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If Only...

Mike, Dave and I have discussed this often in 25 years sitting together in the bleachers... that just when you think you know everything about baseball, something happens to show you that you don't.

Last night's pulsating 4-2 Red Sox win over the Yankees was just such a moment.

Twenty-five times in baseball history, teams had gone down 0-3 in a playoff series.

And twenty-five times, they had lost the series, and twenty-five times, the trailing team had won no more than two games.

Until last night, when the Red Sox broke that streak. That's not just twenty-five occurrences, it's nearly 100 years of institutional memory, and for baseball, being steeped in tradition the way it is, this is a moment of sea change.

After last night, when a team goes down 0-3, they don't have to hear the incessant bleatings of the national media that "no team has ever come back".

Now, they can think -- hey, the Red Sox did it, so can we.

It does, of course, remain to be seen whether the Red Sox can come all the way back and win the series tonight, but the momentum is clearly Boston's, particularly after Alex Rodriguez pulled a Fick, swatting the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove and correctly being ruled out for interference, just as Atlanta's Robert Fick was last year in game 4 of the Division Series against the Cubs.

The Fox announcers kept comparing this situation to one in the 1999 ALCS, when Jose Offerman was ruled out on a phantom tag by Yankee 2B Chuck Knoblauch -- a play that was voted the worst call of all time by some ESPN.com readers, but last night's play was just like the Fick play, and what was worse was A-Rod's "Who, me?" expression when they caught him in the act. Oh, and get this -- A-Rod's been going to the Moises Alou School of Bitching And Moaning, because afterwards, he was quoted as saying:

I don't want those umpires to meet anymore because every time they meet, it goes against the Yankees.

Yeah, right, A-Rod. That's why the Yankees have only been in 39 World Series.

Despite that whining, it has been a fabulous postseason, and I don't want to give short shrift to the Cardinals/Astros series, which could be closed out today, and if it is, watch for the teams to shake hands on the field, like the Cardinals and Dodgers did after their Division Series, even though MLB "disciplinarian" Bob Watson disapproves.

Frankly, Watson is an idiot if he doesn't like this sort of thing. What's wrong with showing sportsmanship in front of a capacity crowd, and a national TV audience? I'd like to see MORE of this sort of thing in baseball.

A great postseason.

Wish we were there.