Remember playing the game “Telephone” as a kid? You sat in your classroom and the first kid was given a statement by the teacher they had to memorize then repeat back to the next classmate and so on and so on down the line? “Sally took a batch of cookies over to their new neighbors who just moved in where the Robinson’s lived before the husband Mike moved to Seattle to take a job as a pilot.” That statement was whispered through the classroom until the last kid in class stood up and recited… “Sally burnt her lip on hot cocoa.” It wasn’t that extreme in Game Five of the World Series, but the conversations between pitcher coach Dave Duncan and bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist got crossed up enough that it gave the Texas Rangers a pitching matchup that favored hitter Mike Napoli.
Mike Napoli hit a two run double off with the bases loaded off Mark Rzepczynski. Manager Tony LaRussa wanted Jason Motte warming up at the same time, but the crowd was too loud for bullpen coach Derek Lilliquist to hear the instructions over the phone. If La Russa had his way, he would have brought Motte into the game to face Napoli, but he was never ready in time. Of all times and people to have this happen to. Napoli has nine RBIs in the series, while the rest of the Rangers have combined for 10.
After the game when Napoli was interviewed by Fox Sports on the field, Napoli was asked if he was surprised he was facing a lefty. Napoli replied that with La Russa, you never know what to expect.