Major League Baseball hit a bit of a rough patch in the Aughts, what with steroids and tie games–well, one at least–and out-of-control payroll imbalances and talk of contraction and ugly stadiums and all. It’s odd to say this, but it might even have been a worse decade for the game than the ‘90s.
Okay, now that’s not true. But still, the Top 10 Major League Baseball Games from the ‘90s would certainly be a more impressive list than this one. I can think of four absolutely transcendent games from that decade, which is double the number the Aughts can boast of.*
*In chronological order because it’s too tough to rank them: ’91 World Series Game 7, ’92 NLCS Game 7, ’97 World Series Game 7, ’99 NLCS Game 5. Others that would make the top 10 off the top of my head include ’93 WS Game 6, ’95 WS Game 6, ’96 WS Game 4, and ’99 ALDS Game 5.
But that still leaves the Aughts with two games to be pretty proud of. And you know what, these other eight are pretty good, too. Most, but not all, are one-run games; several went a few extra innings, and a few went several extra innings; and a surprising and perhaps statistically significant number of them ended with a score of 6 to 5.
In case you’re wondering, hitting a walk-off home run in the World Series for your first homer of the year still wasn’t enough to get Scott Podsednik and the ’05 White Sox on the list, who also had Game 2 of their ALCS against Anaheim and Game 3 of their World Series with Houston short-listed. Brad Lidge not only escapes the Podsednik homer unscathed, but also the shot he surrendered to Albert Pujols a series earlier in Game 5. Armando Benitez is off the hook for Game 1 of the 2000 World Series, as is Steve Bartman. I heard that guy’s had some other issues to deal with.
The worst game of the decade goes to the Rangers and Orioles for that 30-3 charade they had a few years ago. I can’t imagine anyone sitting through to the end of that one.
Final clerical note: Not all of the games have videos supported by YouTube, and thus capable of embedding. Don’t blame me; blame Time magazine’s Person of 2007.