And, finally, that's the end of those "overwhelming odds" the Red Sox maintain their AL Wild Card lead -- it was better than 75% right up until yesterday.
Today? How could they be better than 50/50 -- or even less, given that Boston is choking to death, the Yankees seem content to tank and let the Rays bump out their rival and, even if they remain tied, the one-game playoff would be held in St. Pete?
Very few things in sports are as dramatic as the unprecedented evaporation of a seemingly impossible-to-lose lead in the standings. Partly, it's because it is the Red Sox that are choking (and doing it to the low-budget Rays); partly, it's because mathematically it IS so improbable; partly, it's the fact that it slowly unfolds over a month, with the choking team having a dozen chances to fix things -- even once, which would have been enough to hold off the Rays. (I love the rumor the Red Sox might try to trade for a starter for Game 162; even if that would never happen, I love that it is even just a rumor.)
The MLB playoffs have started already -- tonight and tomorrow (and Thursday), it's a must-follow.
*Ozzie Guillen quits/gets fired, apparently headed to Miami: It was long past time for a break-up. Meanwhile, the Marlins get a face for the franchise for it's re-branding year.
*Cowboys, Romo survive nearly unwatchable game with the Redskins: The national primetime games so far had been mostly amazing. Last night was terrible, on both sides. Let's be real: Neither of these teams has any chance to do anything special this year.
*Braves fending off the Cardinals: Barely. Just barely. Would love to see ATL choke away their Wild Card lead, too.
Check out Quickish all day for Wild Card mania, the usual Tuesday sneak-preview of this week's SI magazine features and more.