Here we go again

I haven’t watched the Rays closely enough this season to fully understand the history between Manager Joe Maddon and reliever Dan Wheeler.  I’m not sure how often he’s let Wheeler ride through a tough stretch, let him work out of a jam even after giving up some runs, and gone on to success.

But after watching baseball for much of the last 32 years, it seemed pretty evident last night that Wheeler was choking and Maddon would not perform the Heimlich Maneuver.

Momentum already rode with the Red Sox after they scored 4 runs (all with 2 outs) in the 7th inning of last night’s ALCS Game Five.  Then to start the 8th, Dan Wheeler walked Jason Bay on four pitches, then served up a gopher ball to fantastically clutch J.D. Drew.  At that point, as Lou Brown famously uttered in the movie Major League:  I think you can go get him now.

Instead, Maddon let Wheeler continue even though he was so shaken that fear was seeping out of eyes.  Sure enough, Wheeler allowed the game tying run and then the Sox won it in the 9th.

Maybe it’s just more post season Fenway magic and no matter what Maddon did would have backfired.  Or maybe the Fenway magic makes people stupid.  Either way, I’m glad game six returns to Tropicana Field.  too much sorcery in Beantown in October.

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