for Collins and longer to Harvey to the dugout and ignominy.
Mike Moustakas, a left-handed hitter, hit the ball to the Mets first baseman, Duda. Hosmer took third and the magnificent catcher Perez came to the plate. He was beaten with a ball that jammed him and he hit a short shot to third baseman David Wright. Hosmer watched as Wright prepared to throw to first, and when he did, Hosmer broke for the plate. Duda at first had to hold his position to catch the ball while touching the base. With Hosmer streaking down the third baseline, he came off the base after catching Wright’s throw and had to throw across his body to home. The ball was wild, Hosmer scored the tieing run.
Both of the batters Harvey faced scored in that inning. It would have been different if he threw one more strike to Harvey or a better strike to Hosmer, but he didn’t. The Royals scored 5 runs in 12th to win the World Series. It is a wonderful team. but this game was lost because Collins allowed Harvey’s cry to overwhelm his judgment.
If Tom Hanks managed the Mets, we would probably see game 6 tomorrow night and deGrom just might have been victorious. Maybe.That’s why there’s no crying in baseball, Never.