This time of the year, you can either look ahead or look back for your baseball fix. We here at Big League Stew want to supplement the what's-going-to-happen-in-2014 with a look back at the best moments of 2013. And we want you to help us.
Throughout the next two weeks, as MLB prepares to hand out its own awards, we'll be gathering the top plays of the season and letting readers crown the best. Votes will be cast on our Facebook page. Winners will be announced here on the site.
We'll start our award season with what's most fresh in your minds — the playoffs. Here are five big moments in what proved to be a thrilling postseason. What was the best postseason play? That's up to you to decide. Here they are, presented in chronological order.
1. PIRATES FANS RATTLE JOHNNY CUETO
In the first postseason baseball game in Pittsburgh in 21 years, the hometown fans were plenty excited. They proved it by getting under the skin of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto. They chanted his name, he dropped the ball while on the rubber and then gave up a homer to Russell Martin of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Wild Card game.
2. JOSE LOBATON'S WALK-OFF HOMER
The only game this postseason to end with a walk-off home run was Game 3 of the ALDS, in which Tampa Bay Rays platoon catcher Jose Lobaton hit a ninth-inning homer off Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara to break a 4-4 tie. Uehara was so good after this, that we almost forgot he gave up this homer. It wasn't the craziest walk-off loss of the postseason for the Red Sox (that's coming), but it was a big, dramatic homer from an unlikely source.
3. BIG PAPI'S GRAND SLAM, TORII HUNTER'S OVER-THE-WALL EFFORT
So much going on here: David Ortiz's grand-slamming the Red Sox back into Game 2 of the ALCS, Torii Hunter going to amazing lengths to catch the ball, a bullpen cop becoming a hero in Boston. This was something else.
4. OBSTRUCTION, WALK-OFF STYLE
Raise your hand if you've ever seen a game end like this. If your hand is up, you're probably fibbing. World Series Game 3 ended in head-scratching fashion, on an obstruction call that game the St. Louis Cardinals the winning run. Some Red Sox fans — even though they won the series — will still tell you it was a bad call. It's one that will be talked out for years, even though the umps did get it right.
5. SHANE VICTORINO DOUBLES OFF THE GREEN MONSTER
Shane Victorino had a pair of big bases-loaded postseason moments, and this one came with the stakes the highest. Victorino's three-run double in Game 6 of the World Series created a hole out of which the St. Louis Cardinals would never climb. Boston won the game and clinched the title. World Series hero status unlocked.
NOW ... VOTE!
You decide which of these wonderful postseason moments was the best of 2013. Head over to the Big League Stew Facebook page and cast your vote.
Best infield play | Best outfield play | Biggest hit | Wackiest moment | Best fan play
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