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In yesterday's A.M. Hot Clicks, I used the headline "This Is What Baseball Is All About" for an item about a walkoff grand slam. I should've saved that headline for today because unless you are a Red Sox or Braves fans, last night was one of the best in the history of the sport. Before we get into the specifics of the evening, I need to make one point that I threw out on Twitter last night. Major League Baseball usually gets things wrong. But it couldn't have gotten things more right this year. The regular season has always ended on a Sunday while the NFL was in action. This year, Bud Selig moved the end of the season to Wednesday night. As a result, we were all able to watch the craziness that unfolded last night without distraction. Imagine if all that magic last night would've happened during an NFL Sunday? The majority of us would've missed parts of it or all it. Note to Bud: Always keep the end of the regular season on a weeknight.
Oh, What A Night
Jonathan Papelbon :: Gene Sweeney Jr/Baltimore Sun/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com
If you listen to the local TV and radio calls from the Orioles announcers and the Rays announcers, it seems the Baltimore guys were more excited about their team beating Boston than the Tampa guys were about their team beating the Yankees and getting into the postseason. Speaking of excited broadcasters, you need to check out the reactions of the MLB Network's Harold Reynolds and Dan Plesac to last night's drama.
Here are some amusing nuggets that came to me via Twitter and e-mail. Via @Lucas8429: "Curse of Bill Buckner? Sox went 6-18 after Buckner's Curb Your Enthusiasm episode aired..." And via @DaneBono: "As Deadspin pointed out, ALL 45 'experts' at ESPN picked Boston to win the AL East." Via @AaronEPotter: "[The Red Sox] were also 7-19 since Phil Mickelson took batting practice with them. #Chokers." This graph shows you just how stunning Boston's collapse was. Lastly, this isn't a stat, but a reader passed along the cover of the Red Sox official program for the month of September.
Reader @trixareforkris, of Milwaukee (Yes, people now send their Twitter names on e-mails. It's a social media world), says "As I'm sure you missed it, Ryan Braun was kissing his girlfriend, Larisa Fraser, on the field after the Brewers clinched the NL Central Friday night. I DEFINITELY suggest you [feature her in Hot Clicks]." A quick Google search turns up some items about Fraser and Braun, but nothing definitively confirms they are dating. However, based on Fraser's looks, I had no choice to but post this photo gallery and give props to Braun if this is true.
Photo Gallery Of The Day
Larisa Fraser :: David Becker/Getty Images
It comes from the Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas and second baseman Dee Gordon.
Best Off-The-Field Moment From Last Night
NBA guard Delonte West has applied for a job at a furniture store. Here is his job application. ... Dancing Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundygets the remix treatment. ... Falcons kicker Matt Bryantwas robbed by a Chinese food delivery man.
I've had some fun on Twitter the past couple of days Tweeting Rays third basemanEvan Longoria to tell him tell that if he helped Tampa beat the Yankees, thus knocking the Red Sox out of the playoffs, I'd plug whatever he wanted in Hot Clicks. I know this is probably an AWESOME perk for Longoria and he's super-excited about this opportunity. But just in case he wasn't aware of this gift, I figured I'd post this and hopefully someone can make him aware.
Lastly, I've also had fun on Twitter rooting for the Rays and against the Red Sox, which has caused tons of people to ask why I'd rather the Yankees face a hot Rays team with good pitching over a depleted Red Sox team in the playoffs. Here's my honest take: 1) I didn't think the Yankees would beat either Detroit or Texas in the first round. New York just doesn't have enough starting pitching. So from that standpoint, I just wanted the Sox out since, you know, they're our rivals. The other reason is this: There would be nothing worse as a Yankees fan than to lose to Boston in the ALCS, especially this Red Sox team that crumbled in September. I just couldn't take a chance on that happening.
A Promise Is A Promise
Evan Longoria :: AP
Here's Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy on TV during the rain delay of last night's Red Sox-Orioles game. Whoops.
Sports Video Of The Day
Just remember one thing if you're a Red Sox or Braves fan today. At least you're not a Cubs fan.
Sad Cubs Fan Video Of The Day