Red Sox and Rays - Believe You Can & You Will!

Last night ended an improbable regular season for both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. Theirs is truly a tale of two cities. The Sox held a monumental nine game lead in the race for the Wild Card playoff berth as the calendar turned to September, but frittered that lead away as both teams awoke on the last day of the regular season deadlocked. A win or a loss by both teams in the 162nd game would mean a one game playoff today. A win by one team and a loss by the other would mean the end one team's season.

As last night unfolded Boston was clinging to a late 3-2 lead in Baltimore while waiting out a 90 minute rain delay. Several hundred miles south Tampa Bay was being bludgeoned by the division champ New York Yankees 7-0 as the Rays came to bat in the 8th inning. The stadium had mostly emptied and presumably everyone left felt the Rays had lost and their season over.

But, as it turned out, the Rays weren't done. With an improbable six run inning, capped by Evan Longoria's three run homer the Rays climbed back into the game at 7-6. Interestingly enough at the same time as Tampa Bay was mounting their epic comeback the Red Sox were watching it on TV in their Baltimore clubhouse during the rain delay.

The Rays tied the game 7-7 in their last at bat on a two out two strike homer by light hitting catcher Dan Johnson to force extra innings. Meanwhile in Baltimore the Orioles were staging a comeback of their own as they tied the Red Sox in the bottom of the 9th.
Courtesy of The St. Petersburg Times

Just after the stroke of midnight the Rays had pulled the miracle off, beating New York on Longoria's second dramatic homer of the night in the 12th inning while the Orioles pushed across the winning run to end the Red Sox season.

This game should be a lesson to all young athletes that the game is never over until they think it is. Tampa Bay never gave up; they stayed mentally tough and believed they were destined to win the game. On the other side of the fence the Red Sox in watching Tampa's comeback must have deflated mentally and believed it was over for them; and it was. Longoria's heroic and historic performance shows how one's ability to stay laser focused against all odds can create a legendary peak performance. Believe you can and you will!

Remember what Henry Ford said, "Either you think you can or think you can't, and either way you're right." I think we know which end of this quote Boston chose.

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