Stark: Strange but true regular-season feats

From SABR member Jayson Stark at on December 22, 2011, with mention of SABR member Trent McCotter:

Once again this year, the ever-unpredictable sport of baseball was stranger than the Kardashians’ idea of marital bliss, stranger than Alec Baldwin’s airplane decorum, even stranger than all those commercials taking us deep inside Brian Wilson’s facial hair.

So before we immerse ourselves in bowl-game fever, let’s remember baseball’s Strange But True Feats of 2011 — starting with a look at the spectacular and highly irregular “regular” season that was and continuing Friday with the postseason edition.

Strange but truest last day of any season ever

I still can’t believe this happened, but it did.

It was the final night of the baseball season, Sept. 28.

The Red Sox and Rays started the evening in a tie for the American League wild-card spot. Then an amazing, practically impossible double feature unfolded in two ballparks (Camden Yards and the Trop) 900 miles apart.

The Red Sox were one out away from beating the Orioles. The Rays trailed the Yankees 7-0 in the eighth inning. Yet somehow or other, it was the Rays who wound up winning and making the playoffs, the Red Sox who wound up losing and completing the most epic collapse of all time, and us Strange But True watchers who were left to try to make sense of it all.

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Originally published: December 23, 2011. Last Updated: December 23, 2011.