In one of the most exciting three-minute stretches in sports, the Boston Red Sox completed a historic collapse, losing to the Baltimore Orioles when they were one strike away from victory, and Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays completed an extraordinary comeback for an extra-innings victory over the New York Yankees.
“You can’t write that. That is beyond fiction. Nobody would believe any of that had you written it in a novel,” Maddon said in an ESPN interview, pretty much summarizing it better than anyone. “I mean, it’s beyond the natural stuff. How does that all happen — they lose and you win simultaneously? How are you down 7-zero and come back and do what we did? I normally like to attempt to say what I’m thinking. I have no idea what I’m thinking right now.”
It was head-spinning for the Rays, who won the American League wild card, and a dull thud for the Red Sox, left searching for reasons why they are fresh out of good karma. Someone, something, has to be to blame when a team that has reversed a curse and won two World Series falls utterly apart in a historic September swoon, right? Maybe it’s as simple as the Bambino rediscovering his mojo. Maybe it’s plain old karma. Maybe it’s just that dynasties fise and fall in sports.
Or ... maybe it was that ESPN cover story on the Greatness of All Things Sports in Boston. (Hey, who’s the “loozah” now?)
Maybe it was Aaron “Bleepin’” Boone, the Yankees’ homer-hittin’ hero in extra innings in 2003. Now an ESPN broadcaster, he just happened to mingling with the Red Sox as they stretched in front of their dugout before the game against the Orioles.
Truly unbelievable. This feels like revenge for 2004 and 2007. It is as if the baseball gods are punishing Red Sox Nation for hubris and arrogance and good times that seemed so good, so good, so good.
Yeah, well, okay. The Boston Herald hurts, too. It gulped and retracted that “Best Team Ever” matzo ball of a back page.