TLI3W: MLB's 1992 Black October in Atlanta (2.0)

Wait, didn't someone already try doing this and never finished?

Yes, I thought it was an intriguing premise, and I'm from Pittsburgh, so I thought I'd give it a go with TRoehl's permission.

What makes you think you can actually finish this where they didn't.

I have a plan, a different format, and have set a firm deadline of three weeks to finish this sucker.

Okay, then. What's this plan you have?

The entire timeline will be done in 6 or 7 parts in the style of an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary.

But Barry Bonds deserves to go down in infamy.......

Maybe, but it's interesting to think of how his legacy would look if he hadn't even ever heard the word BALCO.

So without further ado, I present:

Black October: The Story of the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates Disaster and Comeback
 
Black October Preview

Black October PROMO

[Footage of 50,000 screaming Pirates fans at the start of Game 5 against the Atlanta Braves]

[Footage of Barry Bonds at the plate]
"3-2 Count....over the head of Justice (crowd roars).....Bell into score. The Bucs are up 2-0!"

[Footage of Brave Mark Lemke flailing at a Tim Wakefield knuckleball]
"....and another strikeout for the knuckleball phenom."

Peter Gammons: "The Pirates of the early '90s were arguably the best team in baseball, and certainly the most balanced."

[image of Pirates celebrating their Game 5 victory]

"and back to Atlanta we go for Games 6 and 7....."

[CNN Special Report Banner]

"We have breaking news, a 737 has gone down in the Atlanta suburbs......

......as we look at the devastation of the crash site near Marietta......we're hearing that the plane in question was carrying the Pittsburgh Pirates to Atlanta....there are apparently no survivors."

[Shocked fans in Pittsburgh crying]

Gene Collier: "We like to think that Pittsburgh is just the nation's largest small town.....it was like losing our kids in a car wreck on a giant scale."

[Footage of a memorial at the stadium, with signs saying "We Are Pittsburgh. We Are Family]

Bud Selig: "We liked to think we knew what to do, but when it actually happened it was clear that all the preparation in the world wouldn't have been enough."

[Footage of Tim Wakefield throwing out the first pitch of the 1993 season.]

Tim Wakefield: "It was surreal; it was the end....and also the beginning.....

[Footage of Alex Rodriguez smiling, holding a Pirates jersey and wearing a Pirates Cap]

"With the first Pick in the 1993 Draft the Pirates are proud to select Alex Rodriguez....."

Peter Gammons: The Pirates had a plan to get back to where they were on that Sunday night where they had beat the Braves, and they weren't gonna stop until they got there......

[Voiceover: This is simultaneously the story of the greatest tragedy in American sports history and the story of it's greatest comeback.]
 
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If the 737 crashed because of the same rudder problem that took down United Airlines flight 585 and USAir Flight 427 IOTL, expect that rudder problem to be discovered earlier, especially if the head investigator in the Colorado Springs crash (which occurred in 1991, IIRC) is assigned to this investigation; he'll notice the similarities to the Colorado Springs crash.

Watch the Air Crash Investigation (or Mayday) episode Hidden Danger for more information (it's on YouTube)...
 
Introduction: Game 5 in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has always been a proud sports town, and will always be a big sports town. It lives and breathes to watch their hometown boys play, and is part of the fabric of it's culture, and while it's certainly crazy for the Steelers and the Pirates, it's longest love affair is with it's baseball club, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Founded in 1887 as the Pittsburgh Alleghenies, the club would go on to win five World Series in 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, and 1979. It was the team that brought us Bill Mazerozski's famous walk off Game 7 Home Run in 1960, it was the team that endured tragedy when Roberto Clemente's plane crashed, and the team that brought us the 'We Are Family' team of 1979 featuring Willie Stargell-and on Sunday, October 10th, another star studded team of players was knocking on the door of winning it's 10th National League Pennant en route to the World Series.

