I know this is bad timing, given the results of last night’s game, but yesterday was the 22nd anniversary of “the incident.” You know, that time that the Yankees used a kid to steal the game 1 and the entire 1996 ALCS from the Orioles? This one:
It still makes me cry.
But what if that had never happened? Let your imagination run wild here:
- Perhaps Rocky Coppinger, losing pitcher of game 4, would have instead gone on to have a long and successful MLB career, instead of being shuttled between the Orioles and their minor league affiliates for three and half more years, then being traded to Milwaukee in July 1999, where, after not playing at all in 2000 due to injuries, he made history by giving up the final home run of Mark McGwire’s ignominious career.
- Maybe Mike Mussina, El Traidor, wouldn’t have ended up signing with the Yankees 5 years later. (And maybe he’d have gotten into the Hall of Fame after a fabulous career with the Orioles.)
- Maybe Todd Zeile would have stayed with the Orioles instead of bouncing around for eight more years with eight more teams before becoming an actor. (Where IS he now?)
- Perhaps Manny Alexander wouldn’t have been traded before the start of the next season, ultimately ending up with the Boston Red Sox in 2000 where he loaned the bat boy his Mercedes who was then arrested for possession of steroid (found in the glove compartment of said Mercedes), thus destroying the bat boy’s baseball career. (The charges were later dropped, but the damage was done.)
- Maybe, just maybe, the Orioles would have have gone on to the World Series, defeating the Atlanta Braves, and continuing to have winning season for the next 22 years, thus, not having the worst season in Orioles history this year.
Guess we’ll never know.