Oct
20

Not that this has happened before…

By

Let’s take a trip back in time. October 16, five years ago.

I was as drunk then as I am now. Okay, I was probably more drunk then. I remember texting a buddy, those five years ago, when we were down 4-0 in the 4th: “For every run we score, I’m going to funnel a beer.” Over an hour later, while I was partaking in other activities, my friend texted me back: “Start funneling.”

For the next year, I thought nothing could top Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. In fact, to this day I don’t think anything can top it. I was a kid eager to get out of college. I sat in a circle at a frat house, equal numbers Yanks fans, real Yanks fans, and Yanks haters, a/k/a Mets fans. Most of us had 30s of Keystone light in front of us. There was no implicit sharing. You showed up with your own booze, and rooted for your own team.

We bemoaned Clemens. We heralded Mussina. We didn’t know what to think of Aaron Boone. In fact, I had started my ascent to the bathroom when the inning started. Only fate held me back. As I hit the second step, I heard an uproar from the room. I sprinted back, and saw the ball fall in the left field seats. Maybe it was the first live replay. Maybe it was the original shot. I don’t know. All I know is that I didn’t have to pee anymore. Instead, I took my joy to the streets of New Brunswick, New Jersey.

YANKEES WIN!!! I screamed, hopping down the street in the purest joy I’d felt since the Yankees clinched the 2000 World Series over the Mets. YANKEES WIIIIIIIIIINNNN!!!!!!

Tonight’s joy wasn’t quite that. There were no late-inning heroics. There was no rivalry to uphold. Hell, my favorite team sat at home during it, unused to the feeling of being absent from October baseball.

Yet, it felt eerily similar. I still hopped down the street once I saw Jed Lowrie ground out on the first pitch. I still screamed at the top of my lungs, though this time it was “RED SOX LOSE!” rather than “YANKEES WIN!” Still, it has been the most visceral baseball feeling I’ve had in 2008.

I only hope my fellow Yankees fans feel the same way. Tonight was glorious, in a bastardized, absurd way. One thing is for certain, though.

The Boston Red Sox will not be the 2008 World Series Champions.

That is all.

Categories : Game Stories
  • steve

    i hear ya on that man … when they came back the other night i lost my appetite.

    tonight i’m making a big feast … fit for a king.

    its a very happy day. thank you rays

    • Ken Waterford, CT

      The Red Sox were on the Rays bumper all year. On Thursday night, they hit their bumper. On Saturday night, they moved into the passing lane and pulled even. Last night Matt Garza and David Price led them to the checkerd flag. As they done all year, the Rays would not relinquish their lead on the Red Sox. The Red Sox are finished !!!!!!!!! No third championship in five years!!!!!!!!! No more comparisons to the Yankees run!!!!!!!!! Thank God.

    • Shamus

      Pure bliss. I, a devoted Yankees fan, live on the coast of Maine, deep in the RedNeck Backyard of Red Sox Nation.

      Today, there is nothing but sadness on their faces. It will get even worse when the Pats get blown out tonight, because with Brady out for the year, the Pats will miss the playoffs, and I’m positive Randy Moss will start to cry and complain. Oh, the beauty of it all.

      Here’s to 2008 being a horrible year for Red Sox fans.

      Am I vindictive? Maybe more than some of you. I’ve been a Yankees fans since the 70′s, so I’m used to the ups and downs.

      But after the last seven years living among these idiots, they believe they are entitled to winning. All the radio shows up here (WEEI and Big Jab 95) were claiming that if the Sox won the Series this year, they should be considered a dynasty.

      Today, all the idiot Sox fans took the day off from their jos as trashmen, McDonalds workers, strippers and cab drivers to stay home in the double wide trailer and call in radio shows saying things like:

      “Francona should be fired”

      “I miss Manny, what would it cost to bring him back?”

      and (no joke)

      “You think we could trade Coco Crisp, Lowell, Buccholz and cash for Albert Pujols?”

      Idiots. This is what I have to deal with. Day in, and day out.

      • Chris C.

        Yeah, Yankee fans never do that stuff on the radio. I’ve never heard Yankee fans ranting that the manager should be fired, the GM should be fired, or that the Yankees should sign Teixeira, Sabathia, Burnett, Sheets, Lowe, Hudson, the entire Rays and Phillies rosters……..and Manny Ramirez. Then once that’s done, pick up Peavy for Cano and Edwar Ramirez.

