Why is this relief pitcher smiling? Was he summoned and indisposed? Was someone else on the party line?
Turns out our blogger William Van Ornum
was prescient in his recent decoding and deconstruction of bullpen-phone technology. A huge mix-up between baseball genius Tony La Russa and his bullpen coach, due to a supposed telecommunications miscue (in 2011!), helped make a Texas-sized hero out of catcher Mike Napoli. Whether the phone line was to blame, or the noise of the crowd, or something else, this is one of the most-bizarre occurrences in World Series history: wrong pitcher giving up the final two runs in the late innings of a tight game. Chris Carpenter had kept his Cardinals close. Now, however, Ron Washington and the Texas Rangers are on the verge of bringing home the first World Series Championship ever to the Lone Star State.