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When Brad Lidge recored the final out of the 2008 season on a strikeout, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series for the first time since 1980. It was also Philadelphia’s first title in 25 years since the ’83 76ers. Fans of the Philadelphia sports teams are brutal, but they do care about their sports and definitely deserved their time in the sun.
As for the Rays, they are just the latest victim of the Red Sox kiss of death. I know the Sox lost to the eventual World Series Champions in the 2005 ALDS (the White Sox), but in 2003 and 2008, the Red Sox lost the ALCS in seven games to the eventual World Series loser.
The 2003 ALCS was one of the greatest playoff series of all time, as the Yankees struggled to survive the Red Sox in the extra innings of Game 7 (Aaron Boone). New York went on to lose the World Series to the Marlins in six games.
The Rays, as you may remember, struggled to beat the Red Sox in seven games in the ALCS. They then went on to lose the World Series in five games. Tampa’s bats just died after Boston’s amazing comeback in Game 5 of the ALCS (down 7-0 with 7 outs to go). They seemed just plain worn out, and the well-rested Phillies took advantage behind WS MVP Cole Hamels.
As for next year, will the Rays suffer fate similar to the 2006 Detroit Tigers? Or will the Rays seize the AL East title once again? We will have to wait many months to find out.