ALCS Game 7: Evil Empire crumbles

Yesterday’s games:

Red Sox 10, Yankees 3

Cardinals something, Astros less

Red Sox win series 4-3

Let’s face it, this was the game of the year. Sure, my prediction from the start of the postseason turned out to be wrong, but as I said then — I couldn’t see myself calling it until it was proven possible. That is, I couldn’t foresee a Red Sox victory, either in the division during the season or in the postseason, until they managed to pull it off once. And now they have. Is this the start of the Curse of A-Rod? It’s been 86 years since the Red Sox won a World Series, and 1986 was the last time they even got to one. If they manage to win it all, we’ll know one thing: to break the curse, Boston had to go through New York. Knowing that, Red Sox Nation would’ve been calling for the wild card in 1965. It figures it would take something as monumental and historic as becoming the first team to win a playoff series after losing the first three games. And the Yankees just looked defeated last night. Not physically, on the field, but emotionally, because they knew they had it, and they blew it. Several times.

It had to be clear that the Yankee mystique, that all those ghosts, would fail them this time. Yesterday was Mickey Mantle’s birthday, after all. Maybe that’s the Yankees’ problem (or at least their fans’) — they did not go into yesterday’s game saying, “I think they’ll win tonight because Brown’s due to come up big and Lowe’s been horrible all year.” They — particularly New York radio host Mike Francesa — were saying, “We’re not going to lose tonight because it’s Mickey Mantle’s birthday.” That kind of reasoning only holds up for so long.

I wonder at what point last night George Steinbrenner started firing people. You know he wanted to during the game, that’s for sure, but is he the kind of guy who decides to sleep on a decision rather than making a knee-jerk move? And is Brian Cashman in trouble because Fox showed him on camera after Damon’s grand slam screaming, “Fuck!” from his suite?

There are only so many hours in the day, and I have to work during many of them, but it would’ve been fun to sit at home all day and listen to the New York talk radio shows. But I’m not going to try to say this any better than Tyler Kepner, who ended his game story in the New York Times with this paragraph:

 

It was actually happening. The nerd was kissing the homecoming queen. Paper was beating scissors; scissors were beating rock. Charlie Brown was kicking the football. The Red Sox were beating the Yankees for the American League pennant.

And no one can put it better than ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons. Well done.

Cardinals-Astros series tied 3-3
I think, in a way, it’s good that the Astros didn’t clinch yesterday, because today is all about the Red Sox. We’ll deal with this outcome after tonight’s game.

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