Minutes after Boston lost in Camden Yards, the Yankees gave up a home run to Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria.”That was easy,” Scott Proctor said.
The Tampa Bay Rays hosted the New York Yankees in a game that would decide the fate of the Rays season. After seven innings of proving they could win, the New York Yankees, who were watching their rival Red Sox take a lead in Baltimore, let the game go.
“It was tough, but when we realized that every Yankee fan out there was rooting against us, we had to please the people,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We didn’t have the benefit of a final series against those guys to knock ’em out ourselves, like Philly had with Atlanta… so we had to do it this way.”
Boston had some control over their playoff fate, of course, but did their part of the historical collapse by blowing a lead in Baltimore.
After the loss, Boston closing pitcher Jonathan Papelbon said, “I don’t think this is going to define me as a player. I think it’s the accumulation of dozens of important blown saves that will cement me as a bummer.”
“I don’t think this is going to define this ball club this year,” Papelbon inaccurately continued. “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, that’s for sure,” he stated, before being reminded of Hideki Irabu’s fate.
“I wanted to embarrass them in the playoffs,” Mark Teixeira told reporters, “but then Derek reminded us that they probably wouldn’t make it past the DS, anyway.”