Speaking of Scott Johnson, this Powerline post (actually Paul Mirengoff's) reminds us the ALCS is 1972 redux:
The Tigers now face Oakland, victors in three straight over the Twins (sorry, guys). This is a rematch of the 1972 AL Championship series. That year, an over-the-hill Tiger club, inspired by Billy Martin, won the old AL East with a record of 86-70. They benefited from a little remembered quirk -- in a strike-shortened season, the Boston Red Sox, with a record of 85-70, were not allowed to play the extra game (whom would they have played?) they needed to catch the Tigers.
In the Championship series, the Tigers extended the powerful A's to five games (the max in those days). The A's won the decider 2-1. As I recall, Reggie Jackson scored the tying run by stealing home. He injured himself in the process and missed the entire World Series. The A's nonetheless upset Cincinnati to win the first of their three straight championships.
Funny, I was talking about this with Guarino and Floyd Stuart about this during lunch at Freedom Net. That series, along with the NLCS pitting the Reds against the Pirates (another exciting series, with my idol Johnny Bench emerging as a hero) are my first baseball memories.
I'd totally forgotten that Billy Martin was the manager of that '72 Tigers club, which was still basically the '68 title team, only four years older and without Denny McClain.
What I remember most is when Lerrin LaGrow hit Bert Campaneris with a pitch and Campy rared back and threw his bat at LaGrow, who ducked out of the way. As you can imagine, bench-clearing brawl broke out. Pretty interesting stuff for a kid watching his first ballgames.