Good riddance. A season that started with the potential to be one of the greatest in Red Sox history instead ended in unbearably ignominious fashion last night.
Best Team Ever? Try Worst Chokers Ever. Or Most Unlikable Team Ever. Or Team That Once and for All Makes the Patriots No. 1 in Boston . . . Forever.
The Red Sox were euthanized by the Orioles last night when $142 million man Carl Crawford failed to catch a sinking liner in the ninth, allowing the O’s to walk off with a 4-3 victory.
Meanwhile, the indefatigable Rays — who are everything the Red Sox are not — pulled out a miraculous 8-7 victory over the Yankees after trailing 7-0 in the eighth, when Evan Longoria blasted a walkoff homer in the 12th.
The Red Sox had a chance to force a one-game playoff in Tampa today regardless of the Rays’ fireworks, but they managed to screw that up in appropriately pitiful fashion, blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth, in part because shortstop Marco Scutaro inexplicably stopped running a la Luis Aparicio in 1972, and then with finality when closer Jonathan Papelbon couldn’t protect a 3-2 lead in the ninth.
As far as we know the Sox boarded a plane home for Boston, but slinking would have been a more acceptable method of transportation.
This one rivals 1978. It rivals 1986. It rivals anything they’ve done in their history, which we thought we’d rewritten, but we’re now reliving..
OK so last night... pretty bad. Haven't heard a bar in pure silence until last night. Pure shock over what occured. Pretty glad I didn't have to write the recap to last night's game which would've led to another expletive laden rant about what occured. But after chewing on it, I've come to the conclusion that it wasn't a choke or a collapse... it was the Baseball Gods.
You can't buy a championship... you build a team. It's what we poked fun at with the Yankees over the past decade...only the Sox try and do the same and got the same result. This team became what we've hated as a fan. We've become the Yankees. I'm sure it didn't help that the Sox we're trying to buy Bruce Chen to start a possible 163rd game. The Baseball Gods respond by making sure that they wouldn't even have the chance to have a play-in game. As everyone was saying after last night: "that's baseball".
But now that the worst case scenario has happened, everyone wants to make the claim that this collapse was the worst ever. It's not even the worst in the past decade. Sorry but David Ortiz is wrong by saying that this is worse than 2003. Not a chance. That still haunts me and many others. 1978 is still haunting the older generation because that team at least fought a little more. Tomase couldn't be any more wrong. It's easy to say that this season is the worst because the wound is still fresh.
It's been a hell of a ride this season and it got cut way too short from what we imagined but it could be worse... we could just have sucked all year like the Cubs. At least we witnessed what this team can do when it's going...and it was pretty damn scary. Next year suddenly became a HELL of a lot more interesting.
Rest of the links: Globe:Dead Sox|Plenty of question marks for Epstein|Sox make unwanted history with historic collapse|Longoria finish a wild card comeback|Herald: Players back Tito|Wrong right off the bat| Crawford's fitting end|Devastating blow for Sox|Sox complete collapse|CSNNE:Epstein: No sugarcoating this|Sox problems deeper than the final|Papelbon rare blown save comes at worst time|WEEI: Why Francona was one who deserved (and deserves) better|Ortiz: Worse than 2003 season|Papelbon: One moment won't define my career|Taking stock of biggest collapse in September