Tag Archive for 'Tampa Bay'


SANTA MONICA, California, Oct. 17th…An amazing thing happened in Fenway Park last night.

Red Sox fans walked out on their team.

In the bottom of the 7th inning all seemed to be lost. The Sox were down 7-0 to the upstart Tampa Bay Rays, a team of hard-nosed youngsters that had bedeviled them all season. The pitchers weren’t competing. Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria  looked like they were taking batting practice when they hit back-to-back home runs in the third. Even ferocious closer Jonathan Papelbom had stumbled, giving up a two run double to B.J. Upton in the seventh to widen the score to the seemingly unbridgeable 7-0.

At that point the unthinkable happened. Red Sox fans began to leave.

“It looked like Dodger Stadium for God’s sake,” says Brian Flanagan, a regular at Sonny McLean’s on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica where the patrons actually stop quaffing to sing “Sweet Caroline” in the Fenway tradition. 

“They booed Big Papi,” waitress Maude Gunn said in disbelief.

A short, pleasant survey of Red Sox bars in the area revealed that not one stool had been vacated during the game. Of course, many of the fans were unable to move, but those who stayed alert were rewarded with the greatest comeback in post season play since 1929 when the Philadelphia A’s rallied from 8-0 to beat the Chicago Cubs (Who else?)

Because baseball is a signifier for the economy, the mental health and the sex lives of most Bostonians, analysts were busy soon after the first disdained now deified J.D. Drew drove Kevin Youklis home with the winning run.

“Boston has the highest average ticket price in baseball at $46.46 per,” said Morley Whiteshoe, Professor of Marketing at Babson U. “Boston was the fourth team in baseball history to sell out a whole season. But the more people pay the more they expect. You don’t buy a Bentley and expect it to break down.”

“It’s interesting that we use the word rally to describe what happened,” said Carmen Invidiosa, Tom Clancey Professor of Comparative Literature at Boston University. “In the 1929 Depression and in today’s economic crisis the baseball teams are said to have rallied when the markets could not…Pointless,  meaningless and totally irrelevant perhaps, but interesting.”

“I blame it on global warming,” offered J. Gladstone-Bagge, Yuri Lysenko Professor of Environmental Studies at MIT. “The unseasonable heat raises the percentage of negative ions in the atmosphere causing a condition similar to Santa Anna winds and Mistrials in the Mediterranean, which gives rise to irrational behavior.”

“We’ve gone from a victim to a victor’s mentality,” says Arnold Farb-Blodgett, Wilhelm Reich Professor of Psychology at Harvard. “Victims band together and empathize…Victors become individualistic, arrogant and insatiable. Victims find solace in the smallest triumph. Victors are inconsolable in defeat…”

The morning after the euphoria still hadn’t faded for Sox transplants. This reporter donned a Red Sox tee (Ramirez, the only one he had) and took a stroll down Main Street in Santa Monica.

A harried young mother looked up from her fussing twins to smile: “Go Sox.”

Outside the Rand Corporation’s new building a young construction worker slammed himself in the helmet. “Damn! I turned the TV off and went to bed. I always miss the comebacks.”

“Ya gotta believe,” said an older colleague, echoing the rallying cry of the ’69 Miracle Mets.

Further down a red eye gleamed from within a  pile of dusty Hefty bags. A homeless man rose, a thick black scab on his sun baked face. “I had it all,” he said, pointing to his headphones. “I stayed with ‘em to the very end.”

At Ocean Park Avenue, the truly miraculous occurred. A California fantasy jogger, a tall, tan blonde female in a halter top and bikini bottoms stopped at the sight of the Red Sox tee.

“What a game, huh?” she enthused. “Did you see it?”

“Sure,” the reporter replied. “I always stick ’till the last out.”

“My boyfriend says he’s a fan, but he fell asleep in the seventh,” she said. 

“Time to dump him,” the ever hopeful reporter said.

“Yeah,” she laughed and offered a hi-five. “Go Sox…”

All was right with the world. The Red Sox were front runners again.

For the next thirty-six hours.