Friday October 17th, 2008
The day the World Series match up was supposed to be set in stone, pitting the worst-to-first Tamba Bay Rays against the Philadelphia Phillies.
At least that was what the TBS announcers calling last nights' game would've had you believe in the sixth inning, before the Red Sox again staged the impossible comeback.
Appearing lost and pathetic the last two games at Fenway, the Sox looked beaten after the Rays jumped out to an early lead. No one will fault the announcers for looking ahead at what appeared to be an obvious victory for Tampa Bay.
Many of the more fair-weather fans even left the stadium, turning their backs on a team that had failed them to this point, unable to stomach any more.
That might have been just what the doctor ordered for the Red Sox, as the remaining fans at the stadium were the die-hards. True fans, who were not afraid to lose their voices, and were willing to get behind and support any small sign of a rally. They were willing to do everything in their power to create a hostile environment for the Rays' relievers.
When the Red Sox began their rally in the seventh, that old magic was back. That 2004 and 2007 magic. The "anything can happen here" magic that anyone on the '04 Yankees or the '07 Indians would grudgingly tell you about.
It's the kind of atmosphere that can make you forget that this team went 86 years without a World Series title. The same electric feeling that before 2004, was reserved for Yankee Stadium alone.
Proving that it was still alive and well after many had deemed the season over, that Fenway magic reared it's head and struck again. The Rays looked on helplessly as the Red Sox scored eight runs in the final three innings, which is the second-longest playoff comeback in history.
Now, the series is not over, but if Tampa Bay wants to know if that Fenway magic will carry over to St. Petersburg, Florida, they should just ask the Yankees if home-field advantage could trump the affects of Fenway Park