November 4, 2016

Thomas Boswell Shares The Game 7 Column That He Did Not File

A look behind the typewriter: Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell has posted the column he would have filed had the Cubs lost Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

First Boswell explains:
When Game 7 of the World Series ends in the 10th inning at 12:47 a.m. — and every print journalist in the press box has a deadline that just became . . . 12:47 a.m. — you have to have two completely opposite versions of reality operating in your mind simultaneously, each given equal authority because both truly are possible. So below is the beginning of the column that I had written, but of course never filed, about Cleveland's wonderful world title — and Chicago's almost unthinkable blown lead.
Then, a key portion:
The foolish overuse of Chapman in Game 6 by Cubs Manager Joe Maddon will now, with hindsight, be the future measuring stick for fretful over-managing. In Game 5, Chapman got a career-high eight outs to save a 3-2 win, using 42 pitches. On Tuesday, Maddon used the southpaw for a crucial out in the seventh inning. That should have been enough, since the Cubs took a five-run lead into the eighth. Yet Chapman pitched the entire eighth inning.

Then, almost inconceivably, Maddon left Chapman in to face the first hitter of the ninth inning, despite a 9-2 Chicago lead. Remember, Chapman also threw a total of 24 warmup pitches in those three innings, most of them close to 100 mph.

After that game, Tribe Manager Terry Francona had said, "We hung around enough so at least Chapman had to pitch. You never know; that might help us."

Indeed. Maddon has done what seemed impossible. He's made former Boston manager Grady Little look like a genius for leaving Pedro Martinez in too long against the Yanks with the 2003 pennant on the line.
And here is the column Boswell was writing at the same time, the one in which the Cubs won.

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