The Boston Red Sox led the Tampa Bay Rays by nine games on Sept. 4. And last night the lead went poof and the Rays completed the biggest September comeback for a playoff spot in Major League Baseball history. Not far behind were the Atlanta Braves, who blew an 8 1/2 game wild card lead to the St. Louis Cardinals, who passed them in the standings on the season's final day.
It didn't help Boston that the Yankees blew a 7-0 lead over the Rays and lost 8-7 in 12 innings. A Yankees win would have forced a one-game playoff between the Rays and Sox. It's almost as if the Yankees rolled over. But no matter -- the Red Sox lost a 3-2 lead to the Orioles in the bottom of the ninth and their 7-20 September record is their worst in that month since 1952. They have no one else to blame.
It's always nice to see Boston sports team collapse since their fans are the most insufferable in sports. And to see the Red Sox totally fall apart was delightful since I know it caused misery throughout New England sports fandom.
ESPN The Magazine devoted its entire last issue to a nauseating examination of why Boston sports are so superior (they literally wrote that Boston athletes are smarter). Whose smart now? The Sox choking like dogs and Tom Brady throwing four picks in a loss to Buffalo, all in the span of three days. Can you say schadenfreude?
As for the Braves, who cares? They have been the most boring good team in sports the past 20 years, so they won't be missed.
Your playoffs are set: Yankees-Tigers; Rays-Rangers in the A.L. Phillies-Cardinals, Brewers-Diamondbacks in the N.L.