Lou Gorman deserved to be the guy.
How much closer can a man come to building a championship team than a two-run ninth inning lead in a clinching Game 6, two outs, two strikes and nobody on?
We all know what happened, or, more specifically, what didn't happen. Red Sox fans had to wait 18 more years before seeing their team win a World Championship.
But Lou Gorman deserved to be the guy. A Rhode Island guy, a Stonehill College great, a true New Englander with a true New England accent, and a master builder of baseball teams (plural), Lou Gorman deserved to be the guy who would get the requisite credit for ending the drought. Then again, we know life isn't fair.
I fear he will be remembered for the wrong reasons. The Jeff Bagwell/Larry Andersen trade. "Where would we play Wilie McGee?" "The sun will rise, the sun will set, but I'm going to have lunch." Radio types of the day had great fun at Lou Gorman's expense. Such is life.
But in the world of baseball he will be remembered for his contributions to the Orioles and Royals. The Mets, too. He was on the ground floor of the Royals, who went from zero to being a dominant team in the American League, in large measure thanks to Gorman's talent recognition.
The simple fact is to know Lou Gorman was to like him. Forget all the other stuff. He was a wonderful human being. There wasn't a malicious bone in his body. He was a born storyteller, and he had a million of 'em. Were some of them self-aggrandizing? Sure. I think he was truly hurt by some of the things that were said about him during his tenure in Boston. His critics just didn't appreciate his immense stature in the game, or what a nice man he was.
I've often wondered how much different the rest of Lou Gorman's life would have been had the Red Sox closed out that fateful ninth inning in Shea Stadium. No offense, Theo, but it should have been Lou.