The 2008 MLB postseason got a much needed infusion of excitement last night when the Boston Red Sox rallied from a 7-0 deficit in the 7th inning to win the game 8-7 in the bottom of the 9th.
I say “much needed” as the playoffs seemed destined to a collection of lopsided victories and short series. Short of a failed suicide squeeze by the Angels in Game 4 of the ALDS and the Phillies Shane Victorino getting his head buzzed by Dodgers pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, the postseason had all the excitement of a insurance convention.
Whether the Red Sox threw the switch, or the Rays bullpen threw it away is debatable. What isn’t is the fact that MLB finally was able to get to a Game 6, meaning ratings, meaning interest.
As for the broadcast of last night’s thriller, TBS gets a mixed bag. Kudos goes out to the camera work, especially catching the fair weather Sox fans ducking out early with the game seemingly all wrapped up for the Rays. As the well worn cliché goes, it ain’t over till it’s over. For those on the East Coast that slid beneath the covers before the end of the game, let’s pray you had the DVR running.
On the downside, the broadcast team of Caray, Darling, and Martinez should have been wise enough to heed Berra’s famous quote, as well. For 7 innings it was a coronation for the Rays – a lovefest of incredible proportions. The Rays well deserve recognition, but how could references to the 2004 ALCS not have been sprinkled about? When word arrived in the 7th that champagne was on ice in the Rays clubhouse, how could the broadcast team miss the opportunity to reference the infamous Game 6 of the ’86 World Series between the Red Sox and Mets? More than a few chances of retaining a larger audience was lost by TBS’ crew. Caray threw out the only tattered line he could muster. “It’s going to take a miracle for the Red Sox,” he said with all the energy of a 5-watt bulb, only to dig it back out at the end of the game when the Sox had climbed back into it.
But, all of that will hopefully be forgotten today. Today is about a postseason series going from sleeper to keeper. No matter the outcome of Game 6 of the ALCS, at least you can say there was a Game 6 in this MLB postseason. At least you can say there was some excitement in an otherwise lackluster postseason.