Narrator: Just how good were the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates?

Peter Gammons: "The Pirates of the early '90s were arguably the best team in baseball, and certainly the most balanced. Their outfield was outstanding-Barry Bonds was heading to the Hall of Fame; he was an electrifying athelete he had power, speed, and a heck of a glove. Andy Van Slyke played the role of the consummate veteran in centerfield......

Gene Collier: .....and then there was the pitching. Doug Drabek was an absolute warhorse who you had to literally drag off the mound, and in 1992 he was at his best, sporting a 2.77 ERA that year. Stan Belinda was an save machine on the back end.....

Joe Starkey: .....then there was Tim Wakefield, a kid knuckleballer who was absolutely unhittable down the stretch for the Pirates; a lot of guys looked really bad swinging against him.....

Gene Collier:.....and up the middle you had Chico Lind and Jay Bell, who were two of the best in the business at the time......

Peter Gammons: .....and they were managed by Jim Leyland, who was maybe the most no-nonsense, respected maneger in the league....and his teams took on that image. Like Pittsburghers, they worked hard, they ran out every ball, and they took on all comers. Pittsburghers loved that.....

The Pirates were in the NLCS for the third time in three years, having come close against the Reds and the Pirates in 1990 and 1991.

Gene Collier: The beginning of the series hadn't gone well; we were blown away by John Smoltz in Game 1.....

Steve Blass:.....and then Danny Jackson got shelled from Atlanta to Pittsburgh and back in Game 2.....things looked really bad.

Tim Wakefield: .....and here I was as a rookie pitching the biggest game of the series in Game 3 going up against a Cy Young winner and future Hall of Famer. No pressure, right?

Peter Gammons:.....and he delivered a masterful performance under fire in front of a crowd of 56,000+. Five hits over nine innings, outdueling one of the best in the game.....and you could see the sense of relief.

(Cut to locker room footage with post game speech by Jim Leyland ("we played hard. I'm especially proud of Tim for stepping up" and Bucs celebrating)

Gene Collier: There was the feeling that momentum was beginning to shift back to the Bucs...and although they didn't win Game 4, they seemed to finally have gotten a grasp on Atlanta's hand of aces; without a costly error by Jeff King, I think they win there.

That set the stage for Game 5; Atlanta's Steve Avery was on the mound. Avery had tormented the Pirates in 1991, spinning two unhittable performances.

Joe Starkey: ...Steve Avery had been kryptonite to Pirate bats all year long. The Bucs were wholly owned by him last year and this year-it was either figure him out or this was the end.

Steve Blass:....and they came out and shelled him back to Atlanta.

(Footage: "There's a looping line drive and a fair ball. Redus will have at least a double."(crowd roars))

(Footage:"Payoff Pitch! Bounced up the middle; base hit! Redus will come around to score!" (crowd roars))

(Footage: "3-2 Count....over the head of Justice (crowd roars).....Bell into score. The Bucs are up 2-0!"(crowd roars) The monkey is off the back of Barry Bonds! A smile is just a frown turned upside down.)

(Footage: "Deep drive left-center field, back to the wall Otis Nixon.....he can't get it! Bonds into score! King has a double! 3-0 Pittsburgh! (crowd roaring))

(Footage: "That's well hit to the left field corner! Gant on the run can't get it. McClendon has a double, King on to score, and Pittsburgh has a 4-0 lead. They are hitting rockets off of Steve Avery here in the first inning! (crowd roaring))

(Footage:.....and they knock Steve Avery out after just one third of an inning.)

Peter Gammons:....and I can remember watching that and thinking that momentum had turned. Barry Bonds, who had been 0 for the series got going again, and you could see that they thought they had the Braves figured out.

Joe Starkey: Bob Walk came out and threw a complete game, shutting the Atlanta offense down over nine innings, and you could just see them oozing with confidence.

(Footage: "Redus waves off Walk, that ends it!)

