Look, it’s hard for me to get violent over a World Series game in which I have no emotional stake. But last night’s game seven between the Giants and Royals gave me my money’s worth. It also delivered one of the more pulse-pounding conclusions to a World Series in recent years, with everything literally riding on the final pitch.
But in the aftermath, an interesting debate has arisen: with the Royals unable to touch Bumgarner and Alex Gordon swatting a fly ball to center that was misplayed and kicked around so badly you almost expected the stadium PA to kick with the Bad News Bears theme, would you have sent him in to try to score as he motored toward third? Would you have gambled the entire season on the Giants’ ability to make that play at the plate? Some folks say no way.
Yes, Gordon would have been out by 15 feet had he gone home. So please, drop that narrative. pic.twitter.com/0g02CuIC9z
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) October 30, 2014
Others say you do.
You send Gordon, and it's one of the 5 greatest baseball moments ever, regardless of whether he scores.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 30, 2014
It’s an interesting parlor game to keep the stoves burning this winter. But… what if the third base coach had sent him? What if, in the most high-pressure moment of the Series, you force the Giants to execute that play? What if the throw to the plate if offline? What if Gordon kicks it loose from the catcher’s mitt? The mind swirls at the possibilities, and it’s intensified by the fact that this was the only clear and present threat the Royals ever presented to Bumgarner. It’s like the Enterprise taking on the Borg warship. You get one shot to take it down; you have to take it.
Fact is, there’s no right answer here. If Gordon was sent, and he was out by a country mile, the Royals’ third base coach would be signing up for the Steve Bartman Relocation Protection Program. As it turned out, he was stopped, and Bumgarner made quick work of the next batter. End of series.
But… what would you have done?