        And no Yankee fans cab drivers or trashmen. They’re all Doctors, Lawyers, and NASA Engineers. Which is a good thing, because they’re the only ones who will be able to afford good seats in the new ballpark.

        It’s amazing that in 2009, all 4 major NY Sports organizations will be screwing their fans at the same time. The Rangers and Knicks don’t count…….they’ve been screwing their fans for year already.

      • Chris C.

        “Today, there is nothing but sadness on their faces. It will get even worse when the Pats get blown out tonight, because with Brady out for the year, the Pats will miss the playoffs, and I’m positive Randy Moss will start to cry and complain. Oh, the beauty of it all.”

        I wouldn’t speak too soon there, slappy.
        Oops. Too late.

  • Alan

    Hahahahaha, beautiful Joe. Words can not sum up my seething hatred for the Red Sox, but you came pretty close.

    • Chris C.

      Isn’t this the same nonsense we used to rag on Red Sox fans about?

      I don’t really want to be as pathetic as that fan base was from 1995-2003. I could care less what the Red Sox did this season. Doesn’t change the fact that they are still miles ahead of the Yankees.

      And even more depressing, so are the perennial doormats of the division!

  • dan

    I’ve never rooted for another team like I did tonight for the Rays. It feels so good right now.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Seriously.

      That was, honestly, one of the 4 or 5 best baseball games I’ve ever seen. The Boone game, the Leyrtiz game, Game 6 of the ’96 WS, Game 7 of the 2001 WS … I think that’s it.

  • radnom

    Anyone catch that song the played right after the win?

    It was like a custom “Rays” song, and it was completely absurd/fantastic.

  • A.D.

    Ahh i remeber being huddled around my kenmore sq dorm room and going out and in the riot around fenway… redicness

    • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

      I was in Warren Towers crying in my room with my roommate…how in the name of yankees fans everywhere could you join in that insane display of drunken madness.

      • A.D.

        There was actually a an apt in the middle of Kenmore Sq. with NY, NY blasting out of it…pretty awesome

  • Sean O’Kane

    ” it has been the most visceral baseball feeling I’ve had in 2008.”
    what a way to put it.
    and about time they used Price in a big spot. after he shut the yanks down that day in sept. i was blown away that maddon wouldn’t go to him late in a game

  • Lanny

    Shocked that Boston didn’t win this with their best SP on the hill and all the momentum. Rays showed some heart.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      God dammit, Lanny. ;)

  • Lanny

    We haven’t won a playoff series since that Boone homer.

    Hopefully that changes in 12 months.

    • Slugger27

      lanny, they won the ALDS in 2004… even in this moment of happiness and joy u manage to say something stupid

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        pwned

  • marc

    lanny, dont forget 04 alds!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Oh snap. Lanny got served. ;)

      • steve (different one)

        that series doesn’t count because A-Rod was awesome.

        • Chris C.

          Against the Twins. Congrats.

  • http://yankeesfaninboston.blogspot.com DMan

    I can’t contain my excitement. I had counted the Rays out after that 7 run meltdown.

    Boy this makes it easier to go to work here in Boston tomorrow.

  • marc

    everyone forgets the 04 alds… big rube had a huge homer and arod was the man…. then the world came tumblin

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I called that Ruben Sierra shot. My buddy was like “dude, it’s over, they’re going to lose,” and I replied “what are you talking about, Rube’s gonna hit a 3 R jack right here,” and viola.

      • steve (different one)

        i know it was the twins, but i don’t think Frank Viola was still on the team in 2004.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        I think we should bring big Ruben back. He can still be our pinch-hitting power bench bat. He’s ageless, like Julio Franco or Nosferatu.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Hah, Joe Maddon hugged Peter Gammons after the game. He might has well have twisted a knife in his back.

    • Chris C.

      “Hah, Joe Maddon hugged Peter Gammons after the game. He might has well have twisted a knife in his back.”

      That’s hilarious. I thought the same thing. There’s Gammons interviewing Maddon, and you know he’s just dying inside!

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Red Sox got eliminated, Cowboys got trashed, what else could I have asked for?

    • UWS

      The Jets to not shit the bed against the fucking Raiders?

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Giants fan here, couldn’t care less about the Jets.

        • Chris C.

          We needed to know that.

      • Chris C.