(Footage: Barry Bonds: "When I got out here, the fans were behind me, it was a great feeling...It hit that double, rounded second base, and the jinx was over...and noe we've got Tm Wakefield waiting for us down in Atlanta for Game 6, and he's been awesome.")

Gene Collier: They clearly felt good heading down to Atlanta, and you can see that by the footage of them getting on the plane....

(Footage: Pirates boarding a Boeing 737 jet. Lloyd McClendon waves and yells "Be back soon with some hardware!")

These images are the last the world will ever see of the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates.....

[CNN Special Report Banner] 12:26

"We have breaking news, a Boeing 737 has crashed in the Atlanta suburbs......"

(Footage from a helicopter shows several small fires and a blackened treescape, with the charred tail section of a 737 and little else visible.)
 
If the 737 crashed because of the same rudder problem that took down United Airlines flight 585 and USAir Flight 427 IOTL, expect that rudder problem to be discovered earlier, especially if the head investigator in the Colorado Springs crash (which occurred in 1991, IIRC) is assigned to this investigation; he'll notice the similarities to the Colorado Springs crash.

Watch the Air Crash Investigation (or Mayday) episode Hidden Danger for more information (it's on YouTube)...
I've made the decision to leave out most of the plane stuff and stick to a more sports focused documentary as you might see on ESPN; it keeps things simpler and easier for me.

As for A-Rod's steroid adventures....I don't think we'll get far enough forward in history for that to come up.

Look for another update over the weekend.
 
Part II: Tragedy in the Middle of The Night

[CNN Special Report Banner] 1:46 AM Monday, October 11, 1992

"We have breaking news, a Boeing 737 has crashed in the Atlanta suburbs......"

(Footage from a helicopter shows several small fires and a blackened treescape, with the charred tail section of a 737 and little else visible.)

CNN Reporter: Preliminary reports are that there was no mayday call from the aircraft, a Boeing 737 which has crashed four miles south of Marietta in Cobb County....there's speculation that given the time of very early morning here, that this may be one of the charter flights carrying either the Atlanta Braves or Pittsburgh Pirates to Atlanta.....as watch this developing story unfold.

Gene Collier: I remember that I had just conked off to sleep when the phone rang at nearly two in the morning, and at that hour the news is never gonna be good. It was a call from my editor who said....turn on CNN....something's happened in Atlanta; reports are one of the team charters went down.

Peter Gammons: It had always been a scenario in the back of our consciousness, that the laws of statistics would one day catch up with professional sports. On that horrible October night, it finally did.

CNN: We're now able to confirm that the horrific scene you're viewing is the wreckage of the charter flight carrying the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. Emergency responders are reporting that there are no survivors.

Gene Collier:....and that's when the horrible awfulness of what had happened began to set in. I rushed to the office, listening to the radio as reports came in. In the early morning hours of Monday, the news began to spread across the city and the country. I was a bit better informed and knew a few bits of information not yet being reported. I knew Tim Wakefield was alive in Atlanta; but also knew that the senior front office, including Cam Bonifay was also on board.

Tom Glavine: We had left Pittsburgh about 15 minutes ahead of the Pirates, and everything went normally until after we landed and were taxiing to the terminal. The pilot came on and told us there had been an incident with the plane carrying the Pirates, and I thought.....that coulda been us. But for luck, it's our plane......

Andy Van Slyke: If my wife hadn't have had that fender bender just before the game, I would have been on the plane. Although she wasn't hurt, she sounded pretty shaken up, and given how good a mood Jimmy Leyland was in, he let me spend the night at home and I was gonna catch a 9am flight down to Atlanta......I was asleep in bed at 2:30am when I got a phone call from one of my neighbors who was shocked to hear that I was alive and told me the news; I sat there, numb as I looked at the remains of my teammates who had all died in Georgia (cries).

