Oct 8, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) hug and celebrate with teammates after they beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game four of the American League divisional series at Tropicana Field. Boston Red Sox defeated theTampa Bay Rays 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

As World Series Ends, Tampa Bay Rays’ Disappointment Lingers

It will be a forgotten storyline as the Red Sox parade through Boston as heroes, but there is no doubt in our minds: the Rays could have beaten them. If Wil Myers never drops that flyball, Boston’s comeback may never happen and the Rays could have won Game 1. If Myers never drops that flyball and the Rays win Game 1, maybe Price doesn’t feel the weight of the Rays’ season for the second start in a row and doesn’t pick the worst possible time for most disastrous start this season. The Rays could have legitimately won the first two games, and at the very least, it could have been 1-1. The Rays win Game 3, they probably lose Game 4 with Jeremy Hellickson pitching, but then you have David Price going in Game 5. Maybe they still lose. Maybe they beat Price twice and head into the ALCS versus the Tigers having completely earned their stripes after beating the Rays. But the odds are that they don’t. If things happen in any other way that it did, it could be the Rays preparing for a parade right now (although the Tigers and Cardinals would have had something to say about that). The 2013 Rays were not as good as the Boston Red Sox overall in 2013, but that series, they legitimately could have been.

The 2013 Boston Red Sox were an outstanding team. Give them any breaks and they’ll destroy you. We see that from the Myers dropped flyball to the Kolten Wong pickoff in Game 4 of the World Series (funny that his brother Kean plays in the Rays system). However, they never had the dominant pitching the you assosciate with champions. You would choose David Price, Alex Cobb, and Matt Moore over Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy any day of the week. Their lineup was ridiculous, but with the Rays’ dominant pitchers holding the Red Sox’ bats down for the most part, Evan Longoria, James Loney, Ben Zobrist and Co. could have made things more interesting. At the end of the day, though, the Rays have no one to blame but themselves. The Rays overcame so much this year, but if they made mistakes, the Red Sox would beat them every time–they were just too good. They were beatable, but only if the Rays played as well as they were capable of playing. They did not and the Red Sox plowed right through. You look at the ALDS results–the Red Sox win twice in blowouts and three out of four games overall–and it looked like the dominant team was playing a good but vastly inferior one. That was not truly the case, but as we saw in multiple stretches for the Rays this year, it’s amazing how bad a talented team can look when the wheels begin to roll off.

Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox on winning the 2013 World Series. They had an unbelievable year, and they deserve it completely.. But as the Rays look back at the playoffs, the only thing they will think about is how they had a chance to beat the eventual World Series champion and they let it slip through their fingers.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays

  • phattitudes

    Boston was destined to win this year. Everything went their way. Aging role players came through big for them. Beside that, teams went out of their way to give away outs and runs to Boston. It seemed like every broken bat and nub hit fell in for Boston, while the line drives of the opposition were caught for outs. If they had a player in a 1 for 20 slump, that one hit was a 3 run game winning home run. There was no stopping Boston this year.

    The Rays on the other hand somehow found victories despite disabling injuries to the starting pitching staff, lack of career years from their offensive stars, and a breakdown in their bullpen. This was a better team than the results show. It was the best team the Rays ever had, at least on paper. However Boston had the karma and not they are World Series champions. The Rays still have a year or two to attempt to grab a crown with this nucleus. Lets hope we fare better next year.

    • Robbie_Knopf

      All we can hope for. Let’s get the what-if scenarios out of the way now and get excited for what will be another momentous offseason and a big 2014 season.

  • Wayne Bowlen

    Did not the Red Sox beat the Rays like 11 or 12 times out of 17 games during the regular season? Also, Peavy was the Sox # 4 starter. Bucholz was their # 3 at the end of the year. At the end of the year who had the more dominant closer? Which team led the majors in runs scored? What team went 7-1 in games started by Price, Scherzer, Verlander, Wainwrite and Wacha? TB, Detroit and St. Louis all gave the Sox extra chances but the Sox returned those favors many times. Sox don’t have the screw-ups and they could have won every game they lost to all three teams. All blow-out games were w/the Sox being on top. One team took advantage of all the opportunities while the others didn’t. They had the best record in baseball, leaders lost their best starter for 3 months, lost their closer for the year in April followed by losing their new closer 3 weeks later for the year. You’re grasping at straws if you think the Rays really could have beaten this team this year. Maybe next year….

    • Robbie_Knopf

      The Red Sox were a better team than the Rays. I’m not disputing that. But it was a short series, and the Rays could have really beaten them. You’re a Red Sox fan, I’m guessing? Was there a moment in that first game with the Red Sox down 2-0 and the Rays coming off of 3 straight elimination game wins where you were thinking “shoot, the Rays could really do this?” Even after that Game 1, were you scared of David Price in Game 2? The Rays really could have beaten the Red Sox if Myers in Game 1 and Price in Game 2 didn’t come apart. Maybe they would not have, but there was a real chance, and they let it slip away.

  • Wayne Bowlen

    To Robbie: I was at the game and I was scared knowing that I’d the Sox list game 1 and had too face Price in game 2 they were in trouble but as fate will have it Myers let the ball drop and the flood gates were open. Again, though, for the first time in 5 or 6 years the Sox won the season’s series 12-5 or 11-6 and they as a team were confident. The Rays could have beaten the Sox but I do not believe they would have been able to beat the Tigers or the Cards if they got that far. The Sox winning this year was in the “cards”. Everything all year long fell in place for them. Balls hit down the line would be just fair. Bloopers would fall in. Watching it as a fan you began to think it was destiny as the season went along. They just hang in therec for ever. When Wong was picked off to end the game in game 4 in the WS with the Cards best clutch hitter at the plate you knew it was over. It was almost like the whole season for the Red Sox was scripted. Looking forward to next season and more baseball bantering.

  • Wayne Bowlen

    Phattitudes: You hit the nail on the head. Everything went the Sox way all year long. S. Drew would strike out 3 straight times and then get the winning hit. They would be dominated like against the Tigers the first three games yet find a way to win by by scratching and clawing. If you did not put them away when you could have they would come back and breast you. On paper they were not close to being the best team in baseball yet somehow they scored the most runs. I’ve been a Red Sox fan since the 50′s and this is the first time ever I remember there being no major controversy. They actually lived playing w/ each other and they had heart. Give me a team w/ some talent and heart and I will beat a team of super stars who do not play together day in and day out.