        Have to turn the volume down on the TV. The Favre worship is absolutely off the hook.

        The final straw was when they blamed the offensive line for Favre’s picks, when Favre had about 6 seconds to get each pass off..
        I just can’t take it anymore.

  • http://www.mvn.com/milb-yankees Ashish Skaria

    Why was October 16, 2003 special for me? I’m in 8th grade, and for our school trip, we go to Boston on October 14th to sight see the city. Just so happens that Game 5 i.e. Clemens/Pedro is on the night we arrive, and we happen to go to a Pizza Restaurant where all the people working at the place are wearing Red Sox apparel. They have the TV on, and everyone and their mother is watching the Yanks-Sox, and I look at the score and see the Yanks are leading 3-0. I yelped and threw my arms in the air. For that, we almost got kicked out. Fast forward to the next day for Game 6 we go grave seeing at night (I don’t know why) and so I missed the game. Probably why they lost. October 16th around 2:30 pmish, we leave Boston after we go to all the historical sites, and I get home eager to watch the game. I tried almost everything. From wearing my Yankee cap, sideways, inverted inside out, sitting in different places in my living room, everything. After much tears and much anger, they finally broke threw and eventually won. I don’t know if there ever will be a greater game or a more emotional game for me ever again, but I know that game will always be a part of me forever. My favorite Yankee game by far.

    • Ivan

      Game 5? Pedro/Clemens game was in game 3. Wells pitch game 5.

      • http://www.mvn.com/milb-yankees Ashish Skaria

        Yea, oops, that’s what I meant. Thanks Ivan.

  • Ivan

    Well that game 7 in 03 ALCS was my fav game. I remember that game so vividly and how excited I was. The Comeback against Pedro was just til this day unbelievable. Whether you were a yankee fan/hater or Sox fan/hater, as a baseball fan it was a great game.

    That game 4/5 and even game 7 were just sensational.

  • Jay Walker

    Buying Dinner for two $20
    Going on a weekend getaway $300
    Summer Vacations $ 2,000
    Days like today $ FUCKING PRICELESS

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Buying Dinner for two $20

      Where the hell do you eat? ;)

      • http://pinstripealley22.blogspot.com/

        HAHAH; LOL

      • RustyJohn

        Taco Bell. Actually, that would be an assload of Volcano Tacos.

  • LETCASHMANWORK

    the only thing for me that tops the 03 ALCS is superbowl 42. I know deep down that I will never ever see anything like that again as a fan. go Yanks and G-men

  • Slugger27

    its weird, i think i pulled as hard for the rays tonight as i did almost any yanks game during the season… sad but true

    not even the greatest scholar alive could put into words how much i hate the red sox, so this was as good as it gets

    before the game my mom asked me how i would want the game to end, and i told her sox up 1-0 bottom 9th, runners 2nd and 3rd with 2 out, papelbon on the mound, routine groundball to youkilis and he makes a throwing error to lose the game…… but after watchin that game, i wouldnt trade the ending for anything in the world

    i only have 3 passions in life

    1. yankees beating the red sox
    2. yankees beating a team thats not the red sox
    3. any team, person, or living entity beating the red sox

    raise ur cocktails boys…. sox are goin home

    • Mike in Fla.

      Ah, someone that shares my pure hatred for the Sox. Love it. I almost felt like the Yanks were playing last night in how I got that knot in my stomach. We can all rest in peace now for this year. I don’t really care who wins the series now, since it can’t be that crap city that only has lobster and chowder worth a damn.

  • UpStateYank

    Tonight was the first real hug me and my dad have shared in awhile. Running around the living room screaming and hugging my sleeping father was a similar feeling that I had too that night in 03… awesome

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Yankee Pride © : Proudly repairing dysfunctional families since 1923.™

  • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

    Seriously, that game was the greatest game I ever witnessed in my entire life. I remember I was rocking a Ruben Rivera Spring Training jersey as I sat in my bed, suffocating on every pitch. I had my teeth clinched so tight as I watched that bloop-double by Jorge Posada fall in front of Todd Walker to tie the game.

    It was my freshman year of High School, and my new best friend was an avid Red Sox fan (that fucker). Later that fateful day, I came to school rocking my Alfonso Soriano jersey, gloating in the face of my boy, remembering how loudly I cheered at 1AM that morning as the Aaron Boone Home Run sailed into a sea of Yankee fans. Seeing that crowd gasp in anticipation as they awaited the official end to one of the greatest games in this team’s history was fucking epic.

