The AL East delivered two memorable games last night: the Rays overcame a 7-0 deficit with two Evan Longoria homers to beat the Yankees and the Orioles had a dramatic comeback of their own against the Red Sox. The result: the Rays play the Rangers in the ALDS and the Red Sox start preparing for the offseason. Here are some links from the division...
- Rob Bradford of WEEI.com says manager Terry Francona deserved better than this, though his decisions didn't always work out. It's unclear if the Red Sox want Francona back next year; they now have ten days to decide whether to pick up two $4.25MM options for 2012 and 2013.
- GM Theo Epstein, who admits this month has been "one for the ages," tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that he and his staff were doing little things behind the scenes to stop the steady stream of losses (the Red Sox were 7-20 in September).
- It was because of Carl Crawford that the Rays initially installed low fences in the left field corner, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Crawford, who signed with the Red Sox for $142MM last offseason, missed a critical catch for Boston last night and it was Longoria who cleared the short wall with a game-winning home run.
- Orioles owner Peter Angelos, president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and manager Buck Showalter are scheduled to meet today, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. MacPhail is expected to step down, yet there's a sense that Angelos will want MacPhail around in some capacity. Showalter appears to be torn between his current role and the possibility of becoming the GM, according to Connolly.