I swear to you people, if I see one more headline exclaiming the Red Sox Nation is STUNNED after last night's epic collapse ... I will ... completely ... lose my shit.
But why?! Because this isn't September 1st. We didn't enter last night's game with a 9-game lead in the Wild Card race. We didn't have websites telling us that it was statistically impossible to not make the postseason (99.6% chance, isn't that what you said Baseball Perspectus??). And we sure as hell didn't have any room for error.
What we DID have was the worst Septemeber record in Boston's franchise history (7 wins, 20 losses). We also had bragging rights for blowing the biggest September lead in MLB history (from a 9-game lead to a tie). But most importantly, we had one game left to stay alive. Game #162 was the most important game of the season.
And we let it slip away in a 4-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. More specifically, Carl Crawford let it slip away as he went sliding after Robert Andino's line drive to left field ... and missed. "If I should have caught it", said Crawford in a post-game comment, "I would have caught it".
And there inlies one of the many many many problems that plagued the Red Sox this year. For a $142 Million contract, you make that play. Your a 2010 Gold Glove winner for chrissake.
Pouring salt in our wounds was Tampa Bay who, after being down 7-no, came back with 2 outs in the 9th to tie the NY Yankees 7-7. Then, less than four minutes after the Red Sox lost, Evan Longoria went yard in the 12th inning, giving the Rays both the win (8-7 final) and the AL wild-card spot.
There you have it. One strike away and this Red Sox team did what it had been doing best as of late: lost. Now come the calls to sports-talk radio blaming Theo Epstein for his excessive off-season acquisitions; the public disapproval of players like Crawford and the incessantly excuse-making John Lackey; and - worst of all - the commentary from douchebags like this:
So, no. I am not stunned. Painfully reminded of what life was like before 2004? Absolutely. But not stunned. Not even in the slightest.