  • Chaz

    great post
    expressed how i felt perfectly

    best game(s) for me was 4+ 5 of ’01 World Series with Brosius and Tino’s homeruns. I can’t remember how that series turned out but it was pretty sick until then

  • IvanS

    I guess this is the end of the “dynasty” Boston fans think that they have had recently. This team is way different next year and there’s no way they will replace Manny nor will Ortiz be as good without him.

    I was drinking at a bar after a softball game and I was actually coming out of the bathroom when the first pitch to Boone went sailing.

    • Steve

      Don’t count out the Sox. They’re (mostly) young and just got within a handful of outs of reaching the World Series. They’re still the reigning champs for another week or so, I wouldn’t call that the end of anything.

      They have the pitching to stay competitive and the farm system and cash to plug up holes. Whether via trade, free agency or from within, they have what it takes to stay competitive.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Papelbon, Pedroia, Youkillis, Drew, and Bay are a solid young core, and they’ve got some decent talent in the pipeline (Gammons’s over-the-top bluster notwithstanding), but:

        -Mike Lowell looks old as crap,
        -David Ortiz = Ken Caminiti,
        Jacoby Ellsbury = Melky Cabrera with an extra .015 points of batting average,
        -most importantly, 2009 should more fully illustrate how much not having the greatest righthanded hitter of our generation will hurt the Sox. Remember that they had the benefit of Manny’s bat through the end of July. Give them six months of Jason Bay instead of two of Bay and four of Manny and perhaps they don’t finish six games in front of us for the wildcard…

        On the plus side, however, they do still have All-Star Catcher Jason Varitek.

        • UWS

          On the plus side, however, they do still have All-Star Catcher Jason Varitek.

          Unfortunately, they don’t. After the last out was made last night (sadly, not off ASCJV’s bat), he became a free agent. Perhaps Theo will resign him…we can only hope.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            I was kinda hoping he’d forget to file for free agency and that he’d just show up for spring training and nobody would remember that he’s no longer under contract.

            We need to get Peter Gammons to bring up the four no hitters to Theo in conversation to convince him that it wouldn’t be a horribly bad idea to bring Varitek back. Getting him to be the 2009 Red Sox catcher and getting the Rays to make David Price their closer of the future are my two non-Yankee related pipe dreams for the offseason.

    • Chris C.

      I guess this is the end of the “dynasty” Boston fans think that they have had recently.

      You’re kidding, right?
      Aside from Papi, the 10 best players on the Red Sox are all under 30 years old. The Dynasty may be in the future.

      “This team is way different next year”

      Yeah, they’ll be better. There’s no more Manny, but just about ALL of their younger players have taken steps forward this season. Can you say that about the Yankees this past year?

      It’s absolutely ridiculous how good Youkilas, Pedroia, and Lester all got in just one year of time. It wasn’t that long ago that Yankee fans were pimping Cano over Pedroia. The gap between then now is unbelievable.

  • greg

    I was at the Boone game, and I can for sure say that it is the best game I have ever been to or ever will go to. I remember everything about it, from Moose’s performance out of the pen, to what I was wearing, to the exact seats I was sitting in. It really may have been the best night of my life. It is almost sad that I am pretty positive I had the best Yankee moment I’ll ever have when I was 16 years old.

  • RustyJohn

    Best game for me was Memorial Day 1991- I was 16 and watching the Yanks play the Sox at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks sucked so much ass that year it was unreal. Yanks losing 5-3 in the 9th against Jeff Reardon. Bam Bam Muelens gets a single, Kevin Maas lines one off of Reardon for an infield hit and then Mel Hall launches a three-run shot to win the game.

    Also had Jesse Barfield hitting a homer or two. I loved Barfield, man he had an arm. I saw him catch a ball against the Glad Bag in Minnesota, with Knoblauch on 2nd tagging up, ang gun Knoblauch down at 3rd. I don’t even think he bounced the ball to 3rd.

    • IvanS

      Man, your best Yankee moment cannot include ANY of those three guys (Meulens/Maas/Hall), much less ALL three. Try again…

      • RustyJohn

        Lol…hey, I had to go through 17 or 18 years of no Yankees World Series- to me the 80s and early 90s Yankees were my teams. I’d go to the games when I was a kid with my Righetti jersey, my step-sister had her Winfield shirt and my bro had his Guidry jersey.