Tom Glavine: As we all watched CNN in the charter terminal, we were stunned and saddened. We each knew at least one of those guys personally, maybe no one more so than Sid Bream, who was both a former Pirate player and a Pittsburgh native. He knew pretty much everybody on that plane....about 15 minutes later it dawned on someone that Tim Wakefield hadn't been at Game 5 and was in Atlanta somewhere, asleep and clueless as to what had happened. I grabbed a phone book and dialed through all of the hotels he might have been at until I found where he was and then hopped in my car along with John Smoltz. Given that the entire Pirates organization had been on that plane, there was nobody to call him, and we decided we didn't want him to hear the news upon waking up in the morning and being stuck in a hotel alone.

Tim Wakefield: I had caught a noon flight down to Atlanta out of an abundance of caution. I wanted to get at least two nights of good sleep rather than endure the midnight ride to Georgia after Game 5, which I watched and then went to sleep. I was awakened at close to 3AM by a firm, but polite knock at the door. I asked who it was and to my shock heard Tom Glavine's voice; I thought it was a dream or a prank, but groggily shuffled over to the door and opened it and was shocked to actually see him and John Smoltz standing there and immediately asked what was going on....and they told me there had been an incident with the team plane, and they'd come to give me the news and take me somewhere quiet and removed. The whole thing, even to this day seems like a really bad nightmare......all my teammates were dead, and here I was....the sole survivor.

Narrator: As the news broke around the country, the baseball world watched shocked.

Fay Vincent: I was in Oakland for the ALCS and was just going to bed when the news hit.....the first thing I did was to call the Pirates front office-there was no answer. At the time, the Pirates were owned by a public-private partnership, so I called Mayor Tom Murphy at his home in Pittsburgh-his line was busy, so I assumed he knew what was happening. I made quick calls to the As and Jays to tell them that tomorrow's game had been cancelled, and that we weren't going to be playing any baseball at all for at least a week. I got through to Tom Murphy, who was in as much shock as I was and gave condolences and asked him to be the intermediate point of contact as a large part of their management had been on the plane. It was total chaos in the middle of the night, and though I knew this was always a possibility, the enormity of what had happened started to hit. I mentally started to go through our plans for this sort of tragedy and made arrangements to return to league offices in New York

Narrator: The same fans who had fallen asleep joyous at the Pirates Game 5 stomping of the Braves awoke Monday morning to the news that the Pirates plane had crashed in Atlanta, and everyone except Tim Wakefield and Andy Van Slyke had died.......
 
First the earthquake, now this; Vincent will be remembered as a far more efficient Commissioner than OTL, when he is about as forgotten as a 19th century Vice President.:D

Though he was let go in September OTL, little butterflies can keep him around another few weeks; indeed, with a disaster of this size, Bud Selig, merely being Acting Commissioner, might easily say, yeah, you know, we need an actual Commissioner here, let's put off that whole mess of a few weeks back."
 
First the earthquake, now this; Vincent will be remembered as a far more efficient Commissioner than OTL, when he is about as forgotten as a 19th century Vice President.:D

Though he was let go in September OTL, little butterflies can keep him around another few weeks; indeed, with a disaster of this size, Bud Selig, merely being Acting Commissioner, might easily say, yeah, you know, we need an actual Commissioner here, let's put off that whole mess of a few weeks back."
ITTL, Vincent was going to step aside a week after the World Series ended.
 
It's an impossible situation. Basically the Pirates have to forfeit, and the ALCS will have to eventually be played with the Braves getting ever more tuned up and rested. Not fair, but it happens. Just never at this level and at such a time. Just look what losing only three players did to the Cleveland Indians, and that was in Spring Training.

In World Series victories the winner doesn't win by a single play (usually), but by a series of good plays and miscues by the opposition and umpires:rolleyes: This, is something else.

