New Yorkers Breathe Sigh of Relief as Rays Clinch ALCS on Sunday

Shashwat BaxiCorrespondent IOctober 20, 2008

Basketball Hall-of-Famer Dick Vitale looked on as the Tampa Bay Rays finished off the Boston Red Sox in game seven of the 2008 ALCS.

Around 11:30 p.m. ET, the final out was recorded as pinch hitter Jed Lowrie grounded into a force out at second base, giving the Rays their first ever American League Pennant.

A few months ago, the Rays could not even get people to fill 25 percent of their park, but they had a packed stadium and millions of television viewers cheering them them to victory on Sunday, and even though the Rays play in the same division as the New York Yankees, the Rays still had the support of every Yankee fan around the world.

Sunday was a good day for most Yankee fans, those who also root for the New York Giants, anyway. The G-Men took care of the San Fransisco 49ers to run their record to 5-1.

The Jets, on the other hand, suffered a heartbreaking, overtime loss the Oakland Raiders. Even then, most New Yorkers were still anxious about what was going to happen in game seven. Jets' fans could take solace in the fact that the Red Sox could still somehow be eliminated from the playoffs that day.

The hatred for the Red Sox and their "Nation" is unmatched in all of sports. There is no question that Yankee fans cheered out loud when the Rays, another divisional rival, recorded the final out in Sunday night's game.

Yankee fans began to call WFAN-660 AM in New York and gloat about how the Red Sox fell short and could not repeat history against the lowly Rays.

Even though the Yankees have not been playing baseball for almost three weeks, Yankee fans were still elated that the Red Sox lost. Once the Yankees had been eliminated, "Anyone but Boston '08" became the new rally cry.

As soon as Joe Torre, Donnie Baseball, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies...everyone shifted their attention to the ALCS.

Just to be clear—the Yankee fans were not rooting for the Rays, they were rooting against the Red Sox!

The Yankee brass has begun to have their winter meetings and look for possible offseason deals and signings. New grass was laid on the ground at the Yankee Stadium 2.0 in the Bronx. 

Starting Pitcher Joba Chamberlain was recently arrested for a DUI. Shortstop Derek Jeter was spotted on the sidelines at the Texas-Missouri college football game.

Still, Yankee fans were focused on the fact that the Red Sox lost the chance to repeat as World Series Champions. It just goes to show that even after a disppointing end to the final season at Yankee Stadium, baseball fans in the Tri-State area are still paying attention.

Even though they may have been watching to root against a team, it supports the idea that Yankee fans are fans all year around.

P.S. Now that the Rays won the ALCS, it's time for a new rally cry from the Bronx, "Go Phils." Let the Mets fans root for the Rays...they know what it's like to be the underdog!