Just over eleven years ago, the Yankees gave Red Sox fans a great gift. Actually, it was eleven years ago just last night. Or, was it this morning? Hard to keep track of these things. But, the Yankees gave the gift of choking away a 3-0 lead in the ALCS. It was a wonderful gesture. They twice had leads with their closer on the mound in a clinching game. They twice saw that closer blow a save to let the Sox back into the series.
It was wonderful.
It was, of course, one step towards the World Series championship that would change Red Sox baseball. Even if that was all, it was a great gift.
But, that epic collapse is really the gift that keeps on giving. Even before the World Series that year, we sensed it. After all, the Yankees were the first team to blow such a lead. It made sense to think it wouldn't happen again anytime soon. And, the next time a team went up 3-0, people would have to say, "Don't be cocky. The Yankees once blew a 3-0 lead!" And so it's been. Year after year after year.
Like this one.
Just last night, the Mets took a 3-0 Series lead against the Cubs. Almost immediately you saw graphics listing them as the only team to ever blow a 3-0 lead. Even Theo alluded to it. It's just glorious.
It doesn't end there, either. After all, once the Sox won game four, the Yankees led the series 3-1. Just like the Royals do in the ALCS this year. Once again, lists are made of teams to have blown 3-1 series leads. Yup. There are the Yankees again, big as life. (Right next to the Indians from when THEY blew a 3-1 series lead to the Sox.)
Sure, there's isn't a 3-1 or 3-0 lead in every series. It might not even happen every year. But, when it does, it's a wonderful reminder of everything the Red Sox accomplished those 11 years ago. It's a chance to see that clip of that final out over and over. Rather than broadcasts constantly showing a ball going between someone's legs, they show a clip of a ball being thrown to first. That's much better, in my opinion.
So, thank you to the 2004 Yankees, the biggest chokers in the history of baseball, for this amazing gift.
It's something to savor every October.
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