Tampa Bay Rays

Rays-Red Sox: Real Reality Television

Kyle FlanaganCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2008

Reality television has become so popular in recent years that television stations are forced to begin moving to that genre of viewing options.

Donald Trump has hired and fired countless contestants. People have eaten things not even a goat would attempt to digest for the chance at cash prizes. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has helped numerous amounts of people, while The Hills have harmed even more. Ozzy Osbourne has cursed his dog out publicly thousands of times, and Jessica Simpson taught the world that not having a clue can make you millions.

Sunday night television was no exception. 

Perhaps the most real of the reality shows was found on TBS on Sunday night, as the Tampa Bay Rays secured a date with the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series with a Game Seven ALCS 3-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox. 

Tampa’s Matt Garza quickly became the Spencer (The Hills) to Red Sox fans everywhere, as he annoyed Boston hitters to the point of complete frustration, on his way to earning his second victory of the ALCS. 

John Lester, who suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his MLB career, fulfilled the role of the American Idol contestant you would give anything to see make it to the next round, but seems to come up just short. 

Goosebumps, tears, smiles, drama, and looks of awe accompanied the reality show taking place in St. Petersburg, FL on Sunday night. 

Not even Simon Cowell could bring down the spirits of the fans and players of Tampa Bay. 

How could he? 

Garza’s act of courage and resiliency was un-matched, as he threw 118 pitches in seven innings of work—giving up only two hits and one run. Willy Aybar proved that non-household names sometimes make the biggest impacts in the most crucial moments, as he left the park for the second time of the ALCS with an insurance run, providing solo shot in the seventh inning. 

David Price, who was called up from the Tampa Bay farm system in mid-September, was called upon in the eighth inning and the bases full of Red Sox. The 23-year-old left-hander was asked to face J.D. Drew, and promptly struck out the power-hitter on four pitches. With three outs to go, Price returned to the mound where he eventually got Jed Lowrie to hit into a fielder’s choice groundball to second base to end the game. 

Not even the The Real World ever had this much reality. 

So, as the Rays finish celebrating and prepare for Wednesday’s World Series Game One showdown with the Phillies the baseball world joins Simon, Randy, and Paula to say: 

“Congratulations Rays, you’re on to the next round.”

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