IMO it was the Blue Jays who had the best team in 1992. It wasn't just luck and that Atlanta had no DH worthy candidate (though Atlanta at the time was obsessed with filling their bench with cheap fly-swatting glove men). The Blue Jays offense represented Power & Contact, which the Braves simply lacked beyond Justice and Third Baseman Terry Pendleton (who was having the year of his life).

The Pirate's pitching staff was Wakefield & Drabek and two days of dreck (Bob Walk simply had the day of his life in Game 5). Belinda was a high fastball pitcher that the Braves could feast on, but Closer Jeff Reardon of the Braves had clearly come to the end of his career.:mad:

As good as the Pirates' infield defense was IMO Atlanta's was better. Except when Jeff Blauser's bat was platooned with Rafael Belliard's glove, Jeff Treadway's bat was platooned with Mark Lemke's glove, and Sid Bream's bat & glove platooned with Brian R. Hunter. The Braves had problems with the strikeout king left-fielder Lonnie Smith (replacing the drug test failed Otis Nixon), and only mediocre defense with Ron Gant at center (a natural left fielder, but thanks to Nixon again no) and a young David Justice in right. The Braves' biggest problem was speed. Only Ron Gant could really be expected to easily swipe bases, though Lonnie Smith had good instincts.

Also, in addition to Atlanta's "three aces" they also had an outstanding veteran bullpen, EXCEPT for the closer.:rolleyes: Why Bobby Cox continued to have such faith in such a home run machine as Reardon I'll never know.

It was in the outfield where Pittsburgh really held the reins over Atlanta. Van Slyke-BONDS. Nuff said.
 
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I agree with usertron, Atlanta would automatically be the NL team in the World Series. (note, this scenario might expand the whole subgenre of alternate sports history.)

The only way I can see the Pirates actually finishing in the NLCS would be by promoting their minor leaguers. I don't know much about the farm system. The minor leagues are finished with their post season by the time of the major league championship series, I think. Would it be realistic to promote the Pirates' entire Triple AAA team (the players, not the actual team, I mean), then add the two surviving Pirates to the team?
 
With a tragedy like this, it's not impossible for MLB to cancel the World Series. I imagine that the Braves would be the NL representative (perhaps, to honor Pittsburgh, they would be permitted to add Van Slyke and Wakefield to their roster for the series, though that feels bizarre), but the league might decide that it's not fair to either play out the NLCS with a minor league team pretending to be the Pirates, or to grant the Braves automatic representation in the World Series, and simply declare no winner.

As depressing a scenario as this is, I'm really glad to see it back. I thoroughly enjoyed the original, and was sad to see it taper off. If this could be brought to the present day, that would be cool, but I know that might be outside the scope of the exercise.
 
Yeah, but I want to see Dave Winfield win a Series ring.:)

I like the idea of adding Van Slyke and Wakefield to the Braves' roster - giving them 27 would mean the Blue Jays should be allowed 2 more as well, but it does sound nice.(Toronto would add from their own system, of course.)

Another thought would be to let them play Game 2 of the Series in Pittsburgh; Game 1 in Atlanta, Pittsburgh's an easy stopover north before going on to Toronto for Games 3-5. Then Games 6-7 if needed would be back in Atlanta where it really mattered, but it would gie Pittsburgh and its fans something.

I think it's too fast to do an expansion-style draft for other teams to give up players, but that might be one thing under consideration. Just for one game, though, it would seem odd.

Does Barry Bonds, after only 7 years but 7 very good year, have some people suggesting he be put intot he Hall. In my TLIAD about WW2 stars dying it led toa tiered HOF system, but that's much easier to do with the Hall in its infancy versus over half a century after its founding. So, he probably wouldn't be. But, there might be talk once in a while.
 
usertron-Agree with most of your analysis on OTL's 1992 teams, though maybe I hold Belinda in slightly higher regard than you do. Also, Bobby Bonilla is a Met in 1992 (they only finished paying him for that contract rather recently), so he's alive. The '91 Pirates were a better squad-they had Bonilla and John Smiley, who was a legitimate #2 if not an ace, having won 20 games in '91.

