When Evan Longoria’s 12th inning home run barely snuck over the wall near the left-field foul pole in Tampa last night, all I could do was laugh.
I mean, what else could you really do at that point? All seemed well earlier in the night. The Red Sox and Orioles were in a rain delay with the Sox ahead 3-2, and the Yankees leading the Rays 7-0 in the eighth inning.
Then Dan Shaughnessy appeared on my TV screen via NESN. His beaming face proclaimed that the Red Sox would now be able to have a day off before starting their division series with the Rangers or Tigers, because the “Rays aren’t going to win tonight.”
I knew right then how things would turn out.
The loss stings, but it isn’t the devastating killshot that ’03 or ’86 or ’78 were. This wasn’t a sudden death, it was long and drawn out, and by the end of it you were just hoping they’d get put out of their misery. Big picture, this is a worse collapse than those seasons, but in the moment, not quite as painful.
So who takes the fall for this one? I’m already anticipating what changes are going to be made to this team and organization between now and next February. This will be a transitional offseason if there ever was one.
If you’re going to read anything this morning, I recommend Chad Finn: Red Sox did this to themselves
Here’s a few other links from this morning. As you can imagine, this is a Shaughnessy-free zone, though I did hear he makes references to the “baseball Gods” this morning. Must be a new book in the works. What’s the angle this time? (I think Jeff Jacobs has already coined the phrase The Curse of the Andino.) Maybe it’s the connection to LeBron James…
For Sox, misery arrived in slow motion – You can also rely on Alex Speier to bring you a reasonable take on things.
A hurt for the ages – Gordon Edes says that this one is going to take a while to get over.
This isn’t 1978 … it’s much, much worse – Christopher Smith explains why this is so bad.
‘Devastating blow’ for Red Sox – Scott Lauber looks at a collapse rivaled only by that of the Berlin Wall.
Red Sox forever choked – Steve Buckley says not to let the two World Series trophies blind you: the Red Sox are still the Red Sox.
Sox problems run deeper than final loss – Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox had set themselves up for just this sort of torturous ending.
Red Sox complete a collapse for the ages - Mike Fine says that the final weeks of the season turned into a “nightly death struggle.”
Why Terry Francona was one who deserved (and deserves) better – Rob Bradford says that the Red Sox manager is a victim in this mess.
Plenty of question marks for Epstein – Nick Cafardo says that the Sox GM will have some answering to do.
Wakefield wants to come back - Peter Abraham’s notebook has a odd quote from the knuckleballer, who believes that “the fans deserve an opportunity to watch me chase that (all time Red Sox wins) record. The Herald notebook from Scott Lauber has the Red Sox players backing Francona.
Seymour is still defensive force - Julian Benbow has a look at Richard Seymour’s role in bringing the Raiders back to respectibility. The former Patriot talked with New England reports on a conference call yesterday. More on Seymour from Dan Duggan | Paul Kenyon | Glen Farley | Tom E. Curran
Good stuff on Brandon Spikes – Ian Rapoport looks at whether the second-year linebacker might be starting to “get it.”
Just a finesse team? Patriots hope not - Chris Forsberg looks at the Patriots transition from a “a lunch pail-toting group of overachievers with a smashmouth defense to some version of the Greatest Show on Turf, an offensive juggernaut with
little defensive backbone.”
Time to question Ochocinco’s play – Karen Guregian looks at the receiver’s poor play.
Pats Pregame Points: Game Four At Raiders – Chris Warner looks ahead to Sunday.
Mankins misses practice with illness – The Patriots Journal has the All Pro guard missing perhaps the first practice of his career yesterday. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has a look at the Seymour trade. The Globe notebook from Monique Walker has more on Ochocinco. The Enterprise notebook from Glen Farley has Brian Waters talking about playing in the “Black hole.”
Steven Kampfer, Matt Bartkowski ignoring the elephant in the rink – DJ Bean looks at the battle for the last defensive spot on the Bruins.
Bruins’ Sauve hoping his number is called - The Globe notebook has the Bruins second round pick in 2008 hoping to show he’s NHL-ready.