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What If—How the A’s And Brewers Helped Write World Series History in 2007

As the Rockies limp back to Colorado to try to revive some of that Mile High magic, you can’t help but think back and wonder what if…What if Tony Gwynn Jr. had just flied to right field, or bounced to first, instead of pulling a game-tying triple to keep the San Diego Padres from clinching the playoff spot they were one-strike away from securing? That’s right, the Milwaukee Brewers had an unusually direct hand in allowing the Rockies to represent the NL in this year’s World Series. Colorado was that close to being eliminated by a game in which they weren’t participating. That’s the kind of cool stuff that happens when races are so tight that four teams are still fighting for two spots in the final weekend.

Meanwhile, remember that fly ball in Cleveland?…Late June…A towering drive into the left-field corner…Shannon Stewart makes a fine leaping catch and then fires it back to the infield…Crosby relays it back to first trying for a game-ending double-play, and on a bang-bang decision…Safe! A Travis Hafner double later, the game is tied and a Kelly Shoppach 3-run HR later, the Indians have won. What if Crosby’s relay had been just in time instead of just a hair too late? Cleveland wins 95 games instead of 96, the Angels have the better record, and the Yankees face the Angels in the ALDS while the Indians face the Red Sox…

…And we know the Indians could have beaten the Red Sox in a 5-game series—3 games to 1, in fact…You just never know which game, in a long season of ups, downs, twists, and turns, might seal someone else’s fate, and maybe even create a domino effect that could trickle all the way to the World Series matchups. Because really, we could easily be watching the Indians and the Padres right now.