Friday, October 20, 2017

The Best Night in Red Sox History

October 20th, the holiest of holy days for Red Sox fans everywhere. They may have actually broke the 86 year championship drought a week later, but this was in many ways bigger. History was made and it was made at the expense of the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. It doesn’t get any better than that. It was the best of times for the Red Sox and the worst day in Yankee history.
The Red Sox didn't just win Game 7 but they dominated it. It was over before it even started. The Red Sox finally snapped and beat up their long time bully. After two innings it was 6-0 Red Sox as David Ortiz continued his domination of Yankee pitching with a homer in the first inning. Johnny Damon hit a grand slam in the second inning. Mark Bellhorn would back up his huge homer in Game 6 with another homer in Game 7 and then Damon would homer one more time to complete the scoring. It was surreal. After three excruciating nights of nail biting games, the Red Sox exploded in Game 7. The last few innings were a coronation. Yankee fans were silenced in disbelief while Red Sox fans became louder and louder as each out was counted down. The Red Sox had their own party in Yankee Stadium.

The locker room scene after the game said it all. A huge weight had been lifted on a franchise and a fan base. Theo Epstein talked about payback for the 1949, 1978 and of course the 2003 failures to the Yankees. It was as emotional as anything I have ever witnessed. I was a grown man of 30 years old fighting back tears of joy. The tears would be there again a week later when the Sox would finish their sweep of the Cardinals and become World Champions but this night meant more in so many ways. It was revenge, the ultimate revenge.

The Red Sox were often associated with their failures, their choking and their 86 year drought. October 20th, 2004 erased all of that. No team in baseball history had ever come back to win a series after being down 3-0. The Red Sox had become the first that night and the Yankees instantly became the first team in MLB history to ever lose a series after being up 3-0. The Yankees were now associated with the biggest choke in baseball history. The 2011 Red Sox collapsed in September and by the numbers it was the worst collapse in baseball history but many teams have had big leads and blew it down the stretch in the regular season. The collapse was awful but it had been done before and besides it was for a wild card spot and the team that passed the Red Sox was the Tampa Rays, not the Yankees. There is no comparison.

The 2004 ALCS series will never go away. As long as sports is played and as long as teams go up 3-0 in a series the 2004 ALCS will be referenced. October 20th is the culmination of that miracle, the worst night in Yankee history, the best night in Red Sox history and fittingly the birthday of Mickey Mantle

Thursday, October 19, 2017

David Ortiz in a Yankee Jacket?

If you haven't been watching FS1's postseason baseball coverage you have been missing out. Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz have highlighted their pregame and post-game coverage and it has been great to watch. AROD has been displaying his ring from 2009 while Big Papi has grinned when talking about his THREE rings. Last night though AROD played a prank on his former nemesis by slipping a Yankee jacket on Ortiz without him knowing. Have a look:

This makes me think of my all time favorite ESPN commercial when Wally catches Ortiz in a Yankee hat:

1986 Season Replay: Brett gets 3 RBI, Royals Move to 5-3

April 16, 1986

With third baseman George Brett leading the charge, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Boston Red Sox, 10-1, at Fenway Park. Brett, who won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1980, was 2 for 3 with a home run and 2 walks, while scoring 3 runs and driving in 3.

The Royals raised their record to 5-3. Steve Balboni swatted a grand slam home run for Kansas City in the top of the fifth. The first baseman went 2 for 5 for the game, including 1 home run and 1 double. He scored 1 run and batted in 4.

 "The Royals definitely had our number," said Boston manager John McNamara

Kansas City Royals (5-3)00404001110110
Boston Red Sox (3-5)000000001130

L. Smith LF3220203.33314
J. Orta DH5221003.25715
F. White 2B5111003.37505
G. Brett 3B3323201.30026
S. Balboni 1B5124011.28128
R. Law RF4000102.18504
   a-M. Kingery RF0000000.50001
W. Wilson CF5000014.27302
J. Sundberg C3110120.16700
B. Biancalana SS4011021.25001
a - M. Kingery substituted for R. Law in the 9th

Doubles: S. Balboni (3, 8th Inning off O. Boyd, 1 on, 0 outs) L. Smith (3, 7th Inning off O. Boyd, 0 on, 0 outs) J. Orta (4, 5th Inning off O. Boyd, 1 on, 1 out)
Home Runs: S. Balboni (2, 5th Inning off O. Boyd, 3 on, 2 outs) J. Orta (1, 9th Inning off O. Boyd, 0 on, 0 outs) G. Brett (2, 3rd Inning off O. Boyd, 2 on, 2 outs)
Total Bases: S. Balboni 6 , F. White , J. Sundberg , L. Smith 3 , J. Orta 6 , G. Brett5 , B. Biancalana
2-out RBI: S. Balboni , F. White , G. Brett , B. Biancalana
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: W. Wilson , L. Smith
Team LOB: 6

CS: L. Smith (2)
W. Boggs 3B4000022.31327
M. Barrett 2B4000002.24314
D. Evans RF2110200.25815
J. Rice LF2000110.38702
B. Buckner 1B4000014.17125
D. Baylor DH3000124.25033
R. Gedman C4011003.20002
T. Armas CF2000200.19400
R. Quinones SS4010014.20002
Doubles: R. Gedman (1, 9th Inning off D. Jackson, 2 on, 2 outs) D. Evans (1, 9th Inning off D. Jackson, 0 on, 0 outs)
Total Bases: R. Quinones , R. Gedman 2 , D. Evans 2
2-out RBI: R. Gedman
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: R. Quinones , R. Gedman
Hit by Pitch: J. Rice
Team LOB: 8
D. Jackson W (1-0)8.2311570135823.24
S. Bankhead0.1000100925.40
Game Score: D. Jackson 76
Batters Faced: D. Jackson 34, S. Bankhead 2
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: D. Jackson 10-8, S. Bankhead 0-1
Pitches - Strikes: D. Jackson 135-82, S. Bankhead 9-2
Inherited Runners - Scored: S. Bankhead 2-0
Hit Batsmen: D. Jackson 
O. Boyd L (0-2)8.0111010463133799.64
M. Brown1.00002001880.00
Game Score: O. Boyd 22
Batters Faced: O. Boyd 38, M. Brown 5
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: O. Boyd 10-7, M. Brown 1-2
Pitches - Strikes: O. Boyd 133-79, M. Brown 18-8 
Player of the Game: George Brett
Ballpark: Fenway Park II
Weather: Clear skies (47 degrees), wind blowing out to left at 13 mph
Start Time: 1:05 pm EST
Time: 3:00
Attendance: 24171