As for what's going to happen with the resumption of baseball, I've come up with three and a half ideas:

1) Cancel the rest of the season. Don't like it, Van Slyke in particular will insist on moving on, and his and Wakefield's voices will carry disproportionate weight.

2) Declare the 1992 NLCS to be uncompletable based upon the inability of the Pirates to continue, crown both squads as NL Champions, but advance the Braves to the World Series.

3) Given circumstances, the winner of the ALCS will face an NL squad comprised of the Braves and the Pirates survivors; they will play two games as the "Atlanta Braves" and two games as the "Pittsburgh Pirates".

3a) Same concept as 3, but plus a few Pirates who were on the team in 1991 last year-John Smiley, Bobby Bonilla, and Steve Buechele immediately come to mind. Perhaps against a combined squad of the Jays/As.

Oh, and after I'm finished with this one, if I can find the time, I'm going to do the exact opposite timeline-one where Barry Bonds nails Sid Bream at the plate in Game 7 in Atlanta.
 
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Oh, and after I'm finished with this one, if I can find the time, I'm going to do the exact opposite timeline-one where Barry Bonds nails Sid Bream at the plate in Game 7 in Atlanta.
that's going to be fun just to see the crazy lineup Atlanta would field in extra innings with all the substitutions they made in the 9th!:eek::D
 
I think its safe to say that the Pirates don't get gutted like they did in OTL before entering a slump for the next three decades?
 
With a tragedy like this, it's not impossible for MLB to cancel the World Series. I imagine that the Braves would be the NL representative (perhaps, to honor Pittsburgh, they would be permitted to add Van Slyke and Wakefield to their roster for the series, though that feels bizarre), but the league might decide that it's not fair to either play out the NLCS with a minor league team pretending to be the Pirates, or to grant the Braves automatic representation in the World Series, and simply declare no winner.

As depressing a scenario as this is, I'm really glad to see it back. I thoroughly enjoyed the original, and was sad to see it taper off. If this could be brought to the present day, that would be cool, but I know that might be outside the scope of the exercise.
Cancelling the World Series would be unfairly punishing the A's and Blue Jays. Adding Wakefield would be grossly unfair to the Blue Jays, giving the Braves FOUR aces. The Braves could even put Smoltz in the bullpen as the closer they so desperately need. Putting Van Slyke on the Braves roster solves their outfield problems, putting him in center field and Ron Gant in left, leaving Lonnie Smith as a potential DH (though with all his strikeouts that could cause the Braves to regret that move).

Though considering how the 1992 World Series turned out the Braves might actually have a chance, or at least take it to a Game 7.

As to the Blue Jays calling up two players from the minors? Again, grossly unfair. At best, you have two blue-chip AAA prospects lucky to be there and terrified at all the pressure they'll be facing. Plus, AFAIK, the Blue Jays roster is so full it doesn't need, say, Wakefield & Van Slyke. And IDK how the ML Players Association would react to this proposal.

Yeah, but I want to see Dave Winfield win a Series ring.:)
Yep. Goodbye "Mr. May, and screw you George Steinbrenner." Dave Winfield enjoys the unique position in Yankee history of being the only player to always get the best of The Boss.:D And whenever asked Winfield always says the happiest and proudest moment he ever had as a player was his World Series winning RBI double in Game 6 in 1992.:cool: To the point that it was rumored that he might even have considered entering the Hall of Fame as a Blue Jay!:p

I like the idea of adding Van Slyke and Wakefield to the Braves' roster - giving them 27 would mean the Blue Jays should be allowed 2 more as well, but it does sound nice.(Toronto would add from their own system, of course.)
Maybe they could be allowed a WS only Draft of two players from any other team in baseball of equivalent caliber to Wakefield & Van Slyke:confused::(

EDIT: Sorry for the screwup. IDK how I got the idea that ITTL Bonds survived.

