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Botched Coin Flip in 51'

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    Originally posted by MATHA531 View Post
    As I remember, where that genius Dressen blew it was not miscalling the coin flip but rather with Brooklyn ahead by 3 and a runner on first and one out in the last of the ninth inning, he had Gil Hodges holding the Giant runner on first rather than playing back. What followed was a seeing eye ground ball just past Hodges...if Gil is playing half way, it's the second out of the inning at least and perhaps a game ending, season ending, pennant winning double play.
    I think Dressen should have had Branca not throw strikes to Thomson, getting him to either chase or walk. Then they could have pitched to Willie Mays, who had faded down the stretch. Whether Branca should have even been in there, or if Newcombe should have even started the ninth are also debatable.

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  • MATHA531
    replied
    As I remember, where that genius Dressen blew it was not miscalling the coin flip but rather with Brooklyn ahead by 3 and a runner on first and one out in the last of the ninth inning, he had Gil Hodges holding the Giant runner on first rather than playing back. What followed was a seeing eye ground ball just past Hodges...if Gil is playing half way, it's the second out of the inning at least and perhaps a game ending, season ending, pennant winning double play.

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  • musial6
    replied
    Remember how Dick Young's account of THE game more or less ran on October 4, '51?

    YES, VIRGINIA, A TREE DOES GROW IN BROOKLYN, AND THAT TREE IS AN APPLE TREE, AND THOSE APPLES ARE STUCK IN THE THROATS OF THE BROOKLYN DODGERS....

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  • EdTarbusz
    replied
    The year the coin flip was really botched was 1946. The Dodgers should have given up home field and made St Louis ride to Brooklyn for the first game.

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  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Originally posted by aqib View Post
    I thought 51 was because the Giants were stealing signs?
    Sign stealing is like steroids - no one gives a specific instance where they have unquestionablly affected a specific contest. It's all talked discussed in round-about terms.

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  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Tough question and a judgment call which I'll never be in a position to make. Not sure how strongly you guys view home field advantage but it's my understanding that in baseball the home team only wins 53-54% of the time.

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  • musial6
    replied
    Originally posted by aqib View Post
    I thought 51 was because the Giants were stealing signs?
    Charlie Dressen was a compulsive and an accomplished sign stealer.

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  • Macker
    replied
    Originally posted by MATHA531 View Post
    Up until one out in the ninth inning of game 3, it was the right decision.
    The only way it makes sense to me is if you are extremely confident you will win the first game. If you lose the first game at home, you then have to win two games away, while your host merely needs to split at home.

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  • aqib
    replied
    Originally posted by musial6 View Post
    Agreed. Coin flips didn't decide those two pennant races. Blowing a 7.5 game lead on July 2, 1946, and a 13 game lead on August 11, 1951, did.
    I thought 51 was because the Giants were stealing signs?

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  • musial6
    replied
    Originally posted by MATHA531 View Post
    It's a silly argument.....if Pafko catches Thomson's pop up against the wall and Mays strikes out and Brooklyn wins, nobody says anything. Up until one out in the ninth inning of game 3, it was the right decision.
    Agreed. Coin flips didn't decide those two pennant races. Blowing a 7.5 game lead on July 2, 1946, and a 13 game lead on August 11, 1951, did.

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  • MATHA531
    replied
    It's a silly argument.....if Pafko catches Thomson's pop up against the wall and Mays strikes out and Brooklyn wins, nobody says anything. Up until one out in the ninth inning of game 3, it was the right decision.

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  • musial6
    replied
    Originally posted by dodger dynamo View Post
    Ok, I think they won the toss both times in 46 and 51 and they made the wrong decision both times. now if I recall correctly. they finished the season away in both of the contests and the decision to play it the way they did hurt them because of travel and rest. boston was closer to brooklyn than st.louis, the cards finished in chicago. long train ride to stl. hey it's been a long time, I was six in 46 until the end of the year so the memory plays tricks. then in 51 they finished in phillie I believe, pretty close to both brooklyn and ny, go figure. battlin bake the dodger dynamo
    In '46, the Cards and Dodgers both finished the regular season at home.
    Last edited by musial6; 02-28-2008, 05:58 AM.

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  • dodger dynamo
    replied
    Ok, I think they won the toss both times in 46 and 51 and they made the wrong decision both times. now if I recall correctly. they finished the season away in both of the contests and the decision to play it the way they did hurt them because of travel and rest. boston was closer to brooklyn than st.louis, the cards finished in chicago. long train ride to stl. hey it's been a long time, I was six in 46 until the end of the year so the memory plays tricks. then in 51 they finished in phillie I believe, pretty close to both brooklyn and ny, go figure. battlin bake the dodger dynamo
    Last edited by dodger dynamo; 02-28-2008, 12:00 AM.

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  • Imgran
    replied
    Originally posted by Shotgun Shuba View Post
    I think there is some logic to having the first game at home and getting off to a good start but I think that quickly falls apart if you don't win that game.
    I did say the same thing. You have to be confident that you're going to win that baseball game to do it that way but it can be worth the risk.

    I have often thought that having the three games straight in the Series sometimes works out well for the team supposedly at a disadvantage but if you don't take care of business then you are in trouble. My sources have told me that the Dodgers felt that they lost the '46 playoff because of the travel problems of losing that first game, having to come cross country and being exhausted. In 51' though it wouldn't have mattered. Sometimes logic should win out over a predetermined rule to never repeat a mistake of the past.
    Unless I'm mistaken, if they'd lost that game they would have lost and then travelled regardless.

    I think you can talk about the decision from any angle and feel you are grounded in sound thought. The problem is that I really do think it would have made a huge difference in the outcome of the series.
    I doubt it. If they lost that first game at home then they would probably have lost it on the road too, the only question is whether their opponent is going to take a game from them at home, which both times they pretty much proved capable of doing.

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  • musial6
    replied
    In the first game of the '46 playoff, Branca was working on five days rest, Pollet on three.

    It's interesting that Ralphie was the LP in three of the five playoff games in '46 and '51.

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