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Jim Murray

They've Put World Series Into a Baggie

October 18, 1987|Jim Murray

MINNEAPOLIS — Wait a minute! This is a World Series?! C'mon! They gotta be kidding!

Listen! You've been to World Series. I've been to World Series. We know what one of them looks like.

World Series aren't played in broom closets, phone booths with foul lines.

World Series are played in Yankee Stadium. Outdoors. Usually in the afternoon and on fields with real grass on them and the sun is shining and the wind is a factor.

World Series are played in places like the old Polo Grounds, Comiskey Park, Fenway Park, places dripping with tradition, places where Babe Ruth called his shot, that have statues in center field. World Series are not played indoors in abortions like this.

You should see this ballpark. It looks like a whole bunch of trash bags on hangers. The roof looks like a quilt comforter. If it had a swastika on it, you'd think it was the Hindenburg. The world's biggest hot-air balloon. You'd be afraid to light a match in it. It's kept aloft by air. If they ever turn off the fans, you'd have the world's biggest pile of Teflon. If it slips its tether, you'd half-expect to find yourself floating over downtown Chicago. You keep looking around for Cantinflas and David Niven.

World Series with roofs over them?! Carpets under them? Come on! John McGraw must be chewing his tombstone somewhere today. Connie Mack must be saying, "Goodness gracious!"

It's not a ballpark, it's a big bag. They'd never get Babe Ruth out in this ballpark. He'd bunt for home runs. If Dave Kingman can punch a hole in this roof with a pop fly, Ruth would have it in tatters in a month.

They should have trapezes and elephants in this thing, not ballplayers. And clowns in the funny cars. The Barnum & Bailey World Series. The Teflon Fall Classic. The World Series moves under the big top. They should have high-wire acts, not home run balls.

A World Series in an airship? Give us a break!

Baseball is not high tech. Baseball is 1910. That's its charm. This one is just a complicated pool game.

Even the crowds are wrong. World Series crowds don't come to the game in lumberjackets and ski caps, waving handkerchiefs. World Series crowds come in three-piece suits and school ties and bench-made shoes, and if they work for utilities, it's in the legal department; they don't climb poles for a living.

World Series crowds never make any noise. They just sit there as if it's an opera. This bunch screams like a bunch of cats with their tails caught in a door. You'd think they were at a fight. Dempsey-Firpo. Casey Stengel once said of St. Louis' Busch Stadium on a 106-degree day, "It holds the heat well." Well, this one holds the noise well.

It's the first time both teams went in as underdog. One team was the first ever to make the World Series allowing more runs than it scored. The other team's starting squad was out-homered 193, to 32.

The Cardinals were no threat at all to the Dome roof. They weren't much of a threat to the outfield grass.

It's not really a team, it's a track meet. This is not your Gashouse Gang, it's your Garbage Pail Kids. They play a game like a bunch of kids stealing a pie. They couldn't hit a home run in a phone booth and they proved it Saturday night. Putting the St. Louis Cardinals in this municipal sack is like putting Hansel and Gretel in the Black Forest.

Speed kills--but not when you're nine runs behind.

If ever a bunch was miscast for a stage, it was this one. It was like trying to put on Shakespeare in a brothel. This ballpark was built for big fat guys with 40-ounce bats, not ballet dancers; bulls, not rabbits; Murderers' Row, not a bunch of pickpockets.

They better hope the thing takes off and becomes a weather balloon or other unidentified flying object. If someone doesn't let the air out of it, it's going to let the air out of them. This thing was built for the big inning, not the little base steal. Built for the people who hit the four-man home run like that Sultan of Swat, Dan Gladden.

Whitey Herzog said after the game he didn't think his team was beaten, 10-1, by the Dome. He'll never make a Sherlock Holmes. His team was taken over by this great big creature from inner space, which must be wondering what those funny little guys are doing with all that running and slapping the ball on the ground when the seats are so inviting and the pitches don't break in the dead air. They're like a group trying to climb Everest with dental floss.

As for the Metrodome, it's role is secure: The Creature That Ate the World Series.

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