Well I was right. The boys just wanted to win it in dramatic fashion. Growing up, everyone dreams of winning game 7. I’ll be honest, I never wanted it to go to 7 games. But once we were there it was time to give it all I had or go home. It’s funny how every game is “the biggest game ever” but this game really was. Unlike game 6 where the whole building had a “blah” vibe to it, on Sunday the energy was electric. You could feel it in the air. We knew we were going to win that game. When Pedroia hit that homer in the first I thought “Just one run, we can get that back.” Longoria drove in Pena, game tied. Rocco singles, we score the go ahead run. The Aybar gives us a little cushion with a solo home run. Then it was time to buckle down and hold on for the ride. With memories of Thursday’s 7-8 loss, we knew the game wasn’t over until the final out. Joe managed the bullpen brilliantly bringing in JP, Wheeler, Bradford, and finally Price. David Price. Don’t you feel honored getting the see the first few MLB games this guy is playing?
As I was going out for the 8th inning, someone said “6 outs.” I wanted to slap them! We were 7 outs away before. Don’t jinx it! I stood on the Red Sox dugout and watched the first 3 outs. Then it was back over to the home dugout. We were up and down pretty quick, leaving the final three outs. I couldn’t help myself, I just paced back and forth on the dugout non stop. When Aki made the final out and the team rushed the field, I could only stand frozen in sheer joy as I watched the boys celebrate. After the initial rush subsided, I charged on the field with my “Rays win!” I tell you, nothing makes me happier than getting to wave that flag. They presented the AL Championship trophy and named Matt Garza the ALCS MVP (Was there any doubt?)
With the champagne squirting and other craziness, a lot of things are still a blur. The reality that we’re in the World Series really hasn’t sunk in yet. I thought it would be real once I saw the WS logo on the field, but I saw it this morning and it still hasn’t registered with me. I still feel that any moment I’ll awake from the best dream I’ve ever had. The great thing is that this isn’t a dream, the Rays are the AL Champs, and we’re going to the World Series!
It’s pretty awesome that we’re playing the Phillies as well. You probably don’t know this, but the Phillie Phanatic was highly instrumental in my decision to become a mascot. Back when I was still a wet behind the ears young seadog trying to make it in the bigs, the Phanatic gave me pointers, taught me how to dance, and helped me develop some of my greatest moves. Pretty much everyone in the mascot world recognizes the Phanatic as the best mascot in sports (after me of course!) So it’s a unique thrill to not only be in the World Series, but to get to face one of my greatest mascot mentors.
Well the first pitch is just hours away. I’m going to try and take a nap (for some reason I couldn’t sleep last night!) and try to get these butterflies in my stomach to stop fluttering. I can’t wait for the gates to open, the fans to rush in, and for the magic of the fall classic to begin. After this, I totally believe in magic, because everything about this season has been nothing short of magical.
Here’s to you Rays fans, let’s enjoy this ride together.