Yanks Don’t Fear Rival Flag-Winners on Field

Babe Ruth

Washington Herald/October 3, 1922

Just a year ago I attempted some world series prophesying that made me look bad as a guesser. But today as we start all over against the Giants I repeat my last year’s statement. I believe the Yankees are going to win this world series and the result will leave no doubt. This year I’ve got it straight.

It doesn’t take much figuring. A year ago the two clubs were about on a par in all around strength. Personally I thought the Yankees had the edge, but we lost. In the year that has passed the Giants have lost strength and the Yankees have greatly improved. I think that is pretty generally admitted, and no better indication of the outcome is necessary.

Along in April I hope to see the new Yankee Stadium dedicated with the unfurling of a world championship banner. The owners of the Yankee club have risked a fortune and taken much criticism in their efforts to give the American League the equal of the Giants. And for many years the Giants have been the class; you can’t take that away from them.

But—as they were saying down in St. Louis a few weeks ago—“the Yanks are coming”—and the two colonels are about to reach their goal in baseball.

From this line of thought one might think I have an idea that all we have to do is to go out to the Polo Grounds and watch the Giants curl up. Don’t you believe it. I don’t. We are going to have a good hot fight on our hands, but I’ll say that three-day preliminary down in St. Louis was as tough as we’ll ever get from McGraw’s crowd.

The Giants haven’t got a Sister. They haven’t got a Williams. And they certainly haven’t got the pitching that was sent against us by the Browns.

Yes, they’ve got Manager McGraw, in many ways, in a class by himself. I respect his great record as much as any fan or expert in the country. But here’s something important to remember—Mr. McGraw just sits on the bench. Like Manager Huggins. Or Connie Mack.

The nearest Manager McGraw ever comes to the ball is when it rolls into the dugout. Yet all we heard last year and this year is lookout for McGraw. But all he can do is flash signals and give instructions.

What good did it do last year in the first two games? McGraw kept flashing signals, and yet the Giants couldn’t make a single run in the first twenty innings. If Meusel and Kelly are told to “hit it a mile” and Bob Shawkey proceeds to strike them out, instructions from the bench won’t help.

If Frank Frisch gets the word to “go down” and Wally Schang makes a perfect peg to Ward—Frisch is out of luck. Or if Nehf is told to cut the inside corner and Bob Meusel hammers the ball out of the lot—Nehf is liable to receive more instructions; regarding “the showers.”

In other words this world series is going to be won east of the home-plate. The Giants’ bench is south west. The team that gets the most runs and not the most instructions will win the most games.

I am not criticizing Manager McGraw’s methods because, in the first place, I don’t pretend to understand them. But I do want to get over this idea—all this talk about Giant wizardy and trick stuff does not faze the American League champions. Fifteen minutes in the Yankee clubhouse any day the past three weeks would prove that.

McGraw and Huggins use distinct systems. Both win pennants. That makes both systems good. But Huggins has been through many hot campaigns in both major leagues and don’t think he hasn’t showed us a few tricks of his own.

Pitching and batting will tell the final tale. The advantage in pitching is clearly in favor of the Yankees. Under other circumstances the Giants might have the edge in club batting, but with us hitting against a weakened staff and McGraw’s club going against Bush, Shawkey, Jones, Hoyt and Mays—I think the Yankees have the inside track.

Once again, to risk my reputation, I pick the Yanks to win by at least two games.