Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aaron Boone + 5 Years

October 16, 2003. Well, October 17, at 12:16 AM. Aaron Boone batting against Tim Wakefield. Charlie Steiner with the call:

There's a fly ball, deep to left! It's on its way! There it goes! And the Yankees are going to the World Series! Aaron Boone has hit a home run! The Yankees go to the World Series for the 39th time in their remarkable history!

Has it really been 5 years?

The Top 10 Strangest Things That Have Happened In Sports Since the Aaron Boone Game

10. Stanley Cups have been won by Tampa Bay, North Carolina and Anaheim. This will be revisited, in a way, in Number 7.

9. A major league sport's governing body cancelled an entire season -- the NHL in 2004-05 -- because the owners decided not playing at all, and the money they'd lose as a result, was worth breaking the players' union. Bastards.

(The team owners, not the players. Well, some of them, but that's because they're Rangers, Flyers or other thugs, not because they belong to a union.)

8. Scott Gomez is a New York Ranger. Scott Niedermayer playing for the Anaheim Ducks (Mighty or otherwise) is understandable, since he could join his brother Rob. Brian Rafalski playing for the Detroit Red Wings is understandable, as they're one of the NHL's powerhouses, and he's from Dearborn. Both Nieder and Raffy winning Stanley Cups elsewhere is not fun for Devils fans, but we don't mind that much.

But Gomez? In a Blueshirt? The damn traitor! RANGERS SUCK!

7. Tampa Bay, having already won a Super Bowl almost 2 years before the Boone homer, has both won a Stanley Cup and come within 1 win of an American League Pennant. The Rays can eliminate the Red Sox tonight and move on to face the Phillies. Speaking of whom...

6. The New York Mets, once known for comebacks (1969 regular season, 1973 regular season, 1986 World Series), have choked away a September lead in their Division and missed the Playoffs completely.

While the Philadelphia Phillies, once known for chokes (1964 regular season, 1977 NLCS, 1982 regular season, 1983 World Series, 1993 World Series), have gone on a September tear and won their Division, and in so doing, have benefited from another team's choke. Twice. And now, the Phils have a Pennant out of it.

5. The Chicago White Sox have won a World Series, in 2005, something neither Chicago baseball team had managed to do since 1917. And they're still less popular in the Chicagoland area than the Cubs! What does a ballclub have to do?

4. Brett Favre is not only no longer the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, he's the starting quarterback of the New York Jets. (Had to put this one at Number 4, even though, for some people, it could be Number 1.)

3. Rutgers University went to bowl games. In 3 consecutive seasons. And won the last 2. Unbelievable.

2. East Brunswick High School won a Central Jersey Group IV football championship. Deep in my heart, I had long stopped believing we would overcome one day. But we did.

1. The Boston Red Sox have won 2 World Series. One, I suppose, was acceptable, even the way they won the Pennant to get to that Series. But 2? No, not acceptable. And easily the strangest thing to have happened in the 5 years since.

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