        I wasn’t there when the Yanks played in the 2001 series, but of all my times at the Stadium I have never heard it as crazy there as it was that Memorial Day.

        When the highlight of my morning before leaving for high school was to see if Steve Sax got a hit the night before, you know we were in desperate times.

        There was also the Red Sox-Yanks match-up of Clemens v. Tim Leary- lol, another great moment in Yankees history. I never liked Clemens as a Yankee, I always thought he was a prick- during that game he nailed Matt Nokes in the ribs, and Nokes spun around. We were thinking, where the hell is the ball? Nokes caught it in between his elbow and his ribs, then dug it out and threw it back at Clemens. Classic. I think that was the same game where Tim Leary got caught with a nail file or sandpaper in his mitt.

        • BigBlueAL

          My greatest moment at Yankee Stadium (granted I moved to Miami in 1990 when I was 10 so not many moments to choose from) was yelling good-bye to Rags as he entered the Yankees dugout after the game by himself after coming in from the bullpen and he waved bye back to me with his glove. I was so excited I ran to my dad to tell him Rags waved at me!!!! What can I say for a little kid that was incredible. Especially since next to Mattingly Rags was my 2nd fave player as a kid.

          Granted Jeter has become my fave Yankee all-time since I was able to more appreciate and follow him as a player since I was in high-school when he came along, but as you mentioned those late 80′s early 90′s teams were the first teams/players I remember rooting for as a kid so they still hold a nice place in my heart.

        • Dave

          I drove up from Philly for that Nokes game. That was great! Nokes owned Clemens that year. I think he hit two dingers off of him in a game earlier that year.

          Man, those were some dry years when your best memories are things like that, or Mattingly coming off the bench when he can barely walk to hit a game winning Donny-double. These things were fun but nothing like watching the team pile on Mo in late October. I’m ready for number 27.

          • RustyJohn

            Watching Donnie Baseball hit a double was a thing of beauty. By the late 80s/early 90s I was splitting time in between NY and FLA so I’d at least get to see a month of spring training every year in FOrt Lauderdale and skip school.

            They always had the Yankee version of Pravda, the Yankee Magazine yearbooks that would come out around spring training talking about the great Yankee signings of the off-season- guys like Scott Sanderson, Mike Gallego, the Perez brothers, Andy Hawkins, Steve Farr, Steve Howe, Tartabull. And the pitching prospects….lol…I remember watching a double-header at Ft. Lauderdale Yankee Stadium one summer- one game started by Mark Hutton and the other by Sterling Hitchcock. Brien Taylor was the shit in A ball too- they sold that place out when he pitched. You could get a ticket for 2 bucks and the Pompano Harness track was right down the street and that was only 2 bucks to get into also.

            Worst spring training game I ever saw was Philly v. NY- Dave LaPoint, I think, v. Leary- it was 5-6 after two innings. Alan Mills came in at one point and Darren Daulton hit a foul ball that lines right into a lady’s face.

            It started to turn around one year, I think my junior year, when one Bernie WIlliams hit a walk off homerun against the Expos.

  • RustyJohn

    TOnight made my weekend- nothing like the shot of the Sux walking up the stairs to the locker room while the Rays celebrated. I had Radiohead “Live From the Basement” on the stereo and the t.v. on mute- listening to a little “Reckoner” when the final out came and watching the Sox leave the field to “Reckoner…..you can’t take it with you…..” Love it.

  • BigBlueAL

    Ill probably be killed for this, but I have to say do you guys really get as excited to see the Red Sox lose tonight as you get for a Yankees win????? No offense but thats pretty lame.

    Ive mentioned this before, but I HATE the Red Sox as much as all of you guys, but making fun of them for losing in the ALCS when the team we root for didnt even make the playoffs is some pathetic stuff. Same thing when Red Sox/Mets fans cheer like crazy against the Yankees in the playoffs/WS when their team’s asses are home watching too.

    Plus uh they were playing the team that you know actually won our division and could pose just as big if not a bigger threat to the Yankees, not exactly something to cheer about. Hell Ill be rooting like crazy for the Phillies just because their fans and that franchise deserve a championship a helluva lot more than freakin Tampa and the Rays.

