Last night I had the perfect plan in place. I would hit Kingston Station with some of the cute girls that I have the pleasure of working with, have a few 22 ounce Stellas, start watching the Red Sox game and wing it from there.
By 7, I was having a grand old time. By 8, I was slightly inebriated after 6 Stellas (132 glorious ounces) and was geared up for the Sox. By 9 I was heading home, depressed and debating how to get out of adding the Tampa Bay logo to my email signature.
I’ll admit it. I stopped watching. ‘The Office’ and ‘SNL’ were on, so I watched those, flipped to the game, noticed they were now down 5-0 and shut it down for the night. I was sleepy and was fully committed to my new ‘I’m not staying up late, any more’ lifestyle.
This is why they keep showing these games late. Because shit like this happens and everyone kicks themselves for not staying up. So now we’re all roped in again. No Red Sox fan anywhere will shut off any games until things are officially over.
Before I forget, shame on every Sox fan that left that game early. You have officially given up your right to attend any future game. I don’t care that they were losing. If nothing else you hang around for the final out and give the Red Sox a standing ovation for a great season. This could have been the final game at Fenway this season and you walked out on your team. Fuck you all!! I’m glad you missed an historic comeback because you didn’t deserve to see it. I hope you all woke up this morning, saw the highlights and had someone kick you in the balls out of self loathing. You suck!
I woke my eight year old up this morning with ‘You have to come down and see the Red Sox highlights’. As he stumbled down the stairs, still half asleep, he kept asking me if they won. ‘Not telling you. Just watch the highlights’. By the time it was over (ESPN does a great job encapsulating games like this, by the way), he was wide awake and fully pumped. ‘Can I stay up for the next game?’
We’ll see about that.
I should note that even he was offended that fans were leaving the game early. ‘Dad, we would never leave a game early!’ This is painfully true as we sat through every out of an 18-8 (or something) game against the Twins earlier this season. And it was nearly 100 degrees out. And we were sitting in the sun. And I didn’t have one beer. Let’s just move on before I burst into tears.
I IMed my Tampa friend this morning with ‘What happened?’ and she responded with ‘Whatever. I was furious last night!’ and proceeded to go through the six or seven stages of grief. She even told me how the entire city was ready to party only to have things fall apart.
It seems Tampa Bay Ray fans have been inducted into the ‘Holy shit, what just happened?’ hall of fame. Speaking as a life long Red Sox fan, I know how that feels. Just know that you are all real fans now. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your lives.
A few notes on the game. I did see a lot of the early innings, but the other key plays I saw on SportsCenter this morning.
- I still can’t fathom how a team as lifeless as the Sox pulled this off. The reason I turned off the game is because they looked beaten. What the hell flipped the switch? Was it Ortiz finally jacking one? Did someone on the Rays say the wrong thing? I need to know.
- Flaws tend to magnify in big moments and BJ Upton’s half assed play at times is a detriment. First he gets picked off second earlier in the series, then last night he dogs a fly ball that bounces off his glove and careens around center field. How many times does he have to pull this shit before he realizes he can’t be lackadaisical? Maddon must be pulling his hair out at this point.
- What does this do to the psyche of the Rays? This is a very young team that is used to losing and this was grade A devastating. The team was ready to celebrate for several innings, thinking this game was in the bag. Nope. Sorry. Can they come back from this?
- What about the Red Sox? Were the last three innings of this game an anomaly or have their bats finally woken up? When I saw Papi and JD Drew’s home runs this morning I thought ‘they just woke a sleeping giant’. That was the vibe and I can’t help but wonder if Tampa felt the same way. That ‘Fuck, they’re hitting now’ feeling that they hoped would never come. I’ve said all along that the pitches the Sox hitters usually crush have been there, but they’ve been popping them up or juuuuussst missing them for long fly balls. Last night that came to an end.
Will it continue?
- Looking ahead to game 6, we have Beckett going again. If he is truly healthy, expect a gem. He had that royally pissed look about him after leaving game 3 and he wants redemption tomorrow night. NOTE: that part about him being healthy is a BIG IF.
- Maddon’s decision to start Kazmir was genius even if it does get lost in the comeback. Guy was dazzling. Just wanted to point that out to all the Met fans reading this. Suckers!
- Longoria’s error in the ninth inning should send up red flags if you’re a Tampa fan. That was a choke job if ever there was one. Short hopping a standard throw has ‘jitters’ written all over it. Just like the Dodgers fell apart in their last game, I can see that happening to his Rays team. One error in a critical spot, one bad throw, one tricky hop and things could quickly escalate and get everyone tensed up.
Which brings me to the biggest issue in this series: The pressure – for the first time this entire season – is squarely on the shoulders of this young Rays team. Are they mature and poised enough to handle it?
Let’s chat on Monday, shall we?
Today’s distraction: Test your reaction time. I was ‘Pretty Good’ whatever that means. I want to get drunk and try it again.