As I was watching the Rays complete their incredible seven run come-from-behind win against the New York Yankees, I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that the Orioles had just beaten the Red Sox on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. The absolute irony behind the final play of the Red Sox season is amazing.
The Orioles, who were playing for nothing but pride, had just tied the game at 3-3, and had a runner on base when Robert Andino hit a line drive single to left field. Who better to have in left field, than a 4x All Star, 4x Stolen Base League Leader and former Gold Glove winner, Carl Crawford. He's been one of the best players in MLB over the last decade and was the face of the franchise for the Devil Rays/ Rays, so naturally, Boston signed him to a huge contract this past off season.
The final play of the 2011 season really puts a sour note on the worst season of Crawford's career. As the ball came towards Crawford, he slid, but was unable to make the catch. As the runner headed towards home, he dropped the ball then made a throw that landed halfway between home plate and third base. The winning run easily scored and the Red Sox postseason hopes were hanging by a thread as the Rays and Yankees are still tied at 7 in the bottom of the 12th inning. Moments later, the face of the Rays, Evan Longoria, belted a line drive home run that barely cleared the left field wall at Tropicana, sending the Rays to the postseason and the Red Sox home packing. To add injury to injury, Longoria's homerun barely cleared the 3 or 4 feet tall left field fence at the Trop. The fence used to be higher, but they lowered it in 2007 due to the guy who made great over the wall catches out there. That guy's name, you guessed it... Carl Crawford.
Crawford will recover and have an outstanding career with the Boston Red Sox. But for the moment, I can't help but wonder, "Has there ever been this much irony on the final day of the year, between a player and his former team?" This was the most amazing finish to any regular season that I have ever seen!
Labels: Carl Crawford, Tampa Bay Rays