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World Series 2001
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11/05/2001 12:23 PM ET
Media Beat: Brenly's mike pays dividends
By Adam McCalvy
MLB.com
On his way to a champagne bath, Bob Brenly allowed TV viewers to listen in on his managing moves.
During last year's playoffs, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly was not in a Major League dugout. Rather, as his former FOX colleagues reminded viewers throughout the postseason, he was in a broadcast booth.

On Sunday night in the biggest game of the year, that relationship paid off for the network, and for fans watching from the couch.

Brenly agreed before the playoffs started to wear a microphone during D-Backs games, and although he was never aired live, FOX used audio clips of the manager in instant replays several times each game, calling the segment Sounds of the Game. In Game 7, fans got a glimpse at two key managerial moves that helped Arizona clinch its first-ever World Championship.

Such as the decision facing Brenly in the sixth inning. With Curt Schilling and New York Yankees starter Roger Clemens dueling in a scoreless tie, the Diamondbacks got a leadoff single from Steve Finley. With the speedy Finley on base and Danny Bautista walking to the batter's box, Brenly faced a dilemma explained by FOX analyst Tim McCarver:

"This is a tough read. I mean, do you bunt with a guy like Batista?" McCarver asked as Clemens toed the rubber. "You've got Mark Grace on deck, and [if Bautista would successfully bunt] they're gonna walk Grace to get to Damian Miller and the pitcher and nobody's warming up [in the Arizona bullpen]. I think he's swinging."

He was swinging, on the first pitch no less. Bautista's RBI double to left-center field on a high, inside fastball staked the D-Backs to a 1-0 lead and made Brenly look like a genius for allowing the red-hot Bautista to swing away.

But thanks to FOX's microphone, viewers learned Brenly originally wanted Bautista to bunt until having a last-second change of heart.

"I put a bunt on but I changed my mind. I'm gonna give him one whack at it here," Brenly said in the dugout.

Now to the eighth. Moments after Alfonso Soriano's solo home run off Schilling gave the Yankees a one-run lead of their own and David Justice had followed with a single up the middle, Brenly made a move. He called for Game 5 starter Miguel Batista to face Derek Jeter.

Thanks to Sounds of the Game, fans got unique insight into that conference on the mound.

"We're gonna put Miguel on this guy right here, get a fresh arm in here," Brenly said to Schilling, who ultimately won co-MVP honors for three strong World Series starts. "Hell of an effort big man. You're my hero. That ain't gonna beat us. We're gonna get that back. It ain't gonna beat us, big man."

The Soriano home run didn't beat the resilient D-Backs, as Batista retired Jeter and Randy Johnson came in to pitch the last 1 1/3 innings. And, of course, Arizona rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series.

STRONG WORDS: One of the greatest World Series just ended with one of the greatest World Series games. The postgame interviews are over, and you're a sportswriter who has to put the magic of the bottom of the ninth into words for Arizona fans who weren't among the 49,589 at Bank One Ballpark.

Where do you begin?

Dan Bickley, Arizona Republic:
"So here we are, with no mountain left to climb.

"A city and a baseball team stand together, under one flag, on top of the world.

"Some view, huh?

David Casstevens, Arizona Republic
"Go ahead. Roll it around in your mouth. Turn it over on your tongue. As words go, it's round and smooth, and sweeter than hard candy. Champions.

"Where were you at that moment, when it happened, when Game 7 of this head-shaking, record-breaking World Series ended Sunday night?

"The curtain fell with the joy of the boy lighting the faces of the Arizona Diamondbacks as they raced onto the field in giddy celebration.

"World champions. Can you taste it?"

Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star:
"Game 7 of the World Series, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth. Yankees 2, Diamondbacks 2.

"They've been playing the World Series since 1903 and never have drama and imagination led to such a remarkable conclusion."

Jack Magruder, Arizona Daily Star:
"So it comes down to this:

"The Diamondbacks' first World Series will be defined not by their closer's inability to hold two leads but for a team-wide failure to let it bother them.

"Team Resilience wins the World Series.

"Team What, Me Worry? comes through again.

"Team Regroup regroups after the Yankees scored twice off Curt Schilling to take a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning."

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Bob Baum, Associated Press:
"No comeback could be more unlikely, perhaps no World Series more dramatic.

"The Diamondbacks, headed for another excruciating one-run loss that would give New York its fourth consecutive championship, staged a shocking ninth-inning rally of their own Sunday night.

"This 3-2 victory in Game 7 topped anything the Yankees managed last week in New York because no one expected it, not against the seemingly unbeatable Mariano Rivera. And it dethroned the three-time defending champions."

EARLY RETURNS: In an effort to keep viewers from flexing their remote control fingers, early in Game 7 FOX displayed winners of the Emmy Awards, which finally were held Sunday after two postponements in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. They aired in the Eastern and Central time zones at 8 p.m. ET, about the same time Schilling threw his first pitch.

It burst the bubble of viewers on the West Coast, where the show did not begin until 11 p.m. ET -- three hours later than on the East Coast. In Phoenix, which is now in the Mountain time zone, the Emmys aired at 9 p.m. ET.

By jumping the gun, FOX spoiled such surprises as Peter MacNicol winning Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of John Cage on the often annoying Ally McBeal, and Doris Roberts winning Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Everybody Loves Raymond.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com.