Tip Your Hats to Tampa
Rays' talent rises to occasion, avoids epic collapse in beating Boston to seal Series trip
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2008 2:00 PM CDT
Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir, right, sprays BJ Upton with champagne after the Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox to win the ALCS in St. Petersburg, Fla., last night.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The improbable has happened. The Tampa Bay Rays have ousted the defending champion Red Sox. Sportswriters, start your fawning:

  • The Rays won this thing with “talent, talent, talent,” which trumps experience every time, writes Bob Ryan in the Boston Globe. “The best team in the American League is going to the World Series.”
  • Besides, the Rays played like grizzled veterans, writes George Vecsey of the New York Times, thanks to a “lineup full of heroes doing the big things and the small things.”

  • "With everyone expecting them to fold under the weight of the memory of that horrible collapse at Fenway Park, the Rays came up bigger than ever," writes Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune.
  • As for Red Sox Nation? They’ll be okay; 2004’s World Series counted for a lot. “Now, an October loss is just a loss,” writes Seth McAdams of the Boston Herald. “The Red Sox go home, spirits down, heads high.”