I haven't followed baseball much this year. It looks like my hometown Angels will probably miss the playoffs, and two other teams may have historic crashes:
For the Boston Red Sox, the failures of the last week have amounted to some grim theater: Josh Beckett, their best pitcher, getting beaten up by the Baltimore Orioles, who were ostensibly eliminated from meaningful competition months ago.I feel your pain.
It has not been any prettier for the Atlanta Braves. Their rock, third baseman Chipper Jones, lost a high-bouncing ball in the lights this week before Omar Infante, his former teammate who is now on the lowly Florida Marlins, hit a two-run game-winning home run off Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta’s sterling rookie reliever.
Over the decades, teams falling apart during a pennant race have always made for darkly compelling viewing. Yes, watching champions spraying each other with Champagne is nice. But seeing teams — good ones, even great ones, losing night after improbable night when the games matter most — can be ghoulishly riveting.
If the Red Sox and the Braves continue their descents, this September could produce two historic collapses. No team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, has ever squandered what Boston and Atlanta are close to giving up: leads of eight or more games in the race for a spot in baseball’s postseason in the final month of the season.
“What was a dream scenario is now really a train wreck,” said Steak Shapiro, a host on 790 the Zone, an all-sports radio station in Atlanta.