Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Sid Bream Curse?

It was time. I’ve managed to avoid one of the most painful moments of my life for the past 18+ years, but it was time to relive game seven of the 1992 National League Championship Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves. The MLB Network created a weekly show counting down the top 50 baseball games of the past 50 years. The Pirates-Braves match-up was #4 on the list.

Instead of airing the entire game, MLB Network showed all the significant moments of the game interspersed with comments from Bob Costas, a guy named Tom (I have no idea of his last name or who he is) and studio guests Andy Van Slyke, Sid Bream and Mark Lemke. I couldn’t have handled watching the entire game start to finish, so I applaud MLB Network for showing the game in this format. Anyway, I truly managed to block out much of this game that took place during my high school senior year, so I thought I would share some thoughts from watching the game again for the first time.

During the telecast, Sid Bream mentioned that some people tell him that the lack the Pirates’ success since the 1992 season is a result of the Bream Curse. I think Sid is making this up. (Seriously, has anyone heard of this Bream Curse?)

What a pitching match-up between Doug Drabek and John Smoltz. I loved Drabek.

Meanwhile, I don’t think John Smoltz has aged. He looked the same in 1992 than he did when he retired a few years ago. Well, at least when he wears a hat.

Things I still hate today: The Tomahawk Chop & Mark Lemke. The chop is just a rip-off from Florida State. As for Lemke, he was annoying as a player and useless on the broadcast. I would have rather heard Francisco Cabrera talk about the hit or David Justice discuss the game while throwing in some commentary about his relationship with Halle Berry.

Wow! Andy Van Slyke really hates Barry Bonds. You would think there would have been some type of reconciliation over the years, but not in this case.

Van Slyke also remains upset about some missed ball-strike calls by the home plate umpire. It’s not much consolation, but at least the Braves also got screwed by bad umpire strike zone recognition several years later in the Livan Hernandez-15 strikeout game.

As a sports fan still bitter about this game, I’m glad that Andy Van Slyke, someone who participated in the game, is still upset about the result as well. For some reason this is comforting that the players care as much or more than the fans. I don’t expect that in most cases, but it seems necessary for this particular game.

Can someone answer this question: why exactly was Francisco Cabrera on the Braves playoff roster?

Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox retired at the end last season as one of the winningest managers in baseball history. However, let's play the hypothetical game. Let's say that Barry Bonds threw out Sid Bream at home and the Pirates won the game in extra innings. Cox would have been destroyed in the press and by fans for not using a pinch-runner for Bream and rightfully so. I feel like that could have been Cox's legacy.

I'm shocked (SHOCKED!) that the MLB Network didn't show the Braves' postgame celebration featuring Deion Sanders and Tim McCarver. I couldn't turn away from or turn off the TV 18+ years ago, so I clearly remember watching Sanders stalking McCarver throughout the Braves locker room. This was the end result.

Rod Woodson > Deion Sanders

Now that I watched the special, I’m happy not to see this game again for another 18+ years.


Unknown said...

Dude. This still hurts. October 14, 1992 was a dark day in my adolescence. Somebody once told me that I should just "let it go," as if that were possible.

Unknown said...

That was pretty much the end of my childhood. That moment taught me that there are no happy endings and the good guys do not always win. I basically learned that life sucks. Sadly, since I was 12, I also figured that the Buccos would be back again the next year...

Funny story about Sid Bream: a few years ago he came into the place I worked at in Cranberry and wanted us to donate a gift card for his charity. It was some hunting thing.

I joked that I could not do it since he ruined my childhood. He just laughed and I gave him the gift card. A few days later his wife brought in a picture of the slide and it was signed by Bream. I keep it on my refrigerator and figure that it can stay there until the Pirates have a winning season (at which point, I will take the photo off the fridge and burn it).

Sean said...

Mr. Brame - Amazingly, I truly have managed to block out this game. Of course, watching the MLB Network telecast brought the memories back. I don't think it is possible to "let this game go."

Ngewo - That is a neat story about Bream. From the telecast, it sounds like he gets comments like that all the time. I hope he is able to be part of the Pirates victory parade when they win a World Series!