Another thought would be to let them play Game 2 of the Series in Pittsburgh; Game 1 in Atlanta, Pittsburgh's an easy stopover north before going on to Toronto for Games 3-5. Then Games 6-7 if needed would be back in Atlanta where it really mattered, but it would gie Pittsburgh and its fans something.
Ticket sales wouldn't allow that.

I think it's too fast to do an expansion-style draft for other teams to give up players, but that might be one thing under consideration. Just for one game, though, it would seem odd.
Maybe if the players drafted were willing? The Commissioner could override the owners, and any two players who said "yes" would be the most popular players in baseball.:cool:

Also, after the WS, there HAS to be a complete MLB draft for the Pirates, and I would think including "franchise players" and no "blocks", provided the Pirates can afford the 25/27 that they draft. IOW, no drafting 25 future Hall-of-Famers, franchise players, rookies of the year, or AAA blue chip prospects solely for the purpose of squeezing other teams for trades to get players that they CAN afford. Not unless the Pirates hire Bill James and adopt sabremetrics 10 years before the A's do.:rolleyes:
 
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usertron-Agree with most of your analysis on OTL's 1992 teams, though maybe I hold Belinda in slightly higher regard than you do. Also, Bobby Bonilla is a Met in 1992 (1) (they only finished paying him for that contract rather recently), so he's alive. The '91 Pirates were a better squad-they had Bonilla and John Smiley, who was a legitimate #2 if not an ace, having won 20 games in '91.
1) Oops:eek: Its easy for me to mix the rosters of the 91-92 Braves-Pirates teams.:eek:

As for what's going to happen with the resumption of baseball, I've come up with three and a half ideas:

1) Cancel the rest of the season. Don't like it, Van Slyke in particular will insist on moving on, and his and Wakefield's voices will carry disproportionate weight.
Rampaging hordes take to the streets.

2) Declare the 1992 NLCS to be uncompletable based upon the inability of the Pirates to continue, crown both squads as NL Champions, but advance the Braves to the World Series.
:)

3) Given circumstances, the winner of the ALCS will face an NL squad comprised of the Braves and the Pirates survivors; they will play two games as the "Atlanta Braves" and two games as the "Pittsburgh Pirates".
AL winners scream bloody murder, demanding a WS Draft of any two available players in MLB. Players on rotten teams with no prospects of ever seeing The Game rush to Toronto. Mostly Red Sox players.:p

3a) Same concept as 3, but plus a few Pirates who were on the team in 1991 last year-John Smiley, Bobby Bonilla, and Steve Buechele immediately come to mind. Perhaps against a combined squad of the Jays/As.
Meh. I don't know about A's who'd just lost playing for the team that just beat them. For that matter, you would think that both Wakefield AND Van Slyke would be major league headcases after this tragedy. Probably better to have the Blue Jays and Braves be allowed to play as is.:(

EDIT: Screwed up the Bonds thing again.

Oh, and after I'm finished with this one, if I can find the time, I'm going to do the exact opposite timeline-one where Barry Bonds nails Sid Bream at the plate in Game 7 in Atlanta.
Well, the catcher said Bonds' throw was only 5' 8 1/2"'s off home plate, and he was 5' 8"'s tall.


The catcher, Mike LaValliere (sp?) (He owns a bar adjacent to the park now) said that 1/2" closer and Bream is out. But since Justice had scored, tying the game, extra innings would be played.

With Ron Gant moved to 2nd Base. Manager Bobby Cox after Game 7 confirmed this.

The Braves had exhausted their bench of second basemen (Lemke and Treadway).

Gant couldn't play that position. He had tried it when first called up to the majors, and had such bad instincts that he was sent down again to learn the outfield. So it would have been a matter for the Pirates to either use lefties or spray hitters to drive every last grounder to second base that they could.:D:eek::D
 
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