    Go ahead and rip me, but I prefer not to stoop down to Red Sox fans levels. I rooted for them to lose, but not to the extent as apparently most of you guys were. Red Sox fans used to be more obsessed with the Yankees losing than with the Red Sox winning, and I hope Yankees fans arent getting to that level.

    One last thing I must say, somebody get Joba a damn chaperone!!!!

    • Steve

      You my friend, are 100% right. Rooting against success is the bitter comfort of losers. But as Yankee fans, that’s who we are at this point.

    • radnom

      Both of you need to take your misguided self righteousness and shove it.

      The Yankees are not in the postseason this year and as true baseball fans a lot of us are still watching the games and trying to get caught up in the other subplots. There is NOTHING wrong with getting excited in a great game to close out a great series where a young upstart team (who most people on this site favor) take out our bitter rivals.

      Please get over yourselves.

      • BigBlueAL

        Who the hell said not to get excited for these games and get into them??? Ive watched almost every single playoff game that was on while Ive been home, but all I was saying was I am not cheering my ass off for Boston to lose as I would be for the Yankees to win.

        Im sorry but Boston losing game 7 of the ALCS does not nowhere near come close to making up for the Yankees disappointing 2008 season. That was my point. Get over yourself and realize Boston losing last night doesnt change the fact that the Yankees didnt make the playoffs and the 2 teams who finished ahead of them in their own freakin division just played a prett dramatic 7 game ALCS….

      • Chris C.

        “Both of you need to take your misguided self righteousness and shove it.”

        Who’s misguided? Listen champ, if you can honestly tell me that you were just as excited to watch Tampa beat the Sox in the playoffs, as you’d be to watch the Yankees advance to the WS, then that’s just weird.

    • Slugger27

      dude, its the biggest rivalry in sports…. no self-respecting yankees fan wasnt pullin for the rays last night and i find nothin wrong in doing so…. as i stated in a diff post, i think every diehard yanks fan should share my rooting interests:
      1. yanks beating sox
      2. yanks beating anyone else
      3. sox losing in embarassing and traumatic fashion

      no we werent in the playoffs, but our spirit for the rivalry never leaves… more than anything i think most of us would have jumped off a cliff if another person compared their run to ours in the 90s

      • BigBlueAL

        Hey like i said i was rooting for Boston to lose dont get me wrong, but you have people posting comments saying last night was the best night of the season and they were celebrating like crazy when Tampa won and saying it made up for the Yankees 2008 season. Thats way too much in my opinion.

        Hey at least one other person agreed with me!!!!

  • Dave

    This year I have learned what it must feel like to be a Yankees hater but not a Red Sox or Mets fan – I guess it would be like being a Pirates fan. There is something relaxingly fun about rooting against a team or teams while not feeling the stress that your team might lose. There is a lot of upside and a lot less downside. I got to vehemently root against the Dodgers and Red Sox which gave me a real interest in their series but if the teams I wanted to win lost there was no significant pain involved. It was a much less stressful postseason than usual because the Yankees weren’t in it…but, now that I have experienced it, I hope to never experience it again. Once is enough.

  • VO III

    I have to agree with big blue… The Redsox losing last night felt good until reality set in…We are looking at a new nemesis building…To watch a bunch of young talented kids grow up as much as they did last night and to watch a 20 year old kid pick up his first Major League save in game 7 of the ALCS, while playing for the team that won the division scares me more than the Redsox….The Redsox have more holes to fill next season and beyond, and are still in better shape than the Yankees. The Rays are developing what may become the 96 Yankees….

    • RustyJohn

      Yeah, but they can’t sustain their teams- they’ll become the Marlins of the American League- be good for a couple of years, then suck as they rebuild. Although, their fan base and revenue will probably be better than the Marlins- something about sitting in 95 degree heat with 100 percent humidity and having 4 rain delays- kind of puts a damper on heading out to Joe Robbie Stadium- or whatever the hell they call it now.

      • Steve

        I may be in the minority, but I see the Rays taking a step back next year. I think they’ll be good, but not a playoff team. They were remarkably healthy and got a ton out of a very mediocre bullpen. They also were 13th in Runs Scored, you need to pitch great to win with a weak lineup like that.

        The problem small market teams like them have is that if you get an injury or two they usually cant plug their holes except from their own farm system. If that doesn’t work, they’re done.

