The Boston Red Sox dropped two of three games to the Tampa Bay Rays over the weekend, falling almost hopelessly behind in the race to stay relevant in their hometown.
"This was a tough series for us," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona. "We won the first one to get within 4 1/2 of first and you could feel the city starting to come around. But then we lost the last two and they're back to thinking they knew we just didn't have it months ago. We really have our work cut out for us as far as getting back in striking distance and re-filling the bandwagon."
The turning point in the series came in the bottom of the 10th inning on Saturday when Tampa reserve Dan Johnson won the game on a walkoff home run.
"Right when the ball cleared the fence, I remember thinking how awesome Tom Brady and Wes Welker are and how it's football season now," said Boston fan Tommy Reilly. "I'm not really a Dustin Pedroia fan anyway. I was just wearing his jersey 'cause my other stuff was in the laundry. And the Pedroia tattoo I got a few years ago on my neck is more like ironic or something. Especially if he's not going to hit above .300 or if he's going to keep being a pussy and not play through injuries."
Boston slugger David Ortiz says the team is playing as hard as it can through an injury-plagued season, but feels they haven't received the same level of support as in past years a feeling that is backed up by a massive drop in local TV ratings this season. But fans insist it's the team, not them.
"We are not frontrunners in Boston," said a man at a sports bar wearing a Shaquille O'Neal Celtics replica jersey. "That's a load of crap spouted by haters. The Red Sox don't have to be in first. That's ridiculous. We would also support them if they were in the wildcard lead."