Sports lived up to all of our expectations last night, when they decided that the Boston Red Sox would complete their collapse. The economy has been rough, there hasn’t been much to cheer about lately. America deserved this epic meltdown.
Meanwhile, in Tampa, the New York Yankees jumped out to a 7-0 lead on the
Devil Rays, and in the eighth, gave them six right back, helping the Rays out with a walk and two hit batsmen. Obviously, with two outs in the ninth inning, a Mr. Dan Johnson raised his season average to .119 with a game tying home run. A few innings later, Evan Longoria hit arguably the weakest home run I’ve ever seen and the Rays were winners and in the playoffs.
As we all know, the Red Sox went from kinda likeable big market losers to hate-able juggernaut when they won a couple World Series. Acquiring the likes of John Smoltz, Eric Gagne, Billy Wagner, Victor Martinez, John Lackey, Mike Cameron, Adrian Beltre, Bobby Jenks, Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez by usually outbidding everyone else didn’t help this reputation. So, I think we can all agree to boo them. As a result of their insane and unreasonable fan base, we are now being subjected to rumors that Terry Francona and Theo Epstein‘s jobs are in jeopardy. Which makes sense because they have only won two World Series and 90 games this year. NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
On the other side of the equation, the Tampa Rays who are out-Moneyballing everyone else by beating the Red Sox with a payroll roughly one quarter of the size and a fanbase so uninterested that they only filled the stadium to 81.9% capacity last night, with, you know, the season on the line. No Andrew Friedman bio-pic is scheduled as of yet.
On September 3, the Red Sox’s had a 99.6% chance of making the playoffs. They were 84-54, and led Tampa by 9 games. They of course finished out the year by playing horribly and closing things out by going 6-18, which is sub-Astros caliber baseball. The Rays only needed to go 15-9 to force a playoff, but they did one better by winning 16 games. And despite local columnists’ insistence that this was the WORST CHOKE EVAH, the 1995 Angels were possibly more disasterful.
But it was one of the worst collapses ever by pretty much any metric (and the Braves’ collapse from was probably top-5 as well, though that had more to do with the Cardinals playing very well down the stretch). And so, without further ado, the quotable Red Sox.
I don’t think this is going to define me as a player. I don’t think this is going to define this ballclub this year.
–Jonathan Papelbon. Really? You don’t think one of the worst collapses in baseball history is even going to define that season? Very well.
Not even close. Not even close to what happened to us in ’03…We walked into September nine games ahead, and look where we’re at right now. It can’t go no worse than that. This is worse.
– David Ortiz. Yeah, that’s more like it.
Definitely injuries…[Clay] Buchholz, you have Buchholz in the rotation, just that one guy. Daisuke [Matsuzaka], you have him in the rotation all year long. That’s 10 more victories. We probably win the division. [Kevin Youkilis] not having Youk in the lineup the last month.
-Adrian Gonzalez on the cause of the collapse. And he’s right. But… really? They needed to win eight of their last 24 games, 7 if one of them had been against Tampa. Any team should be able to do that.
If I should have got it, I would have caught it
-The poetic Carl Crawford on that ball he didn’t catch that would’ve kept their season alive a little bit longer. Perhaps he would be a little more concerned about losing to his former team if his current team hadn’t given him $142 million.
Hooray! The second-highest ranking villains in baseball lost! Go America! Now we get to watch the exciting first round matchup of… let me see… Rays v. Rangers. That’s what everyone wanted all along, right? That exciting matchup? Ok, that sucks, but to see the Red Soxz’ (how do you punctuate a plural possessive ending in x? Leave your answer in the comments!) hilarious collapse was more than worth it.