        I know they’re young and very talented and it looks like they’ll rule Baseball for the next 5 years But so did the 2003 Marlins, the 2005 White Sox, and last year’s Rockies among others.

        • Steve

          BTW-They dont have a closer, either.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

          In a way, I can see them regressing a bit. Not every team has the same five starters taking the hill every day from May forward. However, they have two, maybe three guys who can step into the rotation next year (Price, Davis). So they can trade one of their back-end guys, probably Jackson, for a bat. They have plenty they can add from their farm system to get it done.

          • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

            They’ll regress in ’09 likely simply because they can’t remain as lucky as they were. As stated, outside of Percival (who is far from critical to their success), they didn’t really have any injuries this year. That won’t happen again.

            However, I wouldn’t write the Rays off as just another “small market” team that will inevitably implode and drop a firesale. The Rays new ownership seem committed to paying money to retain their talent, as witnessed by the Kazmir, Crawford, and Longoria extensions. And most of this current crew is under contract for at least the next trhee years, giving them time to establish a sustained run to build up a loyal fanbase than enables a team to raise the capital to pay for their internal talent when they do eventually come up.

  • Steve

    Now that its all over, I have mixed feelings. I was certainly rooting against the Sox, against them having a dynasty anything close to what the Yanks had 96-2003 and against (some of) the most obnoxious, annoying fans in Baseball.

    But lets be honest, they’re still a way better team than the Yanks are or have been in recent years. They fought like the champions they are, and made a series out of it when almost every other team in Baseball would have packed it in, including some of the recent Yankee teams. They have more pitching, have more tough outs in that lineup and Beckett showed that even without his best stuff he still finds ways to win big games.

    Even in losing, the Sox showed the world they’re still better than we are.

    • Steve

      BTW-That being said, I’m still listening to WEEI all morning to soak up their pain.

      http://www.weei.com/#

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      They absolutely are better than us right now. But, I’m still relieved that they’re not going to the World Series again. That’s what this is all about.

  • VO III

    The majority of the Rays emerging stars are signed long term….No Closer? Price looked pretty good in that role last night, no? There are also some quality F/As available this off season…Those of you who believe the rays will go away are grasping at straws…

    • radnom

      Oh god. I’m hoping you just don’t know, but Price is a starter who came up in September a la Joba a few years ago.

      I’m just hoping this isn’t the start of a new starter/bullpen debate.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Shit, since it doesn’t involve the Yanks, I hope the debate does happen. It’d be nice to see the MSM try to convince one of our competitors to do something incredibly stupid instead of always zeroing in on us.

        Do you hear me, City of Tampa? Lobby for your team to put David Price in the closer role. The residents of New York, Toronto, Boston, and Baltimore will be eternally grateful if you stupidly waste one of the best young arms of the 21st century in the bullpen. (Listen, they’ve only known about the existence of baseball for like a month, we can probably pull the wool over their eyes and convince them. Taking candy from a baby.)

        I will personally buy some Rays tickets and donate them to charity if they would grant us this act of largess.

        Price To The Pen ’09: Change We Can Believe In to Put Our Country First.
        YES WE CAN! SI SE PUEDE!

        I’m TommieSmithJohnCarlos, and I approved this message.

  • Relaunch

    Aweome feeling to have the Sox out of it. The world seems like a better place. There was no way in hell I thought TB would win last night. Its aweosome.

    • Chris C.

      There was no way in hell you thought TB would win last night?

      It was Game 7, in Tampa Bay, they had a guy who stifled the Sox in Game 3 against a guy they clubbed that same game.

      Hell certainly had more than a few ways for the Rays to win last night.

  • steve (different one)

    i have to agree with those that are saying the Sox are still better than us and probably set up better going forward.

    that said, and this is going to sound a little silly: i bet EVERYONE here was positive the minute that Drew hit the HR in game 5 to make it 7-6 that the Sox, down 3-1, would not only win that game, but win the Pennant, and win the World Series.

    it’s almost like a spell has been broken.

    the Sox were 9-0 in their last 9 ALCS elminimation games. that’s a crazy and amazing stat. it’s more than just being a pretty good team, which they have been.

    for whatever reason, they’ve been able to play loose and stay focused when down, unlike the Yankees of the last few years.

    but who knows, now that the string is broken, maybe they feel a little pressure next year?

    i don’t know.

    this is all superstitious nonsense, but it sure FEELS like something has changed, no?

