Tampa Bay Rays: Meet the 2004 New York Yankees
By David Hill
The 2020 Tampa Bay Rays and 2004 New York Yankees are now entwined in history. The Rays are hoping that history does not repeat itself.
It all comes down to one game for the Tampa Bay Rays.
After seemingly having their ticket to the World Series already in hand, the Rays find themselves in a winner take all Game Seven against the Houston Astros. Only one team had even forced a Game Seven in the MLB postseason after such a deficit, the 2004 Red Sox team that shattered the Curse of the Bambino in the most improbable of ways.
And now, the Rays have taken on the role of the 2004 Yankees. They have watched that seemingly insurmountable lead evaporate, to the point where a Game Seven must take place. For Houston, there is no pressure – they were never supposed to be here in the first place. For the Rays? The pressure is squarely on their shoulders as they look to avoid repeating history.
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The Yankees were even closer than the Rays. They were three outs from a return to the World Series, holding a one run lead with the dominant Mariano Rivera on the mound. Then Kevin Pillar drew a leadoff walk, pinch runner Dave Roberts had one of the most iconic stolen bases in postseason history, and the Red sox were on their way.
For Houston, that iconic moment may have happened in Game Five. The Rays had tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the eighth, and seemed to have gotten the momentum back on their side. Instead, Carlos Correa reportedly stated that he was going to hit a home run, and did just that to give the Astros the victory.
Maybe this time will be different. Maybe the Rays will be able to avoid the Yankees fate, and can take Game Seven. After all, anything can happen on the diamond, especially in a winner take all contest.
The 2020 Tampa Bay Rays and 2004 New York Yankees are linked in history. Hopefully, their fate will not be the same.