The Top 10 Blunders and Mishaps in Recent World Series History

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The World Series will be starting soon, so I started thinking about some of the biggest blunders and mishaps in recent World Series history.

By recent, I don't mean back in the day when my dad was a kid and color televisions were a thing of the future.

I decided to compile a list of 10 of these such instances. Here's what I came up with:

10: Clemens vs. Piazza, 2000, Game 2: As a New York Yankees fan, I find this little incident very amusing. You remember this one, right? New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza was not amused after Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens threw a piece of a broken bat at him. What a bonehead move. This was funny to me, and I'll never forget it.

Clemens vs. Piazza

9: 1989 World Series : This makes the list not because of the horrible earthquake that occurred in Game 3 but because of the way the San Francisco Giants played. The whole series was one big blunder for the Giants. They were terrible. They never led, and they were swept by the Oakland A's. What was supposed to be known as the "Battle of the Bay" is now known as the "Earthquake Series."

Earthquake Series

8: Luis Gonzalez's blooper, 2001, Game 7: I hate thinking about this one. I still dislike the Arizona Diamondbacks to this very day. My Yankees were leading 2-1 and were a mere three outs away from winning their fourth straight World Series when madness ensued.

Long story short, Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera couldn't close it out. He allowed a lead-off single to Mark Grace, committed an error trying to throw out a runner, and gave up a double to Tony Womack that scored a run and tied the game 2-2.

Rivera then plunked Craig Counsell, loading the bases for Luis Gonzalez. All Gonzalez did was hit a blooper over the head of Derek Jeter -- that my was the game. A run scored and the Yankees did not win their fourth straight title.

7: Mitch Williams, 1993, Game 6: I feel bad for this guy, and I'm in no way a Philadelphia Phillies fan. The Phillies were leading the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 when they handed the game over to reliever Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams.

Williams put two runners on and then threw a fastball down the middle of the plate to Joe Carter, who went yard and ended the series. Why Williams was given the ball to close it down after his horrible outing in Game 4, I'll never know.

6: Umpire Ron Kulpa's terrible call, 2011, Game 3: We all know that umpire Ron Kulpa made a horrible call when he called Matt Holliday safe at first. Rangers first baseman Mike Napoli clearly tagged Holliday on the shoulder.

But, Kulpa called Holliday safe and that was a total series-changer. After the bad call, St. Louis' Lance Berkman singled, David Freese doubled, and Ryan Theriot busted an RBI single. That extended the Cards' lead to 5-0, and they went on to win the game 16-7.

Kulpa's bad call

5: Lonnie Smith's base-running mistake, 1991, Game 7: Smith, after having a great series by homering in Games 3, 4, and 5, committed one of the biggest blunders of all time. It all started after Smith singled off of Twins pitcher Jack Morris. Terry Pendleton, the next batter, hit a double to left and instead of scoring, Lonnie Smith stopped at second. Why? I have no idea.

Smith did make it to third, eventually. But that base-running blunder cost the Braves a run. Instead of a 1-0 lead, the Braves had Pendleton on second and Smith on third. The Braves would go on to lose the series to the Minnesota Twins in what is known as the best World Series of all time -- if you aren't a Braves fan.

4: Tony La Russa's bullpen fiasco, 2011, Game 5: Sometimes even the greatest of baseball managers get a little to cute and outsmart themselves. That's just what St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa did in Game 5.

In a bullpen battle, an area where Tony La Russa has thrived, lefty Marc Rzepczynski ended up on the mound to face the right-handed Mike Napoli. And what did Napoli do? He hit a go-ahead two-run bases-loaded double. There were other odd calls in that game, and the Texas Rangers went on to win 4-2.

3: Bad call at first, 1985, Game 6: Don Denkinger called the Royals' Jorge Orta safe at first base when it was obvious to everyone that St. Louis pitcher Todd Worrell had beaten Orta to the bag. The Royals rallied in the bottom of the ninth after this botched call and went on to win the Game 6 2-1 and also the series.

Bad call at first

2: Buckner's blunder, 1986, Game 6: I know what you're thinking, why isn't this number one? Because, I didn't see this actually happen, but I am knowledgeable enough to recognize that this iconic moment in sports history deserves to be on the list.

We've seen the play at least a hundred times. Bill Buckner allowed a slow-hit ball to roll between his legs in the bottom of the 10th that allowed Ray Knight to score from second. The Red Sox lost the game 6-5 and then went on to lose Game 7 and the series.

Buckner's blunder

1: Nelson Cruz misses catch, 2011, Game 6: In my humble opinion, this was far worse than the Buckner fiasco. Nelson Cruz of the Rangers allowed a very catchable ball hit by David Freese to go over his head. Cruz's misplay of the ball allowed two runs to score and Freese ended up with a triple.

The Rangers were one strike away from winning the title when this moment occurred. The Cardinals would go on to win the game and ultimately the series. All Cruz had to do was catch the ball and the Rangers would have been world champions.

Cruz misses catch

Dylan Davis is an avid New York Yankees fan who has been actively rooting for the Yankees since the tender age of birth. His first words were, "Let's go Yankees."

Sources:

Fox Sports.com

Baseball Reference.com

SI.com

ESPN.com

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