    • Steve S.

      They have a swagger. I unfortunately made friends in law school with a guy born and raised in one of those suburbs of Mass. Things have drastically changed and he now has the expectation of winning, which is something I can understand. Ask me in 1996 if I thought they would win a World Series, after watching them in 1995, I wouldnt have said it out loud if my life depended on it. But by 1999, I became the obnoxious Yankee fan who exuded confidence even in the worst situations (especially around Met fans).

    • Chris C.

      “the Sox were 9-0 in their last 9 ALCS elminimation games. that’s a crazy and amazing stat. it’s more than just being a pretty good team, which they have been.

      for whatever reason, they’ve been able to play loose and stay focused when down, unlike the Yankees of the last few years.”

      That’s because the Sox aren’t made up of a bunch of mercenaries with ridiculous contracts who feel the heat of the moment because of what they earn. And they don’t have an owner who’s constantly reminding them of what they earn and what they should be doing in the papers every day.
      It aint easy being a Yankee, unless the expectations are reasonable.

  • Steve S.

    What I want to see, is if one of these NESN South writers makes the observation that now, more than ever, what those teams did from 1996-2001, was nothing short of amazing. But of course no one there will ever acknowledge it and worst of all the new breed spoiled Yankee fan wont be able to acknowledge or understand how significant that era was, they’ll just blame it on Arod.

  • Elston32

    I wonder if ESPN will even bother to cover the World Series now.

    VO III does make a good point. Can you imagine if the Rays shock everyone by stepping up to the plate (pun intended) and sign a high-quality free agent? (maybe convincing Manny to DH/eventually retire in Florida). Hank will be lobbying Bud Selig to transfer Tampa Bay to the National League at that point.

  • daneptizl

    Did you go to Rutgers, Joe?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Yes, I went to clown college.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Kids gotta lotta money these days, so, after you finish performing, you might wanna consider robbin’ em.

  • Axl

    What I don’t understand is why they gave credit to the Red Sox “but they had injuries”…none of which were over a month long…”the Red Sox would be going to the World Series if it wasn’t for their injuries” said Steve Phillips. But the Yankees who lost 3 KEY players for more than half the season “underachieved and failed” according to most. Is it because hating the Yankees is the “sexy” thing to do while rooting for the Red Sox is trendy?? Why else would they be doing this?? It makes me very upset.

    • UWS

      ESPN = Red Sox Central. That’s all.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        ESPN was originally supposed to be RSPN, the Red Sox Propaganda Network. When registering the network with the FCC, somebody accidentally hit the E key instead of the R key on the typewriter (they’re right next to each other.) George Bodenheimer was forced to change the acronym to the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network when the FCC refused to alter the registered call letters.

        For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, RSPN.

    • steve (different one)

      the Red Sox would be going to the World Series if it wasn’t for their injuries” said Steve Phillips.

      What’s even funnier is that no one mentions the Red Sox payroll in relation to the Rays’ payroll.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        That’s because the evil Yankees have a 2008 payroll of $326 billion dollars, while the Red Sox, Mets, Rays, Dodgers, Pirates, Tigers, and every other team in baseball all have $10M payrolls each.

        Yankees = Wall Street fat cat European elite subprime mortgage greed and excess and terrorism
        Red Sox and all other baseball teams = Puritanical Main-Street family values and simple, good old fashioned American hard work, pluckiness, and love of freedom

  • john

    2003, I was a freshman in high school. Yes, in high school in new england too. It was getting late and I decided that ide listen to the rest from in my bed. First pitch after I get into bed is the boone home run which I have the pleasure of listening to out of the sox announcers mouth. It was a good night.

    Last nights game was top 5 baseball games I’ve ever seen. The level of intensity was extremely high. I could not turn away from the game. And besides missing one pitcj while going number 1, I saw every pitch of last nights game

  • Pete Law

    This was equally one of the best nights in my life. I was a freshman in college and it was the same night as Rookie Night for my Rugby team – essentially one night of unadulterated hazing. We had finished eating and all sat and watched the final innings, playing a drinking game based on the speed of Mo’s pitches. When Boone hit the home run, we all piled on in the center of living room as if we had won, similar to what the Rays did last night.

    Buck Foston!

  • Jay Walker

    Hey mike I be eating in apple bees or some Dominican Restaurants in the BX, Dominican food is great and cheap lol

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